How Shred Chicken Breast?

How do you shred chicken? Buying a rotisserie chicken for your chicken noodle soup is a brilliant hack because those are tender enough to shred with your hands. There is a simple and quick way to get shreddable chicken fast and shredding it is not painful at all, but what about those nights you forgot to pick one up or the store was sold out by the time you got there?

The Easiest Ways to Shred Chicken

To prepare chicken in advance and use in a variety of recipes, shred it. Just consider how much quicker it would be if you already had the chicken prepared to make a batch of your favorite chicken enchiladas or chicken tortilla soup (yes, I’ve got Mexican food on the brain!).

Aside from using it in recipes for dinner, having a small supply of shredded chicken is great for putting together an easy lunch. You can add it to a salad, make a quick chicken salad sandwich, or make a simple quesadilla with it.

Why You Should Make Shredded Chicken

  • Weekly meal prep. Do you like to make all your lunches for the week or do prep work for all of your weekly dinners?
  • Adding on to salads for quick lunches, in soups, casseroles, and even sandwiches.
  • Stocking your freezer. This saves so much time if you eat a lot of chicken.
  • Saving money. Batch cooking shredded chicken allows you to take advantage of sales.

Why Making Shredded Chicken is Better than Store Bought

Some grocery stores sell cooked pre-shredded chicken, so you might be wondering why you shouldn’t just buy that. However, convenience foods that have already been prepared typically cost more.

Making your own shredded chicken allows you to:

  • Control the quality and type of ingredients used. You can tailor your shredded chicken according to your personal preferences and the recipes you plan to use it in.
  • Batch cook and store it in the way and amount that works best for you.
  • Take advantage of sale prices and stock up.

Useful Tools for Shredding Chicken

Here are a few kitchen tools that will be useful if you plan to make your own shredded chicken breast:

  • Pot, Slow Cooker, Baking Pan, or Instant Pot – depending on how you plan to cook the chicken, one of these cooking vessels will be helpful.
  • Instant Read Thermometer – using a kitchen thermometer to check the internal temperature of the cooked chicken is helpful to determine whether the chicken is cooked through or not.
  • Cutting Board – a cutting board provides a nice work surface for preparing the shredded chicken while also protecting your counters.
  • Forks – forks can be used to shred the chicken.
  • Sharp Knife – a sharp knife can also be used.
  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment or a Hand Mixer – these tools are great especially if you want shredded chicken fast and are making larger quantities.

How Shred Chicken Breast?

How to Shred Chicken

Well, first you have to cook it. There are several ways to prepare this: in the oven, the crockpot, or on the stovetop. Leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken also works well. Here’s an overview of the different methods:

Cook it in the Crockpot

The chicken can be left unattended in the slow cooker, you can season it with additional ingredients, and the chicken always turns out tender.

Recipes for Crockpot Shredded Chicken

Here are my two recommended crock pot recipes for making simple shredded chicken:

The ideal shredded chicken recipe for your next Mexican dish is Crock Pot Mexican Chicken. This recipe is sure to please because it is full of flavor and is incredibly tender from hours in the crock pot.

I adore this All-Purpose Crock Pot Shredded Chicken because it has great flavor and can be used in almost any recipe. The best shredded chicken is this kind because it freezes well, is easy to prepare for meals, and is tender and moist.

Cook it in the Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is another way to cook shredded chicken.

Similar to the crockpot, you can largely forget about it (especially if you choose to use the natural release function), but the best part is that instant pot shredded chicken practically shreds itself because it gets so tender during the cooking process.

The majority of crockpot recipes can be modified for the Instant Pot and will cook in a lot less time. Just be sure to adhere to all safety precautions and manufacturer instructions.

How to Shred Chicken: With a Stand Mixer

I wasn’t aware of this technique until a few years ago (thanks, Pinterest!) It is undoubtedly the quickest and simplest method for shredding chicken.

Why is that? Because all you have to do is place the meat in a stand mixer’s bowl and blend on low speed until the chicken is the desired shred size. The chicken will be shred in the bowl of your stand mixer after the mixer completes its work.

The above is simply a quick summary of this tutorial. For all the specific directions, see the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.

How Shred Chicken Breast?

Does it Matter if I Use Chicken Breasts or Thighs?

No, it doesn’t matter whether you use bone-in or boneless chicken. Since we typically cook with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I prefer to do so.

Any type of chicken can be shredded as long as the chicken bones have been removed, including whole chickens, boneless chicken thighs, bone-in breasts, boneless breasts, and even a mixture. Just use whatever cut of chicken you prefer.

However, because there isn’t much meat on the legs or wings, I don’t suggest using them to make shredded chicken. Reserve them for adding into your homemade stocks instead.

Can You Use Frozen Chicken to Make Shredded Chicken?

The USDA says that it is totally safe to cook chicken from frozen (if you’re cooking it in the oven or the stove), so don’t worry if you forgot to thaw the thicken that you planned to shred.

If the chicken is still frozen, in my opinion, the best ways to cook it for shredding are in the Instant Pot or by poaching it. The Instant Pot isn’t mentioned by the USDA, but given that it cooks under pressure and therefore gets much hotter than an oven, I’d wager that it is safe.

However, they do advise against using frozen chicken in a crock pot. Therefore, if you intend to cook from frozen when making shredded chicken, take that method off the table.

Check out my advice for quickly and safely defrosting meat.

How to Shred ChickenYield:

Here are the BEST and EASIEST ways to shred chicken if you’ve never learned how to do it. No special equipment needed!.

  • 2 lbs Cooked chicken (any type will work)

Using Your Fingers

  1. Here, all you have to do is tear the chicken into pieces with your fingers. They can be any size you choose to have. Simply separate larger pieces if you find yourself with them into smaller ones.

Using 2 Forks

  1. Hold one fork in each hand. I like to hold the piece of chicken firmly with the fork in my non-dominant hand. I stab the piece of chicken with the fork in my dominant hand, pulling it apart.

Using a Stand Mixer

  1. Put the meat in a stand mixer’s bowl and blend on low speed to shred the chicken to your desired size. The mixer does all the work!.
  • If you used bone-in chicken, first you’ll want to pull all of the meat off the bones. Save the bones for making homemade chicken stock (yum!). If you aren’t going to make stock right away, just put all the bones in a freezer-safe storage bag and freeze until you’re ready.


What is the best way to shred a chicken breast?

By placing the chicken in a large mixing bowl and shredding it with a hand mixer on low speed, you can shred chicken quickly and easily. It saves you a ton of time, especially if you are earning more money.

Is it easier to shred chicken breast hot or cold?

Warm chicken shreds much easier than cold. The best way to slice chicken breasts for salads and sandwiches is when they are cold. For moist, flavorful shredded chicken, add some of the cooking liquid back into the chicken.