Download My FREE 7-Day Meal Plan

How to Shred Chicken (4 easy ways!)

The best easy methods for shredding cooked chicken! In this tutorial, you’ll learn exactly how to shred chicken so that you can use it in tons of different recipes. Save time and money with these four simple methods.

Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

Now that you’ve learned how to cook the perfect chicken breast, it’s time to use that perfectly cooked chicken in tons of delicious recipes. One of the best ways to use it up? Shred it and add it to enchiladas, salads, grain bowls, soups and more!

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn exactly how to shred chicken using four different methods: your hands, two forks, a hand mixer and a stand mixer. Store it in the fridge or freezer for easy meal prep and be sure to check out all of our delicious recipes using shredded chicken at the bottom of the post.

Introducing: the AK Back to Basics series

Loving these useful how-to guides and step-by-step tutorials? We’re launching a FREE series where we’ll help you tackle a new kitchen or cooking problem once per week!

Join the AK VIP list to start getting all of our amazing Back to Basics posts as soon as they come out.

shredded chicken in a bowl with two forks

The best ways to cook shredded chicken

Before shredding chicken you’ll of course need to cook it. Head to my full tutorial to learn the best, easy ways to cook chicken breast that you can use as a blank canvas for shredding and adding to a variety of recipes. You’ll learn:

  1. How to Make Juicy Baked Chicken Breast
  2. How to Grill Chicken Breast that’s Perfectly Juicy
  3. How to Make the Best Slow Cooker Chicken Breast
  4. How to Poach Chicken Breast

Be sure to check out our best chicken marinades to create delicious, unique flavors for your shredded chicken!

taking poached chicken breast out of a pot

So you have some cooked chicken, now what?

It’s time to shred it, baby! I have four methods for shredding chicken that are quick, easy and will save you money by not buying pre-shredded chicken. The four methods use:

  1. Your hands: recommended for any types of chicken (whole roasted chicken, cooked chicken breasts or thighs and even cooked chicken drumsticks).
  2. Two forks: this method is also great for the above types of chicken if you’d like to keep things a little cleaners
  3. A hand mixer: use this method for boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
  4. A stand mixer (not just for cookies anymore!): you can also use this method for boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.

What types of chicken are best for shredding?

Each of these methods will work for multiple cuts of chicken, but please note that the last two mixer methods are not recommended for bone-in chicken cuts.

  • Boneless chicken: I prefer to shred boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but boneless, skinless chicken thighs work very well, too, and you can even use a mix if you’d like!
  • Bone-in chicken tips: if you are shredding cooked, bone-in chicken like a whole roasted chicken or chicken drumsticks, I find that using your hands work best to feel around and avoid the bones. You’ll then get all of the meat off the bones very easily. These cuts likely have skin on them, too, so feel free to shred it alone with the chicken meat or discard it.

pulling a chicken breast out of a slow cooker

How much shredded chicken am I getting?

Many recipes call for a certain amount of cooked, shredded chicken, but how much chicken should you then start with? 

As a rule of thumb: 1 pound of cooked, boneless chicken (breasts or thighs) will make about 2 ½ cups of shredded chicken.

Method 1: use your hands to shred chicken

Feel free to use cooked boneless skinless chicken breast & thighs or even a full roasted chicken or chicken drumsticks with this method.

hands holding cooked chicken breast on a cutting board

Step 1: after you’ve cooked your chicken, be sure it’s cool enough to handle with your hands (but still warm) before shredding. Place your chicken on a clean surface like a cutting board or plate.

hands shredding a chicken breast on a cutting board

Step 2: use your hands to pull the chicken breast apart into even pieces until the chicken is shredded into desired sized pieces.

hands shredding a chicken breast on a cutting board

Step 3: finish shredding all of your chicken breast, use it in your favorite recipe, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for later, or see below for instructions on freezing!

