This is the very best shredded chicken! Moist, tender, and full of flavor (never dry or bland!), it’s easy to make and perfect in so many recipes, like casseroles, chicken salad, Mexican recipes, and more.
What Makes Shredded Chicken So Good
- It’s an absolute must-know technique for anyone who ever cooks with chicken. So many chicken recipes call for shredded (or pulled) chicken outright, and in so many others you can sub shredded chicken to save time!
- This method is incredibly easy and keeps the chicken moist and juicy. The key is to add a little of the cooking liquid back into the chicken after you shred it.
- It’s perfect for meal prepping! Make up a big batch and keep it in the fridge – then when you need protein for a salad or feel like having a quesadilla, you’ve already got chicken ready! Refrigerate it in an airtight container and it’ll keep for 4 to 5 days.
- Freezer meals? Say no more. Portion the pulled chicken into whatever serving sizes work best for you, then store the portions in zippered freezer bags or airtight containers in the freezer up to 2 months.
What’s the Best Way to Shred Chicken?
Which method you use 100% comes down to you and your preferences! In a hurry? Pull out the mixer. Don’t want to mess with extra appliances? Go for the old-school, tried-and-true two forks method, or just use your hands. Need short, fine pieces of shredded chicken? You’ll want to use the food processor, for sure.
- Hand Shredded: This method keeps things basic – no tools or gadgets here! It’s simple, but it can get old fast. Using your hands/fingers, literally just pull the chicken apart until you’ve torn it all up. The pieces can be as big or as small as you like! If you’re working with a lot of chicken, this may not be the most practical method.
- Two Forks: A classic! Use one fork to steady the chicken, then use a second fork to do the majority of the actual work. Work in small strokes, moving the working fork away from the other one.
- Hand Mixer: Break the chicken into chunks first and put them in a large bowl. Use the standard beater attachments to mix the chicken at a medium speed until it’s completely shredded.
- Stand Mixer: This one’s similar to the hand mixer method, but it’s even easier. You don’t even have to hold the bowl! Use the standard paddle attachment and mix the chicken chunks on medium-low speed until they’re completely shredded.
- Food Processor: This method gives you the best texture, in my opinion. Break up the cooked chicken breasts into chunks first, and work in multiple batches, emptying the food processor bowl in between each batch. Use the plastic dough blade attachment to avoid your chicken turning to mush, and process for 30 seconds or until everything is shredded uniformly. Repeat until all of the chicken is done!
- Instead of the stovetop method outlined here, you can totally cook your chicken in the Crockpot if you’ve got time to spare! Add the chicken, broth, and seasoning to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4. Then shred the chicken using your method of choice!
- For an Instant Pot option, check out our Instant Pot Shredded Chicken.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs work best here because they’re so easy, but you can use bone-in if you prefer! You’ll just need to cook the chicken and then remove the meat from the bones before you shred it. Save the bones and use them to make your own homemade chicken stock!
Delicious Recipes That Use Shredded Chicken
- 3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken
- Keto Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Shredded Chicken Salad (Costco Style)
- Healthy Creamy Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Ranch (Whole30, Paleo)
- Keto White Chicken Chili
- Top 30 Shredded Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Salad with Grapes
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The Best Shredded Chicken
- Large skillet with lid
- Two forks, hand mixer, stand mixer, OR food processor
- 2-4 chicken breasts
- 1 quart chicken broth or water
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Place chicken breasts in large skillet and add chicken broth to fully cover. Broth should cover chicken by approximately 1 inch.
- Bring liquid to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked to minimum internal temperature of 160° Fahrenheit.
- Remove chicken from skillet. Reserve broth.
- Shred chicken using method of choice. See Notes for various shredding methods.
- After shredding chicken, stir in salt and pepper to taste. Stir in a spoonful or two of reserved chicken broth for extra moist chicken.
- If you’re on Whole30, make sure the chicken broth you use is Whole30-compliant.
- Hand Shredded: Using your hands/fingers, pull the chicken apart until completely shredded. Pieces can be as big or as small as you like.
- Two Forks: Use one fork to steady the chicken while shredding the chicken with another fork. Work in small, short strokes, moving forks away from each other.
- Hand Mixer: Break the chicken into manageable chunks and place them in a large bowl. Use the standard attachments on your mixer and set mixer to a medium speed. Mix until chicken is completely shredded.
- Stand Mixer: Use the standard paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed until chicken chunks are completely shredded.
- Food Processor: Break up the cooked chicken breasts into chunks first, and work in multiple batches. Add chicken to food processor and use the plastic dough blade attachment to avoid your chicken turning to mush. Process for 30 seconds or until uniformly shredded. Repeat until all chicken is shredded.
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Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.