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How to Use Shredded Chicken: Recipes and Much More

Updated on September 01, 2016
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

Shredded chicken served on homemade potato chips with a tangy caramel balsamic sauce.
Shredded chicken served on homemade potato chips with a tangy caramel balsamic sauce. | Source

Are you looking for new lunch and dinner recipes that are easy and affordable and that your whole family will enjoy? Shredded chicken is a simple, extremely versatile staple that takes very little prep work with a slow cooker. With recipes ranging from appetizers to soups to casseroles, there is something for everyone. It is not hard to customize many of these options to suit personal tastes and preferences. Happy cooking!

What kind of recipes can you make with shredded chicken?

 
Just a Few Ideas
 
Appetizers
Salads
Sandwiches
Mexican
Noodle Dishes
Soups
Bakes and Casseroles
Pizza
 
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/27836576@N02/4058814610 - link no longer active] When chicken is cooked just right, you can shred is easily with two forks.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/27836576@N02/4058814610 - link no longer active] When chicken is cooked just right, you can shred is easily with two forks. | Source

Getting Started: How Do You Make Shredded Chicken?

The simplest way to make shredded chicken is with a slow cooker. I have prepared it on the stove many times, but you can't beat the convenience of putting it in the slow cooker in the morning and leaving it until late afternoon. Here are a few tips for the slow cooker process.

  • Type of chicken. I have used chicken breasts, tenderloins, and thighs to make shredded chicken, and they all work well.
  • Quantity / cooking time. I cook one and a half to two pounds of chicken on low for six and a half hours. If you've never cooked shredded chicken before and/or are cooking a smaller quantity, check it after four and a half or five hours.
  • Additional ingredients. Most of the time I simply grease the crock pot and add the chicken without any other ingredients. Sometimes I'll coat the chicken with a rub if I'm planning to prepare a specific recipe, such as pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches.


I've also included a great recipe on the right for pan prepared shredded chicken. It is more effort, but many people feel that it's well worth it.

Panuchos: tortillas topped with refried beans, shredded chicken, pickled red onion, avocado, tomato salsa, and green chilli dip
Panuchos: tortillas topped with refried beans, shredded chicken, pickled red onion, avocado, tomato salsa, and green chilli dip | Source

Appetizers

  • Cheesy buffalo dip. If you're serving a crowd that loves buffalo flavor, this appetizer is perfect. Serve it with chips, veggies, and more. Do you want to make a dip but are looking for a different flavor option? Consider chicken nacho dip.
  • Potato skins. The linked recipe is another buffalo chicken recipe, but you could easily switch up the flavors here. BBQ is a classic choice, too.
  • Cheesy chicken bites. Whip up your favorite chicken recipe and serve it on crackers or in wonton wrappers as an appetizer.
  • Egg rolls. Egg roll wrappers are another great means for serving any number of different shredded chicken appetizers.

I love to add hard boiled eggs to chicken salad.
I love to add hard boiled eggs to chicken salad. | Source
Crumbled up chips from the bottom of the bag are a great salad topping.
Crumbled up chips from the bottom of the bag are a great salad topping. | Source

Salads

  • Black bean and arugula. This is a popular pairing with shredded chicken.
  • Thai. Get out of your normal salad routine and try an oriental recipe such as this fabulous Thai salad with bean sprouts and shredded cabbage.
  • Mustard vinaigrette. Branch out with butter lettuce, walnuts, mustard, white wine vinegar, and pear.
  • Cafe Rio. If you're a fan of the Cafe Rio salads and want to make similar dishes at home, there are a lot of copycat shredded chicken salads out there complete with creamy tomatillo Ranch dressing and green chile lime rice.

Do you have a favorite salad recipe that features a different meat? Substitute chicken this time! Don't forget to use seasonal ingredients whenever possible. Take advantage of local produce while it's fresh and readily available.

Source

Tip: If you get tired of making sandwiches with bread, switch it up and use wraps or pitas or turn the sandwich ingredients into a salad.

Sandwiches

  • BBQ. It's one of the classics and with good reason. If you're ready to switch it up from pork, try chicken or vice versa.
  • Caesar. If you've ever had a regular Caesar salad with chicken, you already know how good this recipe is. Shredded chicken makes it that much simpler, and you can even use bottled dressing to make this dish completely stress free. When you need a change from pulled BBQ pork or chicken, give this a try.
  • Sloppy joes. Instead of making sloppy joes with hamburger meat, use chicken. I love this simple twist.
  • Cheesesteaks. Chicken is a great option for a Philly cheesesteak.


