Instant Pot shredded chicken is perfect for when you need to cook up chicken but you don't have anything taken out ahead of time. You can use fresh or frozen chicken breasts, both work great! There is just two ingredients, and endlessly it's versatile to use in your favorite recipes. Here is the best way to cook chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.
If you need a quick way to cook up chicken breasts to use in recipes, then the Instant Pot is your answer. Not only is it super simple to do (the pressure cooker does all the work), it also creates pull apart tender chicken in just minutes!
The Instant Pot truly is a time saver in a lot of cases with frozen meats. If you're a seafood lover, try out Instant Pot Shrimp which uses frozen shrimp and is done in a snap.
I have included times here for both fresh and frozen chicken so make sure you chose according to what you are using for best results. If you are looking for a way to cook a whole chicken, try this ninja foodi whole chicken recipe (there's a knock your socks of gravy!).
Tips for making Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breasts
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts are easily accessible and used in many recipes, but chicken thighs are great as well. I actually prefer thigh meat because it can be more tender and flavorful. It's also cheaper. Feel free to use frozen chicken thighs instead. You will probably want to take the time down a minute or two as thighs are smaller in size and will cook faster.
- I have tested this recipe in both the standard 6-quart Instant Pot and the Ninja Foodi Deluxe (which has a pressure cooking feature, along with features like air fryer and slow cooker). It works great in both! Just know exact cook times and time to come up to pressure may vary between brands and sizes of machine.
- I purposefully kept this recipe without seasoning so that it could be made without thought and used in a variety of recipes and different cuisines. If you are feeling spicy, try adding any type of spices that you would like, from greek to italian seasoning, taco seasoning, even marinades and barbecue sauces can go right in the pot! I made sheet pan nachos using Instant Pot shredded chicken that taco seasoning was added to!
- If you have fresh chicken, that works just as well! Cooking frozen chicken takes a little longer, but otherwise the rest of the recipe is the same! For medium sized chicken breasts set to 7 minutes of cook time and for large chicken breasts set to 9 minutes of cook time.
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- chicken broth (or water)
How to make fresh or frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot
Place chicken into the Instant Pot. Pour liquid over top.
Frozen Chicken Breasts Time
Set Instant Pot to 10 minutes for medium sized frozen chicken breasts and 12 minutes for large frozen chicken breasts.
Fresh Chicken Breasts Time
For medium sized fresh chicken breasts set IP to 7 minutes of cook time and for large fresh chicken breasts set to 9 minutes of cook time.
Allow to come up to pressure and go through the full cooking time. After the time is up and the device beeps, carefully quick release to release the pressure and remove the lid.
Shred cooked chicken breasts or dice chicken or enjoy whole in your favorite recipes.
Ways to use plain shredded chicken
There are so many options for using plain shredded chicken that I can't possibly cover them all. But here are some of our family favorites, particularly chicken enchiladas and cream cheese chicken packets.
- Chicken Gyros Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Spicy Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Potbelly Chicken Pot Pie Soup
- Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad
Store cooked chicken in the fridge for up to 3 days. I often make a double batch of instant pot chicken because it is so easy and a great way to meal prep. I use one portion for dinner that night and another to put in the fridge use throughout the week.
You can also refreeze the shredded chicken, as it has been cooked. Having shredded chicken in the freezer is always helpful for a quick meal!
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breasts (Frozen or Fresh)
- 1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup chicken broth or water
- Place chicken into the Instant Pot. Pour liquid over top.
- Set Instant Pot to 10 minutes for medium sized frozen chicken breasts and 12 minutes for large frozen chicken breasts.
- For medium sized fresh chicken breasts set IP to 7 minutes of cook time and for large fresh chicken breasts set to 9 minutes of cook time.
- Allow to come up to pressure and go through the full cooking time. After the time is up and the device beeps, carefully quick release to release the pressure and remove the lid.
- Shred cooked chicken breasts or dice chicken and enjoy.