Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Use the Instant Pot to pressure cook some chicken with delicious flavors. While the chicken cooks, prep some toppings to put into tacos with the shredded chicken meat. You’ll have a delicious taco dinner lickety split!

Shredded chicken with cooked tomato and cilantro in a terracotta bowl. There's a bowl of sour cream and an Instant Pot in the background.

To say that the Instant Pot has caused a revolutionary change to my cooking life would be an understatement. I use it almost every day and it has become an indispensable tool for getting quick and delicious meals onto our table. This is the model of Instant Pot that I have. I like how big it is. I can seriously fit a good-sized roast in there, and it makes a nice big pot of soup too!

When it comes to throwing together a quick weeknight meal, the Instant Pot can’t be beat. I especially love it for making shredded chicken to put into tacos or burritos or on salads. It gives such juicy meat in a fraction of the time.

To make these chicken tacos, what you do is to put some chicken into the Instant Pot with some seasonings, a little bit of chicken broth (or water), and some salsa. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Then let it do a natural release for 10 minutes before turning the valve to Venting to release the remaining pressure.

Use to forks to shred the meat in the Instant Pot. Then use tongs to remove the meat from the pot. Using tongs will allow you to leave behind some of the liquid.

What Kind Of Chicken To Use For Chicken Tacos

Honestly, I am a dark meat person so I prefer to use chicken thighs, boneless skinless ones. However, chicken breasts are leaner and so what I often do is to use half and half thighs and breasts. You get some of that nice lean meat, and also some juicy more flavorful meat, all mixed together.

If you only want to use one kind of chicken, that’s fine too. You can use just boneless skinless chicken thighs or just boneless skinless chicken breasts. It won’t affect the cooking times or the recipe.

What Toppings To Add To Chicken Tacos

I really like doing taco nights at home, but sometimes all of the chopping and prepping of toppings can seem like way too much of a chore. When I’m in that mood, one of my favorite things to do is to buy a bag of South West Chopped Salad from the grocery store. It has a chopped cabbage mix and then some pumpkin seeds to mix in, as well as a tasty avocado-cilantro dressing. I mix up that salad mixture and then we pile that into tacos with our shredded chicken and a sprinkle of cheese. I find that way easier than all the chopping.

If you can’t find that particular salad mix, then a bag of shredded cabbage (cole slaw mix) with a creamy Tex Mex dressing will totally do the trick.

If I am in the mood for chopping, my typical taco toppings (and burrito bowl toppings) are shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, chopped avocado, and diced cucumber (I know people find cucumber weird here but I find it really refreshing). Along with those things, I’ll also put out some shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.

What Kind Of Taco Shells To Use

I have tried very very hard to like soft corn tortillas. But alas, they are just not my favorite things. I therefore go for small flour tortillas, usually. I put 4 of them on a dinner plate and microwave them for 15-20 seconds to heat them up before adding the fillings.

Sometimes we use hard corn tortillas. That feels like a treat. But I prefer those with a ground beef filling more than shredded chicken. It just goes together somehow, probably because that’s how the first tacos I ever ate were, hard salty taco shell, seasoned ground beef, finely shredded cheddar – you know the tacos I’m talking about! So it’s usually soft flour tortillas for us with the chicken.

What To Use Shredded Chicken For Other Than Tacos

For this recipe, what you’re cooking in the Instant Pot is just the chicken meat, not any of the other taco ingredients. That means that the meat doesn’t have to be used in tacos. You can instead use it for burrito bowls, enchiladas, burritos, taco salads – really, the list is endless.

One thing that is a great idea is to make a double batch of the chicken. Then have tacos one night and a chicken taco salad on another night.

Whatever you make with this chicken, I’m sure it’s going to be delicious. Thanks for visiting my site!

Have a great day!

Christine :)


Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Use the Instant Pot to pressure cook some chicken with delicious flavors. While the chicken cooks, prep some toppings to put into tacos with the shredded chicken meat. You’ll have a delicious taco dinner lickety split!


  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup salsa


  1. Measure the chicken broth into the Instant Pot.
  2. Add the chicken breasts and thighs in a single layer.
  3. Season the chicken with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.
  4. Pour the salsa over the chicken.
  5. Put the lid on the pot and set the valve to Sealing. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes of pressure cooking is over, leave it alone for 10 minutes (this is a natural release of pressure). After the 10 minutes, turn the valve to Venting to release any remaining steam. Remove the lid.
  6. Use two forks to shred the chicken.
  7. Use tongs to remove the chicken from the pot, leaving behind excess liquid.
Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

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