Keto Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
This Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe is a game-changer for any keto household who enjoys easy meal prep. Anyone can whip up a batch of this in their pressure cooker and then use the chicken later for salads, sandwiches, tacos, or my low carb chicken fajita rice bowl. The list could go on for miles. Even better, this recipe can be frozen and used at a later time if desired.
Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker is simple. Plus, this recipe is an easy keto dinner that not only you will love but so will your family.
How Does A Pressure Cooker Work
The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker. It works by using three main copartments (The outer part, inner part, and the cover) to create an environment of rapid cooking times, high temperature, and high pressure. By using a locking mechanism with the lid, the instant pot is able to lock in steam created from the liquid added and in the food. Then, build up pressure, and push the steam back into the food. This is how a pressure cooker is able to cook at rapid rates, allowing meals to be ready in less than an hour.
Benefits of Cooking Chicken in the Instant Pot
Like mentioned above, the Instant Pot works by using liquid from the chicken and the broth to create steam to cook the food very quickly. Not only does your keto dinner get made very quickly, but using an Instant Pot to cook shredded chicken also produces the juiciest chicken because most of the moisture stays inside the pressure cooker.
Cooking chicken in the Instant Pot is perfect for those nights when you have nothing planned for dinner and only have about 30 minutes to prepare a healthy keto dinner.
Another benefit of cooking chicken in the Instant Pot is that it makes keto meal prep day easier. You can quickly make up a batch of shredded chicken in the Instant Pot in less than 30 minutes while you move on to prep up other lunches or dinners. So in a half an hour, one meal is done for you!
Chicken Thighs vs Chicken Breasts for the Keto Diet
Both raw chicken thighs and breasts are great options for cooking shredded chicken in the Instant Pot. Which one you use is mostly based on personal preference.
When it comes to better options on the keto diet, chicken thighs have a higher fat content which gives them richer flavor. Chicken breasts are the leaner meat, filled with protein and contain less fat.
Or if you want to get adventures, you could mix them. In the end, both cuts of meat shred easily when you cook them in the Instant Pot.
Can I Cook Chicken from Frozen in the Instant Pot?
Yes, you can cook chicken from frozen in the Instant Pot! That is one of the many amazing things about the pressure cooker.
There are a few things you wanna remember before cooking your frozen chicken in the instant pot though. First, never cook the chicken frozen together. You want to make sure to separate the pieces of meat before placing in the pot. Cooking the meat frozen together can cause uneven cooking, making your outer parts of the chicken overcooked and the center undercook. Run the meat under lukewarm water to help separate the chicken pieces if you need assistant.
Next, lay the chicken in the bottom of the pot and pour your chicken broth over the meat. You will need to add an additional 4-5 minutes of pressure cooking time. Now you are ready to cook your frozen chicken.
Variations to Instant Pot Chicken
The great thing about this easy keto meal is that shredded chicken is highly customizable. If you enjoy simplicity using seasonings like paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper is an easy option. But feel free to spice it up by using Italian seasoning or taco seasoning.
Another great option is mixing taco seasoning with dry ranch mix to create a cool ranch flavor. There are also different sauce options that you can use after the chicken is cooked such as keto-friendly bbq sauce to create a pulled chicken sandwich.
How to Shred Chicken
There are three main different methods to use for shredding chicken. Remember, this is an easy keto chicken recipe, so shredding the chicken should also be easy.
The first method to shred chicken is using two forks to pull the meat apart. This way is easy but may take a little more time.
Another option for shredding keto chicken is using claws, which are larger and have a handle for you to hold. Just like the fork, claws are used to help pull the meat apart by using your pure strength. This option is slightly quicker than using forks, as the claws are larger and cover more surface area.
The last option and easiest way to shred chicken is using a mixer. You can shredded you chicken using an electric mixer right in the Instant Pot liner after your chicken has finished cooking. If you have a Kitchen Aid or another stand mixer, attach the flat beater and turn on for about 30 seconds to one minute. This option is the fastest one.
Tips for Making Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot
To cook the best keto Instant Pot shredded chicken, make sure you are using at least 1 cup of liquid. Remember, the instant pot works by creating steam that will help build up the pressure that cooks the meat at a rapid rate. Small pieces of meat (7 to 8 ounces each) will take about 11 minutes. Larger pieces should be cooked for a little over 16 minutes to ensure that the meat is brought to an internal heat of 165∘F.
Liquid for Cooking Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot
Both bone broth and water are good options for using when cooking your keto chicken in the pressure cooker. However, there are more benefits of using bone broth over water. Not only does it create a richer flavor but bone broth is rich with vitamins and other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Studies have also shown that bone broth helps with joints, reduces inflammation, helps heal the gut, and supports sleep.
My favorite keto ready-made bone broth is by Bare Bones Broth. They have very nutritious broth. You can tell because when the broth is cold, it solidifies showing how gelatinous the broth is.
Keto Meal Prep and Shredded Chicken Storage
Cooking shredded chicken in the Instant Pot is a great way to meal prep. You are able to use shredded chicken in many different recipes. Think salad, soup, dips. The possibilities are endless. Here are some recipes you can use keto shredded chicken in:
If you plan on storing the shredded chicken there are a few things you should know. Allow the chicken to completely cool. Place in a sealed container or use large ziplock bags. Once cooked, the chicken will last about 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
When pulling the keto shredded chicken out of the freeze for use, allow the chicken to thaw for several hours. Once thawed, do not refreeze. Another good idea is the freeze the chicken in one to two cup portions. This allows for easy thawing for your meals or recipes.