by Olena

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Olena Osipov
4.9 from 29 votes

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are the most easy tacos with fresh or frozen chicken breasts. 30 minute healthy dinner idea I promise will become your go-to!

Only 2 ingredients are cooked in a pressure cooker. Mom’s win. 🙂

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos

Oh my word! Instant Pot chicken tacos that you can cook after work. Chicken comes out juicy, tender and flavorful with 2 ingredients.

Kids just love it and how easy for parents! Overall, tacos are easy. Shrimp tacos and ground turkey tacos are in our regular rotation.

You can even make these Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos with frozen chicken breast. It takes 15 minutes to cook from frozen. Yes, frozen (see below how)! I swear frozen chicken turned me into Instant Pot crazy lady. A healthy one.

If you wanna be “crazy” like me, check out all of my healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Cooked shredded chicken, tortillas and taco fixings in separate bowls

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Chicken breasts or thighs: Boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs would work. Both will shred, thighs are dark meat and more fatty and juicy. Although chicken breast is far from dry in this taco recipe. Keep reading.
  • Salsa: Salsa is the secret ingredient to cook chicken in to add a lot of flavor quickly.
  • Taco seasoning: Low sodium taco seasoning adds even more flavor without 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.

chicken breasts with taco seasoning and salsa in instant pot

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide. It explains what happens, why and how to avoid failures.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet but are thinking about buying one, I explain which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion.

  • Cook chicken in salsa: That’s right, just add 2 ingredients and no water. Meat and salsa will release enough water to build up pressure. No burn, 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 meat by adding 1/2 cup juices from Instant Pot.
  • Assemble tacos. That’s it!

shredded chicken in a bowl with 2 forks

Fixings Ideas

These chicken tacos are quite healthy if you don’t add a lot of cheese and use corn tortillas instead of flour ones.

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

Serve Instant Pot chicken tacos with warmed up corn or flour tortillas.

To warm up tortillas:

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

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos garnished with red onion, lettuce, guacamole and salsa

Tips for Best Chicken Tacos

  • Frozen chicken: Yes, you can. Make sure to separate frozen pieces – helps to put in a bowl with warm water for 5 minutes. Not one blob. Cooking time will be 15 minutes and Instant Pot will take a bit longer to come to pressure.
  • You can double the recipe and keep same cook time.
  • Recipe is good for any size Instant Pot, including 3 quart.
  • Fresh salsa will work as well.

Hope you enjoy this easy Instant Pot chicken taco recipe and share with friends and family!

More Mexican Instant Pot 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.

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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos on a serving board

instant pot chicken tacos

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are the most easy tacos with fresh or frozen chicken breasts. 30 minute healthy dinner idea I promise will become your go-to!
4.94 from 29 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 tacos
Calories: 117kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

    Video

    Notes

    • 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.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 296mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    58 comments on “Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

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    1. 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!

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

    3. 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!!

    4. 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

    5. Halving the recipe?

      Yum, can’t wait to try this one out! If I halve the recipe (cooking for one) do I need to add any water and/or change the cook time?

      I’ve made your burritos before and LOVE them!!

      Many thanks,
      Reegan

    6. 5 stars
      Oh gosh this is over the top. The chicken is so tender and delicious. I have made it several times without the seasoning. Most taco seasoning(I use organic) I have not liked. I bit the bullet last time I used your choice of seasonings. My husband just raved about it. Last night I made it again and actually made a small jar of your taco seasoning. It’s in my cupboard just waiting to be used on as many other recipes that I can use it on. It is sooo good. Thank you

    7. When it comes to frozen, size does matter. I had two frozen breast halves that weighed a combined 1.66 lbs. Fifteen minutes was not nearly adequate, as the meat was still pink in the center when I started shredding it. I put the breast back in the instant pot and added an additional five minutes. It appeared to be done after that. I would state this recipe is indeed a keeper, but be aware that the cooking times may need adjusted so nobody gets sick from eating raw chicken.

      1. It could be the altitude you live at, Todd. Unfortunately, Instant Pot is computerized machine and it can’t be 100% precise with cooking time because also many other factors go beyond the cook time only. Overcooking chicken breasts results in rubber chicken which is just as dangerous as eating raw chicken. I mean, it is common sense not to eat raw chicken and cooking food is more than just a formula. 🙂 Glad you figured it out anyways.

    8. 5 stars
      I have cook several recipes ,I love this one I recently had to empty my email . How do I get the meatball recipe again

    9. 5 stars
      Really good!!! very flavorful. Can you do anything with the sauce leftover in the pot? Soup?

    10. 5 stars
      I love this recipe! So easy and simple, yet delish!
      One of the things I love the most is that I don’t have to thaw the chicken!
      I have served this over a salad and on low carb whole wheat wraps. My husband likes the leftover chicken heated up with melted cheddar on top!

    11. 5 stars
      I add the lettuce separately to each taco so I can refrigerate and then reheat the leftover filling without having to heat the lettuce. The whole family loves it!

    12. 5 stars
      Yummy! Except cumin seeds are not a good flavour substitute for the powder. As always Olena, thank you for helping with an easy peasy dinner.

    13. 5 stars
      The juices and salsa left when chicken is done, make awesome liquid to cook rice in! You could have the chicken over the rice next time. Or just keep chicken warm while rice cooks, Mexican-chicken rice bowls instead of tacos.

    14. 5 stars
      The only thing I would do differently next time is add the shredded lettuce and cilantro individually after it all comes out of the pot. That way you can eat it as leftovers! Kids and husband loved this, too.

      1. You are way more lucky than me! What is wrong with our family because there was no leftovers?! We always eat more than anyone else.:) But you can do that, for sure. Or shredded cabbage is a good replacement for lettuce and doesn’t get soggy. Glad it was a hit!

    15. 5 stars
      AMAZING. The whole family loved it, including my 6 year old who tends to be a bit of a picky eater and very against trying new things! I mean I still make her try stuff, but it’s just really nice when something is so good she doesn’t put up a fight lol.

      1. Yay!!! LOL I understand. I have an 8 year old who is a bit picky but I still put what he doesn’t love in front of him. Sometimes it flies by and eventually you end up with a good or not so bad eater. Giving up will lead only to a junk food eater. It’s a slow progress. Bravo, mama!

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