How to Boil Chicken Breasts

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Get ahead on your week with this easy meal prep chicken recipe! How to Boil Chicken Breasts is my simple tutorial that will give you juicy, flavorful shredded chicken that you can use for just about everything.

For the most perfect and amazingly tender baked chicken, grab my very popular recipe for Oven Baked Chicken Breasts.

boiled chicken breasts in a dutch oven

Juicy Chicken Breasts for Meal Prep

Now that everyone is getting to the end of their summer, it seems like a good time to start thinking about meal prep, again. Whether for school, homeschool, work, or just saving time across the board, meal prep is a great habit to start.

This easy recipe gives you a ton of yummy shredded chicken that’s perfectly juicy and ready to portion out for several days’ worth of meals. It’s well-seasoned, yet neutral, so it goes with everything.

Trust me, this is a game changer! You’re going to love this simple and healthy recipe, and all the time it saves.

shredded boiled chicken breasts in a white serving bowl

What You’ll Need

This easy method uses plain ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Feel free to double or even triple the recipe, because you’ll need it… plus, it freezes beautifully.

  • Chicken: One batch of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 to 1.5 pounds of chicken).
  • Broth: You can use veggie broth or chicken broth, enough to cover the chicken. That’s about 4 cups.
  • Garlic Powder: Use ½ tablespoon garlic powder to season.
  • Dried Herbs: Here’s where you can make it your own. Any kind of dried or fresh herbs will work well. Italian Seasoning, dried rosemary, a mix of dried rosemary and thyme, whatever you like!
  • Salt and Pepper: I find that a teaspoon of each is just right. Peppercorns work just as well.

How to Boil Chicken Breasts

This method is practically foolproof! To make sure that the chicken doesn’t dry out or overcook (or worse, undercook!) we’ll be using an Instant-Read thermometer to check for doneness.

  1. Place Ingredients in a Large Pot. Place the chicken in a large pot, followed by the chicken broth, garlic powder, herbs, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cook. Cover the pot, and bring everything to a boil. Then reduce heat to low, and simmer the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken registers at 165˚F. Use your handy instant-read meat thermometer to check for doneness. The thicker the breasts, the longer it will take to cook through.
  3. Shred the Cooked Chicken. Remove the chicken breasts from the broth, reserving 1 cup of broth and tossing out the rest. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat. If the chicken seems dry, add a bit of the reserved broth and stir to allow the chicken to absorb the liquid.
  4. Enjoy! Serve immediately, or put in an airtight container and refrigerate.
boiling chicken breasts in a dutch oven

Tips for Success

You’re probably feeling ready to knock out some meal prep, but before you get started, hang on one sec! Take a minute to look over these handy tips, first.

  • Have It Your Way: While I usually shred my chicken, you can definitely leave it whole, chop it, slice it, or cube it. Whatever works for you or for the recipe that you’re going to make.
  • Use Thighs: Thighs also make wonderful pulled or shredded chicken. They also take longer to cook, so be sure to use a thermometer to check for doneness.

How To Boil Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot

  • This recipe can also be made in the Instant Pot! Cook chicken breasts on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for five minutes or so, and then quick release the rest of the pressure.
  • See my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Breasts for more information.

How to Use Shredded Chicken

You can use this recipe in all kinds of ways! Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Salad: Top a salad with shredded chicken for a light and healthy lunch or dinner. This Very Berry Avocado Salad is perfect with chicken!
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Stuff shredded chicken into a sandwich, pita, or wrap with a delicious dressing like this Honey Mustard. Mmm.
  • Casserole: Throw shredded chicken into a favorite casserole, like this Cheesy Chicken Cauliflower Rice Casserole. Dinner? Done!
  • And More: Tacos, quesadillas, soups, burrito bowls, dips, barbecue… the possibilities are endless!
shredded boiled chicken breasts in a white serving bowl

How to Store and Reheat Shredded Chicken Breast

  • To store leftovers in the fridge, place them in airtight containers or food storage bags and refrigerate for up to 4 days. 
  • To freeze, place in freezer bags and press out as much air as possible before sealing. Freeze for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  • Use cold, or reheat over low heat in a covered saucepan or skillet.


5 from 10 votes
boiled chicken breasts in a dutch oven

How To Boil Chicken Breasts

0 3 0
WW Freestyle: 0
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Juicy, tender boiled chicken is easy and fast using this simple stovetop method. Use boiled chicken in sandwiches, salads, soups, casseroles, tacos, and more!
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 165


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, about 1 to 1.5 pounds of chicken
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken broth, or enough to cover the chicken
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried herbs, you can use Italian Seasoning, dried rosemary, dried oregano, or a mix of dried rosemary, oregano, and thyme, etc…
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste


  • Place chicken in a large pot.
  • To the pot, add chicken broth; add enough broth to cover the chicken breasts.
  • Stir in garlic powder, dried herbs, salt, and pepper.
  • Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until internal temperature of the chicken registers at 165˚F. Please use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for doneness. The thicker the breasts, the longer it will take to cook through.
  • Remove chicken breasts from the liquid; reserve 1 cup of liquid and toss out the rest.
  • Transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board and, using two forks, shred the meat.
  • You can also place the chicken breasts in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on low for about a minute, or until chicken is shredded.
  • If shredded chicken looks dry, add a little bit of the reserved liquid and stir to combine.
    Taste for salt, pepper, and seasonings; adjust accordingly.
  • Serve chicken immediately, or put in an airtight container and refrigerate.


  • Use shredded chicken throughout the week for casseroles, sandwiches, salads, tacos, etc…
  • NET CARBS: 3 g
Nutrition Facts
How To Boil Chicken Breasts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 767mg32%
Potassium 599mg17%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 75IU2%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Keywords: chicken meal prep, shredded chicken

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24 Responses
  1. Kas

    Greetings, Thank You for sharing. I recently learned I can’t have garlic, onion which is in broth. I used water and the other herbs, but it came out dry. Is there something else I can add? I also don’t want to make my own broth because I already have to make everything I eat and am not too happy about it. Any suggestions are welcome.

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Dry chicken isn’t because of the flavor of the liquid; it just means that the chicken cooked for too long. If possible, always try to use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken is done when internal temperature registers at 165˚F. Keep in mind that the cook time will always depend on the size of the chicken breasts.

      To help out with the broth situation, I would suggest for you to add 1 tablespoon of butter for every 1 cup of water (use water, not broth), plus add in all those herbs, and that should definitely help with the taste.

  2. Beth

    I cooked some chicken breasts yesterday using your helpful tips and they turned out great. I am using some in my quesadillas tonight.

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Katerina of Diethood
Hey There!
I'm Katerina, a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

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