Dinner

September 19, 2021

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos: Ready in 45 minutes!

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

I'm pretty sure there isn't a taco I wouldn't eat and I could probably find a new way to enjoy tacos daily before I'd ever get bored. And these Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos will never get boring. These are packed with so much flavour and spices and they come together in just over 40 minutes (including time spent warming up and releasing the pressure). Plus they're also completely customizable based on your own preferences.  

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

Easy weeknight tacos that are completely hands-off thanks to the Instant Pot. You can also easily meal prep these tacos by making the shredded chicken in advance and then just preparing your toppings when you're ready to eat.

Seriously, the Instant Pot has become a staple appliance for me over the years because of its convenience and ease of use. I used to be quite scared of the thought of using a pressure cooker, but with the Instant Pot, it's much safer and not at all scary to use. Cooking shredded chicken in the Instant Pot is a game changer. It's just so hands off and easy, which is exactly what you want for a quick weeknight meal.

I hope you love these Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos as much as I do.

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

Ingredients

Chicken breast: I use skinless, boneless chicken breasts, you can also use boneless, skinless thighs for a bit more flavour and fat.

Chicken broth: as your liquid in the Instant Pot, you can use water too.

Salsa: use your fave jarred salsa to add tomatoes and even more flavour. I love this brand of salsa (this one is spicy).

Onion: you'll need 1/2 yellow onion, diced which will be sautéed first.

Chipotles in Adobo: I love canned chipotles in adobo sauce because they bring the heat and the flavour. If you don't like any spice, omit.

Lime Juice: I added this in at the end to balance the flavours.

Spices: you'll use smoked paprika, ancho chili powder and ground cumin and kosher salt.

ingredients laid out

Topping Ideas

Avocado: this brings the creaminess and is a great addition to help cool these tacos down. Plus, avocados are just the best, right?!

Sliced radish: for some crunch and colour, I like to thinly slice them on a mandolin.

Serrano Pepper: because you can never have too much heat, I love adding extra serrano. See tips and substitutions for other options.

Salsa Verde: I love making my quick and easy, 10 minute salsa verde for heat and flavour. It's optional, but delicious!

Toasted pumpkin seeds: this is optional, but so quick and easy to make and it taste delishhh on these tacos. It adds the best crunch! The recipe is included at the bottom of this post too.

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

How to make

These Instant Pot chicken tacos couldn't be easier to make. Here's exactly how to make them.

Turn the Instant Pot to sauté mode first, you're going to brown the onions and add the spices. Sauté the onions in a little bit of avocado oil for about three to four minutes, until softened. Add in your spices and continue cooking for an additional two minutes, stirring to combine.

Now add in the chipotles, chicken broth, salsa and the chicken breasts.

chicken in instant pot with lid off

Lock in the lid, make sure the valve is set to sealing and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.

Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release the pressure.

Open the lid, remove the chicken breast and add these to a large bowl.

chicken breast in bowl

Now it's time to reduce the sauce, turn the Instant Pot to sauté mode and let it reduce to half. This will take about seven to ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  

sauce reduced

Using two forks, shred the chicken.

shredded chicken in bowl

Once the sauce has reduced, turn the Instant Pot off and add the chicken back in. Give it a stir.

shredded chicken in pressure cooker

Now you're ready to assemble your Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos!

Tips

  • Thaw your chicken ahead of time if it's frozen: you can use frozen in a pinch, but you'll have to add extra time to it and make sure they're separated and not stuck together to ensure even cooking.
  • Short on time: you can skip reducing the sauce at the end, however it will be a little watery.
  • No Instant Pot: make it in your slow cooker, check out how to below.
Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

Substitutions

  • Lettuce wraps: skip the tortillas and use lettuce wraps instead.
  • Chicken breast: use chicken thighs instead (boneless and skinless).
  • No smoked paprika: use regular paprika
  • No ancho chili powder: use regular chili powder
  • Taco seasoning: you can also use a taco seasoning of your choice if you wish
  • Gluten-free: use 100% corn tortillas instead of wheat tortillas
  • No salsa: add some canned diced tomatoes instead
Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

Can I make these in a slow cooker

Absolutely! Add all the ingredients for the shredded chicken tacos into your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, or cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Remove the chicken and shred, and add back into the slow cooker for an additional 30 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

Customize the spice level

I like things spicy, but not everyone does. So it's a good thing these are completely customizable to your preference.

  • Omit the chipotles in adobo sauce as these are quite spicy.
  • Use a mild salsa.
  • Omit the serrano as a topping and omit the salsa verde.

If you want things even more spicy, add more chipotles, or add a spicy salsa. As is, this recipe provides a good amount of heat, with the addition of the salsa verde.

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

Can I freeze this

Prepare the Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos as is and shred the chicken. Then let it cool completely before moving into a glass container. Place that in the freezer for up to three to four months. You can also portion it out so you can take out only what you need.

Take it out the night before and keep it in your fridge to defrost.

Other Taco Recipes to try

I wasn't kidding when I said I could eat tacos every day. There's a million ways to enjoy them, here are some other amazing taco recipes to check out!

Other Mexican inspired dishes to try:

Ready to make this? Let's get to it!

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

If you make these Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos please share with me, by tagging me on Instagram or leave a comment and/or review below. I truly love seeing and hearing form you!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos: Ready in 45 minutes!

An easy, hands-off weeknight meal that s made in just under 45 minutes.

Prep:
5
min
cook:
40
min
total:
45
min
Author:

Jaclyn

Ingredients

For the toppings

  • 1 avocado sliced or cubed
  • 5 radishes sliced thin
  • 1 serrano pepper sliced thin
  • cilantro for garnish, optional

For the pumpkin seed topping (optional)

Instructions

For the Chicken Tacos

  1. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté mode first. Pour the avocado oil in and sauté the onions for about three to four minutes, until softened. Add in your spices and salt and continue cooking for an additional two minutes, stirring to combine.
  2. Now add in the chipotles, chicken broth, salsa and the chicken breasts.
  3. Lock in the lid, make sure the valve is set to sealing. And cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the toppings and salsa verde if using.
  5. When the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release the pressure. Open the lid, remove the chicken breast and add these to a large bowl or cutting board.
  6. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté mode and let the liquid reduce to half. This will take about seven to ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Once the sauce has reduced, turn the Instant Pot off and add the chicken back in. Give it a stir.
  8. Assemble your tacos with toppings and enjoy!

For the pumpkin seed topping

  1. In a small pan over medium heat, pour in the oil. Once warm, add the pumpkin seeds and spices and salt. Stir often, until toasted and starting to pop, about four to five minutes.
  2. Remove and set aside until ready to use.

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MAdeleine
December 27, 2021
This is the first cinnamon roll recipe i've actually gotten to work! I let the dough rest in the fridge for 4-5 hours and then rolled and filled it, then let it rest in the fridge over night and it worked great for an early morning bake. I looked through the whole recipe and you never mention what temperature to bake at. It just says "place in your preheated oven to bake" I baked at 350. Also it would be really nice if the caramel sauce recipe was included here. All in all totally delicious, worth the effort, and I will be making this again.