How to Shred Chicken Breast or Thighs 2 Ways
Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe
How to Boil Chicken & How to Shred Chicken with Mixer (or By Hand)
An easy shredded chicken recipe using chicken breast or thighs, ready in 15 minutes! Including the BEST way to shred with minimal effort. A simple, fuss-free method for perfectly cooked, tender chicken—great for tacos, sandwiches, soups, salads, dips, and more. Learn how to boil chicken to shred, and then how to shred chicken with a mixer or by hand.
If you don’t know how to make shredded chicken or you’ve never tried it, you won’t believe how quick and simple the process is. There’s no oven or slow cooker required—just boil and then shred the meat! With the help of a meat thermometer, it’s easy to tell when it’s done cooking. The process is the same whether you’re using chicken breast or thighs.
First, I’ll show you how to boil chicken in just 10-15 minutes, then how to shred the meat 2 different ways. The classic method is to just pull the cooked meat apart with two forks. But, in my experience, the actual easiest way to shred chicken is with a hand mixer! Either method gets the job done, so choose whichever you prefer.
How to Shred Chicken Breast or Thighs
There are loads of different methods for how to make shredded chicken, but this is the fastest and simplest method that I’ve tried. You could roast it in the oven or slow-cook it in a crockpot, but I’m going to show you how to boil chicken. It takes 15 minutes or less, and it works with chicken breast or chicken thighs.
How to Boil Chicken to Shred
- Season boneless skinless chicken breast (or thighs) with salt and pepper.
- Place chicken cuts into a deep pot and cover with water.
- Bring to a gentle boil.
- Then, reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- When chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C), use tongs to remove from the pot.
How long should you boil chicken?
Generally, most chicken breast or thighs will need to boil for 10-15 minutes to cook through. However, the specific cook time will vary depending on the number and size of chicken cuts you’re cooking. The best way to check for doneness is with an instant read meat thermometer. Check regularly, inserting the thermometer into the middle of the meat, until it reaches 165°F (75°C).
What is the easiest way to shred chicken?
No matter how you choose to do it, shredding the cooked meat is incredibly easy. But, the standard method, using 2 forks to pull the meat apart, takes a bit more time and effort. Personally, I think the best way is with a hand mixer! Let your meat cool slightly, then shred with your preferred method of choice.
How to Shred Chicken with Mixer
Honestly, when I encountered this shredding chicken hack I was super skeptical. But, ever since I experienced how convenient it is, it’s been my preferred method! Simply add the cooked meat to a large bowl, then shred with a hand mixer on low to medium speed. Press the mixer into the meat to help it break apart, and adjust the speed as needed. until shredded to your liking
How to Shred by Hand
If you don’t have a hand mixer (or don’t want to use yours), you can also shred chicken by hand. Place the cooked chicken onto a cutting board, then use 2 forks to pull the meat apart. After boiling, the meat will be tender enough to pull apart easily! Work through each piece until all of the meat is shredded to your liking.
Is it better to shred chicken hot or cold?
No matter which method you choose, it’s best to shred the meat while it’s still warm. It will pull apart more easily and cleanly, with more even-sized shreds! Once it’s cooked through, remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool slightly. When still warm but cool enough to touch, shred with a mixer or using 2 forks.
How to Use Shredded Chicken
- Chicken Bacon Cheddar Dip
- BBQ Chicken Bowl
- Whole30 Chicken Salad
- Keto Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Chicken Burrito Bowl
- Keto Cobb Salad
See how to shred chicken with a mixer in my Super Bowl Party Food video!
Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe
- 16 oz boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- Generously season 16 oz of boneless skinless chicken (thighs or breasts) with salt and pepper.
- Add chicken to a deep pot and cover with water. Bring to a gentle boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, depending on the number and size of your chicken cuts.
- Use tongs to remove chicken when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C). (Check the temperature with a meat thermometer often and don’t let it overcook!) Allow chicken to rest for a few minutes.
- Add cooked chicken to a large bowl and shred—either using a hand mixer or using 2 forks.
- 16oz of cooked chicken breast/thighs yields about 2½ cups of shredded chicken.
128 calories | 6.4g fat | 0g carbs | 0g fiber | 0g sugars | 17.6g protein