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Crockpot Shredded Chicken is a simple, all-purpose chicken recipe made in your slow cooker!
This recipe makes a ton and is perfect for portioning out and meal prepping or freezing. When your recipe calls for cooked chicken breast, you’ll already have some on hand.
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Why This Crockpot Shredded Chicken Recipe Works
- Saves Time – Making shredded chicken in the crockpot is a real time saver. Toss it in soups, chicken casseroles, on tacos or in burritos.
- Freezes Beautifully – 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.
- Use Fresh or Frozen Chicken – 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.
- Budget Friendly – No need to spend $10 for a rotisserie chicken to shred when you already have this easy shredded chicken on hand.
- Makes a Ton – 3 pounds of chicken (about 4 chicken breasts) makes about 6-7 cups of shredded chicken. That’s enough for at least 2-3 meals. And you can double that in a 6-quart slow cooker and get enough meat for up to 6 meals in just a few hours!
How To Make Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
In three easy steps, you’ll have shredded chicken ready to go whenever you need it.
- Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
- Add chicken broth and seasonings.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Shred and use as desired.
How long does it take to cook chicken in a crockpot?
Timing is everything when you’re cooking chicken in a slow cooker. It’s so easy to dry out chicken breasts by overcooking them.
My recommendation is to cook chicken on high for 3 hours, then test the temperature with a digital meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165℉. While you can cook on low, in my experience a higher temperature yields better results.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Smaller pieces will cook faster; larger pieces will take longer. I recommend using evenly sized pieces for the best and most consistent results.
- Some slow cookers can run hotter than others. If you’re unsure about yours, keep a digital meat thermometer handy to test the internal temperature at the 3-hour mark.
The Best Slow Cooker
This Crock Pot 6 Quart slow cooker is my all-time favorite slow cooker! It’s a total workhorse, cooks evenly and the lid lock is super helpful for locking in steam or for transporting.
How To Shred Chicken Breast
Once cooked the meat is really easy to shred. There are three methods you can use when shredding chicken:
- Use two forks and shred it right in the slow cooker (carefully, as the liquid is very hot).
- 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.
- Shred the meat right in your stand mixer, a method that’s much easier on the hands!
Store shredded meat in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For meal prepping, portion into smaller resealable bags and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
How to freeze shredded chicken breast: Divide chicken into even portions, usually 2-3 cups for meals and 1/2-¾ cup for individual portions. Place each portion in a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and be sure to label before putting into the freezer.
- Frozen Chicken – If using frozen chicken, omit the chicken broth; added liquid is not needed.
- Evenly-Sized Pieces – Keep the pieces of chicken as evenly sized as possible.
- Seasoning – Feel free to use whatever seasoning you want, like my Chicken Seasoning, taco seasoning, or your favorite dried herbs.
- Skinless Chicken Thighs – You can definitely use chicken thighs in place of the chicken breasts. Omit the liquid as they do tend to release quite a bit, and cook at least 4 hours on high.
- Bone-in Chicken – You can use bone-in chicken if preferred, with the understanding that the cook time will be extended by at least 1-2 hours.
- Sauce – Once cooked and shredded, add your favorite sauce to the slow cooker with the chicken, cover and cook on high for 30 minutes. Like barbecue sauce for BBQ chicken sandwiches, salsa, and lime juice for Mexican chicken, or marinara for an Italian flare.
Recipes Made with Shredded Chicken
- Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Buffalo Chicken Tacos
- White Chicken Enchiladas
- Chicken Potato Casserole
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
- King Ranch Chicken Casserole
All-Purpose Crockpot Shredded Chicken
- 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
- 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!
- This recipe yields approximately 6 cups of shredded chicken. Exact amounts will vary.
- Easily double the recipe – make as much chicken as will fit in your slow cooker! Just make sure to check the internal temperature so chicken is properly cooked.
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