These Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are a fast and easy weeknight dinner for the family when you’ve had a long day. Cook chicken from fresh or frozen!
I have come to love my instant pot. Perhaps my favorite kitchen tool now. It is such a God send when you work your tail off all day and are too tired to make a fresh homemade meal. IP to the rescue! You can even make these shredded chicken tacos from frozen chicken breasts. What could be easier?
What you need for chicken
- fresh or frozen chicken breast
- small can of diced or crushed tomatoes
- homemade taco seasoning (make your own. It’s cheaper) (substitute garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and onion powder if you don’t have taco sesoning)
- salt and pepper
- water or chicken broth
- chipotles (optional but delish)
What you need for tacos
- corn tortillas, a gluten-free option or you can use flour tortillas if you prefer.
- chicken – use chicken breasts, chicken thighs,
- optional toppings (see toppings section below)
How to make them
- Salt and pepper chicken on both sides. Add to instant pot.
- Sprinkle chicken liberally with taco seasoning.
- Measure tomatoes and add enough water to make two cups of liquid.
- Add to pot.
Secure the lid. Turn vent to sealing mode. Set cooker to high pressure manual cook for the correct amount of time. (See graph below for time, depending on the size of your chicken breast.) Let pressure release naturally for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pressure indicator goes back down. Carefully open lid. Keep your face and hands away so that you don’t get burned with the steam.
Let chicken cool slightly then shred it with two forks. Add shredded chicken back to the pot with the cooking liquid, to keep warm.
In the meantime, soften tortillas in the microwave or in a small pan with shallow oil on high heat on the stovetop.
Assemble tacos with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and any additional toppings you would like.
SIZE MATTERS WHEN PRESSURE COOKING
The size of your breasts is important. Larger breasts will take longer to cook through than smaller ones.
Weigh them with a kitchen scale or approximate on the size by taking the weight from your package and dividing by the number of breasts in your package.
I buy halal breasts from our local restaurant store. They weigh 15-19 oz. each and take 25-30 minutes to cook. So if yours are larger than 12 oz. add some time.
These are the estimated times for cooking boneless skinless breasts.
Pro tip: Prepare any toppings that you want for your tacos while chicken is cooking to save time.
Add your favorite taco toppings and sides for tacos
- chopped fresh or pickled onions
- queso fresco or cotija cheese
- cilantro or parsley
- sour cream or creme fraiche
- fresh or pickled hot peppers
- your favorite salsa
- squeeze of fresh lime juice
- Spanish rice
- frijoles (refried beans)
Why you should make these Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- The flavor is incredibly fresh and so much better than anything you can buy.
- Incredibly easy.
- Less than 30 minutes total time to have dinner on the table.
- Can be made from frozen chicken breasts.
- Only a few ingredients.
- The whole family will love them.
Pro tips for your success
- Cook breasts for the proper amount of time. (See infographic above)
- Let instant pot naturally release pressure.
- Add enough liquid to tomatoes to make 2 cups (we use chicken broth or water).
- Shred into small pieces.
- Add chicken back to instant pot to keep it extra moist.
- This filling freezes well for at least 3 months, so make a big batch, and place leftovers in the freezer so that you have a meal done for another night.
What else you can make with leftover chicken
- chicken nachos
- air fryer chicken taquitos
- add it to a fresh taco salad
More easy Instant pot recipes
Tools I use
If you have any questions or comments, please ask in comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!
I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
Instant pot Chicken Tacos
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts see notes
- 1 can Diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 3 tsp taco seasoning
- 1 cup cooked chicken
- 8 corn tortillas
- Diced tomatoes
- shredded lettuce
- grated cheese
- Salt and pepper both sides of chicken.2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp Pepper
- Measure tomatoes. Add enough water to make at least one cup.1 can Diced tomatoes
- Sprinkle with taco seasoning on top of chicken.3 tsp taco seasoning
- Set instant pot to pressure cook. (Use time below in notes, depending on the size of your breasts)
- Cook for allotted time. Let the instant pot naturally release for 10 minutes. Press down on the venting knob. Let the rest of the pressure evacuate until the float valve drops. Carefully remove lid to remove remaining pressure. Let cool slightly. Shred with two forks.
- Add shredded chicken back to pot to keep warm.
- Heat tortillas in microwave, between damp paper towel, or shallow fry tortillas in hot oil until desired crispness.8 corn tortillas
- Assemble tacos with chicken, lettuce, tomato and grated cheese. Add any additional toppings you like. See suggested toppings in notes below.Diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, 1 cup cooked chicken
Originally published 5/4/2021 Updated with new content 1/3/2022