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I’m so glad that I finally got this Instant Pot pressure cooker chicken breast recipe right. One of my favorite staples to make ahead is a large batch of shredded chicken. I used to make it in the slow cooker, but last fall I discovered that it’s so much faster in my Instant Pot.
I totally adore this method now. The prep is as care-free as a slow cooker, but the whole thing is done in 15 minutes flat, from start to finish. And, that even includes five minutes of natural release time. This creates optimal texture.
So, are you ready to learn how to make pressure cooker chicken breast in your Instant Pot? Here, I’ll show you.
How To Make Shredded Chicken in a Pressure Cooker
If you’re on the fence about pressure cooking chicken, now is the time to try it. This Instant Pot chicken breast recipe is probably the easiest and most versatile one to start with. It requires just three ingredients, plus salt and pepper to your liking. It doesn’t get any easier than that! It’s the fastest, best way to make shredded chicken.
Place all the ingredients in your pressure cooker, push a couple buttons, and you’re all set. Ten minutes later, you’ll have perfectly juicy chicken breast. Shred it with two forks, or one of the other methods below. Voila!
Quick and easy pressure cooker chicken breast.
Feel free to customize the spices in this Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe to your liking. There are really two main ingredients – chicken and chicken broth. But, I find that adding Italian seasoning as the third ingredient makes it so much better.
You can get as creative as you like with the spices. I like to keep it simple, so that the chicken can be used in a variety of recipes later. Italian seasoning works with pretty much anything.
One thing I do recommend is to make sure you use chicken broth and not water. Some people make shredded chicken with water, but you get a lot more flavor using chicken broth. This makes the biggest difference when the chicken itself is white meat, like chicken breast.
This is also the reason that this pressure cooker chicken breast recipe doesn’t call for much salt. The chicken broth already adds most of the sodium needed.
How To Shred Chicken Breast
Once you’ve made your Instant Pot chicken breast, it should already be very tender. If the cooking time is right, it will be pretty easy to shred it. This is similar to a slow cooker method.
Of course, how long to cook chicken breast in a pressure cooker will vary depending on how big your chicken breasts are. This recipe is based on a typical 6-8 ounce size. If yours are larger, you will need to increase the time by a few minutes.
Getting the cook time right is important to be able to make shred chicken breast easily. If it’s too dry, it will be hard to shred. Obviously, you don’t want to under cook it, either. To remove the guesswork for you, I’ve repeatedly tested the pressure cooking times below for fresh and frozen chicken.
Other than the cook time, the pressure release mechanism will impact how easy it will be to shred your Instant Pot chicken. Natural release results in the most tender meat and the most effortless shredding, so use that if you can. At the very least, use the natural release for five minutes prior to using the quick release option.
After cooking, you can shred the chicken breast directly in the pressure cooker using two forks. Hold the piece of chicken steady with one fork, while pulling and tearing away the shredded pieces with the other fork. Repeat the process until all your chicken is shredded.
Alternatively, you can shred chicken breast with a hand mixer. You may need to drain some of the liquid temporarily, to prevent splattering. If your hand mixer has a slow start feature, like this one, that is helpful to have. I’ve heard that a stand mixer also works well for shredding chicken breast, but don’t have one to try it.
Instant Pot Chicken Breast For Convenience
The convenience of having shredded chicken on hand has had me making it at least once a month for a couple years now, previously in my slow cooker. I still use my Crock Pot all the time, but since I discovered this method, the only way I make pulled chicken is using this Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe.
I picked up my Instant Pot pressure cooker on a whim over the holidays last year. It sounded like such a great idea! I have a confession to make, though. For most of that year, it sat stored away without seeing the light of day. Learning to use a new appliance kept getting moved down on the priority list, considering I had plenty of other kitchen appliances I already knew how to use. This turned out to be a mistake.
Once I started using my Instant Pot more often, I fell in love with it. I wish I hadn’t waited so long! It saves so much time. Dishes that take hours in the oven or slow cooker can be done in minutes using a pressure cooker.
This pressure cooker shredded chicken recipe has been no exception. I love that it takes me ten minutes to make all the shredded chicken I need for a whole month. I keep a couple cups at a time in the fridge, and freeze the rest in small batches using a vacuum sealer.
