Make chicken tacos in Instant Pot in 30 minutes! Perfectly juicy, tender and flavorful Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos are made with only 3 ingredients!

Serve Instant Pot chicken tacos with Instant Pot refried beans for a restaurant quality meal at home.

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos served with pico de gallo, cabbage, guacamole and sour cream on a plate.

Why Use Instant Pot for Tacos?

Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos are one of my favorite healthy Instant Pot recipes to make on a busy weeknight.

While we sure love our shrimp tacos, ground chicken tacos and chicken street tacos recipe, making chicken tacos in Instant Pot is the easiest method I use most often on busy weeknights.

  • Quick and easy which means it’s perfect for quick dinner.
  • Can use fresh or frozen chicken with only a difference of a few minutes of cook time.
  • Instant Pot is hands off cooking method.
  • Versatile in that you can use leftover shredded chicken for so many other dishes including healthy chicken tortilla soup.
  • Kid-friendly because what kid doesn’t love tacos?!

Ingredients for Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos

To make Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos recipe you will need just 3 simple ingredients plus tortillas and your favorite toppings. Crazy easy recipe!

Chicken breasts, salsa, taco seasoning, red onion, pico de gallo, guacamole, lettuce, tortillas, other toppings.
  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs will work. Both will shred nicely. Chicken thighs are dark meat, have more fat and turn out more juicy. Although chicken breast in Instant Pot comes out far from dry.
  • Salsa: Salsa is the secret ingredient to cook chicken in to permeate a lot of flavor in a short amount of time.
  • Taco seasoning: Low sodium homemade taco seasoning adds even more flavor without the extra sodium to chicken tacos in Instant Pot. Otherwise, you will need a lot of salsa. You can also use store-bought taco seasoning.
  • Fixings: Literally anything you like and have in the fridge.
  • Tortillas: Corn tortillas are gluten-free and add more authentic taco flavor. My family loves flour tortillas because they fit more and hold together better.

How to Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos

Making shredded chicken tacos in Instant Pot is hands down the easiest way to cook chicken. Toss in your fresh or frozen chicken, add in your taco seasoning and salsa, then set it and forget it!

Step by step process how to make chicken tacos in Instant Pot.
  • Combine ingredients: To the bottom of Instant Pot, add chicken breasts, sprinkle them with taco seasoning, and then add salsa on top of the chicken. No water or chicken broth. Chicken and salsa will release enough water to build up pressure. No burn, I promise!
  • Pressure cook: Pressure cook chicken in Instant Pot for 15 minutes for fresh chicken and 18 minutes if using frozen chicken.
  • Wait 5 minutes: After Instant Pot has finished cooking, wait 5 minutes and then release pressure using quick release method.
  • Shred the chicken and rehydrate: In a large bowl, add cooked chicken breasts and shred with 2 forks. Add 1/2 cup cooking liquid from Instant Pot and stir.
  • Assemble the Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos.

Can I Make These Chicken Tacos in Slow Cooker?

No Instant Pot? No problem!

If you don’t have Instant Pot, you can make these pressure cooker chicken tacos in your crockpot. Simply add chicken breasts, taco seasonings and salsa to a large slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on Low heat. No water or chicken broth is necessary.

Then shred and enjoy!

Tips for Best Results

Here are my top tips for the best Instant Pot chicken tacos from the first try!

  • Frozen chicken: You can use frozen chicken breasts or frozen chicken thighs. Just make sure pieces are separated, otherwise chicken won’t cook through where meat is touching. Cooking time will be 18 minutes and the Instant Pot will take a bit longer to come to pressure.
  • To separate frozen chicken quickly: Place frozen chicken in a large bowl with warm water for 5-10 minutes, then try to detach. More time might be necessary.
  • To double the recipe: Double all Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos recipe ingredients and keep the same cook time.
  • Instant Pot size: You can make pulled chicken tacos in Instant Pot using any size or brand of electric pressure cooker, including 3 quart Instant Pot.
  • Spicy Instant Pot chicken tacos: If you want your Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos come out a little more spicy, use hot salsa or sprinkle in extra chili powder.
  • Chicken broth: Although your chicken will cook nicely with just the salsa, you’re more than welcome to add a cup of chicken broth or even a bit of orange juice or pineapple juice for additional flavor.
Shredded chicken taco meat in Instant Pot, pico de gallo, tortillas, lime and cabbage on a plate.

What Are the Best Toppings for Instant Pot Chicken Tacos?

The best toppings for Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos are your favorite taco toppings, the ones you have on hand or are easiest for quick Taco Night or Taco Tuesday.

Here are a few of my ideas and recommendations:

Serving a crowd? Get this, no matter how many pieces of chicken breast you toss in there, the cooking time remains the for this Instant Pot chicken tacos recipe!

Preparing for a game day party, potluck, or backyard BBQ has never been easier. It’s one of my favorite summer Instant Pot recipes!

Keep the Instant Pot warm, set out tortillas, toppings, and bowls of shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and extra salsa and have everyone serve themselves.

How to Store Leftovers

Any leftover Instant Pot chicken taco meat will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Without, the toppings, of course! This means that you can cook shredded chicken tacos in Instant Pot well in advance and heat it up just before you’re ready to serve.

You can also reheat the salsa chicken right in Instant Pot. Press Saute, add chicken taco meat a bit of reserved cooking sauce or chicken stock, cook until hot, then switch Instant Pot to Warm setting. Perfect for serving a crowd or going back for seconds family members.


Do I need to add any liquid to the Instant Pot?

