This recipe for Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos will become a favorite go-to for flavorful, juicy chicken that’s ready in minutes!
The Instant Pot makes shredded chicken tacos that are infused with southwest seasonings that make you feel like you’re on a vacation in Mexico!
Flavorful, versatile shredded chicken tastes amazing in all those delicious south-of-the-border dishes that everyone loves.
Easy Shredded Chicken for Tacos
- Chicken is a healthy source of protein and super versatile to cook with.
- The Instant Pot is a kitchen hero for making easy last-minute weeknight meals with minimal cleanup!
- Chicken tacos are so tender and juicy and any extra chicken can be used up during the week in soups, salads, and wraps for delicious school and workday lunches!
- This recipe is a hands-down crowd-pleaser for parties and get-togethers where guests can help themselves to tasty, salsa-seasoned chicken straight from the pot (set on the warm function).
Ingredients and Variations
Filling, delicious and fun to eat, who doesn’t love tacos?
Chicken: Fresh or frozen chicken breasts work perfectly in this recipe! Dark thigh meat is extra flavorful and can often be found frozen in chunks or strips. Add more bulk to the chicken and add a can of drained black beans in Step 6 of the recipe below, if desired.
Taco Shells: Buy ready-made taco shells or bowls or offer warmed flour or corn tortillas that range from 5” to 8”. Steam them in the microwave and keep them warm on a plate under a clean kitchen towel.
Seasonings: You’ll love the way the Instant Pot infuses food with flavor! Use a jar of salsa or make your own homemade salsa and put the remaining salsa on the table to share. Homemade taco seasoning is so versatile and you can adjust the ingredients to your preference. For mild chicken tacos, cook them in ranch seasoning (so good on salads!).
How to Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken for Tacos
- Cook the chicken with broth and salsa on the “Poultry” setting, 12 minutes for fresh and 15 minutes for frozen (as directed in the recipe below).
- Manually release the pressure, transfer the chicken to a cutting board to shred it.
- Return the shredded chicken to the Instant Pot and mix with the remaining juices before serving.
Chicken Taco Toppings
Anything goes on tacos! Load them up with shredded cheese, sour cream, extra salsa, and guacamole, lettuce, diced onions, sliced black olives, jalapenos or green chiles. Even toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) add color, crunch, and loads of flavor to chicken tacos!
Why not create a DIY taco bar with taco shells, bowls of toppings, and some zesty corn salad, black bean corn salad, or some cilantro rice. Don’t forget the cervezas and a pitcher of cherry margaritas!
Instant Pot Tips & Tricks
- Use broth, stock or water to cook chicken in an Instant Pot. All work well, but the stock or broth will provide more flavor. Even a simple DIY chicken seasoning added to water works if broth isn’t available.
- Test cooked chicken breasts for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part. It should read 165°F. This should be done when reheating leftovers too.
- Remove chicken from the Instant Pot and let it rest before shredding. This helps keep the juices in the meat keeping it extra moist.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Place chicken breast in the bottom of the Instant Pot insert.
- Add chicken broth. Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning and salsa.
- Secure the lid of the Instant Pot, select “Poultry,” and cook for 12 minutes for fresh chicken and 15 minutes for frozen chicken.
- After the cooking is complete, manually release the pressure from the Instant Pot.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board (or medium bowl), and shred it using two forks.
- Add shredded chicken back to the Instant Pot and mix with the juices.
- Serve as tacos or your other favorite dish.
- Nutrition calculated without tacos or toppings.
- If chicken breasts are not available, use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They are a flavorful option that holds up well to the pressure cooking process.
- Add a flavorful combination of seasonings including cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. You can also add some lime juice or vinegar for a tangy twist.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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