Easy Shredded Chicken is a go-to, versatile chicken dish that’s not only extremely easy to make but also incredibly adaptable to various culinary creations. This recipe is perfect for meal planning as well.
A Go-To Recipe For Quick Weeknight Dinner
I first made this recipe a few years ago on Halloween when I needed something quick for our five youngest kids to eat before going trick or treating. I knew there wouldn’t be much time to tend to supper. There would be makeup to do and last-minute costume alterations. I also had the doorbell ringing with younger kids out trick or treating before dark.
While the kids were at school, I cooked the chicken and shredded it. Then all I had to do was pop it back in the oven to heat it, fill the taco shells and dinner was ready. This recipe became a Halloween tradition because it is so simple to make.
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Shredded Chicken Ingredients
The ingredients in this recipe are simple and ones that I always have on hand
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken: Either breasts or thighs can be used in this recipe. Chicken breasts are my go-to because they tend to shred easier.
- Chicken stock: This is the same as broth. The recipe calls for low-sodium chicken stock, but regular stock can be used. If using regular stock, the salt in the recipe may need to be adjusted.
- Chili powder: Along with cumin, chili powder is what gives the most flavour to this dish.
- Cumin: Used in many Mexican dishes, this spice provides an earthy, nutty flavour to the chicken.
- Garlic powder: Granulated garlic is my go-to, but regular garlic powder can be used.
- Onion powder: Provides the flavour of onions without having to cut onions and cook them.
- Paprika: Not only does this spice add flavour, it also provides colour to the chicken.
- Salt: No recipe is complete without salt.
- Freshly ground pepper: If you don’t have a pepper grinder, ground pepper works just as well in this chicken dish.
Ingredients Substitutions For Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe
To save time, I sometimes use a premade taco seasoning in place of all the spices in the recipe. It can be store-bought or homemade taco seasoning.
Garlic cloves can also be minced and used in place of garlic powder.
A diced onion can be used in place of the onion powder.
Smoked paprika is a nice addition in place of regular paprika. It adds a touch of smokiness to the chicken.
Additions That Can Be Added
Now that my kids are older and not as picky, I sometimes add diced jalapenos to add some spiciness to the chicken. Other types of peppers can also be added to level up the spiciness of the dish.
Adding hot sauce is also a good option to spice up the flavour of the chicken.
Diced yellow, red, or orange peppers also add flavour as well as colour to this dish.
Ways to Use Easy-Shredded Chicken
Although tacos are one of our favourite ways to serve this chicken, we have come up with a few more. There are many ways to serve Easy Shredded Chicken.
- Sandwich: Serve this chicken on a toasted bun with lettuce and tomato slices.
- Sloppy Joe Style: On a fresh bun, add chicken and taco sauce to create a chicken sloppy joe.
- Nachos: This chicken is perfect for topping nachos. Add salsa, shredded cheese, pickled jalapenos, olives, or whatever your favourite nacho toppings are.
- Burritos: Spread some refried beans on a tortilla, and top with easy shredded chicken, shredded cheese, and rice. Fold and heat before serving.
- Salad: Top a salad with chicken for an easy lunch.
- On Rice: Serve chicken on top of Mexican spiced or Spanish-style rice.
- Lettuce Wrap: serve this chicken with a sprinkle of shredded cheese in a lettuce leaf for a lower-calorie lunch.
How To Cook Easy Shredded Chicken
This dish can be cooked in a few different ways. The recipe instructions are to cook in the oven. But I also use other ways to cook this chicken dish.
During summer, I make this recipe on the barbecue, to avoid heating up the house. Usually, I will make a double or triple batch to have on hand for the week. Once shredded, I add the chicken to pasta salads for lunches and keep some chicken shredded in an airtight container in the fridge for quick lunches.
The air fryer is another method to cook this chicken. It takes less time to heat up and less time to cook. Set the temperature the same as you would an oven. Additional liquid may be needed because an air fryer may dry out the chicken quickly.
Leftover Shredded Chicken can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave when ready to use.
This chicken recipe can also be frozen. Store leftover chicken in a freezer bag or air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Reheating Easy Shredded Chicken
To reheat this chicken, there are a few ways to do it:
- In the microwave on medium power until heated through
- In a pot on the stove, stirring until heated through. Additional chicken stock may be needed to avoid sticking to the pot and to keep it from drying out.
- Oven: Preheat oven to 300ºF. Bake chicken in a covered casserole dish in the oven until heated through.
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Easy Shredded Chicken
- 2 Tbsp Cumin
- 2 Tbsp Chili powder
- 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 kilogram boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup reduced sodium chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 300°F
- Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
- Mix all spices together.
- Place chicken in a bowl and coat with the spice mix.
- Add coated chicken breasts to prepared baking dish
- Pour chicken stock over chicken breasts
- Cover dish tightly with foil
- Cook in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and internal temperature is 165°F
- Remove from oven and let rest covered for 10 minutes
- Remove chicken to a cutting board and reserve liquid
- Shred chicken or chop into small pieces
- Toss shredded chicken with reserved liquid, adding liquid a tablespoon at a time to keep chicken moist
- Serve on tortillas with taco sauce, lettuce, tomato and cheese