Boiled chicken breast is an easy way to make chicken for meal prep, batch cooking, or to add to a casserole.

Shredded chicken breasts are the ultimate protein for everything from salads to soups or even to add to a buffalo chicken dip! This chicken is super easy to make and comes out juicy and tender.

Boiled Chicken Breast shredded in a dish

Best Chicken Breast

  • This is an easy way to prepare chicken for casseroles, soups, or salads.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are low in calories and high in nutrition.
  • They come out moist and juicy every time!
  • The broth or cooking liquid is perfect for soups or cooking rice or pasta.
  • Boiled chicken freezes beautifully, so stock up for quick and easy future meals.

cooking chicken to make Boiled Chicken Breast


CHICKEN I most often used boneless chicken breast but if you have bone-in (aka split chicken breasts) use those! The skin and bones will add extra flavor to the meat and the broth. (You can boil a whole chicken too).

FLAVORING To flavor the chicken (and the broth) add a rib of celery (cut in half) and a few slices of onion. If you have fresh herbs, add a couple of sprigs of those in too.

BROTH/WATER Boiling chicken in broth adds flavor to the chicken and the chicken adds flavor to the broth, it’s a win-win! It’s fine to boil chicken in water too. Add a little salt and pepper for flavor, if desired.

KITCHEN TIP: Keep the Liquid

  • If boiling in broth, strain the broth and use it for soups or to add to recipes.
  • If boiling in water, use the water to cook rice or boil pasta for dinner, it will add an extra layer of flavor.

How to Boil Chicken Breast

Boiled chicken breast has to be one of the easiest ways to prepare chicken ever!

  1. Add just enough broth or water to cover fresh or frozen chicken breasts in a saucepan.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, & fresh herbs if using. Add a rib of celery and a few slices of onion.
  3. Cook breasts just until the meat is cooked (per recipe below).

More Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts

Boiled Chicken Breast cooking in the pot

How to Shred Chicken

Shredding boiled chicken is super easy, and you don’t have to wait until it’s completely cooled. DO let it rest and cool for at least 10 minutes so it stays tender and juicy.

  1. With a fork in each hand, start at one end of the boiled chicken breast and gently pierce the meat.
  2. Pull away from the meat until it starts to shred away. Continue to shred the meat until the pieces are at the desired size. Easy peasy!

Chicken can also be shredded in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Simply place the chicken in a bowl and let the mixer do the work.

Saving Boiled Chicken

Keep shredded chicken in individual zippered bags for last-minute portioning in the fridge, up to 5 days or the freezer up to 8 weeks. Definitely save the broth the chicken was boiled in to make rice or to use as a base for a soup or stew. Or, freeze broth in ice cube trays and pop one out to season a gravy or sauce!

Shredded Chicken Recipes

Did you make these Boiled Chicken Breasts? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Boiled Chicken Breast shredded in a dish
5 from 57 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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How to Boil Chicken Breasts

This method is the easiest way to cook chicken, and it comes out moist and tender every time!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rest Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 breasts
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  • 2 chicken breasts 7 oz each
  • 2 cups broth or water, or as needed
  • 1 rib celery
  • 2 thick slices onion
  • salt & pepper and herbs to taste
  • 2 sprigs fresh herbs optional


  • Place chicken breasts in a saucepan and add enough liquid to just about cover the breasts.
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cook boneless chicken breasts for about 12-15 minutes or bone in chicken breasts for 25-30 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Remove from the cooking liquid and rest at least 5 minutes before cutting or shredding.
  • Cooking liquid can be strained and used for soups or even as a cooking liquid for rice.


Larger chicken breasts will need longer, smaller chicken breasts will need less time.
Allow chicken to rest on a plate 10 minutes before shredding.
5 from 57 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 269 | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 1202mg | Potassium: 836mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 568IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken
Cuisine American
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Boiled Chicken Breast shredded on a plate
plated shredded Boiled Chicken Breast
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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Recipe Rating


  1. I’ve done this many times now. It’s super easy and tasty. I use it when making chicken enchiladas. I like the shredded texture better than cubed chicken.5 stars

  2. I’ve never boiled chicken before and started a low calorie diet plan that calls for boiling chicken, so I did a Google search and chose this recipe at random. It turned out great and the broth is delicious! I don’t know if I’ll ever want to bake or fry chicken again, so easy and less mess too! Since I’m on a strict diet, I used one cup of low sodium vegetable broth and one cup of water, then added pepper, a little salt, dash of garlic powder, sprinkle of dried basil, and cut up chunks of celery. I will be using the broth for a midnight snack when my evening cravings kick in…5 stars

  3. i have been wondering about how to make ahead chicken and how long to keep in fridge or freezer. thank you so much for this article,. if you want to save the broth, can you just let it cool and put in a jar and keep in the fridge. if so how long will the broth be good. thank you so much