Wondering how to cook shredded chicken in your Instant Pot? We’ve got you covered! Whether working with boneless skinless chicken breasts or another cut of chicken that was on sale at the grocery store, this recipe allows you to easily whip up shredded chicken to use in a variety of recipes.
Keep in mind that the seasonings and ingredients like maple syrup, ketchup, and soy sauce that we use in this particular recipe are meant to add flavor to our tasty chicken sandwiches. BUT, with just a few quick substitutions, you could use this as a base for many other of your favorite recipes and prep meat for chicken enchiladas, chicken tacos, chicken salad, and more.
So, get out your electric pressure cooker and prepare to say YUM!
This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe Is:
- perfect for busy weeknights
- flavorful chicken
- the best way to cook shredded chicken
- great for boneless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs
- uses basic ingredients
- an easy recipe
- great for meal prep because you can use the chicken in different ways
Chicken (you can use breasts, thighs, or even leftover whole chicken)–
The easy way to make shredded chicken is by using boneless chicken, however, it is okay to use what you have on hand.
Seasonings & All the Flavor
Salt and pepper to taste. However, you can easily change this recipe up and omit a few of the ingredients added in Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, or something else to use this versatile recipe throughout your recipe card list. Chicken tacos, BBQ chicken, and more can all be made using this simple cooking method.
Maple syrup– If you want to opt for a different flavor, feel free to omit the maple syrup and make different recipes with this natural pressure-release chicken recipe.
Butter– You can substitute this for margarine or oil. Sauteing chicken is important to lock flavor into the cooked chicken. Pro tip, you want to make sure you always used natural release when cooking chicken. Quick release can result in a rubbery Instant Pot chicken breast.
Garlic– Is there ever a reason NOT to use garlic? The easiest way to cook with garlic is to have a gar of minced or peeled garlic on hand. However, if you work with fresh garlic, I recommend using a garlic press to easily mince the garlic. If you don’t have garlic, you can use garlic powder. Here is a tool to find out how to substitute garlic powder for minced garlic.
Onion– Substitute onion powder or dried minced onions. One thing I like to do is to keep a supply of chopped onions and bell peppers in the freezer because I use them in so many recipes.
If you have an abundant garden, this is a great way to make use of extra produce. Then, just chop up the extra produce and freeze it.
Chicken broth– You can use a cup of water in place of a cup of chicken broth, or vegetable broth if you have that. The important thing is that you have enough cooking liquid to successfully make the recipe.
Sesame oil– We just use a tablespoon for this recipe, and love the flavor profile.
How to Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Step One: First, add butter to the inner pot and saute the fresh chicken breast on both sides. If you double the recipe and make a big batch of chicken, be sure to saute each piece of chicken on both sides. You want to lock in that flavor.
Step Two: Next, you’re going to deglaze the bottom of the pot with enough liquid to ensure you can scrape up all the brown bits. This does two things: adds tons of flavor to the chicken AND prevents the dreaded burn notice.
Step Three: Thirdly, add the remaining ingredients and set to cook on manual high pressure following the recipe directions below. Cooking chicken in the pressure cooker cooks chicken to perfection, but it is still a good idea to double-check the internal temperature of your chicken for food safety reasons prior to shredding.
Step Four: Next, add the chicken to a stand mixer or use a hand mixer to shred up the juicy chicken breasts. You can also use two forks to shred the chicken, but the mixer method works amazingly well to quickly shred chicken.
Ideas For How To Serve
- in a salad
- with potato salad
- in a lettuce wrap
You’ll want to use an airtight container to store pulled chicken leftovers. It’s important to store your leftovers promptly and use them within 2-3 days.
In reality, our leftover shredded chicken never lasts this long. But, it is good to be able to have the option to use leftovers throughout the week. If you meal prep, this is a terrific recipe to use. Make sandwiches, burritos, nachos, loaded baked potatoes, and more.
More Chicken Recipes
- Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- How To Air Fry Frozen Chicken Strips
- Cranberry Roasted Cornish Hens Recipe
This recipe takes 15 minutes for the raw chicken to cook or 10 minutes for leftover chicken.
We haven’t cooked this specific recipe with frozen chicken, but technically you can use frozen chicken. It would take some experimenting in order to get the right cook-time, especially since we also brown the chicken on each side before allowing it to pressure cook.
We cook this chicken recipe using the manual high-pressure setting.
We recommend adding 1/2 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water to this recipe. If you double the recipe, you need to make sure you also double the liquid.
If the sauce is too liquidy after cooking, you can use the saute function to cook the sauce down to a thicker consistency.
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- 1 ½ pound of chicken (we used boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- Green onion, to garnish
- 6-8 sandwich buns
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute mode. Once the inner pot is heated, add in the butter and the boneless, skinless chicken.
- Saute the raw chicken for 4 minutes on each side. If you double the amount of chicken, make sure you saute all pieces of chicken on each side. If you make this recipe using leftover chicken, quickly coat the chicken with butter to prevent the meat from drying out and move on to the next step.
- Now, add in a small amount of the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the inner pot with a wooden spoon. You want to get all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan to avoid getting a burn notice.
- Turn the saute function on the Instant Pot off, and then add in the maple syrup, onion, soy, garlic, sesame oil, ketchup, salt, and pepper.
- Add in the chicken broth by pouring over the top, and then close the lid and seal the Instant Pot.
- Set the Instant Pot to Manual high pressure. For raw chicken, you need to set the time to 15 minutes. If you use leftover chicken, 10 minutes is all you need for the cooking time.
- After the timer beeps, let the Instant Pot naturally release the steam. You don't want to use the quick release,
- Next, it's time to shred the chicken. You can shred the chicken easily using a couple of forks, or with a handheld or stand mixer. All of these options work nicely.
- Serve the tender chicken on toasted buns.
If the sauce is too thin for your liking, turn the instant pot to saute and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
Serves 6 large sandwiches or 8 small sandwiches.
Allow leftovers to cool to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 603Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 876mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 3gSugar: 19gProtein: 34g