Instant Pot chicken tacos is just 4 easy ingredients and minutes to prep, but has such delicious flavor! Use the shredded chicken mix for tacos, nachos, grain bowls, sliders, salads and more!
We love some tacos in my house. Taco night is always a good night.
My kiddos, who are 10 and 8, currently eat 4 tacos each on taco night. My son sometimes opts for 5. 😳 What am I gonna do when they are teenagers?!
While we all adore our standard ground turkey tacos, I also like to change it up.
We even make breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs and sausage and cheese!
Today though, I’m so excited to share with you these Instant Pot chicken tacos.
They are so easy to make and come out with such incredible flavor!
Which just fits the bill for me most nights of the week.
All you do is season your chicken breasts with taco seasoning and add to the Instant Pot insert along with some jarred salsa and chicken broth.
And that is all, folks! Set it and get the rest of your meal and toppings ready to eat because dinner is going to be ready soon!
Once cooked, just shred the chicken and toss it back in with the sauce to get coated with all of the flavors from the salsa liquid. It helps it stay nice and moist, too. No dried out chicken here!
Then you’re ready to stuff your tacos with this delicious, juicy, flavorful shredded chicken. Then you’re ready to stuff your face.
And one of the things I love most about this recipe is that it’s just 4 ingredients and takes about 3 minutes to prep in the Instant Pot.
Talk about winning at dinnertime! 🙌
(If you are interested, you can also check out this slow cooker Mexican shredded chicken that’s very similar and super hands off in the crock pot.)
OK, let’s get cooking.
Now, I’ve got those notes and tips coming up below on how to make Instant Pot chicken tacos. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making Instant Pot chicken tacos:
- Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts but you could substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Frozen chicken: You can also use frozen chicken breasts for this recipe. You’ll just need to increase the cook time under pressure to 12 minutes. (That info is listed in the recipe card below as well.)
- Salsa: I prefer a chunky, jarred salsa for this. It will break down into the sauce without becoming too runny or liquidy like a fresh salsa or a more pureed salsa might. (So if you’re making an easy homemade salsa, leave it a little chunkier.)
- Salsa part 2: Feel free to use a mild, medium or hot salsa depending on your tastes. You could also use a flavored salsa if you want to change up the flavor here.
- Taco seasoning: You can use store-bought taco seasoning or make my easy homemade taco seasoning.
And it couldn’t be easier to make this.
Just season your chicken breasts with the taco seasoning and add them to the Instant Pot along with the salsa and chicken broth.
Seal, set and that’s it! Just 8 minutes of cook time and dinner is ready.
However, a quick disclaimer: Instant Pot recipes often fail to mention the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure or to release it.
I have found it misleading when trying to plan, so I wanted to be sure to include it here.
I’ve included 15 minutes of “additional time” to account for the amount of time it will take for the pot to come to pressure and then the time for the quick release. The exact amount of time can vary, but that’s at least a rough estimate.
Oh and in case you’re in the market for one, I have and love this 6-quart Instant Pot.
Now, let’s talk about add-ins. Because while this is a super flavorful recipe, you can certainly change up the flavor a bit.
Add-ins for Instant Pot chicken tacos:
- Onions: Saute a small onion in oil in the Instant Pot until tender, then add the chicken and proceed with the recipe.
- Peppers: Same thing. Feel free to saute some diced bell peppers - and/or jalapeno - with or without the onion before starting the recipe below.
- Green chilies: You can add a can of diced green chilies along with the salsa before cooking the chicken for some extra flavor.
- Corn: Stir in some fresh, frozen or canned corn after you’ve cooked and shredded the chicken, before serving.
- Beans: You could also stir in some black or pinto beans to your chicken mixture before serving if desired.
- Creamy: Want to make some creamy chicken tacos? Totally do-able. Add ½ to ⅔ cup of plain Greek yogurt to the chicken mixture after you’ve cooked and shredded it and stir it into the sauce. You can also add a few tablespoons of cream cheese if you’d like.
So many ways to make this your own and change up the flavor!
Speaking of customizations, let’s talk toppings.
