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Easy Chicken Meal Prep – 20 BEST Shredded Chicken Meal Prep Recipes

Oct 10, 2023 | Roundups | 0 comments

Easy Chicken Meal Prep

These easy chicken meal prep ideas are anything but boring! Get the 20 best shredded chicken meal prep recipes, gluten free with so much flavor.

Key Takeaways

  • Chicken is one of the most versatile meal prep foods out there. Prep a batch of shredded chicken at the start of the week and you'll have an easy, healthy protein all week.
  • Shredded chicken meal prep doesn't have to be boring! From enchiladas to cobb salad, the below meal prep recipes will keep things interesting.

If there is one food classically associated with meal prep, it's probably chicken.

When people think of meal prep, they often think of plain chicken breast alongside steamed veggies…not too exciting.

I promise you though, those are NOT the type of shredded chicken meal prep ideas I'm sharing with you today. I'm a big believer that taste is key to sticking to healthy eating goals in the long term. Plus, as a chef, it just feels wrong to me to tell people to eat bland food day after day just because it's healthy. There are SO many healthy but totally delicious meal prep chicken recipes.

I'm going to share what I believe are the 20 BEST shredded chicken recipes below. But first, I'll walk you through three easy methods for making shredded chicken. Whether you prefer the stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot, I've got you covered.

How to Make Shredded Chicken – 3 Ways

The healthy chicken meal prep ideas I'm sharing below are perfect for leftover chicken. Whether you have some rotisserie chicken leftover or you cooked up some shredded chicken for a salad and have leftovers, these are great ways to use them.

Some weeks though, you may want to cook up a batch of shredded chicken solely for meal prep. It's a super versatile ingredient to have on hand, easy to mix and match with different veggies or eat in different forms like salads, wraps and bowls.

If you do want to make shredded chicken as part of your meal prep, you have three easy options: crock pot, Instant Pot or stovetop. I'll walk you through all three so you can choose whichever method you prefer.

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken

If you plan to use your shredded chicken in a variety of ways throughout the week, keep the seasoning simple. Adding salt and pepper before cooking will add flavor while keeping your shredded chicken versatile.

To make crock pot shredded chicken with boneless chicken breast, cook in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high. For boneless chicken thighs, cook in the slow cooker for 5-6 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high. Cooking on low takes longer but results in more tender chicken so choose low if you have time.

Slow cookers do not require any liquid but adding 1/4 cup – 1 cup of water or chicken broth results in juicier meat. Finally, make sure to place your chicken in a single layer in the crock pot for even cooking.

Remember that sizes and cuts of meat vary. Always check your chicken to ensure the internal temperature has reached 165F.

Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the crock pot and shred with two forks.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

The Instant Pot has two advantaged over the slow cooker. First, it cooks more quickly, even when you take into consideration the time it requires to come to pressure. Second, the Instant Pot allows you to safely cook chicken from frozen.

To make shredded chicken in the Instant Pot, first add 1 cup water or chicken broth. Place your chicken on the trivet insert. Cook on high pressure for 10-12 minutes (14-15 minutes for frozen chicken breast or thighs) with a natural pressure release.

Remove your chicken and shred with two forks.

Stovetop Shredded Chicken

Finally, you can make shredded chicken the old fashioned way, on the stovetop. First you'll poach the chicken and then remove it from the liquid and shred with two forks. To poach, add chicken to a large pot, season with salt and pepper and cover with water. After the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover, simmering the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F (10-15 minutes). Check the chicken every couple of minutes to avoid overcooking.

Shredded Chicken Meal Prep – 20 BEST Shredded Chicken Recipes

Now that you have your shredded chicken, let's talk about the best ways to use it! You can of course simply use it to top a salad or in a sandwich but if you want to get a bit more creative, I have some great shredded chicken meal prep recipes for you today. Many of these recipes work well with leftover grilled chicken as well so use what you have!

BLT Lettuce Wraps

1. BLT Lettuce Wraps

Add some shredded chicken to these wraps for an extra protein boost!

Summer Quinoa Salad

2. Summer Quinoa Salad

Summer Quinoa Salad makes a great vegetarian entree or side but if you want something a little heartier, shredded chicken is a great addition.

Gluten Free Enchiladas - Best Shredded Chicken Recipe

3. Enchiladas

Use leftover shredded chicken in these enchiladas to make them super quick and easy.

pesto zoodles

4. Pesto Chicken & Zoodles

Instead of baking chicken in pesto, toss shredded chicken with the homemade pesto for a slightly different version.

Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps for Easy Chicken Meal Prep

5. Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Chicken salad is a classic use for shredded chicken and my version is no exception! With avocado and bacon, these wraps are so tasty.

Paleo Chowder

6. Chicken & Cauliflower Chowder

My paleo chowder uses coconut milk instead of dairy to add that decadent creaminess you're looking for in a chowder. The original recipe calls for chicken sautéed in bacon grease, which is delicious, but you can totally use shredded chicken here too.

Buddha Bowls

7. Southwest Buddha Bowls

With crunchy roasted chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes and a completely addictive almond butter sauce, this Buddha bowl packs in a ton of flavor and texture. Add some shredded chicken for an extra protein boost.

Pesto Stuffed Acorn Squash

8. Spinach Pesto Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is another vegetarian recipe that you could easily adapt to include shredded chicken. It goes so well with pesto!

Turkey Taco Soup

9. Taco Soup

My taco soup is incredibly popular – all of that beloved taco flavor, but in a healthy soup. Sub shredded chicken for ground turkey for an easy chicken meal prep recipe.

BLT Pasta Salad

10. BLT Pasta Salad

Either pasta or zoodles are delicious here. The creamy basil dressing is good on pretty much anything. Add some shredded chicken and enjoy!

Paleo Waldorf Salad

11. Paleo Waldorf Salad

Creamy, crunchy and slightly sweet, this salad is as tasty as it is nostalgic. Shredded chicken is a natural addition here.

Healthy Cobb Salad Recipe

12. Cobb Salad

Who doesn't love a good cobb salad? Sub shredded chicken for shrimp here for a different take on this entree salad.

Teriyaki Bowl Meal Prep

13. Teriyaki Bowl

Originally written with salmon, this teriyaki bowl is just as tasty with chicken. This is another one where the homemade sauce really brings everything together and takes it to the next level.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

14. Chicken Vegetable Soup

It's so simple, but this chicken vegetable soup is one of our most popular recipes! Cozy and vegetable-packed, it's just perfect for a fall or winter night, or for an easy meal prep lunch.

Greek Salad with Chicken

15. Greek Salad with Chicken

Shredded chicken works just as well as baked in this robust salad. Kalamata olives, artichokes and a homemade Greek vinaigrette make this a perfect way to use your meal prep shredded chicken.

Healthy Baked Beans and Coleslaw

16. Chicken with Baked Beans & Coleslaw

I have a big passion for “healthifying” family favorites and I do believe I've been successful here with these healthy baked beans and coleslaw. Serve shredded chicken alongside these tasty sides with a bit of homemade bbq sauce for a family favorite!

Gluten Free Gumbo Recipe

17. Healthy Gumbo

You can either sub shredded chicken for the sausage in this gumbo or just add it to the mix!

Zucchini Pasta Salad

18. Zucchini Pasta Salad

Adding shredded chicken to this zucchini “pasta” salad makes it hearty enough for the perfect summer entree.

Marinated Beet Salad

19. Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted beets, walnuts and goat cheese are such a classic combo, and for very good reason! The addition of fennel makes this one extra special. Add shredded chicken for a protein boost.

Gluten Free Lunch Meal Prep

20. Mix & Match Lunch Meal Prep

Finally, there may be no better way to use shredded chicken than as part of a meal prep lunch! In this meal prep lunch guide, I give you a roadmap to follow for how to put together a satisfying and totally delicious prep-ahead lunch.

FAQ – Everything You Need to Know about Shredded Chicken Meal Prep

Is it okay to meal prep chicken for a week?

While chicken is a wonderfully simple and versatile meal prep ingredient, it won't stay fresh for quite a whole week. Prep chicken for 4-5 days for maximum freshness.

Is it okay to freeze shredded chicken?

Yes, freezing shredded chicken is a wonderful approach to shredded chicken meal prep. You'll always have a simple, healthy protein available for your meals.

What's the easiest meal prep?

Two of the easiest and most useful meal prep items are chopping veggies and making shredded chicken. If you want to make your meal prep even easier, check out our done-for-you Prep Dish meal prep meal plans.

Beginner Menu Guide


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Allison Schaaf Chef, Prep Dish

Prep Dish is a gluten-free, paleo, and keto meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes. Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

Along with a weekly menu, you’ll get a printable grocery list and recipes for prep day — just one day of preparation yields scrumptious, good-for-you dishes all week long. Learn more…

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