Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

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This Easy Instant Pot Chicken Taco Filling recipe is so versatile! It’s great for taco salads, enchiladas, burritos, and more! And these pressure cooker shredded chicken tacos are SO convenient for busy nights—you don’t even have to remember to thaw the frozen chicken!

A plate of three Instant Pot chicken tacos, filled with rice, cilantro, avocado, and diced tomato, garnished with two lime slices and a spring of cilantro

This chicken taco recipe is one of our quick pressure cooker dinner for busy nights! This recipe was one of the first I developed for the electric pressure cooker, and nearly a decade later, it’s still my go-to recipe when I’m making chicken tacos.

It is SO quick to throw this meal together! Chop an onion, toss in a can of tomatoes and spices, and throw in some chicken breasts.

It also makes a big batch, so I can have individual portions ready and waiting in my freezer for a quick lunch or easy dinner!

Three Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos plated with a garnish of cilantro and limes, with an Instant Pot and a bowl of shredded chicken taco meat in the background

How to Make Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Chicken Tacos 

This Instant Pot Chicken Tacos recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, and Mealthy MultiPot. Pressure cookers are perfect for cooking chicken quickly. Plus, your meat will be fall-apart tender. (See more of my favorite Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Chicken Recipes here.)

Make These Shredded Chicken Tacos Your Way

These Easy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos are so versatile! Think of this recipe as a starting point and substitute ingredients until it’s just right..

Like it spicy? Use the hottest Ro-tel tomatoes or sub your favorite spicy chicken taco seasoning in place of the chili powder.

Walk on the mild side? Use the Ro-tel mild tomatoes, half the chili powder, or add a few tablespoons of cream cheese.

You can also mix up the flavors to match your family’s favorite. For example, use chipotle chili powder or add a little adobo sauce to change it up. Or stir in your favorite enchilada sauce after you shred the chicken!

An Instant Pot cooking pot filled with frozen chicken breasts, diced tomatoes, ready to be made into easy Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos

Can I Use Frozen Chicken for Instant Pot Tacos?

YES! You can use fresh or frozen chicken breasts in this recipe, since you don’t need to brown the meat in this recipe.

Remember, if multiple breasts are frozen together, those breasts will cook like one very thick piece of meat and will NOT be cooked in the time below. Be sure to separate your chicken breasts before attempting to cook from frozen.

Chicken breasts with very thick parts may need an additional few minutes to cook. Be sure to check the cooked chicken with an instant-read thermometer to make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Learn more about how to pressure cooker frozen chicken breasts.

A bowl of pressure cooker chicken taco filling being shredded with two forks.

How to Shred Chicken for Shredded Chicken Tacos

If you have a stand mixer like a KitchenAid or Breville, put your cooked chicken breasts in the mixer bowl and use the paddle attachment to shred it. You’ll shred all 6 breasts in just a few minutes!

(Just make sure to keep an eye on it while it shreds—if you let it go too long, the meat can get really finely shredded.) I love shredding it this way because I can warm up the tortillas while the mixer is running.

However, these chicken breasts are also easy to shred by hand with two forks, if desired.

Three Instant Pot Tacos on a white plate, with a bowl of cilantro rice and shredded chicken taco filling in the background

What to serve with Instant Pot Chicken Tacos?

In my family, Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice is our go-to side dish for any Mexican-flavored recipe. Or if you love green salsa, you’ll love this Mexican Green Rice.

Another option is chips and my 7 layer bean dip, with homemade refried beans.

And, if you’re looking to stretch the meat, you can always add Pressure Cooker Black Beans and rice.

Pressure Cooker chicken taco filling, with diced tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, limes, and corn tortillas

What toppings are best for chicken tacos?

My family prefers soft flour tortillas, so that’s what we use at our house. Lately we’ve been into the little street taco size.

However, remember that this chicken taco filling recipe is more like a guideline—if you prefer hard shell or corn tortillas, use those!

No matter what, I like to use lots of fresh vegetables like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocados, spinach, or cilantro. Plus lime wedges and sour cream or Mexican Crema.

An overhead shot of shredded chicken tacos pressure cooker, with diced tomatoes, cilantro, limes, and additional Instant Pot shredded chicken taco filling

How to Freeze Leftover Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco Filling

This chicken taco meat freezes so well! I like to freeze it in 1/2 cup portions in snack size freezer bags. For my family, this is the perfect amount for one individual serving.

When you’re freezing a big batch, I like to use a quarter-size baking sheet. I’ll lay one ziplock down and press the meat flat to fill out most of the bag. I’ll layer the bags flat on each other, then place the whole baking sheet in the freezer.

Once frozen, you can stand up the bags in a freezer-safe container so they’re easy to grab and go without having to dig around your fridge.

Get a list of pressure cooker / instant pot frozen chicken recipes at my how-to post.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tacos on corn tortillas with a bowl of additional shredded chicken taco meat and an Instant Pot in the background

How long will cooked chicken taco filling last?

According to the USDA, frozen chicken is best within 4 months of freezing. (Somehow at my house it always gets eaten much quicker than that!)

What’s your favorite way to serve chicken tacos?

Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Chicken Taco Filling for Chicken Tacos

Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco Filling

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

This Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot chicken taco filling is so versatile! It's great for taco salads, enchiladas, burritos, and more! And it's SO convenient for busy nights—you don't even have to remember thaw the frozen chicken!


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, frozen*
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel Original)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Tortillas, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, and sour cream for serving


  1. Select Saute to preheat the pressure cooking pot. Add the oil and onion. Saute for about 3 minutes, until tender.
  2. Add the chicken, tomatoes and green chilies, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 12 to 15 minutes cook time.*
  4. When cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  5. Remove the chicken from the cooking pot, but do not discard the juices in the pot.
  6. Shred the chicken and return it to the cooking pot, stirring to combine it with the tomatoes and juices.
  7. If needed, select Sauté and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed.
  8. Serve in warmed tortillas, topped with diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, cheese, and avocado, with a dollop of sour cream.


*This cook time is a range because it depends on a number of factors—the size of your chicken breasts, whether your chicken breasts have a very thick part, whether your chicken breasts are fresh or frozen. The thicker they are, the longer cook time you'll need.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 19g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

Other Amazing Instant Pot Mexican Food Recipes

Tacos, burritos, and  are a mainstay in my meal plans. I make some variation of these at least once a week. Here are some of my favorites:

Pressure Cooker Green Chile Pork Carnitas. Moist, flavor-packed, and fall apart in your mouth tender, these green chili pork carnitas tacos are the perfect solution for a speedy family friendly dinner!

Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Green Chile Pork Carnitas

Pressure-Cooker-Tamales in the Instant Pot

Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Pork Tamales


Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Green Chile Chicken and Rice

Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad

Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad

Plus, I have several exclusive recipes in my Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook

  • Shredded Chicken Taco Filling (page 49)
  • Sweet Pork Tostadas (page 48)
  • Cheesy Baked Chicken Taquitos (page 57)
  • Barbecue Beef Brisket Tacos (page 55)
  • Ground Beef Tacos (page 54)
  • Carne Asada Tacos (page 52)
  • Chicken Quesadillas with Avocado Salsa (page 58)
  • Carnitas Street Tacos (page 50)

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originally published September 21, 2019 — last updated July 23, 2020
Categories: Chicken