These flavorful Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos are easy to prep and even easier to cook—let the pressure cooker do all the work!
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Dinner Made Easy with the Instant Pot!
I thought I’d share a recipe we really fell in love with recently: shredded chicken tacos. It’s made in an Instant Pot® and comes out juicy, tender and crispy!
No mess, no fuss, just delicious chicken ready to be piled on tortillas and topped with your favorite fixings!
This is the first of MANY Instant Pot® recipes that will be posted here on the blog. I’m just as obsessed as everyone else. It truly is an instant pot! So far we’ve used it for hard boiled eggs, beans, rice, lots of meat and chili. Everything has turned out delicious and fully cooked—kind of a big deal if you ask me.
Making Shredded Taco Chicken in the Instant Pot
For today’s recipe you’ll need:
- 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken (I used a combo of thighs and breasts)
- fresh citrus juice (I used orange, but you could use lemon instead)
- a jalapeño
- a blend of seasonings and spices
SAUTE. Using the SAUTE feature you’ll sear the chicken and saute the onions and garlic. It’s like using a skillet set over medium heat, only in your pot. The fewer dishes the better, right?
SEASON. Next you’ll add some additional seasonings along with the juice of 2 limes and 2 oranges, minced jalapeño and a bunch of fresh cilantro. Now comes the fun part.
PRESSURE COOK. Close your Instant Pot® and select the POULTRY setting. You want it to pressure cook for 12 minutes.
MANUAL RELEASE. Once it is fully cooked, switch the steam release over and let the pressure come down.
Pop the lid off, hit SAUTE and cook until the remaining liquid is gone. If you like crispy tacos, let the Instant Pot® do the work! Think carnitas only with chicken instead of pork.
SHRED. You can shred the meat inside the pot by using two forks to pull it apart, or you can use a handheld electric mixer.
SERVE. Squeeze a little fresh lime juice on top and it’s ready to go! We opted to serve ours on corn tortillas topped with red onion, cilantro, cotija cheese and homemade salsa verde. You could also use our homemade flour tortillas, and try topping it with restaurant style salsa.
Using frozen chicken? You can either lengthen the cook time by 5 minutes, and then let the pressure cooker naturally release for at least 10 minutes, or you can thaw the chicken out first!
Best way to shred chicken? You can simply use two forks, or a handheld kitchen mixer.
STORE the leftover meat in an airtight bag or container in the fridge for 2-4 days. Rewarm either in the microwave or in the stove until warmed through. You don’t want to dry out the meat, so I consider keeping the meat in some of its cooking liquid.
You can FREEZE this meat by letting it cool completely, transferring it to a freezer storage bag or container, and keeping it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge before rewarming.
You can use the leftover meat for more taco/burrito meals, or you can put it in salads.
Not only were they delicious but they looked like something I had spent all day preparing, when in reality in only took 45 minutes!
For more delicious tacos, try:
Instant Pot® Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe
- 1 tbsp canola oil - OR vegetable OR avocado oil
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken - cubed and lightly seasoned* (I used a combo of breasts and thighs)
- 1/2 yellow onion - thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp kosher sea salt
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 2 oranges - juiced
- 2 limes - juiced
- 1/2 jalapeno - minced (or a whole pepper if you prefer slightly spicier)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
- corn tortillas
- red onion - diced
- cotija - or queso fresco cheese
- salsa verde
- cilantro - chopped
- lime wedges
- Turn the Instant Pot® on the SAUTE setting. Add oil and sear the chicken until golden brown. You will need to do this in two batches. Transfer chicken to a plat and set aside. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the chicken back into the pot. Season with chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, and oregano. Add the orange juice, lime juice, jalapeño, and cilantro.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot® and pressure cook on the POULTRY setting for 12 minutes. After the chicken has fully cooked, carefully turn the steam release vent (I always do this with a long oven mitt on) and let the pressure come down. Once the valve pops, remove the lid and turn the Instant Pot® on SAUTE.
- Cook the chicken until the almost all of the remaining liquid is gone, or for crispy chicken, cook until the liquid is gone, then stir every 2-3 minutes for 6 minutes, taking care to not let the chicken burn.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken and toss with extra lime juice, if desired. Serve immediately.
what about fajitas
Hi Dorthy, here you go: https://lifemadesimplebakes.com/sheet-pan-chicken-fajitas/
We have made this recipe more times than I can count. It’s in our rotation and I make it every month or so, excellent! A couple of minor comments:
1. I always use only chicken thighs. Seriously, do we even need to debate this 🙂
2. I usually let the instant pot naturally release for about 10 minutes, I find that this makes shredding the chicken easier.
3. While it’s simmering (after pressure cook) I use a large wooden spoon to smash the chicken, for me it’s easier than the fork shredding.
4. Add Pickled Red Onions to the toppings, they add a a great texture/flavor.
Excellent recipe. Thanks!
So glad to hear you love this recipe! Thanks for the comments/notes… they all sound fabulous. The picked red onions sound like a great topping!
We use this for so many things! Thanks so much!
I love a good shredded chicken taco. Can’t wait to try these out!
Made it for dinner and everyone LOVED it!! Thanks!