Easy Pulled Chicken Recipe

We're not lying when we say this scrumptious pulled chicken recipe is one of the easiest that you will ever make. To be honest, it may very well be the tastiest, too. Chicken is such a versatile meat that pairs well with almost everything, from rice, to pasta, to roasted veggies, to polenta ... and beyond. You can serve it solo, make tacos or even a fresh chicken salad out of it. 

If you're the type of person who loves to go to the grocery store and buy a rotisserie chicken to shred and use for meals, we can relate. We promise you that this is just as easy and probably a little lighter on your wallet. (Did we mention that you will hardly have to spend any time shredding the chicken? Bonus points for that!)

It's easy to see why this is one of recipe developer, food blogger, and creator of Tasting With Tina Christina Musgrave's favorite recipes. And after you try your hand at it, it'll become one of your favorites as well. "I love how easy this is and how versatile it is. It's a great recipe for meal prepping, because it can be used in so many dishes," Musgrave says.

So, take a look at this easy-as-pie pulled chicken recipe that can be whipped up in a jiff and used for anything and everything. Gather up the ingredients, and then get to cooking.

Gather your ingredients for this easy pulled chicken recipe

There's not a whole lot that goes into this yummy dish, and you may already have a lot of the ingredients in the cupboard. First, you'll need two boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Musgrave has not tried this recipe using frozen chicken, but if you want to try it, she recommends waiting for the chicken to completely thaw out. The only other items you'll need are the classic seasonings, which include salt, pepper, and garlic. To kick this recipe up a notch, grab some paprika. Put the salt and pepper in one bowl and the paprika and garlic in another.

Prep the chicken

Grab a large, shallow pot from your cupboard, and place it on the stovetop. Lay your chicken in the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the chicken. Next, fill the pot with water — just enough to cover the chicken. Now you're getting to the easy part!

Heat the chicken up

Turn the heat on high/medium, cover the pot with a lid, and bring the water to a boil. Once you see tiny bubbles reach the surface of the water, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 8-12 minutes.

It's best to use a thermometer to check for doneness. Do an initial check at eight minutes to see if the meat hits 165 F. If it hasn't reached that temp yet, cook the chicken for a little bit longer, but once it reaches the magic number, you can turn the heat off.

Shred, shred, shred that chicken, then season it up

Once the chicken is done, remove it from the water, and transfer it to a cutting board or a shallow bowl — whichever is easier. Let the chicken sit and cool for a few minutes, and then it is ready to shred. There are several ways that you can achieve beautifully shredded pieces of chicken, including with a fork, using your hands, or with the help of a stand mixer. Go to town and shred the chicken.

You are almost done and well on your way to enjoying an excellent entrée. Return the shredded chicken to a bowl, and grab the garlic powder and paprika that you measured out in the first step. Stir everything together so that each piece is seasoned evenly.

Make your masterpiece

Not only is this recipe one of the easiest that you will ever make, but it's also one of the most versatile. The possibilities when it comes to pulled chicken are truly endless. Musgrave recommends using the meat for a mouthwatering taco filling, or to put in soup, on top of a salad, or in a wrap. She notes that "It's really great in anything!" Let your imagination run wild. If you have leftovers, Musgrave recommends either freezing or refrigerating them. They'll last in the fridge for four to five days, so if you're meal prepping, this recipe totally has you covered.

Easy Pulled Chicken Recipe
4.9 from 34 ratings
We're not lying when we say this scrumptious pulled chicken is one of the easiest and tastiest recipes you will ever make.
Prep Time
Cook Time
shredded chicken
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  1. Place chicken breasts in a large, shallow pot, and season with salt and pepper. Fill the pot with water until the chicken is just covered.
  2. Heat pot over medium-high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 8 to 12 minutes. After 8 minutes is up, check each chicken breast with an instant thermometer to check for doneness. When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F, it is done.
  3. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the water and transfer to a cutting board or shallow bowl. Cool, then shred using forks, your hands, or a stand mixer.
  4. When the chicken is shredded, return to a bowl, and add in garlic powder and paprika. Stir well, and use chicken in soup, tacos, or sandwiches.
Calories per Serving 166
Total Fat 3.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 99.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 0.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 0.0 g
Sodium 318.7 mg
Protein 30.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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