by Olena

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 28 votes

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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!

I swear frozen 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. If you haven’t done it yet, I say it’s time to invest in one for easy one pot meals, like Instant Pot chicken burritos. Believe me, once you hop on this crazy train there is no turning back!

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos

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

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos is an easy dinner with only 2 extra ingredients, juicy shredded chicken, fresh flavours, and healthy toppings. This is a must-have recipe for every home cook!

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 or this yummy healthy buffalo chicken dip.
  • 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

If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide. It explains what exactly this pressure cooker does, how it works, 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 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.

FAQs

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.

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.

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 {BEST EVER}

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!
4.93 from 28 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.
    Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 12 minutes for fresh or 15 minutes for frozen.
    Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
  • 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.
    Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
  • Remove chicken breasts into a medium bowl and shred with 2 forks. Add 1/2 cup cooking liquid from Instant Pot and stir.
    Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
  • 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.
    Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

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.
    See post for more recipe tips and FAQ.

    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.

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