Perfect Shredded Chicken {In the Crock-Pot OR the Pressure Cooker}

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How to make perfect shredded chicken in a crock-pot, pressure cooker, or Instant Pot - recipes included
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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been cooking chicken in the crock-pot. Whether you choose to use a slow-cooker or a pressure cooker, the process is the same.

Drop the chicken in the pot and then chop or shred the chicken when it’s done cooking. Making shredded chicken is not a complicated thing and there is no fancy skill required, but having shredded chicken on hand is a spectacularly convenient thing for countless recipes.

I’m sharing both my crock-pot and pressure cooker methods for cooking chicken today. I finally got my hands on a pressure cooker (I bought this 7-in-1 Instant Pot) a couple months ago and I’ve been pressure-cooking everything and anything I can. I’ve discovered that it is possible to cook chicken that is falling apart and perfectly shreddable in just 15 MINUTES!

I’m already completely hooked on the convenience of using a pressure cooker. I’ve been testing a number of our favorites recipes in the pressure cooker over the past month and I can hardly wait to share the pressure cooking recipes with you.

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Here are some of our favorite ways to use this shredded chicken:
How to make perfect shredded chicken in a crock-pot, pressure cooker, or Instant Pot - recipes included at

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Perfect Shredded Chicken {In the Crock-Pot OR the Pressure Cooker}

5 from 4 votes
Servings: 8 -10 servings


  • 2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts
  • 3 tablespoons  Mexican spice mix or store-bought taco seasoning optional
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  • PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS: Sprinkle the chicken all over with the spices and place the pieces in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Add the chicken broth and close the pressure cooker. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Release the pressure according to the manufacturer's instructions and chop or shred with tongs.
  • SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS:  Sprinkle the chicken all over with the spices and place the pieces in the bottom of the bottom of the pressure cooker. Add 1 cup chicken broth and cover. Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours. Shred with tongs or roughly chop the cooked chicken.
  • Store the cooked chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Enjoy!


I tend to use pre-cooked chicken in Mexican-style cooking far more than any other. So, the added spices work well for most purposes. The chicken also works great without the spices, and the unseasoned meat will work in any number of dishes.
While I typically choose dark meat over white meat, any combination will work and I tend to use whichever meat I have on hand. My preference is to use half white meat and half dark meat when preparing chicken this way. All dark or all white meat will work fine as well.
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

Here are some more recipes that use shredded chicken:
Chicken Sloppy Joes by Taste and Tell
Chicken Salad with Green Olives, Celery, and Onion by Kalyn’s Kitchen
Saucy Shredded Chicken Tacos by I Wash You Dry
Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup by Center Cut Cook
Chicken Artichoke Bites by Real Housemoms

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Kate says

    My daughter gave me an Instant Pot for Christmas. I never thought that I needed it but it has turned out to be one of the most convenient appliances that I own! And, I agree with you, having shredded chicken on hand is a necessity!

  2. LRW says

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I used my pressure cooker for the first time, with chicken breast. I ended up cooking it twice (two separate 20 minute session) to get it fork tender. Now I have well seasoned chicken breast that I can use for almost anything.5 stars

  3. Megha says

    Thanks a ton for sharing this recipe. Can I cook this POT-IN-POT in the instant pot? If yes, will the settings remain the same.

    Thanks much,

    • Mary says

      I’ve never cooked anything pot-in-pot. I would assume it would work, but I’ve never tried it myself.

  4. Jeanie says

    The fastest and easiest way to shred chicken is in your Kitchenaid stand mixer if you have one. How I wish I’d known this years ago…it literally takes 2 minutes and it comes out perfectly every time!!5 stars

  5. imsen says

    This is the best recipe I have found for chicken in the slow cooker. And the tip for using your stand mixer to shred it is so good! It worked perfectly. All of your tips and suggestions are great, thank you for sharing. 5 stars