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Easiest Crockpot Shredded Chicken

Crockpot Shredded Chicken with Hand Mixer

Crockpot Shredded Chicken is healthy, and it practically prepares itself!

While I do love making shredded chicken in an Instant Pot because it’s so fast, Crockpot Shredded Chicken is a close second.

The Crockpot version is mostly hands-off and super flexible—you really can’t mess up Crockpot Shredded Chicken. The only thing you have to think about is getting it going early in the day to be ready when you need it.

Crockpot shredded chicken is mostly hands-off and practically makes itself.

You can add anything you want to the Crockpot to flavor your chicken, but I often like to make plain shredded chicken to use in a recipe that night and save some for the next day.

The thing I love most about this method is that Crockpots are super affordable these days—I got a 6-quart Crockpot for around $30 over the holidays! You don’t need expensive equipment to make great food. Crockpots use far less energy than a stove or oven, and you can leave them all day without safety concerns. It’s a great investment.

Crockpot Shredded Chicken Method

I use a standard 6-quart Crockpot (aka slow-cooker):

Step 1: Add boneless skinless chicken breasts to your Crockpot

Depending on what you’re making, plan on 1/2 to 1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast per serving. If you’re making tacos, 1/2 breast per serving is usually perfect. If your shredded chicken is the main dish, plan on 1 chicken breast per person.

Sprinkle the top of each breast with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt and a spin of freshly ground black pepper. At this point, you can also add a packet of taco seasoning (I like the one from ThriveMarket), an 8-ounce jar of salsa, or any other seasoning that sounds good on top.

Boneless Chicken in Crockpot

Step 2: Add a tablespoon of water per chicken breast

The chicken breasts will naturally give off a lot of liquid, so you really don’t need a lot of liquid in the pot. You can add 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar on top of each breast, too, as the acid in it can help tenderize it, but I don’t notice a huge difference doing that.

Step 3: Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

It’s as easy as that! Set your Crockpot to high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. It’s the same cooking time with 1-4 chicken breasts, though, the more chicken you add to the pot the more time you may need. One to four boneless, skinless chicken breasts will take 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Add another 15 minutes on high or 30 minutes on low if adding more chicken breasts.

Important! Chicken should always be cooked to 165°F (74°C), so check with a food thermometer if you’re not sure if they are done. They will most likely be over that temp—we cook them longer so they will shred easily.

Keep an eye on it every hour or so the first time you make it. You’ll most likely see liquid in the bottom of the pot (a good thing!) but if you live in an arid climate, you may need to add another 1/4 cup water if the bottom of the pot is completely dry. This is not common.

Cooked Chicken in Crockpot

Step 4: Shred your chicken

This is the fun part. If there is a lot of liquid in the bottom of the Crockpot, pour it out into a cup and leave about two tablespoons remaining. If there isn’t a lot of liquid (it really depends on your climate and the chicken), no need to pour it off; you want a few tablespoons in the bottom of the pot. A hand mixer is the easiest way to shred chicken if you have one. If not, use two forks or clean hands to shred the chicken. Add more of the reserved liquid if needed.

Hand Mixer in CrockPot

Ways to Use Crockpot Shredded Chicken:

  • In tacos: grab your favorite tortillas and taco fixings and you have awesome tacos
  • In soup: add about 1/3 cup shredded chicken to any hot soup to amp up the protein
  • On salads: same as above, add about 1/3 cup shredded chicken to any salad to amp up the protein
  • Feed a crowd: I like to make Crockpot shredded chicken with taco seasoning when hosting guests with Instant Pot Refried Beans the same day to easily feed a crowd. Grab tortillas, shredded lettuce, salsa, taco fixings, and margaritas and you have a party.

Enjoy!

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Crockpot Shredded Chicken Hand Mixer

Easiest Crockpot Shredded Chicken

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4-8 hours
  • Total Time: 4-8 hours
  • Yield: 2-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Crockpot (Slow Cooker)
  • Cuisine: American

Scale

Ingredients

  • 24 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon of water per breast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt per chicken breast
  • freshly ground black pepper (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Add boneless skinless chicken breasts to your Crockpot. Sprinkle the top of each breast with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt and a spin of freshly ground black pepper. At this point, you can also add a packet of taco seasoning, an 8-ounce jar of salsa, or any other seasoning that sounds good on top.
  2. Add a tablespoon of water per chicken breast.
  3. Step 3: Cover with the lid it came with and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. (One to four boneless, skinless chicken breasts will take 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Add another 15 minutes on high or 30 minutes on low if adding more chicken breasts.) Add 1/4 cup more water if for any reason the bottom of your Crockpot is completely dry while cooking (this is not common).
    Note: if your lid has locking clips, do NOT lock it. That is for transporting only.
  4. Check to make sure your chicken breasts have reached at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are done (they’ll probably be higher, that’s OK). If there is a lot of liquid remaining, pour it out into a cup and leave about two tablespoons in the Crockpot. If there isn’t a lot of liquid (it really depends on your climate and the chicken), no need to pour it off; you want a few tablespoons in the bottom of the pot.
  5. Shred the chicken. A hand mixer is the easiest way to shred chicken if you have one; press the mixers into the middle of each breast and use a low speed until all of the chicken is shredded, about 90 seconds. If you don’t have a hand mixer, use two forks or clean hands to shred the chicken. Add more of the reserved liquid if needed while shredding.

Notes

Depending on what you’re making, plan on 1/2 to 1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast per serving. If you’re making tacos, 1/2 breast per serving is usually perfect. If your shredded chicken is the main dish, plan on 1 chicken breast per person.

Thawed (not frozen) chicken yields the best textures,  but frozen chicken can also go straight into the Crockpot. It may need an extra hour of cooking; always cook chicken to at least 165°F (74°C).

Keywords: Crockpot Shredded Chicken, Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

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I’m Elizabeth

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Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you.

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