Crockpot Shredded Chicken is easy to make and incredibly versatile — a two-for-one deal!! With the simplest seasonings (that I’m sure you have in your spice cabinet right now!), a touch of liquid, and your trusty crockpot, you can make scrumptiously succulent shredded chicken in the slow cooker while you go about your day.
Crockpot Shredded Chicken
I usually make a whole bunch of shredded chicken in the slow cooker when I’m food prepping or have a lot of mouths to feed….
After all, this crockpot shredded chicken recipe makes 20 servings!
Best Cuts for Making Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker
Just to note, I always make slow cooked shredded chicken with skinless cuts.
- Boneless Breasts – My number one choice! You get more bang for your buck, they’re super easy to shred, and the light meat is packed with protein.
- Boneless Thighs – Now this is a great cut because of its natural moisture content.
And because thighs are fattier, you’ll definitely get a lot of flavorful liquid seeping out into the cooking liquid and seasoning the meat as it slowly cooks.
- Bone-in Thighs or Breasts – Bone-in cuts will always add more flavor to whatever you’re making.
There’s a ton of flavorful, fatty stuff in them that flows out as it cooks and melts. The flip side is that you’ll have to work around the bone to shred.
Tips, Tricks, and Things to Know
- Stock or broth will keep the meat moist and add tons of flavor.
It absolutely isn’t necessary to add liquid to the slow cooker.
There are natural juices and fats that leak out during the “low and slow” cooking process, and so it will moisten itself as time passes.
However, it is a great way to enhance and customize flavor! Regular or low-sodium poultry-based broth is my go-to, but sometimes I like to use vegetable broth.
Think about what recipes you’ll be making with the meat and let that influence your decision.
- Even though we’re slow cooking… Let the meat rest!
As with any meat, it’s super important to let it rest once it’s done cooking.
15 to 20 minutes later, you’ll be glad you waited when your slow cooker shredded chicken is moist, succulent, and ready to go!
Favorite Flavor Variations
My crockpot shredded chicken recipe is pretty basic: salt, pepper, garlic, and onion. Sometimes simple is best, and it makes it easy to use the meat in different ways.
But don’t hesitate to spice it up! Some other spice and seasoning combinations you might try include:
- Tex-Mex seasoning
- A simple lemon-pepper seasoning with dried parsley or thyme
- Taco seasoning
- Adding a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes for heat
- Your favorite BBQ sauce or rub
How to Shred
There are two methods I use: the stand mixer and the trusty two-fork method.
The quickest way is to toss all of the cooked meat into a stand mixer bowl.
Use the paddle attachment and run it at low speed for a minute or so, and the meat will be totally shredded!
Alternatively, you can tear the meat apart with two forks–pulling in opposite directions. This takes longer, but leaves you with fewer dishes to clean!
Storing and Reheating Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
I recommend portioning the meat in several storage containers for ease of use (I go with 12-ounce packages).
Freezer bags are a really helpful way to not take up too much space, and you can even label the bags with the date and recipe you plan on using it in!
The meat will last up to 4 days in the fridge or 4 months in the freezer. If freezing, let thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Slow Cooker – Great for soups, roasts, slow cooker shredded chicken, and more!
I love it in the cooler months, but it’s also great in the summer when you don’t want to heat up the whole house with the oven.
- Stand Mixer or two forks to shred the meat.
Crockpot Shredded Chicken Recipe FAQ
It’s possible that you overcooked the meat. When you decide to make crockpot shredded chicken on high rather than low, this can happen easier than you might think!
Check on the meat after 2 ½ hours and see if it’s easy to shred. If not, give it just 15 minutes or so longer and continue checking.
I find that storing shredded chicken from the slow cooker in the cooking liquid really keeps it moist.
So even if you didn’t use it as a cooking liquid, a bit of broth in the storage container is a surefire way to keep it moist and flavorful.
Yes, of course! That’s how I make slow cooked shredded chicken every time.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Easy Crockpot Recipes
Crockpot Shredded Chicken
- 5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
- Add chicken to crockpot and top with remaining ingredients. Stir and cover. Cook 6-7 hours on low or 3 hours on high. After 5 – 6 hours (or about 2 1/2 hours on high) use 2 forks to pull chicken apart and submerge into cooking liquid. If chicken does not pull apart easily it is not ready to pull apart. If this happens. Allow 30 minutes to cook and try again.
- Taste and add an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt IF NECESSARY (it will depend on how salty your chicken stock is). Allow to cook 1 more hour on low (1/2 hour more on high).
- Serve and enjoy or portion out for future use.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published February 2015, updated and republished September 2023
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