Source

Shredded Chicken Spicy Quesadilla

Tip: Don't forget to serve lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, and other toppings of your choosing with your Mexican main dishes!

Mexican Cuisine

  • Taco. You can keep it simple and mild as the linked recipe does with taco seasoning and salsa or add a few more ingredients and kick up the spice level.
  • Quesadillas. Simple quesadillas make an awesome appetizer while loaded quesadillas with lots of protein make a great main dish.
  • Enchiladas. Enchiladas have the perfect combination of creamy texture and spicy kick.
  • Taquitos. There are lots of great chicken taquitos recipes out there with everything from creamy to spicy.
  • Chimichangas. Take the extra time to whip up a delicious, fresh sauce for your chimichangas.

Linguine topped with sun-dried tomato pesto, escarole, olives, and shredded chicken.
Linguine topped with sun-dried tomato pesto, escarole, olives, and shredded chicken. | Source

Tip: Are you trying to cut carbs? Substitute cous cous, orzo pasta, or quinoa in a favorite noodle dish!

Noodle Dishes

  • Macaroni and cheese. Keep it easy and simple by adding shredded chicken to your favorite homemade or store-bought macaroni and cheese. Buffalo macaroni and cheese is another popular option.
  • Stuffed shells. Chicken, cheese, and shells is a classic combination. If you want to up the nutritional content, add spinach. Are you looking for a twist? Make a Mexican version.
  • Smoky and spicy pasta. You get a smoky flavor from smoked paprika and fire-roasted tomatoes and spice from crushed red pepper.
  • Lemon chicken. Lemon chicken is another classic that is perfect with the pasta of your choosing and shredded chicken.

Tortilla soup.
Tortilla soup. | Source

Soups

Creamy Chicken Casserole (with pasta and spinach)

Bakes and Casseroles

Source

California Pizza Kitchen's BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Pizza

  • Shredded chicken and BBQ bacon pizza. Carla gives her chicken cooking time in the bacon fat. Of course this is a must include step.
  • Buffalo chicken pizza. It seems like you can find recipes for buffalo everything these days. I tried to branch out in this article and include a lot of non-buffalo recipes, but I'm sure that people will appreciate having a few here.
  • Chicken and herb white pizza. If you're a fan of white pizza, this recipe is for you.
  • Pita bread pizza. Mix it up in the summer and create fast, tasty pizzas with pita bread that you can cook on the grill or bake in minutes.

© 2013 Rose Clearfield

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    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Great ideas!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Wow! Now I have so many good ideas for chicken. Thanks so much ~ Audrey

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 3 years ago from United States

      Such a handy hub! Thanks so much for all the great ideas. Pinned & shared. --Jill

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Love this! not only were the recipes great they have given me so many new ideas, I am a boring cook so its time to up the anti so to speak! lol!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      So many lovely ways to serve it. Shredded chicken is great every time. I just like the texture and the way it comes together. thanks for sharing. Pinned and shared

    • erinshelby profile image

      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      What type of leaf is in that first photo?

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Audrey and Jill! It's great to hear that.

      Nell, I think that everyone can use a little variety in the kitchen once in a while.

      pstraubie, yes, for sure! I never regret making shredded chicken.

      Erin, to be honest, I don't know. You can click over to the Flickr photo and leave a comment there. The person who took the photo might be able to tell you.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      condominium, the leaves may be some type of basil. One of my favorite ways to enjoy shredded chicken is on pizza, too.

    • Heather Says profile image

      Heather Rode 3 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

      Awesome ideas. I love shredded chicken; especially on quesadillas. Voted up :)

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 3 years ago from India

      Great ideas. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rose, this is a wonderful collection of ideas. Voted up and more!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much, Heather, Vacation Tip, and FlourishAnyway!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rose,

      Gosh what a variety you have here and I love them! Being a real chicken fan this has given me so many wonderful ideas, checked out the mac and cheese one and it sounds delicious! So timely too as I will be doing my meal planning and grocery list later for tomorrow! Cheers Rose for more well researched work! You never fail to impress me, voted up, awesome, useful, interesting, shared and pinned!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Suzie! You know how much I appreciate your feedback. I'm glad that you got a bunch of new ideas from this article. If you try any of them, let me know how it goes. :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      They all look and sound delicious. Thank you for these helpful suggestions. Voted Up!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, MsDora! It's great to hear that.