Method 2: use two forks

Feel free to use cooked chicken breast & thighs or even a full roasted chicken or chicken drumsticks with this method.

hands placing a chicken breast on a cutting board

Step 1: take your warm, cooked chicken breast and place it on a sturdy cutting board (use the code ‘ambitiouskitchen15’ for 15% off my favorite ones!)

shredding chicken with two forks

Step 2: place two forks at the center of the breast and pull the chicken apart into pieces.

shredded chicken on a cutting board with two forks

Step 3: continue with step 2 and shred the chicken into smaller and smaller pieces until you have the desired sized shreds.

Method 3: use a hand mixer

I recommend only using boneless cooked chicken breast & thighs with this method.

two chicken breasts in a bowl

Step 1: place your cooked chicken breast or thighs in a deep bowl.

shredding chicken breasts in a bowl with a hand mixer

Step 2: use a hand mixer on low speed to carefully break apart the chicken into shreds.

shredded chicken in a bowl

Step 3: continue with step 2 until your chicken is evenly shredded. You may need to shred larger pieces apart as you go to get nice, even shreds of chicken.

Method 4: use a stand mixer

I recommend only using boneless cooked chicken breast & thighs with this method.

chicken breasts in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment

Step 1: place your cooked chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer.

turning on a stand mixer to shred chicken

Step 2: use the paddle attachment, turn the stand mixer on low, and let the stand mixer shred your chicken breast or thighs.

shredding chicken in a stand mixer

Step 3: continue shredding with the paddle attachment for about 15-20 seconds until all of your chicken is fully shredded.

shredded chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer

Store & freeze shredded chicken for later

Meal prep your shredded chicken to have protein on hand for weeks or months!

  1. To store: store the shredded chicken in airtight containers or resealable bags for up to 3-4 days.
  2. To freeze: freeze shredded chicken in airtight containers or bags for up to 3 months. Simply reheat the shredded chicken in the refrigerator before using it in recipes.

two low carb pesto chicken stuffed zucchini boats on a plate

Recipes using shredded chicken

Once you have some delicious shredded chicken, it’s time to use it up! Here are a few of my fav recipes that use shredded chicken or would be delicious with some in it: 

And be sure to check out all of our delicious chicken recipes here!

I hope you love these easy methods for shredding chicken! If you try any of them leave a comment so I know how it went and how you used your shredded chicken. Enjoy, xo!

How to Shred Chicken (four easy ways!)

shredded chicken in a bowl with two forks
Course Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Grain Free, How to, Low Carb, Lunch, Paleo
Cuisine American
Keyword how to make shredded chicken, how to shred chicken, how to shred chicken breast, how to shred chicken with forks, how to shred chicken with mixer, shredded chicken recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Serves 4

The best easy methods for shredding cooked chicken! In this tutorial, you’ll learn exactly how to shred chicken so that you can use it in tons of different recipes. Save time and money with these four simple methods.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked chicken* (see notes on the methods in the blog post above for using chicken breast & thighs versus bone-in chicken)

Instructions

  1. Using your hands: after you’ve cooked your chicken, be sure it’s cool enough to handle with your hands (but still warm) before shredding. Place your chicken on a clean surface like a cutting board or plate. Use your hands to pull the chicken breast apart into even pieces until the chicken is shredded into desired sized pieces.

  2. With two forks: take your warm, cooked chicken breast and place it on a sturdy cutting board. Place two forks at the center of the breast and pull the chicken apart into pieces. Continue with step 2 and shred the chicken into smaller and smaller pieces until you have the desired sized shreds.

  3. With a hand mixer: place your cooked chicken breast or thighs in a deep bowl. Use a hand mixer on low speed to carefully break apart the chicken into shreds. You may need to shred larger pieces apart as you go to get nice, even shreds of chicken.

  4. With a stand mixer: Place your cooked chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment, turn the stand mixer on low, and let the stand mixer shred all of your chicken breast or thighs. This should only take around 15-20 seconds.

Recipe Notes

Please read the full post to see notes on using these methods for chicken breast & thighs versus bone-in chicken.

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

Shop This Post

Download My FREE 7-Day Meal Plan

Download My FREE 7-Day Meal Plan

Join the AK email list and get my brand new, FREE Simple & Nourishing 7-day Meal Plan delivered to your inbox.

    Leave a comment & rating

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Rating:




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    You might also like