Weeknight Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

No idea what to make for dinner? Forgot to defrost your protein? Grab your chicken breasts — fresh or frozen — and let’s make a meal!

The Instant Pot does all the work for you, and in around 25 minutes, you will have delicious, tender shredded chicken to serve atop a salad, on a sandwich or wrap, or alongside your desired starch and vegetable.

I make this recipe at least once, more often twice, per week, either for my Classic Chicken Salad, BBQ chicken, tacos or taco bowls, and so much more! It’s such a great easy base to create a variety of yummy stuff!

Feel free to double or triple this recipe, too— there’s no need to adjust cooking times for an increased quantity. Happy shreddin’!

Weeknight Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Serves: 3-4 | Prep time: 5 min. | Cook time: 10-12 min. | Total time: 25-27 min. (see notes)


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, fresh or frozen (see notes)

  • 1 cup water, broth, or a mixture of the two

  • ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Add the chicken to the bowl of your Instant Pot and cover with liquid of choice. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Cover and set the lid valve to the “sealing” position. For fresh chicken, cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, and for frozen chicken, cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Let the pot naturally release following this cooking time.

  3. Place cooked chicken in a shallow bowl, and use two forks to shred the chicken.

  4. Toss shredded chicken back into the pot with the cooking juices (optional; see notes), and stir to combine (5 minutes).

  5. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer chicken into a storage container (if saving for later), or use immediately atop salads, in chicken salad (see notes), served with BBQ sauce, and more— the options for this plain-Jane protein base are endless!


  • Fresh chicken will be more tender when pressure-cooked, but both fresh and frozen options work!

  • It will take the pot about 10 minutes to come to pressure.

  • You do not need to change the cooking times if you double or triple the amount of chicken.

  • If meal-prepping chicken, I recommend storing chicken breast whole (not shredded) with a little of the cooking juices so they retain a little more moisture.

  • If using this shredded chicken for chicken salad, I do not recommend adding the shredded chicken back into the cooking juices, as this will make your salad more wet than desired.

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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