Slow cooker shredded chicken is a staple in our house. I usually make it in huge batches and freeze it for later use. I used to buy rotisserie chicken and shred that myself, but one day I made a mistake while cooking and ended up with shredded chicken. I never bought rotisserie chicken to shred again!
Simple Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
Simple slow cooker shredded chicken is an easy way to make a large batch of shredded chicken for a variety of fast weeknight meals.
- 4 large chicken breasts
- 1 cup of water
- Remove the fat and any undesirable parts from the chicken breasts
- Place in slow cooker with 1 cup of water
- Cook on high 5 hours or low 8 hours
- Shred with two forks or a mixer
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 0gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 19g
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken is super simple.
First, cut the nasties off of the chicken. I'm super picky when it comes to my food, so I throw out even the meat that touches that slimy stuff...yuck. I don't know the exact terminology for it. I just call it nasty. My dad was a butcher...he never quite understood my loathing of chicken fat!
Anyway, cut the nasties off of 4 split boneless skinless chicken breasts, and then put them in the crockpot or slow cooker. Depending on your slow cooker, you can fit more or less. Mine is a 6 quart, so 4 large split breasts fit perfectly.
At this point, you can season the chicken a bit, but I choose not to. Unseasoned chicken works for us better because I can use it in any recipe - not just one that would have salt and pepper in it. For example, I don't put salt in my tacos. It's already in the seasoning. So I wouldn't want already salted taco meat.
Assuming you don't season, add about a half cup of water and place the lid on the crock. Set on high for 5 hours.
When the time is up, shred the chicken with two forks. Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer, but it shreds so easily that two forks works just fine.
At this point, I usually let the chicken cool and then freeze it into smaller portions so that I can use it in recipes later. Some of the recipes that call for shredded chicken in my house are buffalo chicken salad, chicken quesadillas, chicken bacon ranch fries, and chicken bacon corn chowder. As you can see, there is really a pretty huge variety of things you can make with shredded chicken.
How long does slow cooker shredded chicken last?
Honestly, it depends. Because it's cooked, you could leave it in your refrigerator for around 4 days and it would still be fine. Personally, I package it into serving sizes and freeze what i won't be using immediately. The cool thing about shredded chicken is that it doesn't really take up a lot of space.
How do I store slow cooker shredded chicken?
I suggest storing it in freezer bags. Again, so that it freezes easily, and also because if it is in a bag it takes up only a small piece of refrigerator or freezer space. I use quart size freezer bags.
Can I freeze shredded chicken?
Yes! Freezing is so convenient! Just pull out a package of shredded chicken any time you want to make something with it and dinner goes so much quicker! If you freeze it, you can keep it around 2 months.
If you want to keep it longer, I'd recommend using a Foodsaver system to make sure that all the air is out of the bags. It will last much longer that way. In our house, we use it within a week or two so freezer burn isn't an issue.
Is Shredded Chicken low carb?
Yes! Slow cooker shredded chicken is a perfect low carb and keto-friendly choice! Some great low-carb things to make include chicken salad, quick chicken soup, slow cooker crack chicken, and buffalo chicken dip.
Can I use thighs instead of breasts?
Whatever floats your boat! I'm not a fan of chicken thighs, but I know that a lot of people prefer them since the meat is less dry. If you do go that route, make sure to use boneless skinless thighs rather than bone in. Those tiny bones are a big pain in the neck to pick out after you're done cooking!
Is this recipe adaptable for the Instant Pot?
Yes! You can absolutely make shredded chicken in the Instant Pot. To adapt the recipe, I use one cup of water for 4 split breasts and cook for 30 minutes or more, depending on how big the breasts are. The chicken will cook through in less time but it doesn't shred like you'd want it to if you don't let it go for the full 30 minutes.
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
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I tried this recipe and my boys are very picky eater and I got them to try this and wow! I actually got them to eat something other than pizza! I recommend this recipe for everyone!