Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are so easy to prepare and only require 5 basic ingredients! This simple recipe is big on flavor but low on prep and ideal for enjoying with friends and family!
My sister-in-law made this easy Instant Pot chicken taco meat recipe for a family dinner not too long ago and it was a huge hit! Especially with me.
We love getting together to make burrito bowls, burritos or tacos, and we all contribute to toppings to get in all sorts of flavors and variety.
I often make my Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef for these family dinners for another protein option as well.
While I’m all about a loaded burrito bowl with plenty of meat, guacamole, rice, greens, and salsa, a simple chicken taco is always welcome in my book.
And this recipe couldn’t possibly be any more simple!
All you do is toss the ingredients into your instant pot, give them a stir, then pressure cook. What comes out is perfectly tender flavorful meat that is easy to shred for shredded chicken tacos (or burritos, tostadas, burrito bowls, enchiladas, etc)!
Let’s chat about the five ingredients we need for these amazing tacos.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken Tacos:
Chicken Thighs: Because chicken thighs contain more intermuscular fat than chicken breasts, they are my preference for any time I want a tender, shredded result (which is basically always). To keep it easy, use boneless chicken thighs so that you don’t have to sift through the meat for bones and skin once it’s finished pressure cooking.
You can use chicken breasts if you prefer but note that the meat will not turn out nearly as tender. Bone-in chicken thighs or drums work as well! Just be sure to use 4 to 5 pounds if you’re going with bone-in to ensure you end up with plenty of meat.
Onion: Adds freshness and flavor to the dish. Amazing how much deliciousness is derived from just one small onion!
Enchilada Sauce: A key ingredient to making these hugely flavorful delicious chicken tacos. Store bought or homemade enchilada sauce is a fabulous way of infusing moisture for pressure cooking and also all sorts of authentic taco flavors.
If you aren’t a fan of using store-bought enchilada sauce, you can make your own Homemade Enchilada Sauce which is much easier than you’d think!
Salsa: Similar to the enchilada sauce, the salsa is here to bring liquid and flavor to the recipe. Because salsa is made with fresh ingredients, it therefore adds fresh flavor to your shredded chicken, making it taste refreshing rather than heavy.
Use your favorite store-bought brand or homemade salsa! I go with red tomato salsa, but you can easily use green tomatillo salsa or anything you love. Just note the spice level on whatever salsa you use so that you end up with your preferred spiciness. I go with medium salsa.
Canned Green Chilies: Just one small can of green chilis goes a long way in adding flavor to the shredded chicken! Be sure to read the label to see the spice level – if you love spicy food, go with hot green chilis, but choose mild for mild taco meat.
Sea Salt: A key component to flavor success here! Without adding the proper amount of sea salt, your chicken will taste bland. Be sure to add sea salt to your personal taste so that all of the flavors are enhanced and you get maximum enjoyment out of your meal.
Corn tortillas (or tortillas of choice), cilantro, lime wedges and salsa. You can also go the burrito or burrito bowl route and serve the shredded chicken taco meat with rice, beans, sour cream, cheese, guacamole or avocado, chopped lettuce, and more.
How Many People Does This Recipe Serve?
This chicken taco recipe serves four people comfortably. Depending on hunger levels and whether or not you’re adding in other side dishes, it can serve more.
If you’re serving more than 4 people, consider using 3 to 4 pounds of chicken thighs instead of 2. There will still be enough sauce for that amount of meat, although you can always add more of the other ingredients too.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Tacos:
Plug in your Instant Pot and add all of the ingredients to it.
Give everything a big stir until the ingredients are well-combined and the chicken is saturated in liquid.
Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
After the pressure cooker has run its course, allow it to naturally release and go into keep warm mode for at least 20 minutes, ideally 40. This process is what makes the chicken nice and tender and shred easily. Without the natural release, the chicken isn’t as flavorful or tender!
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat.
Put the meat back into the pot with the juices to allow it to absorb some additional amazing flavor for at least 10 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve. Note: I store any leftover chicken in the sauce – don’t toss it, because it’s loaded with flavor!
Heat up tortillas, load them up with shredded chicken and serve with lime wedges, salsa, or cilantro.
That’s all it takes for mouth-watering tender crowd-pleasing shredded chicken taco meat! I hope your family loves this one as much as my family does!
More Healthy Instant Pot Recipes:
- Instant Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
- Instant Pot Spanish Rice with Chicken
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork with Pineapple
- Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
- Instant Pot Hamburger Helper with Rice
What will you do with your shredded chicken?!
Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- ⅔ cup salsa
- ½ cup enchilada sauce
- 1 4-oz can diced green chilis*
- Sea salt to taste
- Plug in your Instant Pot and add all of the ingredients to it.
- Give everything a big stir until the ingredients are well-combined and the chicken is saturated in liquid.
- Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
- After the pressure cooker has run its course, allow it to naturally release and go into keep warm mode for at least 20 minutes, ideally 40. This process is what makes the chicken nice and tender and shred easily. Without the natural release, the chicken isn’t as flavorful or tender!
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat.
- Put the meat back into the pot with the juices to allow it to absorb some additional amazing flavor for at least 10 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve. Note: I store any leftover chicken in the sauce - don’t toss it, because it’s loaded with flavor!
- Heat up tortillas, load them up with shredded chicken and serve with lime wedges, salsa, or cilantro.