Tacos would not be tacos without toppings if you ask me. Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking…
Toppings for Instant Pot chicken tacos:
- Shredded lettuce or cabbage
- Extra shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Sliced avocado or a dollop of guacamole
- Salsa or pico de gallo
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Hot sauce or sriracha
- Pickled red onions
- Pickled or fresh jalapeños
- Fresh lime juice
Mix and match with your favorites and let everyone customize their own.
OK, now we are ready to eat!
Let’s talk serving…
We make our tacos with brown rice along with the chicken and toppings, so they are a complete meal on their own.
However, you could also do some steamed rice on the side, with or without some black beans. Or do a fun side like confetti brown rice.
You could also add a side salad or some Mexican coleslaw if you’d like. It’s addictive!
And if you want to get creative, here are a few more ideas of ways to use this chicken.
Ways to use Instant Pot chicken tacos:
– Make hard or soft shell tacos
– Top a rice or grain bowl with this chicken and some veggies
– Scatter some shredded chicken on top of chips with cheese to make nachos (or use for these loaded chicken nachos)
– Use it to tuck inside burritos or enchiladas
– Serve it cold in a wrap or on top of a salad
– It’s also great for sliders or on burger buns with some coleslaw
Here’s one more FAQ I get a lot…
How do you make shredded chicken?
- After your chicken is cooked through in the Instant Pot, remove the breasts (or thighs, if that’s what you are using) to a separate bowl.
- Use two forks and pull the chicken pieces apart from one end to the other, to create long shredded strands.
- You can also shred chicken in a blender by pulsing until it is broken down. Just be careful not to overdo it.
- Or you can use a stand or hand mixer to shred warm, cooked chicken. Go on low speed for about a minute, until it’s all shredded.
Finally, let’s talk about leftovers. Cause this chicken keeps great!
(That makes it an excellent option for meal prepping. 👍)
Leftover chicken, once cooled, can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It also freezes great!
How to freeze shredded chicken:
- Shredded chicken freezes great, especially when it has a sauce like this one to help keep it moist.
- Let the chicken cool, then place in a labeled freezer-safe ziptop bag or container and freeze for up to 6 months.
- Defrost overnight in the fridge and it’s ready to use or warm up for whatever you are making.
So there you have it! A new way to do taco night that will have your family going back for more!
I hope you give this recipe a try soon. (And if you do, leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram. I love hearing from you!)
- 3 (6-7 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 cup salsa
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- Season the chicken breasts on both sides with the taco seasoning. Place in the Instant Pot insert and add the salsa and chicken broth. Seal the pot.
- Set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. (If you are using frozen chicken breasts, increase this to 12 minutes.)
- Once the cook time is complete, move the valve to quick release.
- Once the pot is safe to open, remove the chicken breasts and shred using two forks (or a stand mixer). Return the chicken to the Instant Pot and stir to mix well with the salsa. Let sit for a few minutes to soak up the liquids and flavor. Serve and enjoy!
Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts but you could substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
Frozen chicken: You can also use frozen chicken breasts for this recipe. You’ll just need to increase the cook time under pressure to 12 minutes.
Salsa: I prefer a chunky, jarred salsa for this. It will break down into the sauce without becoming too runny or liquidy like a fresh salsa or a more pureed salsa might.
Salsa part 2: Feel free to use a mild, medium or hot salsa depending on your tastes. You could also use a flavored salsa if you want to change up the flavor here.
Taco seasoning: You can use store-bought taco seasoning or make my easy homemade taco seasoning.
Add-ins: Feel free to saute some onions or peppers before adding the chicken. Or stir in some green chilies to cook with the chicken. You can also stir in some corn or black beans at the end for serving. Or stir in some Greek yogurt to make creamy chicken tacos.
Serving: Use this chicken for hard or soft shell tacos. Or use for nachos, burritos, enchiladas, rice or grain bowls, wraps, salads or sliders.
Leftovers: Leftover chicken, once cooled, can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It also freezes great! Let the chicken cool, then place in a labeled freezer-safe ziptop bag or container and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and it’s ready to use or reheat.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 43Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 400mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g