Easy Shredded Chicken

Easy Shredded Chicken makes the most simple tender chicken in just 20 minutes. Perfect to use in tacos, soup, salads, and pasta dishes.

This simple recipe is the ultimate dinner time saver. After just a 15 minute cook time you’ll have tender, shreddable chicken that you can use as the meat in any number of Dinner Recipes. Serve it in Chicken Noodle Soup, a Creamy Chicken Casserole, or your favorite Chicken Salad.

Easy Shredded Chicken in pot with electric mixer

EASY SHREDDED CHICKEN

This is the easiest way to make the perfect chicken for shredding. All you have to do is add the boneless chicken breasts to a pot with water. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then bring the recipe ingredients to a boil, and continue cooking until done. In just those few steps, you’ll have the most versatile chicken recipe ready to go in practically no time at all. 

Boiling the chicken is a great time saver, and you don’t have to worry about preheating the oven or roasting the meat. Once it’s done the cooked chicken is the perfect juicy texture to shred into chunks of chicken. The shredded texture is great for adding to salads, soups, and Mexican dishes. Plus, you can easily add any seasonings you like to the simple flavors in the recipe. 

Even if you’re serving a small group, you can still make a bunch of chicken with this recipe. Then just use some of it that night to go in your tacos, Chicken and Rice Soup, or whatever dish you’re serving. Store any chicken you don’t use for dinner that night in the fridge to toss in a Cobb Salad, or simple sandwich for lunch the next day. This simple recipe can be used in so many ways that you’ll never get bored of it. 

SIMPLE CHICKEN RECIPES

COOKING TIPS

  • Heat: This recipe is ready in just three unbelievably easy steps! To start, add the chicken breast halves, water, salt, and pepper to a dutch oven or large pot. Put the stovetop to medium-high heat, and bring the pot of chicken to a boil. 
  • Cook time: Reduce to medium heat and continue cooking the boneless skinless chicken breasts for 15-18 minutes. To check if the cooking time is done, use an internal thermometer at the thickest part to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It’s done when the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F. 
  • Finish: Strain the water out of the pot. Then use a handheld mixer at medium speed to shred the meat into small pieces of chicken. If you don’t have a handheld mixer, you can also transfer the chicken to a stand mixer or use two forks.

Easy Shredded Chicken whole cooked chicken breasts in pot

VARIATIONS

  • Broth: For some extra flavor in the juicy chicken breasts, you can replace the plain water with chicken broth. Put the chicken breasts in 3 cups of chicken broth and bring it to a boil as usual. It will soak up some of the salty flavors as it cooks. 
  • Garlic: For some bold garlicky taste added to the chicken flavor, you can mix some minced cloves of garlic with the cooking liquid. 
  • Seasonings: There are plenty of other ingredients you can season chicken breasts with. Try adding paprika, onion powder, fresh thyme, rosemary, cumin, or bay leaf.

INSTANT POT SHREDDED CHICKEN

  • Ingredients: Add the chicken breasts, salt, pepper, water, and any additional seasonings you want to the pressure cooker. 
  • Pressure cook time: Seal the pressure cooker and set the manual cook time to 20 minutes. 
  • Release: Instead of a natural release, do a quick release by turning the vent knob to the vent position, then uncover the chicken. To make sure the chicken is done, you can use an internal thermometer to check the breasts have reached 165 degrees. 
  • Shred: Use forks or a hand mixer to shred the chicken.

CLASSIC SIDE DISHES

HOW TO STORE

  • Serve: After the cook time, don’t leave the chicken pieces at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: Let the warm chicken cool down before you put it in a ziplock bag or an airtight container to store in the fridge for 3-5 days. 
  • Freeze: You could also put it in freezer-safe containers to keep the chicken in freezer for up to 6 months. Let the frozen chicken thaw in the fridge before reheating and serving.

Easy Shredded Chicken in pot with electric mixer

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Easy Shredded Chicken

Easy Shredded Chicken makes the most simple tender chicken in just 20 minutes. Perfect to use in tacos, soup, salads, and pasta dishes.
Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 3 chicken breasts , boneless & skinless
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 3 cups water

Instructions

  • Add ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
  • Cook for 15-18 minutes.
  • Drain water (or keep to use in soup), and use a hand mixer to shred the chicken on medium speed (you can also add to stand mixer on speed level 3).

Nutrition

Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 525mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Easy Shredded Chicken

Easy Shredded Chicken collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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