Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken is the easiest way to shred chicken at home. Just set it in your slow cooker or Crock Pot with a bit of broth and some spices for a few hours and it will shred into the juiciest, most tender chicken ever! This simple recipe is a great starting point for some of my other favorite recipes, like my buffalo chicken dip!
OK I get it. Shredded chicken is not very glamorous.
There’s no frosting, no sprinkles, no chocolate chips, and certainly no sugar. Why are we even talking about this again?
Because knowing how to easily shred chicken is a kitchen staple, and while it may be lacking in sugar, there’s a reason I want to share it with you today. It’s because I’ve made this “recipe” no less than ten times in the past two weeks. Seriously.
I’ve been working on a handful of savory recipes — some personal dinnertime and party favorites that I have held back from sharing for so long (stay tuned for my white chicken chili and chicken tortilla soup!) — and many of them call for shredded chicken. Rather than insist that you buy and shred a rotisserie chicken or leave you wondering about the best way to shred your chicken at home, I thought it might be best if I just provide a recipe for this.
Don’t worry, this recipe is as short and sweet as they come, I promise.
How to make shredded chicken
- Place chicken breast, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and spices in the basin of a crock pot.
- Cover and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
- Remove chicken breast and use two forks to shred.
Doesn’t get much easier than that, does it? Very similar to my easy BBQ pulled chicken recipe!
Can you overcook chicken in the slow cooker?
Yes, it is possible! If the meat is cooked too long it could end up dry and not juicy and tender. The recommended times in my recipe are ideal for juicy results, but if you use less chicken than the recipe calls for I would recommend checking it sooner.
Can I use frozen chicken?
I’ll admit, I used to frequently use frozen chicken in my slow cooker. However, as per food safety guidelines, frozen chicken breast should be thawed before being cooked in a slow cooker and you should not cook chicken breast in the slow cooker from frozen.
I’ve used this recipe in my homemade chicken pot pie (and as a substitute in my turkey pot pie), my buffalo chicken mac and cheese, and in so many other easy recipes.
Alright, I hope you don’t mind the brief break from the sugar. If you have any other kitchen tips you’d like me to write about, please leave them in the comments!
Crock Pot Shredded ChickenPrint Pin Rate
- 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast¹ (1.4kg)
- 1 cup chicken broth (235ml)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Combine all ingredients in the basin of your slow-cooker.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Chicken is finished when internal temperature has reached 165F (75C) and it can easily be shredded with a pair of forks. Remove chicken from crockpot and use two forks to easily pull apart and shred chicken.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Can you make this the day before?
Sure thing! Just store it in the refrigerator overnight. 🙂
Easy and delicious. Very versatile for any taste: plain, with wine in pot, teriyaki, etc. I also add shredded Chichen to chicken soup. My dog eats it all the time, esp if sensitive stomach. I just use plain water in crock pot for my dog, then shred away. He loves it.
Tip for shredding boneless chicken: use a hand mixer instead of killing your fingers! It literally takes about 30 seconds!
Sugar Spun Run
Thanks for sharing, Pam! 🙂
I was going to share a similar tip – it’s super easy in a stand mixer too! Thanks for this great recipe! It’s fabulous to have this as the basis for so many of your yummies!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We love that method too! Thanks for sharing and thanks for your five star review, Carey 😊
I have not tried this method yet but as all your recipes are great I am sure it will be a success. I normally take whatever chicken is left over from family cookouts or dinner and debone it and chop it up to make chicken salad or pulled chicken (I can’t wait to try your version) but although my chicken salad is tasty the following day the mayonnaise has bled out and the salad is watery. I have just figured out how to stop that from happening. Once I have removed the chicken from the bone I do a coarse cut to make it easier to process in the blender until it is finely chopped. Then I mix with the relish and mayo and any other items that are good to me like onion (which I put in the blender with the cut chicken) and there’s no bleed out even a week later. It even has the same texture as store bought.
Thank you so much for the tips, Norman! I hope you love the chicken. 🙂
Turned out excellent!
Sugar Spun Run
I am so glad that you enjoyed it, Ashley! 🙂
Please, please do not put frozen chicken in a slow cooker. The meat does not get to a safe temperature quick enough and becomes a bacteria breeding ground. I use my slow cooker 5/7 days of the week and love a good shredded chicken but it absolutely must be thawed beforehand
Sugar Spun Run
Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention, Christene. I have updated the post to reflect this. 🙂
Hi Sam! Have you tried shredding chicken with your stand mixer? It will change your life! You can add cooked chicken breasts (boiled, sautéed, baked, etc) 3 breasts at a time. Use your paddle attachment and run for 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes and it will shred it better than using forks. 🙂
Sugar Spun Run
Hi, Christy! I have heard such great things about this method, Christy, but haven’t actually tried it yet. I will have to for sure next time. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I’ve only discovered your website couple months ago but I have already made few recipes and have thorough enjoyed reading and watching new videos.
I just joined Instant Pot community and I am learning to use it instead of slow cooker. Have you tried cooking his chicken in instant pot? If yes do you have recommended cooking time?
I have not tried using an instant pot. I actually don’t even own one. Sorry. 🙁
Such an easy to make recipe. I think this is perfect as additional ingredient for salads or spreads. Thanks for sharing!
Yummy and unusual Sam
About 2/3 of the way into cooking this chicken, add additional broth if needed and sauerkraut. Cook together until the chicken is soft enough to shred and then spooned the chicken, kraut and broth over mashed potatoes. You will now have to begin calling this sweetkraut.
I love it and so do people who have avoided kraut in the past. Hugs, Pat
This actually sounds really good! Looking forward to trying it out, thanks Pat!! <3
Salted or unsalted chicken broth?
Either would be fine. I used regular/not low sodium chicken broth
Love this idea! Thank you!
Needed something for dinner so your email came at the perfect time. Just finished shredding it and the whole house smells amazing. Thanks for another great recipe!
So glad to hear this! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out for you, Julie!! 🙂
Thank you for this post! I have a little that’s a picky eater and I bet she will eat this. Also love the whole blog. So many good recipes. I alway open and read your emails.
I’m so glad it is helpful! Thank you so much for reading, Anne! I appreciate it! <3
boneless or bone -in chicken breast?
I used boneless/skinless and that’s what I’d recommend. I don’t think that bone-in would be a problem, though, just a bit more difficult to shred and you’d have to pick out the bones and pieces.