Easy shredded chicken made in the crockpot or instant pot. One of the most simple, versatile and tasty recipes out there. Perfect to put on salads, tacos, nachos…you name it!
We make this recipe at least once a month and even my picky kids love it! It’s one of those recipes that you literally can’t mess up. Whenever we want to switch up the flavor a little, we make crockpot shredded BBQ chicken or salsa chicken. Yum!
This crockpot shredded chicken is seriously so perfect for when you need to quickly throw a meal together. It’s SO versatile and can be added to just about anything. Make chicken tacos or nachos, add to a salad, create a homemade burrito bowl or even put on top of a baked potato. So many yummy ways to use it up!
I also love that the recipe can be made several different ways, which is super convenient depending on what you’ve got going on. My favorite way to cook the shredded chicken is in the crockpot, but it can easily be cooked in the instant pot too.
How to make crockpot shredded chicken
To get started, simply place the meat in the bottom of the crockpot. Pour the broth on top, then add all of the spices.
Cover with lid and cook on high for about 3 to 4 hours, or until the chicken easily shreds. Alternatively, you can cook on low for about 5-6 hours until tender.
Techniques for shredding chicken
There are a few simple techniques you can use to shred the meat. I prefer the good old fashioned fork method, but any of these will work great!
- Fork method: The most common way is to place one fork in the chicken breast and use another fork to pull the chicken away.
- Stand mixer: Another quick way is to place the cooked meat in your stand mixer and turn it to low until shredded.
- Hand mixer: You can also place it in a large bowl and use a hand mixer.
Tip: Make sure to shred the meat while it’s still warm! It’s much easier to shred warm (vs. cold) and will literally fall right apart.
Freezing cooked chicken
This crockpot shredded chicken also freezes really well. I usually end up freezing about half of the recipe for another busy or rainy day. Freezer meals for the win!
- Allow meat to cool.
- Place in a zip top bag and label with amount and date you are putting it in freezer.
- Place bag in freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.
- When ready to thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight. You can also run the bag under warm water. Reheat on the stove top or microwave.
Instant pot shredded chicken
If you prefer the instant pot over the crockpot, great news! I’ll show you exactly how to use the instant pot to make this shredded chicken recipe. It’s actually a lot faster and you can even use frozen chicken.
To make in the instant pot:
- Add all of the ingredients to the instant pot.
- Secure the lid and close the pressure valve (make sure it’s set to sealing).
- Cook for 17 minutes on high pressure.
- Allow to count down for 5 minutes and then do a quick release.
Favorite ways to use crockpot shredded chicken:
- Tacos (I like to melt cheese on corn tortillas & then add meat, pico de gallo and guacamole)
- Sheet pan nachos
- Taco salad
- Green chile enchiladas
- Creamy chicken enchiladas
- Tortilla soup
- Chicken enchilada dip
- Stuffed peppers
More easy crockpot recipes:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Salad
- Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken
- Creamy Crockpot Italian Chicken
- Crockpot Chicken Tinga
- Slow Cooker Taco Bowls
Crockpot Shredded Chicken Recipe
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 3 garlic cloves , minced (1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1 ounce packet ranch seasoning (I used Hidden Valley)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 lime , juiced
- salt & pepper , to taste
- Place the chicken breast in the crockpot and pour the chicken broth over the top. Add the garlic, ranch powder, chili powder and cumin on top of the chicken.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat easily shreds with a fork.
- Shred the chicken and remove extra fat. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir in the lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn the slow cooker to warm until ready to serve.