Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are the easiest way to get healthy tacos with the most flavour in under 30 minutes! Using fresh or frozen chicken breasts, salsa and seasoning, you get perfectly shredded juicy, tender, chicken ready to be added to a warm tortilla and loaded with the most delicious toppings!

We also really love this Instant Pot pulled chicken.

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

I swear Instant Pot frozen whole chicken turned me into crazy Instant Pot lady, as you can tell by all of the healthy Instant Pot recipes I have on my site.

Making chicken tacos, or any type of chicken, in the Instant Pot, is hands down the easiest way to cook chicken. Toss in your chicken, fresh or frozen, add in your taco seasoning and salsa, then set it and forget it! It really is that simple.

In the 15 minutes it takes to cook frozen chicken breasts (12 minutes for fresh), you’ll be able to warm up some tortilla wraps, get your toppings ready, and you’ve got a healthy and satisfying dinner ready in under 30 minutes!

And what kid doesn’t love tacos?! I know mine do, and because they’re so quick and easy to make, shrimp tacos and ground turkey tacos are also in our regular rotation.

Serving a crowd? Get this, no matter how many pieces of chicken breast you toss in there, the cooking time remains THE SAME for this Instant Pot taco chicken! Preparing for a game day party, potluck, or backyard BBQ has never been easier. It’s one of my favorite summer Instant Pot recipes!

Keep the Instant Pot warm, set out tortillas, and bowls of shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and extra salsa and have everyone serve themselves.

Why This Recipe Works?

  • Quick and easy, which means it’s perfect for weeknight dinners.
  • Serves a crowd with the same amount of effort.
  • Can use fresh or frozen chicken with only a difference of a few minutes of cook time.
  • Very healthy, especially when using homemade taco seasoning.
  • Versatile, in that you can use leftover shredded chicken for so many other dishes including chicken tortilla soup.
  • Kid-friendly, just watch how quickly they devour this shredded Mexican chicken!

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Chicken breasts or thighs: Boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs would work. Both will shred nicely. Thighs are dark meat and fattier and therefore juicier. Although, chicken breast is far from dry in this taco recipe. Keep reading.
  • Salsa: Salsa is the secret ingredient to cook chicken in to permeate a lot of flavour in a short amount of time.
  • Taco seasoning: Low sodium taco seasoning adds even more flavor without the extra sodium. Otherwise, you will need a lot of salsa.
  • Fixings: Literally anything you have in the fridge. Meat is that juicy and flavorful!
  • Corn or whole wheat tortillas: Corn tortillas are gluten-free and add more authentic taco flavour. My family loves flour tortillas cause they fit more and hold together better.
instant pot chicken taco ingredients

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

  • Cook chicken in salsa: That’s right, just add 2 ingredients for these southwest tacos and no water. Meat and salsa will release enough water to build up pressure. No burn, I promise!
  • How long to cook? 12 minutes for fresh and 15 minutes for frozen chicken. Just make sure pieces are separate if using frozen, otherwise it won’t cook through where meat is touching.
  • Release pressure right away using quick release method and shred chicken in a bowl. Rehydrate the meat by adding 1/2 cup juices from Instant Pot.
  • Assemble tacos. That’s it!

Tips for Best Results

  • Frozen chicken: Yes, you can. Make sure to separate frozen pieces. To do this quickly, put them in a bowl with warm water for 5 minutes to help separate them. Cooking time will be 15 minutes and the Instant Pot will take a bit longer to come to pressure.
  • You can double the recipe for this Instant Pot chicken taco meat and keep the same cook time.
  • The recipe is good for any size Instant Pot, including 3 quart.
  • Fresh salsa will work as well.

Add ins & Variations

  • Gluten-free: If you are looking to make this a completely gluten-free meal, stick with corn tortillas rather than flour and if you’re using store-bought seasoning, make sure to check the ingredients for hidden gluten.
  • Added heat: If you want your pressure cooker chicken tacos a little spicier, use a hot salsa over mild or sprinkle in extra chili powder.
  • Broth: Although your chicken will cook nicely with just the salsa, you’re more than welcome to add a cup of broth or even a bit of orange or pineapple juice for additional flavour.


Do I need to add liquid to the Instant Pot?

Sometimes the answer will be yes. There are shredded chicken recipes that will require you to add liquid to the bottom and it might even say to use a trivet to place the chicken on. This is not one of those recipes. The salsa is meant to infuse flavour into the chicken as it cooks, so we want it directly on the chicken. The cooking process will naturally create its own liquid.

How long should I cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot?

Depending on the size of your chicken breast, and even possibly the altitude you live at, will have an effect on how long to cook your frozen chicken breast. Generally speaking, 15 minutes is perfect. If you open your lid and realize parts of your chicken are still pink, feel free to close the lid and continue cooking for an extra 5 minutes or so.

What can I use leftover taco chicken for?

So many things! It’s great for meal prep for a few days worth of dinner or lunch. Enjoy chicken tacos with a side of brown rice or as a topping on a salad. You could use it as a topping for nachos, or add it to some Instant Pot taco soup. The most obvious answer might be to have tacos again the next day!

diced red onion, shredded lettuce, lime and guacamole in a red dish

Best Topping Ideas When Serving Tacos

These pressure cooker chicken tacos are quite healthy if you don’t add a lot of cheese and use corn tortillas instead of flour ones. And as always, the more veggies you add, the better it is for you!

