Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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Learn how to make perfect Shredded Chicken every time using your Instant Pot! This tender chicken recipe is endlessly versatile, and delicious in everything from tacos to salads to soups.

If you love fork tender meat, be sure to try my Instant Pot balsamic shredded beef as well as my Instant Pot shredded pork recipe!

Shredded chicken in a white baking dish with fork.
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Perfect Shredded Chicken

Juicy, tender chicken that shreds easily at the touch of the fork is the key ingredient for dozens of my favorite easy weeknight dinners. We love it piled high in Chicken Tostadas and simmered in this Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup.

Often times, though, I’d find myself just wanting some already cooked shredded chicken to throw in a bowl of fried rice, wrap in a tortilla or mix into a chicken noodle soup.

I mixed up some seasonings and put the Instant Pot to work!

This chicken came out splendidly. Pressure cooked with a bit of sauce and some seasoning this chicken tastes good on its own but has a mild enough flavor that you can add it to just about everything!

You’ll love all my instant pot recipes, but today’s can be useful in a variety of ways!

Perfect in crack chicken and chicken tetrazzini!

Ingredients needed to make shredded chicken breast in the instant pot included spices and broth.

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken – Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this Instant Pot recipe. You’ll need 1 pound of chicken (about 2 breasts). You can easily add more if needed!
  • Chicken broth – Water can be substituted, but I would recommend adding a bit more salt to the recipe if you don’t use broth. For a sweeter tasting shredded chicken, swap the broth for pineapple juice!
  • BBQ sauce – The recipe only uses half a cup of sauce, so it won’t dominate the flavor of the chicken. Use any bottled BBQ sauce your family enjoys.
  • Seasonings – I used lemon pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.

Step by Step Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make shredded chicken in the pressure cooker.

STEP 1. Tenderize the chicken

Pat the chicken dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Pierce each chicken breast with a fork a few times on each side.

STEP 2. Season

Combine the seasonings in a small bowl. Coat the chicken with the mixture and set asde.

STEP 3. Pressure cook

Add the broth and sauce to the Instant Pot, followed by the chicken. Seal the valve and set the pot for a cook time of 11 minutes on high.

STEP 4. Shred and serve

When the cook time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then move the valve to venting to release the remaining pressure.

Carefully remove the lid and transfer the chicken breast to a bowl. Discard juices and use two forks to shred the chicken. It should come apart easily! Serve hot.

PRO TIP: No Instant Pot? Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6 hours. Shred and enjoy!

How to use shredded chicken

How CAN’T you use shredded chicken? Okay, I wouldn’t recommend putting it in cupcakes, but aside from that there are so many delicious and easy ways to enjoy this chicken.

Try it in . . .

Just to name a few.

For an easy BBQ chicken sandwich, toss the shredded chicken with a little more BBQ sauce and pile on to dinner rolls with all your favorite sandwich toppings!

Make an instant taco salad by adding this chicken to a bowl with mixed greens, tortilla chips, salsa verde and some shredded cheese.

Stir into a pot of cabbage soup to turn a side dish into a full meal!

The options are endless.

Shredded chicken in the instant pot.

Tips and Tricks

  • Make this into Mexican Shredded Chicken by adding some taco seasoning before serving.
  • If using pineapple juice instead of broth, you can omit the BBQ sauce entirely, particularly if you don’t want the chicken to have as much sweetness.
  • Store cooked shredded chicken in a tightly sealed container in the fridge and enjoy within 3 days.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use frozen chicken breasts?

Yes, but it will take longer to cook and you may need to add extra time to the pressure cooker.

Can I use water instead of chicken broth?

You can sub water, but may want to add a bit of salt to the recipe along with the other seasonings, since store bough broth has a lot of added sodium.

Does this taste like BBQ chicken?

No, the BBQ sauce and seasonings tenderize the chicken while adding flavor but it doesn’t come out tasting like barbecue on its own. You can add more BBQ sauce to the chicken if you want a true BBQ shredded chicken.

What can I make with shredded chicken?

This is amazing in tacos, enchiladas, fried rice, BBQ pizza and chicken noodle soup, to name a few dishes.

Shredded chicken in a white dish with tongs.

More Easy Weeknight Meals

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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

5 from 5 votes
By: Aimee
Learn how to make perfect Shredded Chicken every time using your Instant Pot! This chicken is endlessly versatile, delicious in everything from tacos to salads to soups.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 chicken breasts 1 lbs
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
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  • Pat chicken breasts dry. With a fork, pierce the chicken breast a few times on each side. (This will help to tenderize it)
  • In a small bowl, combine lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Rub the breasts with seasoning mixture. Set aside.
  • In the Instant Pot, pour the chicken broth and BBQ sauce and mix to combine. Add chicken breasts to the Instant Pot.
  • Set the instant pot valve to seal. Select Manual (High Pressure) for a cooking time of 11 minutes.
  • Once the cook time is over, allow 10 minutes for the pressure naturally release. After ten minutes, move the valve on top to "venting."
  • Open the Instant Pot and transfer the chicken breast to a bowl or plate for shredding.


  • Can I use frozen chicken breasts? Yes, but it will take longer to come to pressure.
  • What can I make with shredded chicken? Tacos, Fried Rice, BBQ Pizza, Enchiladas, Chicken Noodle soup
  • Can I use water instead of chicken broth? Yes, you can substitute chicken broth with water. However, the store-bought chicken broth has more salt, so you might want to adjust the seasoning especially more salt.
  • Does this taste like BBQ Chicken? No. The seasoning mixture gives it lots of flavor, while tenderizing the chicken. Want to make it shredded bbq? Add more bbq sauce after the chicken is shredded. You could also add taco seasoning if you prefer!
  • Swap out the broth for pineapple juice, and feel free to skip the bbq sauce if you want.


Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 2178mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 12g
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Lightly seasoned, juicy shredded chicken is SO easy when you use the Instant Pot. How will YOU use this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken?

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on October 10, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. I made this last night and it is amazing! The only tweaks I made on the recipe is that I used chicken thighs and did a 14 min natural release. The BBQ sauce and spices seemed overwhelming when I took off the lid but after draining the juice and shredding the meat, it couldn’t have had better flavor! And it’s not overpowering so it would be easy to use in so many different dishes.

5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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