The easiest creamy shredded chicken! It comes together in about 30-minutes and is perfect for tacos, rice bowls, burritos, and meal prep.

Quick Shredded Chicken

Everything about this creamy shredded chicken recipe is insanely simple. No need to take out your crockpot or instant pot. This quick shredded chicken is made on the stovetop in about 30 minutes.

The secret to this recipe is chicken tenders. Normally shredded chicken is made with chicken breast, which is great in their own way, however, chicken tenders cook in half the time.

The result is insanely tender, creamy, and flavorful chicken. This will become your go-to chicken recipe!

What Are Some Dinner Ideas for Shredded Chicken?

Creamy shredded chicken is an easy, time-saving trick for quick meals during the week. It’s a staple recipe to have on hand when you’re short on time. Here are some of our favorite dinner ideas for shredded chicken:

Ingredients for Stove Top Shredded Chicken

You’ll need the following ingredients to make shredded chicken on the stove top. It may seem a lot but you’re basically adding all of the ingredients to a dutch-oven at once. Super easy!

  • Chicken tenders
  • Fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Salsa verde
  • Chicken broth
  • Green chilies
  • White onion
  • Garlic
  • Spices – chili pepper, cumin, salt
  • Cream cheese
  • Lime
  • Cilantro
Ingredients for quick shredded chicken

How to Make Quick Shredded Chicken – Step by Step

Step 1: In a 4-quart dutch-oven combine the following ingredients: chicken, tomatoes, salsa, broth, chilies, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt.

Place the dutch oven over medium heat and let it come to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Instruction on how to make shredded chicken on the stove top

Step 2: Uncover the dutch-oven and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes longer or until the chicken is cooked through.

Overhead cooked chicken in a dutch oven

Step 3: Remove the dutch-oven off the heat and shred the chicken with two forks. If it’s too hot, let the chicken cool slightly before shredding.

Shredded chicken inside dutch oven

Step 4: Return back to the stove and stir in the cream cheese.

Shredded chicken with cream cheese in a dutch oven

Step 5: Turn off heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro.

Step by step on how to make creamy chicken on the stove top

How to Shred Chicken

The are a few different ways to shred cooked chicken. My personal favorite is the fork method. I find it to be easy and quick. Plus it doesn’t require any crazy equipment. You simply need two forks. For this specific recipe, I used serving forks. But dinner forks work just as good.

Simply use the forks to pull the tenders apart until desired consistency. It helps to let the chicken cool slightly before shredding so you don’t burn your hands with hot steam. 

How Do You Store Shredded Chicken in the Freezer?

Leftover shredded chicken will keep refrigerated up to 4 days. You can also freeze the shredded chicken. Once it has completely cooled, transfer the chicken to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thaw out overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove top over medium heat. I personally like to freeze shredded chicken in 1-2 cup portions. That way it’s easier to thaw out and you can reach for it anytime you need a serving of chicken. 

Close up stove top creamy shredded chicken in a dutch oven

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easy shredded chicken on the stove top

Easy Stove Top Creamy Shredded Chicken

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

The easiest creamy shredded chicken! It comes together in about 30-minutes on the stove top in one pot, and is perfect for tacos, rice bowls, burritos, and meal prep.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup medium salsa verde
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can mild chopped green chilies
  • 1/2 small white onion, diced, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Combine the chicken tenders, tomatoes, salsa, broth, chilies, onions, chili powder, cumin, salt, and garlic in a 4-quart dutch-oven.
  2. Place the dutch-oven over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Uncover, increase the heat to medium, and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove the dutch-oven off heat and using two forks, shred the chicken in the dutch-oven. Return to the heat and stir in the cream cheese. Turn the heat off and stir in lime juice and cilantro.

Notes

  • Variations: Use mild salsa instead of medium for some heat. For smoky flavor, stir in 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.
  • To Freeze: Leftover shredded chicken will keep refrigerated up to 4 days. You can also freeze the chicken. Once it has completely cooled, transfer the chicken to an airtight container or a ziploc bag and store in the freezer up to 3 months. Thaw out overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove top over medium heat.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 307
  • Sugar: 6.4 g
  • Sodium: 1210 mg
  • Fat: 11.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.8 g
  • Protein: 37.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 130 mg

Keywords: easy, quick, meal prep, pulled chicken