How Much Shredded Chicken Per Person (For Tacos, Burgers & More)

Ahh, shredded chicken. The leaner and more versatile cousin of pulled pork. Fit for tacos, chicken bake, burgers, pizza’s and more.

I guess this is why it’s so popular as a choice of meal when cooking it for a crowd. The number one rule to adhere to though, is making sure you cook enough of it to go around!

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here at GrillSimply we know how to cook a feast. 

If you’re thinking about cooking chicken tacos, or anything else you need shredded chicken for, look no further. 

Here’s how much shredded chicken you need per person, how much you can get from one chicken breast, and some other expert catering tips for preparing shredded chicken for any size crowd.

Although the exact amount of shredded chicken you will need per person depends on the dish you are preparing, there is a general rule you can follow.

That is, you should plan to serve between ½ to ⅓ of a pound of cooked shredded chicken per person. 

If chicken is the main ingredient in your dish, then you’ll want to prepare ½ a pound of cooked shredded chicken per person, like when cooking Mexican chicken, a chicken bake, or even a shredded chicken wrap.

But, if you are serving other ingredients, meats, or foods with your meal, then you’ll want to prepare ⅓ of a pound of shredded chicken per person. This is for delicious meals like shredded chicken burgers or tacos. 

Of course, this should be used as a guide, and will depend on the event, time of day, and who you are serving. Always remember: preparing more is always better than preparing less!

How Much Shredded Chicken Is Needed For 10 People

Serving shredded chicken to a crowd of ten people is hardly a challenge, as long as you have enough to go around! Just remember to prepare:

As The Main Ingredient: You’ll need at least 5 pounds of shredded chicken for ten people so that each person gets half a pound of shredded chicken. For this you’ll need roughly 6 chicken breasts.

In Tacos/Burgers: When serving shredded chicken tacos or burgers, you’ll only need around 3.3 pounds of shredded chicken for ten people! This is about 4 chicken breasts worth.

How Much Shredded Chicken Is Needed For 25 People

Things start heating up in the kitchen when you’re preparing to serve food for 20 people. Prepare in advance, and make sure you have at least:

As The Main Ingredient: 12.5 pounds of cooked shredded chicken is needed to feed 25 people when it’s the main ingredient of the dish! This is roughly 16 chicken breasts in total.

In Tacos/Burgers: You’ll only need about 8.25 pounds of shredded chicken as filling for tacos or burgers for 25 people. This is so that each person gets roughly a third of a pound. About 12 chicken breasts are needed.

How Much Shredded Chicken Is Needed For 50 People

Alright, step aside. Cooking food for 50 people is no small feat. Remove the guesswork and prepare enough shredded chicken for the whole crowd. You’ll need:

As The Main Ingredient: Be sure to prep at least 25 pounds of shredded chicken for 50 people, making sure each person has half a pound of chicken each. This means you’ll need 32 chicken breasts!

In Tacos/Burgers: For chicken tacos or shredded chicken burgers, you’ll still need to prepare roughly 16.5 pounds of shredded chicken for your 50 guests. Around 24 whole chicken breasts.

How Much Shredded Chicken Is Needed For 100 People

As challenging and tiring it can be serving food for a hefty crowd of up to 100 people, the feeling you get after service is like no other. Don’t let the pressure get to you. You’ve got this!

As The Main Ingredient: You’ll need to prepare a whole 50 pounds of shredded chicken for your 100 guests. Get yourself ready, because if you’re using chicken breasts that’s about 60 average sized chicken breasts!

In Tacos/Burgers: For your guests to truly be satisfied, when serving chicken tacos or burgers, make sure you have at least 33 pounds of shredded chicken to go around. Roughly ⅓ of a pound for each guest, requiring about 42 chicken breasts.

What Piece Of Chicken Makes Shredded Chicken

So, once you know exactly how much shredded chicken you’ll need for your meal or event, then you’ll need to cook and shred your chicken.