If you prefer to make a whole chicken, try this Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe from Gluten-Free Pressure Cooker instead.
So, have you tried Instant Pot chicken breast yet? Having shredded chicken on hand, ready to go, can be a huge time saver. It’s versatile in tons of recipes, including my easy chicken salad and low carb nachos. What are your favorite uses for shredded chicken?
How Long To Cook Chicken in a Pressure Cooker
People have been asking me how long to cook chicken breast in a pressure cooker for making various amounts of shredded chicken. And that’s such a great question!
Surprisingly, I couldn’t find this information anywhere, not even from Instant Pot directly. I had tested my original recipe with 4 pounds, but what if you have 1, 2, 3 or 5 pounds of chicken instead?
Lucky for you, I did the testing myself! After a couple tests with each weight amount and over 20 pounds of shredded chicken later (!!), I have your answers.
The chart below shows you exactly how long to cook Instant Pot chicken breast, so you can make it for any amount you have – from one to five pounds of chicken breast!
|Amount of Chicken Breast by Weight||Instant Pot Cook Time|
|1 lb||4 minutes|
|2 lb||5 minutes|
|3 lb||6 minutes|
|4 lb||8 minutes|
|5 lb||10 minutes|
Note that these are the times you enter on your Instant Pot, and don’t include time required to build pressure.
A couple more notes about this…
How Much Instant Pot Chicken Can you Make?
In general, I recommend making no more than four pounds at once, and definitely no more than five.
Five pounds of pressure cooker chicken breast was really pushing it, as it fills up the Instant Pot and it takes a long time to reach pressure. Besides, the chicken starts to cook unevenly if you put in too much, since the pieces sit on top of each other.
Stick with one to four pounds if possible, but if you really want to make five, that will still work… just consider it the limit.
When you arrange the chicken in the Instant Pot, try to do so in one layer if possible. If you’re making a lot of pressure cooker shredded chicken and can’t get the raw chicken in one layer, just disperse it as evenly as you can. This will help it cook more evenly.
How Long To Pressure Cook Chicken Breast – by Weight
It’s easy to scale the pressure cooker shredded chicken breast recipe. You can change the number of servings on the recipe card as follows:
- 1 lb chicken – enter 5 servings
- 2 lb chicken – enter 10 servings
- 3 lb chicken – enter 15 servings
- 4 lb chicken – enter 20 servings
- 5 lb chicken – enter 25 servings
This will scale the amount of all the ingredients you need. Basically, 1 pound of chicken will yield about 2 1/2 cup shredded chicken, or 5 1/2-cup servings.
Just one caveat – do not adjust the amount of broth. You always need about 1 cup of chicken broth for this pressure cooker chicken recipe, whether you’re making one pound, five pounds, or anything in between.
I’m really excited to have this chart for Instant Pot chicken breast, and I hope you are, too. It’s going to be so convenient to be able to make just the right amount of pressure cooker chicken. Yay!
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast Recipe (Shredded Chicken):
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Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast Recipe (Shredded Chicken)
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RECIPE TIPS + VIDEO in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
- Place the chicken into the pressure cooker. Season with Italian seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper (or any other spices you like). Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the chicken.
- Close the lid and select the either the "Poultry" or "Manual" setting. Set the time to 8 minutes for fresh chicken breast, or 13 minutes for frozen chicken breast. (These times are for typical 6-8 ounce chicken breasts. If yours are larger, add a couple of minutes.)
When done, let the pressure naturally release for at least 5 minutes. After that, you can turn the valve to "vent" for quick release if you're in a hurry, or continue natural release for the most tender texture.
- Unplug the pressure cooker and use two forks to shred the chicken. (I prefer to do this right in the pressure cooker, mixing with the juices.) Drain if serving right away, or store with the broth to retain moisture.
Serving size: 1/2 cup
- Check the chart above to see how to scale this pressure cooker chicken breast recipe to any weight from 1 to 5 pounds!
Video Showing How To Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken:
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NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Carb count excludes sugar alcohols. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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