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This slow cooker easy, versatile shredded chicken recipe is super easy and versatile enough to be used for any kind of chicken dish. I have used this for everything from tacos to pasta to chicken salad. The key is this basic recipe has a fairly neutral flavor profile and just highlights the flavor of the chicken. You can toss it with any kind of sauce to bring it into a dish or even just top a simple salad.
If you want to make this recipe even simpler don’t bother with the fresh celery and onion. You can use celery salt instead of the table salt and 1 tsp of onion powder, not onion salt, that would make it too salty. I like to use my super simple chicken broth recipe for this shredded chicken but you can get creative with what liquid you’re using depending on what you have available and what recipe you’re ultimately going to use. If you’re in a real pinch and don’t have any broth or other appropriate liquids around you could even just use salt water. There won’t be as much depth of flavor but 1 cup of water with 2 additional tsps of salt will still give a little flavor while bringing the chicken to the desired texture.
Texture, after all, is what we’re after here. You want that chicken to be fall apart shredded goodness. That’s what makes it perfect for tacos or even pizza! Seriously, you can use this easy, versatile shredded chicken anywhere and everywhere.
Slow Cooker or Instant Pot?
Many people are wondering which kitchen appliance they should buy. The Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years and can be used interchangeably with many slow cooker recipes, you just need to adjust the timing.
For my recipes I use a slow cooker. This is simply because I have one. I’ve had my slow cooker for over 10 years now and I love it. It was a gift to me from my mom and is a high quality, large size crock pot that I couldn’t live without. You simply throw everything in the pot and hit go, done. Dinner is ready a few hours later nice and hot and tender.
If you have an electric pressure cooker instead, then by all means use that! Just adjust the settings accordingly, all ingredients for this versatile shredded chicken will stay the same.
If you are wondering which one to buy that’s going to depend on how you intend to use it. The electric pressure cooker is going to have more functions than just cooking full meals. For example, your Intant Pot can double as a rice cooker. If you don’t already have a rice cooker this could be a huge advantage for you!
The disadvantage to an electric pressure cooker is the size. My slow cooker can hold a full roast, several potatoes, multiple veggies, and broth all at the same time. An Instant Pot has a smaller capacity and is less suited for making 8 serving sized meals. If you’re mostly cooking for 1 an Instant Pot might be all you need, but if you want to make a full pork shoulder I would say lean toward a Crock Pot.
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Yes! Simply put the cooked chicken in a freezer safe container or bag and freeze it. To thaw either place in the refrigerator overnight or place the container in room temperature to warm water to thaw a few hours before using.
This is not recommended. It will turn the chicken into more of a paste than the shredded texture you’re looking for.
Shredded chicken will last in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days according to FDA guidelines.
- 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 whole sticks celery
- 1 yellow onion, halved
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- olive oil
- lightly drizzle the inside of the slow cooker with olive oil
- add all other ingredients
- cook on high for 4 hours
- remove celery and onions
- shred chicken with two forks