Perfectly Cooked Shredded Chicken In The Instant Pot Or Oven

An easy how-to for making perfectly cooked, shredded chicken in the oven or Instant Pot for use in any recipe calling for shredded chicken πŸ™‚

Perfectly Cooked Shredded Chicken - Main Picture

Having a good shredded chicken recipe to use in soups, stews, casseroles, or for meal prep is essential. I used to skip over recipes that called for cooked chicken because it seemed like so much work – especially if I only had frozen chicken – but no more!

I have 2 methods below that will outline how to make perfectly cooked shredded chicken in the oven or in the Instant Pot that are fast, easy, and make dinner a breeze. No more skipping recipes that call for shredded chicken! Plus, in both methods you can use frozen chicken – woot woot!

oven method:

This is my fool-proof method for perfectly cooked, shredded chicken in the oven that’s REALLY easy! It still takes about 45 minutes to an hour to go from frozen to perfectly cooked in the oven, but it’s crazy easy and always turns out perfect. Here’s my method:

First, take the chicken out of the packaging and place in a very large bowl or container (I didn’t take a picture of this because I’m an airhead I guess!). Then cover chicken with cold water for 20 – 30 minutes or until thawed.

Uncooked Chicken Breasts

Then, place chicken in a small baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 C of water and cover with foil or oven proof lid. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 -35 minutes or until cooked through.

It will look really unappetizing when you first take it out of the oven, but hang in there with me! … Now transfer the chicken to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the chicken on medium-high until perfectly shredded πŸ™‚ If you don’t have a stand mixer, just shred with 2 forks. That’s it!!!!

Perfectly Cooked Shredded Chicken

Instant Pot method:

Ever since I bought an Instant Pot, my cooking world changed forever – it’s AMAZING!!! Instant Pot cooking is the easiest and fastest way of cooking by far, and shredded chicken is no exception.

First, when making shredded chicken in the Instant Pot I always use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, not breasts. I find that chicken thighs in the Instant Pot turn out really moist whereas chicken breasts are on the drier side – especially if you’re adding them to a dish that will be cooked again. But if chicken breasts are what you want to use that’s fine too!

All you do is add about a cup of chicken broth or water to the Instant Pot.

Then, season the chicken with salt, pepper, or any seasonings that you like and add to the Instant Pot.

Cooked Chicken In Instant Pot

Close the lid, turn the valve to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. And don’t worry if your chicken is frozen – the only difference is that it will take longer for your Instant Pot to come to pressure πŸ™‚

Once the time is up, press “Cancel” and turn the valve to venting. Once the pressure is released, remove chicken to a large bowl and shred with 2 forks. Return to the Instant Pot and toss with the liquid to keep the chicken moist… since no one wants dry chicken!


I use this recipe regularly for my chicken pot pie, chicken ranch tacos, hearty chicken soup, chicken tortilla soupchicken salad sandwiches, and chicken taco salad – YUM πŸ™‚

Here’s the easy printable:

Perfectly Cooked, Shredded Chicken

An easy how-to for making perfectly cooked, shredded chicken in the oven or Instant Pot for use in any recipe calling for shredded chicken πŸ™‚
5 from 3 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dinner, gluten free, How-To, keto, paleo
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy shredded chicken recipe, how to make shredded chicken, instant pot shredded chicken, shredded chicken in the oven
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 179kcal
Author: Cassidy

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Oven Ingredients:

Instant Pot Ingredients:

  • 2-4 Lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs fresh or frozen (chicken thighs can be also be used)
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste (or seasonings of choice)
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth (preferred) or Water


Oven Method:

  • If frozen, place chicken in a sealed, waterproof baggie and remove any air. Place in cold water until thawed, about 20 to 30 minutes. Be sure to keep the water under 40 degrees.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Remove chicken from water and place in a baking dish. Season both sides with salt and pepper, pour in the water, and cover with foil or lid.
  • Bake for 25 -35 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer chicken to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-high until perfectly shredded. If you do not have a stand mixer, shred with 2 forks.

Instant Pot Method:

  • Pour the chicken broth or water into the Instant Pot.
  • Season the chicken with salt, pepper, or whatever seasonings you prefer and place in the Instant Pot.
  • Secure the lid, seal the pressure valve and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. If your chicken is extremely large or thick, you may need to add 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Quick release pressure then shred with 2 forks. 
  • Store chicken in air-tight container with the liquid to keep moist. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @CassidysCraveableCreations or tag #CassidysCraveableCreations!


Nutritional Information is calculated using 2 Lbs. of chicken thighs from the Instant Pot method.
Nutrition Facts
Perfectly Cooked, Shredded Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 179 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 134mg 6%
Potassium 370mg 11%
Protein 29g 58%
Vitamin A 0.7%
Calcium 1.4%
Iron 6.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate and may vary.

this post is part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday Gluten Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Healing With Food Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, and Fat Tuesday


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Shredded Chicken Pinnable Image

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An easy how-to for making perfectly cooked, shredded chicken in the oven or Instant Pot for use in any recipe calling for shredded chicken.

Posted September 7, 2018 by Cassidy in AIP, Egg Free, Keto, Nut Free, Paleo, Whats For Dinner?, Whole30 / 12 Comments


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12 responses to “Perfectly Cooked Shredded Chicken In The Instant Pot Or Oven

    • You can use fresh or frozen chicken for the instant pot method, it will just take longer for the Instant Pot to come to pressure for frozen chicken. For the oven method, if you use frozen chicken it will take around double the time to cook, but I’ve never tried this method so I can’t give you details on how long to cook it or how it will turn out. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  1. Elizabeth Ford

    Hi…never ever ever put frozen chicken in warm water. This is a breeding ground for bacteria. Keep it tightly wrapped, as in a ziploc bag with no air, and place it in a bowl. Trickle COLD water over it gently until thawed.

    • Hi Elizabeth, thank you very much for your input. I always thought that since it thaws in less than 30 minutes that there wasn’t enough time for bacteria to grow – I had always thought it takes 2 hours for bacteria to grow. But after reading your comment then doing some research you are correct – THANK YOU! I will update the recipe to use cold water.


  2. Angelika

    Thank you for posting this! While this may sound like the simplest thing any cook should know how to do, I actually had to Google “perfect shredded chicken” before I started on my thawed chicken breasts because I didn’t want to mess them up! Who would have thought about the stand mixer… Great idea! Using the forks is TEDIOUS work (in my opinion.. I’d rather be doing something else, ha!)

  3. You don’t have to thaw it! I cook mine – for a meal (don’t know why I never thought to do it this way when I need shredded chicken) – for 45 minutes at 375 straight from frozen. You just have to make sure they’re frozen *separately* and not in one big lump. πŸ™‚ I never remember to take something out to thaw, either, so I had to figure out SOMETHING!

    Here’s the way we season them to eat as-is:

    • Cassidy

      Thanks Laura, I use this recipe at least once or twice a week now when making dinner, it’s been a lifesaver πŸ™‚

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