Best Crock-Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe

Shredded chicken on a cutting board with a knife


Crock-Pot classics: Shredded chicken

Crock-Pots were made for foods like shredded chicken, and shredded chicken is perfect for dishes like burritos, barbecue, tacos, pizza, chili, fajitas, carnitas, pot pies, casseroles – if you can dream it, shredded chicken can be it. For the ultimate in poultry perfection, use chicken thighs or a mixture of thighs and breasts. Chicken breasts don't come close to the luscious mouthfeel and rich taste of thighs, despite having comparable nutrition profiles: 3 ounces of skinless chicken thighs have just 28 more calories than 3 ounces of breast meat. And best of all, you only need two ingredients – a cooking liquid and the chicken.

Total Time: 2 hours | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 4 to 6


  • Kosher salt (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (optional)
  • 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, breasts or a combination of both
  • 2 cups of chicken stock or water, seasoned to taste


  1. Season the chicken with kosher salt if desired. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat on the stove, and sear the chicken until golden brown. You can skip this step, but it creates a richer, more complex flavor.
  2. Bring the stock to a simmer on the stove. Transfer the chicken to the Crock-Pot, and pour the stock over it. If you want to add spices, do so now.
  3. Cover the Crock-Pot, and set it to high if you want the chicken ready in 2 hours; set it to low if you want it ready in 4 hours. The chicken is finished when it has an internal temperature of 165F.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a carving board. Shred the chicken with two forks. Store leftovers up to 4 days in the refrigerator and up to a year in the freezer.