Saucy with heaps of shredded meat, these Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are a delicious and easy weeknight dinner!
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This post was originally published April 12, 2021. It was updated on November 8, 2021.
Easy and delicious aren't contradicting statements thanks to the pressure cooker. These Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos are made in just a few steps while being hearty and full of zesty flavor.
People are often surprised about how dinners around here look most weeknights.
Whereas most people expect that we're enjoying 5 course elaborate meals each night, it's hardly ever the case.
Of course, if I have spent the day developing or photographing recipes or we happen to be so fortunate as to have abounding leftovers, we go for it.
Though, more nights than you might expect, are spent working into the evening wrapping up projects behind the scenes -- writing blog posts, promoting recipes, working on social media, bookkeeping, and all the other various tasks that often find themselves on a small business owner's desk.
That all is, at least, until I happen to whip up a recipe like these shredded chicken tacos in the Instant Pot.
Of course, we dove into these the evenings after I developed and photographed them, they're also the kind of recipe that stands up to a busy-working-til-sunset-kind of day.
But with just 5 minutes of prep work and the bulk of the work left to the Instant pot, these juicy and succulent pressure cooker chicken tacos can cook up while you wrap our day up
They're the kind of recipe I'm so glad to have on hand on a busy night but even crave on a more relaxed night... and even make mac and cheese look like a lot of work!
Table of contents
- This recipe is...
- Recipe ingredients
- Ingredient substitutions
- How to make these Instant Pot Tacos...
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Can you make this recipe without cabbage?
- Topping ideas:
- How do you toast tortillas?
- Meal prep ideas:
- Making this recipe with frozen chicken:
- Storage directions:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Other easy dinner recipes you'll love:
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This shredded chicken taco recipe is...
- Lightly spicy
If you're looking for quick and easy dinners to add to your family's meal rotation, look no further! These shredded chicken tacos are ready in just a few steps and are easily customizable to your family's pallate.
- Chicken breasts - boneless & skinless
- Taco seasoning - homemade or store-bought
- Shredded cabbage - cooks in with the chicken so your family will never know you sneaked some veggies in!
- Tomato paste
- Salsa - use your favorite brand and flavor
- Olive oil
- Lime juice - fresh is best!
- Taco shells, beans, taco bowls, etc. - however you prefer to serve this recipe!
- Cabbage - 1 additional sliced onion can replace the cabbage if you like onions
- Chicken - boneless skinless chicken thighs can work in place of the breasts, though the flavor will be slightly richer
How to make these Instant Pot Tacos...
- Stir the oil, salsa, taco seasoning, onion, tomato paste, salt, and water together in the bottom of an Instant Pot or pressure cooker until combined.
- Add the cabbage and stir until combined.
- Add the chicken to the salsa mixture and turn until covered.
- Lock the pressure cooker lid on and cook on high for 12 minutes. Quick-release the pressure.
- Move the chicken from the pressure cooker to a large mixing bowl. Using two forks, shred the chicken until in small pieces.
- Return the chicken to the pressure cooker with the sauce. Squeeze lime juice over the chicken and stir back into the sauce until combined.
- Serve the Instant Pot Mexican chicken in tacos with your favorite toppings!
- Don't place the chicken on the bottom of the pressure cooker - the chicken is more prone to burn if it comes in direct contact with the pressure cooker pot. Stir up the rest of the ingredients and then place the chicken in them before cooking.
- Use your favorite salsa - you will taste all the flavor of the salsa, so use your favorite brand and flavor
- Remove the chicken from the pressure cooker before shredding - this makes it easier and less messy to shred
- Season the chicken with lime juice before serving - serving the chicken with lime juice before serving brings out all the flavors in the chicken and really makes this taco meat shine! Serve additional limes with the tacos, if you please.
Can you make this recipe without cabbage?
Yes, you can substitute another sliced onion for the cabbage if your family likes onion. Otherwise, you can simply omit the cabbage from the recipe.
The cabbage, however, isn't super prominent in the recipe. It cooks down and the delicate flavor of the cabbage takes on the seasoning, "hiding" the vegetable in this dish.
Top these easy chicken tacos with all your favorite toppings, like:
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Black olives
- Sliced avocado
- ... and more!
How do you toast tortillas?
You can toast tortillas (corn and flour) a variety of ways:
- Over gas - turn your gas burner onto low heat and slowly toast the tortillas over the flame, carefully rotating the tortillas over the heat to toast evenly, for about 1-2 minutes per side, or until light char marks appear.
- In a skillet - preheat a (preferably) non-stick skillet over low heat. One, by one, toast the tortillas for 1-2 minutes per side, or until the tortillas turn light golden brown.
- In a toaster oven - (please note: not an upright toaster with bread slots) toast the tortillas spread out on the toasting rack over medium-low heat for 1.5-3 minutes, or until the tortillas turn golden brown and puff up.
Pro-tip: For best results, always use the freshest tortillas you can find.
Meal prep ideas:
This instant pot shredded chicken is perfect for meal prep! Here are some of my favorite ways to serve it:
- Over steamed rice and/or beans
- Wrapped up in a burrito
- Over baked nachos
- In quesadillas
- With tortilla chips or crackers
Making this recipe with frozen chicken:
You can easily make this shredded chicken tacos recipe with frozen chicken. Just replace the fresh chicken with it and pressure cook for 15 minutes (instead of 12).
Leftover Instant Pot pulled chicken can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can freeze it in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Instant Pot or pressure cooker
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Silicone spatula
- Citrus juicer (optional)
- Mixing bowl
More easy dinner recipes:
- Instant Pot Chicken and Potatoes
- BBQ Chicken Flatbreads
- Southwest Chicken with Black Bean Sauce
- Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Skillet
- Air Fryer Chicken Bites
- Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- Healthy Orange Chicken
- Sheet Pan Mojo Chicken
- Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken
- Ground Turkey Enchiladas
- Crispy Herbed Panko Chicken
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!