These Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos are a quick, easy, and delicious meal! It takes only 5 ingredients and under 30 minutes to make flavorful and tender shredded chicken full of Mexican flavor!
This is one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes. You can make it with pretty much any type of chicken - fresh or frozen. I prefer using chicken tenders, but you can also make this using chicken breasts. This is so much easier than cooking chicken on the stovetop or waiting all day for the crockpot.
This shredded chicken is great in tacos, quesadillas, burritos, or burrito bowls. It also makes a yummy filling for enchiladas.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos are a kid-friendly meal that even the pickiest of eaters will like! Even if you have kids that are afraid of salsa, you can use a smooth salsa without chunks and they won't even realize their chicken was cooked in salsa.
There are only 5 ingredients in this recipe:
- 1 pound chicken tenders, fresh or frozen
- 3/4 cup restaurant-style salsa
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
I prefer using chicken tenders because they are more consistent in size and cook quickly. I use the individually frozen (ice glazed) chicken tenders. You can also use fresh chicken tenders in this recipe.
For the salsa, you can choose your favorite brand and preferred level of heat. I prefer the "restaurant-style" salsas that are smoother and less chunky. I normally use a medium salsa, but you can certainly use a hot salsa if you like it spicy!
Don't skip the lime juice! It adds a delicious punch of flavor to the chicken.
In the Instant Pot, add the chicken broth, chicken tenders, and lime juice.
Sprinkle the salsa on top of the chicken. Finally, sprinkle the taco seasoning on top. Do not stir.
Set the Instant Pot to manual, high pressure.
For frozen chicken tenders, cook for 6 minutes high pressure with 5 minutes natural release.
For fresh (thawed) chicken tenders, cook for 3 minutes high pressure with 5 minutes natural release.
After the 5 minutes natural release is up, press the quick-release button to release the remaining pressure.
When you open the pot, use a meat thermometer to verify that the chicken has reached at least 165 degrees inside. If the chicken is undercooked, put the lid back on top of the instant pot and allow it to sit for another 2-3 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pot and mix it in with the sauce. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools off.
Use tongs to grab the chicken out of the Instant Pot and serve. If serving over a bed of rice, you may want to use a spoon to scoop out additional sauce to serve on top.
How to Substitute Chicken Breasts
While I prefer cooking with chicken tenders because they are more consistently sized than breasts, you can make this recipe with chicken breasts.
For frozen chicken breasts, cook for 10 minutes high pressure with 5 minutes natural release.
For fresh (thawed) chicken breasts, cook for 8 minutes high pressure with 5 minutes natural release.
If your chicken breasts are large (9-10 ounces), add 2 minutes to the cooking time. If your chicken breasts are extra-large (11-12 ounces), add 4 minutes to the cooking time. My chicken breasts are usually 6-8 ounces.
Always use a meat thermometer to verify that the chicken has reached at least 165 degrees inside. If the chicken is undercooked, put the lid back on top of the Instant Pot and allow it to sit for another 2-3 minutes.
How to Double the Recipe
You can add more chicken to this recipe without changing the cooking time or other ingredients. You'll end up with more chicken relative to the amount of sauce, but it should still have plenty of liquid!
You do not need to increase the cooking time, but the Instant Pot may take a little longer to reach pressure (especially if using frozen chicken).
How to Make Tacos
To make tacos, gather some tortillas and toppings (optional):
- Tortillas - corn, flour, or low carb
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Shredded lettuce
How to Serve Shredded Chicken
Here are some ideas for how to use shredded Mexican chicken:
- Tacos - soft or crunchy
- Burrito bowls
- Taco salad
- On a bed of Mexican rice
- Lettuce wraps
- Nachos (make your own air fryer tortilla chips)
Calories Per Serving
This is a healthy and keto-friendly recipe! Counting only the chicken, there are only about 220 calories in a serving of this recipe. A serving size is about 4 oz of chicken (1/4 of the recipe). You can add about 300 calories of toppings and shells to make a taco dinner under 500 calories!
The chicken itself is low in carbs (only 4g net carbs). You can make it a keto-friendly meal by serving the chicken in low-carb tortillas, in lettuce wraps, or on a bed of lettuce to make a salad.
More Mexican Recipes
- For a quick and easy side dish, try my Instant Pot Mexican Rice
- Make your own tortilla chips in your Air Fryer
- If you have all day to cook, try my Crock Pot 4-Ingredient Mexican Chicken