Whether you need shredded chicken for a specific recipe or just like to meal prep for the week, having chicken pre-cooked and shredded makes it easy to assemble quick meals. And shredding chicken with a mixer such as a Kitchen-Aid mixer or other popular brands is hands down the fastest way to get the job done!
Keep reading for all of our tips and tricks depending on how you're using your shredded chicken! It's a Whole Lotta Yum!
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How to Shred Chicken with a Mixer
There's more than one way to shred chicken depending on your personal preference, the amount of time you have, and what kitchen tools you have on hand. Here are the most common ways to shred the chicken:
- Shredding chicken with two forks or meat claws
- Shredded chicken with a hand mixer
- Or you can shred chicken with Kitchenaid (or another brand) of stand mixer
- Buy shredded chicken (found in the freezer section). You could also use canned chicken in a pinch, depending on the recipe you're making.
You can shred chicken with a mixer whether you're using raw boneless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken tenderloins (tenders).
Shredding Chicken with a Kitchenaid?
We're showing you how to shred chicken in our Kitchenaid mixer, but the steps are literally the exact same whether you use that brand, make shredded chicken with another brand of a stand mixer), or make shredded chicken with a hand mixer.
You cannot find a device that'll give you such a quick shred as a hand or stand mixer like a Kitchen-aid. I've had mine 23 years and it's still going strong. Best wedding gift ever!
Equipment You'll Need
You'll need one of the following options to learn how to shred chicken in a mixer.
- Kitchen-aid mixer
- Other popular brands of stand mixers like this inexpensive Best Seller or others such as Hamilton Beach, Instant Pot brand, and Bosch.
- Hand mixer
Cooking Chicken to Shred
Before you can get started with preparing the shredded chicken, you first need to cook the chicken. We cook A LOT of chicken for meal prep, our favorite cooking method is in a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot since it's great for meal prepping a large amount at a time!
The best way to get tender and juicy chicken is to NOT overcook it! While chicken is supposed to be cooked to 165 F, it continues cooking as it cools down. Because of this, we like to cook chicken to about 162 F, and after letting the cooked chicken rest for 5-10 minutes, it'll turn out just perfect.
Some popular methods on our site:
- With an Instant Pot - Instant Pot chicken tenders (frozen) and how to cook frozen chicken in an Instant Pot
- Boiling chicken to shred - Boiled chicken breasts and boiled chicken tenders
- Roasting - baked thin chicken breast and chicken tenders in the oven
Cooking 1 -2+ pounds at a time is usually what I do so I can make sure there are lots of leftovers for the week.
How to Shred Chicken with a Mixer
It will take you longer to read our steps on how to shred chicken with a mixer than it'll take to actually shred it! Shredding chicken won't take you longer than 20-30 seconds!
- Cool the chicken: After cooking the chicken, let it cool slightly so it is safe to handle. It should still be warm to touch.
- Cut the Chicken: If you're using large chicken breasts, cut them into smaller, more manageable pieces. This will also give you a more uniform shredded chicken size.
- Place Chicken in the Mixing Bowl: Put the pieces of cooked chicken into the bowl of your stand mixer, or if you're using a hand mixer, a large mixing bowl.
- Attach the Paddle Attachment: If you're using a stand mixer, attach the paddle attachment. If you're using a hand mixer, regular beaters work fine.
- Start on a Low Speed: Begin mixing at a low speed to avoid over-shredding the chicken or causing it to fly out of the bowl.
- Increase Speed Gradually: Once the chicken begins to break up, you can increase the speed of the mixer slightly. This might not even be necessary since shredding chicken takes less than 30 seconds!
- Mix Until Shredded to Your Liking: Continue mixing until the chicken is shredded to your preference. If you want larger shreds or irregular shreds for enchiladas or casseroles, you won't mix it as long. If you want a fine shred like for a buffalo chicken dip, you'll want to mix it at a little higher speed or mix it for longer.
- Use Immediately or Store for Later: You can use the shredded chicken immediately, or store it in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
Being totally honest here, we could NOT believe how quickly a Kitchen-aid mixer shredded the cooked chicken tenders so quickly. I assumed it would probably take 1 -2 minutes.
If you're using larger chicken breasts, a hand mixer, or a different brand of stand mixer, it could take slightly longer.
But even if it takes over a minute to shred your chicken, avoiding the process of hand shredded is so very much worth it.
Video: Shred Chicken with Kitchenaid
Here's our quick little Youtube video on making shredded chicken with a Kitchenaid mixer. Can you even believe how quickly the chicken tenders just fall apart and shred so easily?
Seriously, once you shred chicken in a stand mixer you'll never want to go back to fork shredding again.
Freezing Shredded Chicken
Freezing shredded chicken is super easy and a great way to keep extra on hand when you need it for a last minute meal.
To freeze shredded chicken: Put it in quart size freezer bags and squeeze the air out of the bag to help it last as long as possible. Frozen shredded chicken should keep for about 2 months. You can also put the chicken in an airtight plastic or glass container.
We also LOVE to use our Seal-a-Meal to store pre-cooked frozen chicken, it helps the chicken to last even longer in the freezer. Vaccum sealed chicken pieces will last in the freezer for about 9 months.
Even if you don't have a certain recipe in mind and want some suggestions for shredded chicken recipes, you can make the shredded chicken, freeze it, and use it later amazing for:
Shredded chicken for tacos
In chicken dip such as buffalo chicken dip
Casseroles needing shredded chicken like chicken bacon ranch, chili verde casserole,
In soups - Chicken zoodle soup or add it to our Thai coconut chicken soup
With pasta like our Instant Pot alfredo and mix the chicken in.
In a chicken wrap
The easiest way to shred chicken without a mixer is to use two dinner forks. If you're just shredding a small amount of chicken, this could be easier than pulling out your mixer.
Secure the Cooled Chicken: Place your cooked chicken breast on a sturdy cutting board or in a large bowl.
Hold the Chicken with One Fork: Pierce the chicken with one fork to hold it in place. This fork acts as your anchor.
Pull Away with the Other Fork: With the other fork in your dominant hand, begin pulling away at the chicken, moving the second fork across the grain to tear it into small pieces.
Continue to Shred: Continue the process of holding the chicken with one fork and shredding with the other until the whole piece is shredded to your liking.
Check for Large Pieces: Once you've shredded the whole chicken, check for any large pieces that might need additional shredding, and break those apart with your forks. So simple!
Cooked chicken will last for up to 4 days in the fridge when kept in an air tight container. Freeze the chicken if you have leftovers that won't be used up in 4 days.