Have you ever wondered how to get flavorful chicken that is shredded just like in the restaurants? You don’t want to miss these tips & tricks, and the recipe for how to cook perfectly shredded chicken in the crockpot. It’s really easy and the results are the most delicious, tender, shredded chicken you’ll ever have!
Since starting this food blog a little over 2 years ago, the #1 question I get asked is “how do you cook shredded chicken?” For me, it always just seemed like something that everyone knows but I quickly realized that a lot of people want to know how to do it.
Because y’all are THE BEST, I decided to dedicate an entire post to perfectly shredded chicken. I have done it this way for years and years. I did not always use the can of diced green chilies, but since adding it I swear that it’s the secret ingredient 🙂
You need about 4-5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Don’t get too hung up on getting the perfect 4 pounds of chicken breasts. I have done this recipe with only a couple pounds or even 6 pounds. The 4-5 pounds is a general guideline.
You will also need a packet of taco seasoning, a packet of ranch dressing seasoning mix (DO NOT prepare!), and a small can of diced green chilies. The diced green chilies don’t add spicy heat to this, rather they had a lot of flavor. As mentioned before, you can very easily leave them out of the recipe.
The other secret is to blend up the chicken broth, seasoning packets, and green chilies. By doing this, you get no chunks in the shredded chicken. Which, I am not sure about your kids but mine do not like “chunks” in their food where there is not supposed to be “chunks”. Like in shredded chicken 🙂 ! You will end up with a smooth seasoning mix to pour over the chicken in the crock pot.
Make sure that most of the chicken is completely covered. Most recipe I have seen only call for like a cup of liquid and that’s crazy to me. You’ll end up with dry chicken because it’s not all covered in liquid. It should closely resemble the picture above. If you are cooking lots of chicken, like 8 pounds +, I would suggest using 2 cans of chicken broth but keeping everything else the same. No need to double up on the seasoning packets and green chilies.
I always buy the huge bulk packages of chicken breasts at Sam’s Club and make this shredded chicken. I freeze it all because it freezes perfectly. Use a quart size Ziploc freezer bag and fill each bag with 2-3 cups of the shredded chicken. Store in freezer until ready to use. Most recipe seem to call for about 2 cups of chicken, so I usually freeze 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken per freezer bag.
The other secret to shredded chicken is the shredding part. I know it was all over Pinterest a few years ago to put the hot chicken in a bowl and use a handheld blender or stand mixer to shred it up. Please don’t do that! Those blenders beat that poor chicken up. You’re much better off using two forks to shred the hot chicken straight from the crock pot.
I use a slotted spoon to get the chicken from the crockpot and then put it on a plate. Grab two forks, one in each hand, and start shredding. You control how fine of shreds you want or how thick of shreds you want. Trust me, this chicken will be so soft and tender that it will literally fall apart at the touch of the forks.
TIPS FOR PERFECT SHREDDED CHICKEN IN THE CROCKPOT
- Combine the chicken broth, both seasoning packets, and diced green chilies into a blender and blend them up until smooth. This way you’ll have no chunks in your chicken. Just lots and lots of flavor! It’s an extra step that dirties up another dish, but it’s a worthwhile extra step.
- When you pour the seasoning liquid over the chicken make sure that the majority of the chicken is completely covered in the broth. This will ensure that you don’t have dry chicken. If you are cooking lots of chicken double up on the can of chicken broth but leave everything else the same.
- Use two forks, one in each hand, to shred the chicken. I prefer to move the hot cooked chicken to a plate and then shred it, or you can even shred it right in the crock pot. If you want really finely shredded chicken then shred it for a few minutes until you achieve. If you want larger, thicker shredded chicken you will only need to spend a short amount of time shredding.
I hope this was helpful! Comment below if you have any questions. Let me know what you think of this method. Or, let me know the method you use.
Now that you’re a pro at shredded chicken try it out in these baked honey lime chicken taquitos , creamy white chicken enchiladas, enchilada rice bake, or in one of my personal favorite ( and totally easy!) soups creamy corn and chicken chowder .
Have you ever wondered how to get flavorful chicken that is shredded just like in the restaurants? You don't want to miss these tips & tricks, and the recipe for how to cook perfectly shredded chicken in the crockpot. It's really easy and the results are the most delicious, tender, shredded chicken you'll ever have!
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- 4-5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
- 1 can (4.5 oz) diced green chilies
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 packet ranch seasoning mix
- Spray inside of crock pot with cooking spray. Lay chicken breasts inside.
- Combine chicken broth, green chilies, and seasoning packets into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over the chicken in the crock pot and make sure that most of the chicken is completely covered in the broth.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours. If your crock pot cooks at a high temperature you may only need about 5-6 hours. You'll know it's done when it falls apart at the touch of a fork. My crock pot cooks at an average temperature, and I leave mine in for about 7 hours. You want it nice and soft & tender.
- Use in recipes that call for shredded chicken and/or freeze in a quart size Ziploc freezer bags.
To keep the shredded chicken moist until you use it, add a couple tablespoons of the cooking broth from the crockpot to the chicken. I do this if I am storing it in the fridge to use for dinner that night or the next night.
If you are cooking lots of chicken or need more liquid, use 2 cans of chicken broth but keep everything else the same. Don't double up on the seasoning packets or green chilies.