Sometimes I take basic cooking recipes for granted. I think “who wants to know this anyway?” And then I realize it’s the simple things in the kitchen that make cooking so enjoyable, tasty, and let’s face it, healthy. This shredded chicken recipe is no exception.
I find myself low on the protein front almost daily. Why? Because protein is generally the hardest macronutrient to grab quickly. Most of the time a good source (and quality source) of protein takes time to prepare, so like most, I opt for quick carbs & fat so I can get on with my life.
That’s why I started doing some batch prep of protein during my meal prep. I try and meal prep on Sunday afternoon/evenings. It doesn’t always happen but that’s when I prefer to do my meal prep for the week. I throw on some music, pour a glass of wine and get to cooking. The good news is the Instant Pot takes no time at all, so if I don’t get to it on Sunday, there are 6 other days ending in Y that are up for grabs.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
The Instant Pot is seriously a game changer. I honestly think I’m a walking (talking) billboard and infomercial for the brand. They pay me NOTHING. I just truly love the product and love how easy it is to use. Yes, it is at first intimidating but I promise you, it will make all the difference in your meal prep routine. I actually just moved my slow cooker to the basement because I realized I haven’t used it in over 6 months and it’s taking up prime kitchen real estate. The Instant Pot has taken its place and I’m not sure what life was before it.
Any meat you decide to make in the pressure cooker is guaranteed to be more tender and more melt-in-your-mouth than any other cooked meat. It’s unreal. The one major key when cooking chicken in the Instant Pot, however, is to ensure you have enough liquid. If you don’t have enough liquid for such a lean meat, the pot won’t seal or pressurize and you’ll open the pot to raw chicken. I’ve found that a minimum of 1/4 cup does the trick unless I’m doing a large batch (>3-4lbs) then I err on the side of caution and add 1/2-1 cup of liquid just to be sure.
Shredded Chicken Uses
I decided to try doing simple recipes (aka 1 ingredient) in the Instant Pot recently. It’s been amazing to see how the pot does its trick. I’m not a huge fan of cooking chicken, mostly because I had to cook what seemed like 500 chicken recipes when I worked at McCormick. So, if I can find a way to set it and forget it, I’m all in.
The lovely thing about shredded chicken is that you can use it in a variety of recipes and meals. Sure, you can just douse it in some of your favorite sauce or marinade and eat it as is, but there are so many more fun ways to use it. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use it:
- Buffalo Hummus Chicken Salad
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Pumpkin Ramen (coming out this week! Stay tuned!)
- Chicken Cobb Salad (in place of baked chicken)
When the Instant Pot does it’s magic you don’t really even try that hard to shred the chicken. It just falls apart. Win-win.
Pro Tip: make a bunch of this all at once and freeze whatever you don’t use in portions for later use.Print
- 3–4lbs chicken thigh or breast, boneless & skinless
- 1/2 cup water
- Spices of choice (i use paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, etc.)
- Salt & pepper, as desired
- Put chicken & water (and spices if using) into Instant Pot & seal (make sure vent is closed)
- Select poultry and set for 15 minutes, let seal/cook.
- Once done, either do a quick release by opening up the vent or allow to slow/natural release for 15-20 minutes.
- Drain chicken and shred with fork.
What is one food you prep in bulk to prepare for the week?!
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