How to make tender and flavorful shredded chicken using a slow cooker. Try this easy recipe and use for sandwiches, tacos and more. Jump to the Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe or read on to see our tips.
How to Make Shredded Chicken in a Slow Cooker
We’ve already shared our easy stovetop method for making shredded or pulled chicken. The recipe has a simple list of ingredients and takes less than an hour. After sharing it, so many of you asked about using a slow cooker, we knew we needed to share!
Slow cookers (or Crock Pots) are perfect for breaking down meats and making them tender and juicy. By gently simmering boneless chicken thighs (or chicken breast) in a flavorful cooking broth, the chicken become ultra tender.
This Recipe Calls For 3 Simple Steps
- Add chicken thighs or chicken breast water or stock, spices, onion, and garlic to you slow cooker.
- Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours.
- Shred the chicken.
Making shredded chicken in a slow cooker is easy! Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker then cover and cook until the chicken is cooked and tender. Then remove the chicken and shred it.
Now you are going to be left with a light chicken broth. It’s delicious. So delicious, in fact, that we love to transfer the broth to a small saucepan and simmer on the stove for a few minutes until it’s reduced by a third. This extra step concentrates the broth even further.
You can throw the shredded chicken into the now concentrated broth or spoon a little over the chicken to keep it extra juicy then save the rest for a light soup later (this is what we do!).
Use this shredded chicken to make these delicious recipes:
- Easy Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
- Lemony Chicken and Vegetable Soup
- 10-Minute Chicken Pesto Quesadillas
- Buffalo Chicken Pizza Sticks.
Here’s another excellent way to cook chicken: Our perfectly poached chicken is soft, tender, and flavorful.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, review it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #inspiredtaste on Instagram. Happy cooking!
Tender Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
Gently cooking chicken in a flavorful cooking broth helps it become tender and juicy. We go the extra step to make sure the chicken is as juicy and flavorful as possible. Once the chicken is cooked, we transfer the cooking liquid from the slow cooker to a small saucepan and simmer the liquid down by one-third. Spoon some of the concentrated broth over the chicken and save the rest for a light soup later.
You Will Need
3 pounds boneless chicken thighs or combination of thighs and breast
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cook Chicken
1Combine chicken, onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, cumin and pepper in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the chicken by about 1 inch. Cover with lid and cook on LOW until the chicken is very tender, 4 to 6 hours.
2Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Once it is cool enough to handle, use two forks or your fingers to shred the meat.
- To Finish
1After removing the chicken, strain the liquid left in the slow cooker and then transfer it to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until it has reduced by one-third, or until the flavor has concentrated.
2Spoon about 1 cup of the concentrated cooking liquid over the shredded chicken and toss to coat. Use within 2 to 3 days. Save any remaining liquid for a light soup or use as stock later.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Make-ahead: The chicken and broth will keep refrigerated up to 3 days and can be frozen for 1 month.
- Skin-On Chicken: We have made this recipe using boneless, skinless chicken thighs and chicken thighs with skin still attached. Both work very well. If you use chicken with skin, remove and discard the skin before you shred the chicken. You may also find that you need to skim some of the fat from the cooking broth before spooning it over the chicken.
- Leftover Cooking Liquid: You will have cooking liquid leftover. It is quite delicious on its own as a light soup. You can also use it as broth for other recipes. Or, if you’re keeping the chicken more than a day, add a spoonful or two to add a little extra moisture.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste
I made this with chicken breast and when I put it in a bowl to shred, it fell apart on it’s own. So tender I did not need to use the hand mixer. Making it again tonight but with thighs. So easy to throw together meals for the week with this on hand and I love saving the broth as well for a tasty treat. Thanks so much for this recipe !!
This is the best recipe I have found for chicken in the slow cooker. And the tip for using your stand mixer to shred it is so good! It worked perfectly. All of your tips and suggestions are great, thank you for sharing.
This process makes wonderful, tender chicken. It’s easy to shred and great for enchiladas and tacos. I cut the recipe in half and it works fine.
I am using boned chicked will let you know how it turns out.