Often the answer will be yes. There are Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos recipes that will require you to add liquid to the bottom and it might even say to use a trivet to place the chicken on. This is not one of those recipes.
The salsa will infuse flavor into the chicken as it cooks, so we want it directly on the chicken. Pressure cooking process will naturally create its own liquid.

How long should I cook Instant Pot chicken tacos with frozen chicken?

Generally speaking, 18 minutes is perfect. If you open your lid and realize parts of your chicken are still pink, feel free to close the lid and continue pressure cooking for an extra 5 minutes or so.
Depending on the size of your chicken breast, and even possibly the altitude you live at, will have an effect on how long to cook your frozen chicken breast.

What can I use leftover Instant Pot shredded Mexican chicken for?

So many things! Leftovers are great for meal prep for a few days worth of dinner or lunch. Enjoy Instant Pot chicken taco meat with a side of brown rice or as a topping on a salad. You could use it as a topping for nachos, filling for chicken enchiladas or add it to some Instant Pot taco soup. The most obvious answer might be to have chicken tacos again the next day!

Can I use fresh salsa?

Yes. Fresh salsa will work to make Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos.

What can I substitute salsa with?

Salsa adds the best flavor to Instant Pot chicken tacos. You may replace it with a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies like Rotel.

What is the best way to warm up tortillas?

To warm up tortillas, preheat cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet really well. Cook 1-2 minutes per side or until charred. If you have a gas stove, you can warm them up directly on a burner.

More Taco Recipes to Try

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

Be sure to browse our favorite healthy Instant Pot recipes!

Instant Pot chicken tacos served with guacamole, lime and jalapenos on a plate.

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Make chicken tacos in Instant Pot in 30 minutes! Juicy, tender and flavorful Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos with only 3 ingredients!
4.94 from 30 votes
Servings 12 tacos
Calories 140
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time 13 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes



  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning low sodium
  • 1 cup salsa mild, medium or hot
  • 10-14 small corn tortillas or flour tortillas
  • Guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, cabbage or any of your favorite toppings


  • To any size Instant Pot, add chicken breasts, sprinkle with taco seasoning and add salsa on top.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual button for 15 minutes for fresh chicken breasts or 18 minutes for frozen chicken.
  • After wait 5 minutes and release remaining pressure by turning valve to Venting position.
  • Remove chicken breasts into a large bowl and shred with 2 forks. Add 1/2 cup cooking liquid from the Instant Pot and mix.
  • Warm up tortillas on a hot skillet or directly on the gas stove for 1 minute or so per side. Assemble Instant Pot chicken tacos with your favorite toppings.



  • Store: Refrigerate leftover shredded chicken (without toppings) in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Make sure frozen chicken pieces are separated before cooking.
  • You can double or triple the recipe and keep the same cook time.
  • Fresh salsa should work as well.


Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 258mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. I am yet to make this recipe but planning on making it this weekend for a big group. I am thinking of making x3 or x4. I however noticed you say the chicken needs to be one layer? Has anyone made like 6lbs of chicken? I have a 6 and 8 quart IP.

    1. One layer to ensure they all cook evenly and all the way through. I would double the recipe in each of your IP and it should work okay!

  2. 4 stars
    So glad I made a double recipe!! My husband is currently on his 4th large burrito size wrap! I made 4 chicken breasts, almost 3lbs (1.2 kilos), used a whole 418ml jar of tostitos mild salsa and 2 tbsp store bought taco seasoning. Maybe the salsa was too thick coz I got the burn message soon as the pressure was up. I cancelled it, waited a couple of mins, then let the pressure out and added chicken broth I had lying in the fridge. I didn’t measure it, just poured some in. No more burn message! But maybe I put too much broth as it was pretty liquidy. Will try and save the sauce or a soup or stew.

    It tastes great! Though needs some salt (I guess that depends on your salsa) We went all out with the toppings, lettuce, red onion, green onion, cilantro and hubby made guac, so of course we needed to add yogurt and cheese as well. We used big whole wheat tortillas and wrapped it however which way it fit. Yummy! So we used up 2.5 chicken breasts tonight (hubby, me and 2 kids 5 and 3) leaving us with just 1.5 breasts for leftovers. But for leftovers I plan on adding more toppings that I already have chopped up and mixed together (bell peppers, black beans, corn, tomato – ingredients from your mexican kale salad :p) so we should have enough for round 2!

    I feel like I can also wrap these up in burritos to freeze? I guess depending on what toppings we add.

    Finished writing and hubby and kids are passed out on the sofa. Great Friday night dinner! Another wonderful recipe! Thanks Olena!

    1. Hi Arantxa. Did you stir the ingredients after you put in the salsa? Anything tomato based should not be stirred in or you will get the dreaded burn message. So glad that in the end it worked out and sounds like it was really enjoyed!

      1. No i didn’t stir. I’ve learned from you not to stir tomato-anything. I’ve made it again, 4 breasts and one jar of tostitos salsa and still got the burn message. I just turned off the IP and let it sit (I dunno how long for as I was prepping in advance) and it came out perfect still. I only worry what’ll happen when I’m more pressed for time.

        1. Sounds like your IP is more sensitive than others. I would add 1/2 cup broth before cooking and go from there next time.

  3. Silly question. My son can’t have tomatoes. Really want to make this. Any solution as to liquid/sauce would be appreciated.

    1. I would take roasted red peppers in a jar, purée them a bit, add 1/2 cup any broth or even liquid from the jar and spices to taste.

  4. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite recipes of yours! Great to have on hand for company or just for yourself! So easy, so delicious!!

  5. Do you know if you’re able to can/store homemade salsa in instant? If so can you let me know how many minutes and how much water? Thank you

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