Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

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Make delicious Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken in just minutes with this easy recipe! With only 5 ingredients, you'll enjoy pulled or shredded chicken that can be used in a variety of meals!

pulled chicken in a dutch oven.
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Why You'll Love It

  • an easy way to shred juicy chicken breasts into smaller pieces
  • dutch oven cooks faster than a slow cooker in a fraction of the time
  • can be made with boneless chicken breast or tenders
  • creates tender pulled chicken that works in a variety of recipes
  • makes twice the meat of a rotisserie chicken for the same price
  • perfect chicken recipe for meal prep and freezer meals

Easy Prep Time

These dutch oven baked chicken breasts will cut your prep time in half and make your life easier for the week ahead!

In less than one hour, you'll have enough shredded meat to make multiple meals for your family. It's twice as much as you get from a rotisserie chicken breast for the same price!

shredding the chicken with 2 forks in dutch oven.

Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken can be frozen or stored in the refrigerator for a quick and easy dinner. It can also be added to your favorite casserole dish, Mexican recipes and soups to make delicious one-pot meals.

You'll love how fast and easy it is to shred tender chicken breasts in a cast-iron dutch oven. With very little effort, you can add different spices such as thyme, rosemary or taco seasoning to create all types of new recipes...all from one pot!

Why Cook in a Dutch Oven?

  • A cast-iron dutch oven retains heat and cooks more evenly than a crockpot. The even heat distribution also prevents hot and cold spots in your food.
  • The cooking time will be less than a slow cooker, and the chicken will turn out more tender and juicy.
  • Quality dutch ovens have tight fighting lids that trap steam and aid in tenderizing meat.

Ingredients

You'll only need 5 ingredients for this recipe plus a drizzle of olive oil if desired. See recipe card for quantities.

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts - can substitute tenders or thighs for dark meat
  • garlic salt - the perfect seasoning for all types of recipes
  • black pepper - pairs well with garlic salt
  • onion powder - provides flavor without cutting an onion
  • chicken broth - keeps the meat moist and juicy during and after cooking
ingredients needed for Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken.

Equipment

How to Cook Chicken Breasts in a Dutch Oven

Add chicken to the bottom of the pot. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over chicken breasts if desired.

olive oil drizzled on chicken.

Season chicken breasts with garlic salt, black pepper and onion powder. Add broth.

chicken before going into the oven.

Place lid on top and braise chicken in a 350ºF oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the temperature of the meat reaches 165ºF.

chicken after baking.

How to Pull and Shred Chicken

There's a difference between pulled and shredded meat. Pulled chicken is what you get when you initially use forks to pull the meat apart. Shredded chicken happens when you take it another step and use forks or a mixer to break it down even further.

I like to use both pulled and shredded meat in my recipes. So, I start by pulling it with forks first and setting some aside to shred. Then I use the paddle attachment on my stand mixer (ad) on low speed to break it down into shreds. You can also use forks to shred the meat, but it's much easier to crank up the mixer!

To pull the meat apart, use 2 forks and go with the grain or you'll meet resistance. Using the forks, pull it apart in opposite directions. Make sure you do this while the meat is warm or it will be much harder to pull.

using forks to pull the chicken in a dutch oven.

To shred the meat, continue to pull apart with forks into smaller pieces, or use a mixer to break up the pieces into shreds.

shredding the chicken in a dutch oven and putting it in a bowl.

Recipe FAQs

How much meat does this recipe make?

If using 2 ½ pounds of chicken breasts, it will yield 4 cups of pulled chicken breast or 6 cups of shredded meat to use in different recipes. I like to split it up and use the pulled type for BBQ sandwiches and salads, then shred it further with a mixer for casseroles and tacos.

What is the best dutch oven to buy?

My favorite dutch oven is made by Lodge and holds 6 quarts. It cooks just about anything you can dream up, and is easy to clean because of the enamel finish.

Is it easier to pull chicken hot or cold?

It's much easier to pull the meat apart when it is warm, but not directly out of the oven or it will be too hot. Let it rest about 10 minutes and then begin pulling it in opposite directions with two forks.

What Recipes Can Be Made With Pulled Chicken?

Pulled or shredded chicken can be used in any dish that calls for rotisserie or cooked chicken. In addition to using it in Mexican dishes, try these other great recipes...

pulled chicken in baja tacos.
Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken Tacos

Top Tips

  • Add any type of seasonings you like before or after cooking to create a variety of recipes. The seasonings used in this recipe are basic so other spices can be added if desired. 
  • Be sure to use broth to keep the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pot and ensure it stays tender and juicy.
  • Shred meat with the grain. If you try to shred against the grain you'll meet resistance.
  • Olive oil is optional, but it adds moisture to the meat. For moistness and flavor, mix the chicken with the broth and do not drain.
  • If using a stand mixer to shred meat, use the paddle attachment for best results.
bowl of shredded chicken next to a dutch oven.

Meal Prep Ideas

I like to divide the meat into portions and season it differently depending on the recipe I'm making. Here are some great meal prep and freezer meal ideas...

Storage and Freezing

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Place frozen leftovers in the refrigerator to thaw overnight and use in recipes as needed. You can also add the meat to soups and stew while frozen and it will thaw as it cooks.

For meal prep, the easiest and best way to prevent freezer burn is to use a vacuum sealer. (ad) Simply add leftovers to the bag and vacuum seal it, then store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

More Dutch Oven Recipes

Recipe Card

pulled and shredded chicken in a red dutch oven.

Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

Make delicious Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken in just minutes with this easy recipe! With only 5 ingredients, you'll enjoy pulled or shredded chicken that can be used in a variety of meals!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 82kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • olive oil drizzle (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Add chicken to the bottom of the pot. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over chicken breasts if desired.
  • Season chicken breasts with garlic salt, black pepper and onion powder. Add broth to the pot.
  • Place lid on top and braise chicken in a 350ºF oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.
  • Let meat rest about 10 minutes in the dutch oven. While it is still warm, begin the pulling or shredding process directly in the pot.
  • To pull the meat apart, use 2 forks and go with the grain or you'll meet resistance. Using the forks, pull it apart in opposite directions.
  • To shred the meat, continue to pull it apart with forks into smaller thin pieces, or use a hand mixer directly into the dutch oven to break up the pieces into shreds.
  • If using a stand mixer, transfer the chicken into the mixing bowl and use the paddle attachment on low speed to shred it further. Return chicken to broth in dutch oven to keep it warm and moist until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Add any type of seasonings before or after cooking to create a variety of recipes. The seasonings used in this recipe are basic so other spices can be added if desired. 
  • Be sure to use broth to keep the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pot and ensure it stays tender and juicy.
  • Shred meat with the grain. If you try to shred against the grain you'll meet resistance.
  • Olive oil is optional, but it adds moisture to the meat. For moistness and flavor, mix the chicken with the broth and do not drain.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • View the Google Web Story for Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken!

Nutrition

Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.2g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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2 Comments

    1. Yes! This recipe doubles well and the dutch oven will hold the extra chicken without any problem.

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