We make this quite literally every Monday because it's so simple and sets our week up for success. Shredded chicken is easy to make and can be turned into so many meals! And since you're in control, you can make it gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, or whatever you need.
Animal products are some of the most bio-available nutrients we can eat. Having said this, I was a vegetarian for years... not because I thought meat was bad for me. But because of the sustainability and ethical arguments surrounding its consumption. But when my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby, I knew I needed to start eating more of it to ensure my baby had what he needed to thrive.
It was hard for me in the beginning but now I try to source sustainable meat whenever possible. There are a few places we shop for it:
Local farmers market: Read here for all the reasons why we shop local whenever possible!
Butchers Box: It's the #1 source for grass-fed & grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork, delivered via subscription on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. We love the convenience of a subscription service. Sign up here for up to 7 pounds of free meat in your first box!
Belcampo: This is another favorite for when you want to have the control to purchase exactly what you want, when you want it. All their meat is 100% organic, grass-fed, natural, and humanely raised.
Now that you know where you might want to purchase some meat, and you have a recipe to make some shredded chicken. How do you incorporate it into your meals during the week?
Meal Ideas to Incorporate Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe
So you've decided to make shredded chicken this week but you don't know what to do with it. Here are some super simple ideas to get your tastebuds salivating and your idea wheel turning.
Shredded Chicken Tacos
Add a pre-packaged taco seasoning mix and you're ready for taco salad, tacos, enchiladas, or even burritos. Throw the shredded chicken and taco mix on some greens with frozen sweet corn and drained and rinsed black beans. Add some extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar or fresh lime juice, salt and pepper - and you have a salad with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
To turn it into a burrito, serve the shredded chicken on a wrap like this one by Siete Foods, and then add some veggies, rice, and maybe some cheese.
Pesto Chicken Salad or Sandwich
Take your shredded chicken, mix it with some pesto, and then pile it high on a sandwich or serve it over greens and veggies.
Use Shredded Chicken as a Stuffing
Mix it with pesto, taco seasoning, Italian spices, or whatever you like, and stuff it into baked sweet potatoes, peppers or pasta shells.
Pasta Salad with Shredded Chicken
Follow some instructions on a box of pasta, finely chop some onions and garlic, add some broccoli or whatever other veggies you love, and top with a mayo like this one. If you're not a mayonnaise kind of person, use olive oil and apple cider vinegar. And don't forget the salt and pepper!
Or use the chicken in this Classic Chicken Salad recipe.
Pair with a Seasoning Blend & Simple Sides
If you really want to keep it simple, mix a seasoning blend with the shredded chicken and serve with a simple side like green beans or shaved brussel sprouts. My personal favorite is A. Vogel Herbed Sea Salt. I douse my sides and main dishes in it when I'm just not feeling like being creative.
Add Chicken to Soups
Ok, so chicken goes with pretty much anything! I'd keep going on but I think you get the idea.
We usually make this shredded chicken on Sunday or Monday along with some sweet potatoes and a simple side like shaved brussel sprouts and go from there. When we take the time to do this (because it's only a few minutes after all!), it really saves us a headache during the week trying to figure out what to make for lunches.
How to Shred Chicken Quickly
This is the fun part. Bust out your hand mixer, turn it on, and start shredding the chicken right in the instant pot, water and all. With the hand mixer, shredding chicken couldn't be easier or faster. If you don't have one on hand, carefully transfer the hot chicken to a cutting board or plate and use two forks to pull it apart.
Tips when Cooking Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Leave the chicken in all the water and juice when you shred the chicken with the mixer.
Continue to leave the chicken in the water when you store it in the fridge
I love this method because the chicken retains its moisture even a few days after it's been cooked! The important thing is to leave the chicken in all its juice once it's finished cooking because that's what keeps it moist for days to come. We've had no problem with our chicken lasting up to five days in the fridge in an airtight container!
3. Consider chicken thighs instead of chicken breast (or a combination of both!). We love the thighs because of the extra healthy fat content and therefore, flavor. As an added bonus, they save us a buck or two.