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

      This is such a timely hub! I have a ton of leftover shredded chicken that I keep procrastinating on using because nothing in my repertoire has sounded tasty. After reading this hub EVERYTHING sounds tasty! We might just do quesadillas tomorrow because they are so easy :) Great job!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      It's so great to hear that, ExpectGreatThings! Enjoy your new recipes!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Basil seems to be the consensus. Enjoy your pizza! So glad that you liked this article.

    • twoseven profile image

      twoseven 3 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Great ideas! So thorough. I will be able to turn to this time and time again when I need some ideas for how to use shredded chicken. I like it because even my small children can eat it pretty easily, and it's a good source of iron, even though I tend towards a vegetarian diet. Thanks for all your research!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, twoseven! So glad to hear it.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Rose. Well, shredded chicken is not something I have ever thought to try. I don't have a slow cooker or equivalent but am sure this would definitely work prepared in other ways. The possibilities are endless and you certainly show that with your wide range of fabulous ideas. Funnily enough - I have a turkey leg defrosting in the fridge. Wonder how shredded turkey may work... ? :)

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Gordon, making shredded chicken on the stove is more time consuming but just as effective. You're right that the possibilities are endless. I'm sure that shredded turkey would be great, too! If you ever try it, let me know.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      These are all terrific ideas. Chicken is my favorite meat. Thank you for all the research you must have done putting this article together.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, KoffeeKlatch! That's great. I hope that you're able to use some of the recipes.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      I love these varieties of chicken recipe ideas. Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely sunday!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I'm so glad! Thanks! Take care. :)

    • Daddy Paul profile image

      Daddy Paul 3 years ago from Michigan

      Made me hungry

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's always a good sign!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      What a mountain of great ways to use chicken! The photo of the pasta with pesto, chicken and escarole really caught my eye. I shouldn't read recipe Hubs when it's close to lunch time. This has really whetted my appetite for chicken dishes. Now I know what I'm making for dinner. Thanks!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, vespawoolf! I'm glad that this is helpful for you. It's always dangerous reading recipes right around lunch time.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      There are a lot of great recipes here. I don't know why, but I never thought of topping a pizza with shredded chicken. It's a simple idea, but absolutely wonderful.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Marlene! It's one of my favorite pizza toppings. I hope that you get a chance to try it.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

      Super useful. I just slow cooked a chicken and was wondering what I'm going to do with all that chicken next! LOL

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      You're all set now, kittythedreamer! :)

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      Why do I always read food Hubs when I´m hungry?? I came back to get more ideas for using shredded chicken. The pasta and pizza look especially appetizing this time around. This Hub is chock full of great ideas. Thank you!

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I run into the same problem with reading articles and blogs about food when I'm hungry. I'm glad that you were able to get some more ideas from this article!

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 2 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Fabulous ideas for chicken. It will take me months to get through all these recipes, which look great. A truly professional hub! Thanks.

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, marieryan! That's a good problem. :)

    • velzipmur profile image

      Shelly Wyatt 2 years ago from Maryland

      Love these ideas, quick and easy! voted up

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I'm so glad to hear that, velzipmur! Thanks!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I cant believe it's been over a year since I first read this hub. I love the chicken recipes. You always manage to come up with great recipes.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

      Wow some delicious looking recipes there, thnaks a lot for sharing.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      While I am a big shredded pork fan, I have not yet tried it with chicken. I am looking forward to trying some of these recipes. Your pictures are wonderful! I've never cooked dry meat in my crock pot, always have added something else along with it.

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 2 years ago from India

      shredded chicken is something that I love to have again and again. I would like to thank you for posting about this wonderful recipe preparation on shredded chicken and enjoyed it a lot...

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      You are just great with your recipes--- they are a refreshing way to serve chicken. I will try slow cooking some chicken tomorrow.

      I cook for my husband and our Sweetie Angel (Pomeranian) and Keekee our cat sometimes---he mainly likes my fish recipes.

      I am so happy I slowed down to read your hub. Have a wonderful day.

      Bobbi Purvis

      I will share with Twitter and repin it.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Wow! Lotta comments on shredded chicken! Tis' the season for buffalo dip, of which I invariably eat too much and feel sick, then go back and eat more. It's so good. Lots of other interesting options here too, well done.

      Ben

    • randomcreative profile image
      Author

      Rose Clearfield 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Audrey, Hezekiah, Dolores, georgescifo, PurvisBobbi, and Ben, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I'm glad that so many people found some new recipes here today.

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