Is There an Easier Way to Shred Chicken?

Now doesn't that look insanely delicious?

One of my favorite appetizer/snack dips of all time is Buffalo Chicken Dip, a recipe I found on the Frank’s RedHot Sauce website a few years ago. Mr. NSF just looooves hot sauce, to the point where he’ll pour a few tablespoons down his throat for a “snack.” I’m not 100% behind hot, spicy foods — it usually depends on what the dish is, and how the heat is added to it — but this dip is great. To be honest, I reduce the amount of hot sauce I put into it, but it still has plenty of kick. Our friends love it.

Anyway, I was making this dip tonight, and it calls for shredded chicken. I dutifully boiled two chicken breasts and then set about shredding it the old-fashioned way, with two forks. I’m thinking there has to be a better, easier way to tear that stuff apart. After a while, my knuckles start to lock up and I get fed up.

After searching the Internet for alternate methods, I only found two — and neither appeals to me. One says to put the chicken breast in a food processor for a few seconds, “but be careful that you don’t puree it.” Ick. The other isn’t much better — using an electric hand mixer to do the job.

So two forks it is!

Here’s the recipe, modified the way I make it, for anyone who’s interested. You can use any kind of shredded cheese, too. Double the recipe for a crowd.

I substitute lower-fat or fat-free items where I can, but it’s still pretty damned indulgent. I serve the dip hot with tortilla chips.

Buffalo Chicken Dip


8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (I use Neufchatel or 1/3 less fat cream cheese)

1/2 cup ranch salad dressing (I use light or fat-free)

1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce (I knock this down to 1/3 cup)

1/2 cup cheddar cheese (cheddar/Monterey jack blend is delish, too)

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded


Heat oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.

Mix in ranch dressing, Frank’s RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken.

Bake for 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or vegetables.

12 comments to Is There an Easier Way to Shred Chicken?

  • I fully endorse this recipe!

    A few years ago, a coworker invited me to a huge birthday bash she was having for her husband’s 50th. To be polite, I asked if there was anything she needed help with or I could bring. She said, “Well yes, in fact there is.” And proceeded to ask me to make this buffalo chicken dip recipe for a LOT of people!

    She bought all the supplies (which I appreciated) but there I was on Friday night, boiling 12 chicken breasts…

    Everyone loved the dip though!

  • Money Funk

    I put on weight just reading this! Lol. My (Hispanic)friend was shredding chicken the other night with two forks. I was genuinely impressed by his skills. I heard this recipe is really good. I will need to give it a try! Thx.

    • Penny

      @Money Funk: It’s definitely not a dip for those on a diet, even with my lower-fat alternatives. Let me know how it turns out if you make it!

  • Carlo

    Um… this may be a stupid suggestion, but what about using a cheese shredder. LOL Can you tell I’m a chicken-shredder virgin?

    • Penny

      @Carlo: You’re not the first person to suggest that to me! That sounds gross, since I’m not a fan of playing with my meat.

      Um, that came out wrong.

  • I “shred” chicken by chopping it finely – first across the breast into slices like you’d find on a chicken caesar salad, then julienning those slices into smaller ones. It doesn’t have quite the same visual effect, but I’m a heck of a lot faster with the knife than with two forks.

  • Dianne

    Now, I need buffalo chicken dip!! Thanks a lot!

  • Wow that looks good! I can envision this a good addition to catching an NFL game on TV, with people over.

    It’s early evening as I type this, and my hunger was activated by that picture and recipe:)

  • Kate

    I order this at my local pub and love it! Thanks for the recipe. Sorry, no advice on the chicken shredding.

  • Lisa

    The best way to shred chicken is cook it in a crock pot for 4 hours on high with a little chicken broth (or whatever flavors you want). WHen it’s finished the chicken falls apart so easily and it much moister and tastier than boiled! After I figured this out, I never boiled it again!

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