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How to Use Shredded Chicken: Recipes and Much More

Updated on May 7, 2017
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

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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[http://www.flickr.com/photos/27836576@N02/4058814610 - link no longer active] When chicken is cooked just right, you can shred is easily with two forks.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/27836576@N02/4058814610 - link no longer active] When chicken is cooked just right, you can shred is easily with two forks.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 five and a half to six 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, add the chicken, and coat it with a little freshly ground salt and pepper. 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.

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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 that this recipe is going to be good. 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.


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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

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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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