If you’re wondering what the best cut of chicken is for making shredding chicken, well, it comes down to preference. 

However, most often shredded chicken is made from boneless chicken breast. This is because it’s so easy, consistent, and shreds well. It’s also easier if it’s skinless chicken breast, and you can even shred smoked chicken breast too!

You can choose to use boneless chicken thighs, but it pulls slightly differently. You can even choose to use a mix if that suits you.

How Much Shredded Chicken From One Chicken Breast

If you’ve decided you want to use chicken breast to make pulled chicken, then you may be wondering how much one breast actually yields?

Well, if you’re looking at a normal sized chicken breast, you can expect to get about 1 ½ cups of shredded chicken, or ¾ of a pound. This will be enough for roughly 3-4 servings if you’re preparing tacos or burgers, or about 2 servings if you’re using it in a shredded chicken-based dish.

How To Make Shredded Chicken For A Crowd

It’s easy to prepare delicious shredded chicken, or pulled chicken, from chicken breast simply by preparing your chicken in advance. 

Still, following a no-fuss guide helps. Here’s out guide for making shredded chicken easily:

  1. Decide exactly how much shredded chicken you will need, remembering that one chicken breast will tend to yield about .75 pounds of shredded chicken.
  2. Place your chicken breasts in a large pot (or do it in batches if you’re cooking heaps!)
  3. Handsomely season them with salt and pepper, and your choice of other seasonings depending on your dish of choice.
  4. Cover the chicken so that there’s an extra 1-2 inches of water above them and bring it to the boil.
  5. After boiling, turn the temperature down and let it simmer for up to 15 minutes, checking internal temperature for doneness.
  6. Once the chicken has hit 165°F remove it from the water and keep it covered for 5 minutes to cool a bit. You can keep some chicken broth for soup or stock!
  7. After about 5 minutes, use two forks, your hands, or a hand mixer to shred your chicken!

Boiling chicken is always best for shredding it, as it yields the most consistent, soft, and tender results! However, instant pot shredded chicken can come out amazing too. So, you can choose your method according to your preference, from using a slow cooker, instant pot, to a pressure cooker.

How To Keep Shredded Chicken Warm?

While you’re serving food for your event, whether it’s just a family dinner or a large party, you want your shredded chicken to be nice and warm when it’s ready to eat.

With shredded chicken, it’s entirely OK to prepare it well in advance of the event, and simply reheat it and keep it warm while serving.

So, the best way to keep shredded chicken warm for large crowd is using the oven method:

  • Place your shredded chicken in an oven safe dish with a small cup of broth, stock, or sauce. 
  • Cover it with foil, and set the oven to the lowest setting, usually around 150-160°F. 
  • Because of the added liquid, the chicken will heat up without drying out!

How Long Can You Keep Shredded Chicken Leftovers?

Shredded chicken can be prepared a day or two in advance, and if it’s been boiled then it hardly loses its quality over this time. This is why it’s so popular in weekly meal prep!

After shredding your chicken, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days, but it will last in the freezer for up to 6 months if it’s been vacuum packed and sealed properly.

Wrap Up

Shredded chicken is one of the most underappreciated meats to use as taco meat, burger filling, in chicken salad, the list goes on.

Compared to other meats it’s also incredibly easy to prepare for a crowd, because you can precook it, and just assemble it into your dish when it’s time for serving.

If chicken is your main ingredient in the dish you will need ½ a pound of shredded chicken per person, but if you’re preparing tacos or burgers, you’ll only need ⅓ of a pound of shredded chicken per person.

For other amazing meat cooking, preparation, and catering guides check out our other content:

Cooking Brisket For A Crowd
How Much Pulled Pork Per Person
How Much Skirt Steak For A Crowd
Preparing Garlic Bread For A Feast
How Much Tri-Tip Per Person 
Cooking Beef Tenderloin For A Crowd

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