Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken makes a ton and is perfect for portioning out and freezing. When your recipe calls for cooked chicken breast, you’ll already have some on hand – Everyone loves this easy crockpot chicken meal prep idea!

Crockpot Chicken is great to have on hand for so many recipes, from Chicken Taquitos to Chicken Salad Sandwiches. It freezes well and is great for weekly meal prep.

Shredded chicken in the crockpot

Crockpot Shredded Chicken

Making shredded chicken in the crockpot is a real time saver. Toss it in soups, casseroles, on tacos or in burritos. Any time your recipe calls for cooked chicken breast, all you have to do is pull the amount you need out of the freezer and it’s ready to go.

This crockpot chicken method works for fresh or frozen chicken breasts, making it perfect for when you forget to thaw chicken for dinner. Frozen chicken breasts take just 4 hours in the crockpot, and fresh takes about 3 hours.

Shredded Chicken in the slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

It really couldn’t be easier, and it’s almost completely hands off if you want it to be! Slow Cookers are great for fix it and forget it type meals anyway – just dump in the ingredients, turn it on, and go. For this recipe, you just place the chicken in the slow cooker with some seasonings and a little chicken broth for flavor and moisture.

  1. Place 3 pounds frozen or fresh, boneless, skinless chicken breasts in your slow cooker. This will yield about 6 cups of shredded chicken.
  2. Add a half cup of chicken broth and season the chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 3.5 to 5 hours.
  4. Shred chicken and use as needed.

Crockpot filled with chicken

Cooking Chicken in your Crockpot

Timing is everything when you’re making chicken in the slow cooker. Too short and it can be tough, and too long and it can be dry. In my slow cooker it takes about 3 ½ hours on high to get perfect shredded chicken that’s tender and juicy. Depending on your appliance (this is the one I use – aff link), it could take a little more or a little less time although I’d recommend not exceeding 4 hours on high. However, if it goes a little too long,  you can always shred the meat and place it back into the slow cooker with the juices and cook on low for another half hour. This is a good step to follow anyway; once the meat is shredded it loses valuable juices, and letting the shredded meat cook a little more in the juices and broth lets each piece soak up that moisture.

How to Shred the Chicken Breast:

I use a whole package (usually about 3 pounds) of fresh or frozen chicken (with frozen, you won’t need to add the chicken broth). I like to use salt, pepper and garlic powder for flavor, but you could leave out the garlic if you prefer, or add your favorites. Once cooked the meat is really easy to shred. There are three methods you can use when shredding chicken:

  1. Use two forks and shred it right in the slow cooker (carefully, as the liquid is very hot).
  2. Shred it using two forks or your hands on a cutting board or into a bowl. If you want to shred with your hands (this gets the most even sized chunks), be sure to let it cool for 20 minutes or so first.
  3. Shred the meat right in your stand mixer, a method that’s much easier on the hands but does shred the chicken a little more than I like!

Chicken breasts cooked in a slow cooker then shredded on a cutting board

How to freeze shredded chicken breast

My 3 pound packages usually give me around 7 cups of cooked, shredded chicken. I divide the meat into freezer bags in 1 or 2 cup portions and freeze until I’m ready to use it. It will keep for up to 4 months, but mine is usually long gone by then! Either way this method for making slow cooker shredded chicken is great for weekly meal prep or dinner prep.

Slow cooker shredded chicken breasts portioned into bags

Here are some delicious recipes that call for precooked shredded chicken:

And for more slow cooker recipes, try these:


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Crockpot filled with shredded chicken

Easy, All-Purpose, Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Easy and All-Purpose Shredded Chicken made in the slow cooker. Freeze in portions to use in all your favorite recipes! Flavorful, tender and juicy every time.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 35 mins
Servings 6 cups
Calories 303kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen*)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

Instructions
 

  • Pour chicken broth into the slow cooker. Place chicken in the slow cooker and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. *If using frozen chicken, you do not need the chicken broth.
  • Cook on high for 3 1/2-4 hours or on low for 5 hours. Shred chicken with two forks.
  • Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker and cook for an additional 30 minutes on low. This step helps to keep the chicken moist and tender and adds a little more flavor.
  • Divide chicken into 2 cup (or more/less, depending on your needs) portions and place into freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to 4 months. Add chicken to sandwiches, soups, tacos and casseroles!

Notes

Nutritional information is based on 1 cup portions. Depending on the recipe this will feed 2-3 people.

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcalProtein: 51gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 504mgPotassium: 865mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1.3mg

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collage of images for shredded chicken recipes

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. This is now my go to shredded chicken recipe. So simple but so good! Thank you for sharing this I’m glad I found it!

  2. I was looking up slow cpoker chicken and Boston butt , We have a family of 4 and 2 are children, Our family meals are 100% Made with some type of sugar, Glaze, Honey , Brown sugar, Syrup, butter We love it sweet So… I am sitting here with my fridge open looking at what infant to put in the cooker tonight since I can not sleep it is 1:30 am. I have young Chicken thighs, & 4.330 off of SF chicken thighs value pack and a bag of Tysons Boneless skinless chicken thighs , boneless skinless chicken thighs fillets , Bone in thick cut pork chops, pork bone in loin thin cut chops value pack, Pork chop boneless center cuts, A whole chicken , Cooked ham that is wrapped in a tube lol, Pork shoulder blade steak boneless, Bone in thick cut pork chops. I only know how to slow cook Since I never had to cook . Since we love out sweets We usuallly go with our whole Boston butt which is covered in brown sugar and maple syrup and all those goods but I want to do pulled chicken so Ed of every type of chicken and I named I’m wondering if you would have any thoughts on the best way to make in the slow cooker that I’ll take a little bit more time since I’m going to make it over night what is the best type of chicken to use in the slow cooker now that you know everything that I have in the freezer I hope that I can get a reply from if not you anybody on what I can do what should I add I have pretty much everything I need except for lemon juice the only thing that is not frozen is the Boston butt God bless all of you know how to cook these amazing meals

  3. If I’m using less chicken, let’s say 2 breasts, would I still use the same amount of chicken broth?

    1. I try to refrain from using the microwave, but if you’re in a real hurry you could thaw in the microwave. I would use the defrost function so it doesn’t cook the chicken. If you have a little more time I would defrost in a bowl of room temperature water. Takes about an hour. However, if you are making the chicken in the slow cooker you don’t even need to defrost (I actually prefer NOT defrosting).

    2. Can I mix up my thighs and breasts, both of them boneless and skinless? Is there any difference in cooking time for thighs vs. breasts?

      1. You can, however thighs may take longer to cook then breasts, so you may need to remove the breasts sooner. Id test to be sure. Or, cut the thighs into small pieces.

    1. Hi Cynthia, I mentioned it in the post, but neglected to add it to the recipe. You do not need to add the liquid if using frozen chicken. It comes out juicy on it’s own!