How to Warm Tortillas

Serving Instant Pot chicken tacos with warmed up corn or flour tortillas is an added bonus!

  • Preheat cast iron or non-stick skillet really well.
  • A drop of oil makes tortillas yummier. 🙂
  • Cook 1-2 minutes per side or until charred.
  • If you have a gas/propane stove, you can warm them up directly on a burner.

Hope you enjoy this easy pulled chicken tacos Instant pot recipe and share with friends and family!

Making Chicken Tacos in Advance

Any leftover chicken will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Without, the toppings, of course! This means that you can cook the chicken well in advance and heat it up just before you’re ready to serve.

You can also add leftover chicken to healthy taco pasta for a whole new meal idea!

More Mexican Instant Pot Recipes

You may also love all my favorite healthy taco recipes!

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos on a serving board
instant pot chicken tacos

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are the easiest way to get healthy tacos with the most flavour in under 30 minutes! Using fresh or frozen chicken breasts, salsa and seasoning, you get perfectly shredded juicy, tender, chicken ready to be added to a warm tortilla and loaded with the most delicious toppings!
4.94 from 30 votes
Servings 12 tacos
Calories 117
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs boneless & skinless
  • 1 tbsp low sodium store bought or homemade taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 10-14 small corn or flour tortillas
  • Diced avocado tomato, red onion and shredded lettuce, fixings for serving
  • Guacamole cheese and yogurt, for serving (pick and choose)


  • To any size Instant Pot, add chicken breasts, sprinkle with taco seasoning and add salsa on top.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 12 minutes for fresh or 15 minutes for frozen.
  • Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a release valve, then float pin will rise and countdown will begin.
  • After release pressure right away by turning valve to Venting position, wait until the float pin drops down and open the lid.
  • Remove chicken breasts into a medium bowl and shred with 2 forks. Add 1/2 cup cooking liquid from Instant Pot and stir.
  • Warm up tortillas on a hot skillet for 1 minute or so per side. Or directly on a gas burner.
  • Assemble tacos with desired toppings.



  • Store: Refrigerate leftover shredded chicken (without toppings) in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Make sure frozen chicken pieces are separated – not one blob. It helps to place them in a bowl with hot water for 5 minutes.
  • You can double the recipe and keep same cook time.
  • Fresh salsa should work as well.


Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 207mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. I am yet to make this recipe but planning on making it this weekend for a big group. I am thinking of making x3 or x4. I however noticed you say the chicken needs to be one layer? Has anyone made like 6lbs of chicken? I have a 6 and 8 quart IP.

    1. One layer to ensure they all cook evenly and all the way through. I would double the recipe in each of your IP and it should work okay!

  2. 4 stars
    So glad I made a double recipe!! My husband is currently on his 4th large burrito size wrap! I made 4 chicken breasts, almost 3lbs (1.2 kilos), used a whole 418ml jar of tostitos mild salsa and 2 tbsp store bought taco seasoning. Maybe the salsa was too thick coz I got the burn message soon as the pressure was up. I cancelled it, waited a couple of mins, then let the pressure out and added chicken broth I had lying in the fridge. I didn’t measure it, just poured some in. No more burn message! But maybe I put too much broth as it was pretty liquidy. Will try and save the sauce or a soup or stew.

    It tastes great! Though needs some salt (I guess that depends on your salsa) We went all out with the toppings, lettuce, red onion, green onion, cilantro and hubby made guac, so of course we needed to add yogurt and cheese as well. We used big whole wheat tortillas and wrapped it however which way it fit. Yummy! So we used up 2.5 chicken breasts tonight (hubby, me and 2 kids 5 and 3) leaving us with just 1.5 breasts for leftovers. But for leftovers I plan on adding more toppings that I already have chopped up and mixed together (bell peppers, black beans, corn, tomato – ingredients from your mexican kale salad :p) so we should have enough for round 2!

    I feel like I can also wrap these up in burritos to freeze? I guess depending on what toppings we add.

    Finished writing and hubby and kids are passed out on the sofa. Great Friday night dinner! Another wonderful recipe! Thanks Olena!

    1. Hi Arantxa. Did you stir the ingredients after you put in the salsa? Anything tomato based should not be stirred in or you will get the dreaded burn message. So glad that in the end it worked out and sounds like it was really enjoyed!

      1. No i didn’t stir. I’ve learned from you not to stir tomato-anything. I’ve made it again, 4 breasts and one jar of tostitos salsa and still got the burn message. I just turned off the IP and let it sit (I dunno how long for as I was prepping in advance) and it came out perfect still. I only worry what’ll happen when I’m more pressed for time.

        1. Sounds like your IP is more sensitive than others. I would add 1/2 cup broth before cooking and go from there next time.

  3. Silly question. My son can’t have tomatoes. Really want to make this. Any solution as to liquid/sauce would be appreciated.

    1. I would take roasted red peppers in a jar, purée them a bit, add 1/2 cup any broth or even liquid from the jar and spices to taste.

  4. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite recipes of yours! Great to have on hand for company or just for yourself! So easy, so delicious!!

  5. Do you know if you’re able to can/store homemade salsa in instant? If so can you let me know how many minutes and how much water? Thank you

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