Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
I’ve recently received several emails asking how to make the Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken I use in a lot of my recipes that call for cooked chicken, so I thought I’d share it here. It’s so simple and convenient, I often make a batch at the beginning of the week to use in recipes or in salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc. A lot of the time I just use water or broth to keep the chicken versatile, but you can also easily customize it by adding herbs, spices and seasoning to your taste. As far as nutrition information or Weight Watchers points go, you can just track the finished product by weight or volume as cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Since you discard the liquid it’s cooked in, don’t worry about whether you use broth vs water or what herbs you add unless you’re tracking sodium. On the myWW Blue and Purple plans, this chicken will be zero points! On the Green plan you can just track it as cooked boneless, skinless chicken.
Wondering how to use this Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken? The possibilities are endless! Try my Buffalo Chicken Dip, Chicken Pot Pasta, Bubble Up Chicken Alfredo Bake, Barbecue Chicken Bacon Wraps, Chicken Pesto Parmesan Pasta Skillet, Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake, Chicken Caesar Wraps, Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Shells, Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad, Cheesy Chicken Veggie Pasta Skillet, Chicken Cordon Bleu Wonton Cupcakes, Chinese Chicken Wraps, Bubble Up Chicken Pot Pie Casserole, Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Bake, Chicken Fried Quinoa, Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Roll-Ups, Chicken Pesto Flatbreads, Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole, Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake, Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake, Chicken Parmesan Wonton Cupcakes, Thai Chicken Pizza, Mexican Lasagna Roll-Ups, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Chicken Alfredo Pizza, Buffalo Chicken Wonton Cupcakes and many more in the Chicken category of my recipe index!
Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
- raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, (I usually make 2-3 lbs at a time)
- water or reduced sodium chicken broth
- Place the chicken breasts in your slow cooker and add water or broth until the chicken is covered. If you'd like to add any optional seasonings or herbs, feel free. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3.5-4 hours.
- Remove the breasts to a cutting board and discard the cooking liquid. Shred the chicken using two forks (it should fall apart easily). You can use other methods to shred if you prefer (stand mixer on low, etc).
Once it’s cooked and shredded, do you think it will hold up to freezing in individual portions? That would be great for putting together a quick weeknight stir-fry!
I made a big batch and froze it in a ziplock bag. It was just as good several days later as it was fresh!
Good to know!:)
Thanks for the easy recipe! How long does it keep in the fridge after you cook it?
Having the shredded chicken made ahead is such a great time saver. Instead of using the slow cooker, I poach several pounds at a time and then shred and divide into 2 and 3 cup portions, the amounts I use the most. They go into labeled and dated quart size freezer bags and I’m set for a while. Lately, I’ve been making your Bubble Up Chicken Alfredo once a week…..delicious! Tonight, it’s your Bubble Up Pizza Casserole. Both are often requested here, even by my non-WW husband!
Mary Beth I freeze mine in individual servings and it holds up great. Perfect for work lunches.
I place the cooked breasts in the mixing bowl of my Kitchenaid mixer and shred it with the dough hook.
Hi Emily, I have tried cooking chicken breasts in my crockpot however it seems every time the texture of the chicken as well as the taste of the chicken has changed. Have you ever experienced that or know why that happens. I would really like to cook my chicken this way but it just never tastes the same even when I am making specific crock pot recipes. Any suggestions or ideas of what I should do differently?
Hi Margaret, I’d love to help but I’m not really sure what you mean. Can you explain what tastes different and how when you use a slow cooker? Different compared to what, other methods of cooking? I definitely agree that grilling vs. baking vs. slow cooking vs. boiling etc gives chicken different textures and can lead to a slightly different taste, but I haven’t noticed an issue with slow cooking, I have been happy with how it turns out. If it tastes weird to you somehow maybe you’re better off baking or boiling or grilling? Hope that helps!
Hi Emily, I do this in an Instant Pot for 15-20 minutes. Do you happen to have one? It’s a great addition.
How many cups would you say each pound of chicken breast yields?
Do you use frozen or thawed chicken breasts?
How much liquid?!
It depends on how much chicken you are using and the size of your slow cooker. Just fill until the chicken is covered 🙂
Patricia-it probably depends on what size crockpot you are using. Use enough to make sure the chicken is just fully submerged.
Hi from a New Zealand, Emily.
Can I use the cooking liquid to make a vegetable soup? Many thanks, Colleen
I’ve never tried that before but I don’t see why not! If you start with water you’ll probably want to add some bouillon and other seasonings. Let me know how it turns out!
Hi Emily, love your website! You can use a hand mixer to shred the chicken quick and easily.
Can I use chicken breasts that are still on the bone with the rib meat? Just remove the skin before putting in the crock-pot? I have a bunch in my freezer that I would love to use!
This looks so yummy! What brand is your 50% Reduced Fat Cheese? THANK YOU!!
Usually Cabot 🙂
To freeze shredded chicken I normally add some broth to the container with the chicken. If frozen longer than a month or two without any liquid the chicken tends to be dried out.
Great idea to have the shredded chicken on hand!
I like the idea of using the liquid for freezing or used in another recipe.
Have you ever had the chicken turn out with a gray colored “scum”? Sorry, I know that sounds disgusting. The first time I did this it came out beautifully and as so easy to shred for easy weeknight meals. Since this first time I’ve tried it twice more and both times it came out with disgusting grey stuff all over it. I throw the skinless, boneless chicken breasts in the Crock-Pot looking perfectly fine and defrosted, cover it all with water and then 8 hours later they have grey stuff on them…
Mine does too! Did you ever get an answer on what it is?
Hello! Do you use frozen chicken for this or chicken that has already been thawed?
Hi Noelle! I have used both frozen and thawed with great results! HTH! ☺
Do you use thawed or frozen chicken breast?
Can you do this using chicken thighs?