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Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Easy 3 ingredient Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe that we use to make soft tacos often! Simple pressure cooker dump recipe that’s healthy and so cheap that it feeds all 5 of us for under $10.00.

instant pot shredded chicken

I’m in love with my Instant Pot! It makes dinnertime so much easier. Last night I made this 4 ingredient Instant Pot shredded chicken “Hawaiian style” and it came out SO very delicious. It’s one of our favorite Instant Pot recipes . (originally published 1/17, affiliate links present)

I added it to small soft tortillas with some cheese and avocado slices and made chicken tacos with it.

Seriously the cheapest meal ever and such a hit with the kiddos. You can even make air fryer flautas with this inside, or with the leftovers.

Let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Everyone raved about how good this turned out and it just took 15 minutes to cook in my new favorite appliance.

You can use the leftovers out of the fridge to make chicken salad the next day too. On top of a bed of fresh lettuce or just on bread as a sandwich, are great lunch ideas.

This is a lot better than just a plain traditional bowl of shredded chicken though:

shredded chicken

I mean if you want to make this with just salt and pepper then follow our Crockpot frozen chicken recipe instead. It will come out simple like you see here above instead.

Instead, this one is packed with barbecue flavors! Here are a few questions you might have before you get started:

What is the best way to cook chicken to shred it?

We say a pressure cooker! We’ll show you how to do it right here if you have one. You can make tender boiled shredded chicken on the stovetop but that takes a lot more time too.

How long do you cook 3 lbs of chicken in an Instant Pot?

15 minutes on poultry setting is sufficient. A whole chicken takes closer to 25 since it is bone in.

 Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

Just 3 ingredients and an Instant Pot and you’re ready to go! But any brand will do. I have them all. A Crockpot Express, Mealthy, Ninja foodi all work the same.

  1. Here’s a tip: how to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot just in case you forgot to thaw it beforehand.
Shredded chicken in the Instant Pot

We love it like I said, served in flour tortillas but we’ve served it over rice before too and it’s just as good.

It is a pretty healthy chicken recipe too and really inexpensive to make costing only about $10 total for the whole meal which served all 5 of us + leftovers for me to eat it for lunch the next day.

Of course you can make this and create Instant Pot chicken bowls. Add all your favorite fixin’s on top with some Instant Pot white rice.

Totally up to you…….

instant pot shredded chicken

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

  1. Instant Pot
    1. I HIGHLY suggest you get this non stick pot
  2. 1 bottle of barbecue sauce (about 20 oz., not honey style, we like this one)
  3. 1 can of chunk pineapple
  4. 3 -4 boneless chicken breasts
    1. diced, fresh or frozen
    2. already cooked shredded chicken is perfectly fine, just adjust time to 3 minutes high pressure
  5. Small tortillas, cheese, and avocado if you want to make them into soft tacos
  6. Onion – optional
  7. Pinch of chili powder for heat – optional

Salt and pepper, garlic powder – optional

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

If you happen to have the burn message displayed on your pot follow these steps on how to deglaze your Instant Pot.

  • There’s no need to cook the chicken. It will cook in the sauce and water or use chicken broth for liquid instead.

I’m constantly adding to my Instant Pot recipes. You can find them on my Instant Pot Recipes tab, so bookmark it and refer back to it later!

If you want to make this in your slow cooker here are the directions for crockpot bbq chicken recipe. 😉

If you’re looking for more chicken in the Instant Pot try these:

We make shredded beef tacos out of this French onion pressure cooker roast recipe too, and our Hawaiian chicken is the bomb.

instant pot hawaiian chicken 2

I have found that 5 minutes on high is good for diced chicken breasts. 3 minutes for diced chicken thighs, and the poultry button works for whole breasts or an Instant Pot whole chicken

  • I have made this many times, but now prefer to dice chicken into bite size pieces. It is done faster, absorbs more of the sauce, and cooks more evenly.
  • You’re also pretty assured it’s cooked through so you don’t have to check the internal temperature.
  • Makes meal prep easy to just cut beforehand, and easier for kids to eat too.

Quick release and done!

If you want to make Crockpot taco meat or slow cooker shredded chicken here are recipes using that method too. You can also make boiled shredded chicken on the stovetop.

crockpot shredded chicken tacos

Time needed: 15 minutes.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

  1. Prepare

    Empty 1/2 jar of barbecue sauce on bottom of Instant Pot. (do not use honey variety as that will burn)

    Put chicken breasts on top of your sauce. Make sure they are cut in half or thirds so they cook through. You can dice into bite size pcs. too for a shorter cook time.

    Then squeeze the other half of jar on top of the chicken.  Pour 3/4 c water or broth inside your bbq sauce jar. Put lid on and shake, pour this on top of chicken.

    Add chunks of pineapple (and sliced onion + soy sauce if you choose to add that). Gently stir so chicken is well coated.

  2. Cook

    Close Instant Pot and make sure steam valve is closed. Set to poultry setting, high for 15 minutes (automatically sets to this time when you hit the poultry function, very thick breasts may take longer to become very tender to shred). 

    When it beeps allow to naturally release for 5 minutes, then do a quick release and lift lid. Use 2 forks to shred chicken right in the pot.

    Add some to small tortillas to make soft tacos with some cheese and avocado, or leave chicken whole and serve on top of rice.

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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
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4 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

This is an easy 3 ingredient Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe that we use to make soft tacos often! Simple pressure cooker dump recipe that’s healthy and so cheap that it feeds all 5 of us for under $10.00. If you’re looking for a great barbecue chicken recipe this one is a keeper and really versatile too. 
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue, chicken, instant pot, pressure cooker, shredded
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 170kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Ingredients

  • 1 jar barbecue sauce 20 oz. or so, not honey style or one with a lot of sugar in it
  • 1 c chunk pineapple
  • 3 chicken breasts cut in half or thirds, boneless / skinless, can dice for shorter cook time
  • 1 bag flour tortillas pkg. small
  • 3/4 c water or use chicken broth
  • avocado sliced, optional
  • 1 c pineapple juice from the can you’re using
  • 1 onion sliced, optional
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce optional
  • 1 c cheese

Instructions

  • Empty 1/2 jar of barbecue sauce on bottom of Instant Pot. (do not use honey variety as that will burn)
  • Put chicken breasts on top of your sauce. Make sure they are cut in half or thirds so they cook through. You can dice into bite size pcs. too for a shorter cook time. Then squeeze the other half of jar on top of the chicken. 
  • Pour 3/4 c water or broth inside your bbq sauce jar. Put lid on and shake, pour this on top of chicken followed by chunks of pineapple (and sliced onion + soy sauce if you choose to add that). Gently stir so chicken is well coated.
  • Close Instant Pot and make sure steam valve is closed. Set to poultry setting, high for 15 minutes (automatically sets to this time when you hit the poultry function, very thick breasts may take longer to become very tender to shred). 
  • When it beeps allow to naturally release for 5 minutes then do a quick release, lift lid.
  • Use 2 forks to shred chicken right in the pot. Add some to small tortillas to make soft tacos with some cheese and avocado, or leave chicken whole and serve on top of rice. 

Video

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Amount Per Serving (8 oz)
Calories 170 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 165mg7%
Potassium 167mg5%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 230IU5%
Vitamin C 10.6mg13%
Calcium 193mg19%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
instant pot shredded chicken
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