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You can make tender, succulent Shredded Chicken made in your slow cooker with just 3 ingredients (chicken, salt and pepper) and 10 minutes of active time with this easy recipe. The secret to it’s juicy, rotisserie chicken like texture is to use bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves instead of boneless skinless chicken breast that can easily dry out.

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

There is no need to add liquid to your slow cooker or crockpot, though you’ll be rewarded with a cup or so of glorious, flavorful broth when your chicken is done. A perfect liquid to moisten this shredded chicken when reheating or adding to soups, stews and sauces. And this method makes shredding a breeze.

FAQ

What is the best way to shred chicken breast?

When you’re working with chicken breasts on the bone, use two forks to shred the meat, as shown in the recipe video and photo below.shredding chicken breast cooked in a slow cooker

Is chicken easier to shred hot or cold?

It’s easier to shred chicken when it’s warm. Once your chicken is cooked, let it stand for 10 minutes before shredding. If you plan to cut it up for a salad or sandwich, let it cool completely first.

How to use Shredded Chicken

There are endless ways to use shredded chicken. It’s perfect for busy weeknight meals and meal prep. Use in any dish that calls for cooked chicken: add heft to green salads and pasta or grain salads, use to make main dishes like Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken Pot Pie Soup. Toss into chicken soup (like Chicken Noodle Soup or in place of turkey in Turkey and Rice Soup) or stew, chop instead of shred it to make Curry Chicken Salad or Chicken Salad with Grapes. Or pile onto comfort foods like chicken sandwiches, chicken tacos or burritos, in place of pulled pork in these Pulled Pork Quesadillas, and in my Chicken Tinga recipe to make Chicken Tostadas (try these amazing homemade Tostada Shells). Or make my favorite Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas (made with homemade Green Enchilada Sauce)!

I typically stick with neutral seasonings in this easy shredded chicken recipe, just salt and pepper. But if you know how you’re planning to use this, feel free to add appropriate spices to permeate the meat as it cooks.

How to Make Shredded Chicken

Step 1: Place 2 large bone in, skin on chicken breast halves in a slow cooker or crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on high until tender and almost falling off the bone, 3 to 4 hours, depending on size of the chicken breast halves.

Seasoning Chicken Breasts in a Slow Cooker
Putting Cover on Slow Cooker
Tender Chicken Breasts in Slow Cooker

Step 2: Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker and, when cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin and bones. Use two forks to shred meat to your desired consistency.

shredding chicken breast cooked in a slow cooker

Step 3: Strain cooking liquid into a jar for another use. (see recipe notes for ideas)

straining juices from slow cooker

Recipe Video

How to Make Shredded Chicken

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Calories: 64
Servings: 6 people
Shredded Chicken is an easy and healthy way to enjoy your favorite dishes! From Mexican foods like tacos, enchiladas and tostadas, to salads soups and sandwiches!

Ingredients  

  • 2 bone-in skin-on chicken breast halves 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Place chicken breast halves in the bottom of a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours (see recipe note #1) until very tender.
  • Transfer chicken from the slow cooker to a cutting board until cool enough to handle.
  • Strain liquid from slow cooker into a jar for another use. (see recipe note #2)
  • Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken breast halves. With 2 forks, shred chicken to desired consistency. Enjoy as desired!

Notes

  1. In my slow cooker, 3 hours on high is perfect for 2 1-pound bone in, skin on chicken breast halves. If the chicken breasts are larger, they can take up to 4 hours. Check for tenderness every 15 to 30 minutes once you pass the 3 hour mark.
  2. Use strained liquid to moisten shredded chicken when reheating or as you would chicken broth. You can also freeze it for a later use.
  3. The recipe states that this chicken serves 6 people, but it depends entirely on how you serve it. You’ll end up with ~15 ounces of shredded chicken from 2 1-pound bone in skin on chicken breast halves.

Nutrition

Calories: 64kcal | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 82mg | Vitamin A: 30IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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22 Comments

  1. Melba says:

    I’m going to use this recipe to make shredded bbq chicken. Using Alabama white bbq sauce. It’s gotta be good.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Sounds great, Melba! I hope it will turn out just the way you like it!