Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

This ridiculously easy, tender, and juicy slow cooker shredded chicken is perfect for so many recipes and the shredded chicken can be frozen for later!
Super Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

Polar vortex, arctic cold, wind chill factors, these are all things I know almost nothing about. Here I am, enjoying myself in mild Phoenix weather where the lows have been around 37°F and the highs around 70°F. I have no idea what one-digit temperatures feel like, let alone negative temperatures. I seriously can’t even imagine that. In my life I’ve lived in California, Australia, and Arizona. No where that I would need to shovel snow. Cold is foreign to me and right now I feel pretty lucky. I wish I could teleport all of my friends trapped by blizzards and record-breaking cold into my warm and cozy city. I’ll be changing my tune once it reaches 117°F this summer, though. Then I’ll be dreaming about arctic weather.

Regardless of what the weather is like where you live, you need to make this slow cooker shredded chicken. Why? Because it will become a staple recipe in your house. Not only is the recipe itself super simple, the shredded chicken can be frozen and used for recipes in the future. Having portioned baggies of shredded chicken in the freezer can be a godsend for those crazy weekday nights when just the thought of getting dinner is a source of stress.

Note that every slow cooker cooks differently, mine tends to cook quickly. I love my slow cooker because I almost always use the temperature probe setting when cooking chicken to ensure it stops heating exactly when the chicken is cooked through. I like to set the temperature a little below the USDA recommended internal temperature for chicken because I know that even when the slow cooker shuts off when it’s programmed to, the heat won’t immediately disappear. The residual heat will continue to cook the chicken until I remove it from the slow cooker and I find that if I set the slow cooker to stop heating once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 155°, it ends up perfectly cooked once I’m ready to use it. If you know you will remove your chicken immediately, go ahead and set it to 165°F.

Recipe Rundown
Taste: Like chicken, with a savory aroma.
Texture: Amazingly juicy and tender.
Ease: This recipes takes less than 5 minutes to prep and the slow cooker and stand mixer do all the hard work.
Appearance: Shredded chicken isn’t exactly awe-inspiring but I think you can see how tender it is.
Pros: Super easy staple recipe that can be frozen and used for future meals. This recipe is also easily doubled.
Cons: None whatsoever!
Would I make this again? I’ve made this recipe quite a few times already.

Quick Ideas for Shredded Chicken:

-Pita Sandwiches
-BBQ Sandwiches


Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

If using frozen chicken breasts, you will need to cook for up to 8 hours. Be aware that using frozen chicken in the slow cooker may increase the likelihood of food-borne illness, be careful to cook to 165°F if using frozen chicken.

Yield: About 6 cups shredded chicken


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Pour the stock over the chicken then sprinkle with the garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook on low heat until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 155°F, about 2 1/2 to 4 hours.

Place the whole cooked breasts in a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On low speed shred the chicken. Alternatively, shred the chicken with two forks or let cool and shred with your fingers. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker to absorb any remaining juices. Use in a a recipe or portion and freeze the remaining chicken in airtight containers for up to 6 months. Defrost before using.

Super Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

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13 Responses to “Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken”

  1. #
    Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness — January 8, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Oh, such a great recipe! Shredded chicken is wonderful in so many dishes and, since it freezes so beautifully, it’s great to have on hand to add to a quick meal! Love your “recipe rundown!” :)

  2. #
    Marty — January 8, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Had to laugh over your weather comments, as we are in our second snow day due to snow and polar air. You can come visit if you want! I’ll take you to Niagara Falls. :)

    Thanks for a simple recipe that I think I’ll do today.

  3. #
    Christi @ Love From The Oven — January 8, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Slow cooker chicken is my go to when I have no idea what to make, which would be about 50% of the time. Can’t wait to try your version. Seriously one of the most versatile things and even picky eaters approve, have to love that. Have a great day Tessa!

  4. #
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs — January 8, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Freezing bags with shredded chicken sounds like a genius idea! It will solve most of my dinner problems, I’m sure. This chicken looks so so tender, yum!
    Have a lovely day! x

  5. #
    Christine — January 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I am amazed how the kitchenaid shreds the chicken. I do not have one yet, but am thinking about getting one over here in Germany. Which kitchenaid do you recommend? They have artisan or classic in two sizes overe here.
    and is this really just the plastic paddle?

  6. #
    Christine — January 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Oh and my slow cooker only has high and low. so do I need high to get the demanded temp?

    • Tessa replied: — January 8th, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

      Hi! I have the artisan-series 5quart mixer and I love it! I also have both the standard metal paddle attachment and a plastic one that scrapes the edges of the bowl. I’ve used both for shredding chicken, the metal leaves larger chunks while the plastic one shreds more finely. Cook on low temperature, you lessen the chance of overcooking the chicken that way. Hope that helps!

  7. #
    Denise — January 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you so much for this idea. I’m always thinking up last minute dinners that require pre-cooked chicken but all the chicken is frozen breasts that will take too long to cook. This is a fantastic and easy idea for those last minute needs.

  8. #
    Marvin — February 19, 2014 at 12:47 am

    This recipe is truly awesome. It’s so versatile, ridiculously easy, and tastes great. I love the aroma it makes, which fills my house. I don’t normally post reviews, but I fully endorse this recipe. I’m going to make sure I keep a stash in the freezer at all times. Thanks and very nice job!

  9. #
    Angela — February 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful flavorful recipe. You are a lifesaver with the mixer idea. I’ve always avoided recipes requiring shredding because it is so time consuming. This tasted wonderful and my lucky 6 yr old couldn’t get enough of the chicken.

  10. #
    Esperanza — March 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. I don’t have a temp slow cooker, shall I assume I cook the chicken for 2 1/2 hours?

  11. #
    Paige — November 17, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    LOVE this recipe. Just made a batch w 6 chicken breasts and adjusted chicken stock. I’ve split into three 1 quart-sized t ziploc bags, put 2 in the freezer for future use, one in the fridge for dinner remix this week. I’m dying to figure out if this can be done with other proteins! Shredded beef recipes, anyone?

  12. #
    Ellon St. Croix — March 30, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I just recently started making this chicken because it freezes so well! It’s great to know I have something to help whip up a quick meal, right there in the freezer. BTW, I also do this with Slow cooker pulled pork!

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