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Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

4.5 from 4 votes
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posted: 04/30/18

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

These Instant Pot Chicken Tacos have become a weekly staple in our house! With just three ingredients and done in under 30 minutes, they will become a staple in your house too!

Grab some of my homemade taco seasoning, (and while you are at it, one of my margaritas) and let’s do this!

close up picture of instant pot taco chicken with pico de gallo recipe

For the longest time, this Slow Cooker Taco Chicken has been a fan favorite on Simple Joy. And for good reason. It’s super easy to make and perfect for in tacos, on salads, or stuffed into a burrito with some cilantro lime rice. When friends ask me for easy dinner ideas, I always point them towards that post.

Recently, a reader asked me if I had an Instant Pot version of it, and I thought, “Duuuuuude, I totally should!” Guys. True confession: I use ‘dude’ in my day to day language more than someone in their late (crying) 30’s should. The other day my 10 year old called me ‘dude.’

I might need an intervention.

overhead view of taco chicken in instant pot

Anyway! Instant Pot Chicken Tacos! So I did it. And then I did it again and again and again. Because after I made them once and saw how easy they were I was sold. And after Nathan tried them and felt like the pressure cooker kept the chicken about 10 times more tender than the slow cooker did, he was sold.

overhead view of pressure cooker shredded taco chicken

overhead view of three chicken tacos made in the instant pot

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN TACOS

  1. Start off by making some homemade taco seasoning. You are going to want to make the big batch, because these will become a weekly staple for you.
  2. Add three tablespoons of taco seasoning, three cups of chicken stock, and 1 pound of chicken tenders to your instant pot.
  3. Seal the instant pot, make sure that the steam release is set to sealed. And set it to manual, high pressure for five minutes.
  4. It will take a little bit (about 10 minutes) to reach pressure, and then it will count down the 5 minutes. Once it beeps, turn the steam release to venting. Once the float valve drops (about 10 more minutes), you can open the pressure cooker.
  5. Take out the chicken tenders. Shred them, and make the best chicken tacos!

overhead view of three instant pot chicken tacos on a plate with cilantro lime rice

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THESE PRESSURE COOKER CHICKEN TACOS

  • We’ve made this recipe using both chicken breasts and chicken tenders and the chicken tenders turn out more . . . . tender ???? . . . . every time.
  • Be picky about your chicken stock. Some is SO super salty, and that really will impact your recipe.
  • If your family eats in stages like mine sometimes does (ALL THE ACTIVITIES), keep your chicken unshreded in the instant pot and only pull out chicken tenders and shred it as you make tacos.
  • Obviously you can eat your tacos however you see fit (I don’t micro manage taco consumption), but my favorite way is with this amazing pico de gallo on top and this great cilantro lime rice on the side.
  • This recipe is super flexible. So if you want to make more than one pound of chicken, throw it in and make sure that it is covered by liquid, adding in a little more taco seasoning.

three pressure cooker chicken tacos on a plate with an instant pot

OTHER GREAT INSTANT POT DINNERS

If you make these great instant pot chicken tacos or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

close up picture of instant pot taco chicken with pico de gallo recipe

overhead view of three instant pot chicken tacos on a plate with cilantro lime rice
4.5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Taco Chicken

Serves: 4 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 4 minutes
Cook: 26 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
This Instant Pot Taco Chicken is only three ingredients and done in under 30 minutes! It makes for the most perfect tender chicken tacos every single time.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot.
  • Seal the instant pot, make sure that the steam release is set to sealed. And set it to manual, high pressure for five minutes.
  • It will take a little bit (about 10 minutes) to reach pressure, and then it will count down the 5 minutes.  Once it beeps, turn the steam release to venting (quick release, not natural release). Once the float valve drops (about 10 more minutes), you can open the pressure cooker.
  • Take out the chicken tenders. Shred them, top the chicken with pico de gallo and serve in taco shells.
Calories: 180kcal (9%) Carbohydrates: 10g (3%) Protein: 27g (54%) Fat: 4g (6%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 55mg (18%) Sodium: 690mg (30%) Potassium: 189mg (5%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 250IU (5%) Vitamin C: 2.5mg (3%) Calcium: 30mg (3%) Iron: 1.4mg (8%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
overhead view of three instant pot chicken tacos on a plate with cilantro lime rice

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Instant Pot Taco Chicken

I'd love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. averie @ averie cooks says

    I can literally see how tender the chicken is and great to hear it is way more tender and juicy this way than in your slow cooker!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Right?? Sooooo good!

  2. danielle says

    Hello. I want to make this recipe for my sons birthday. Problem is I have not used my instant pot yet. I need to make enough for 25 people. Help!!!! Any tips? Also…How many does 1lbs of chicken make? Thx.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yikes! That’s a LOT of people to make this for. So I feel comfortable telling you to double it and it won’t change the cooking time much, but you would probably need to make 5x what it calls for. I would suggest you either make it in two batches or check out my slow cooker version.

  3. Sara says

    3 cups of liquid seems like a lot! Is that accurate?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yup!

      • Heather Hamby says

        So you use 3 cups of liquid and it ends up looking like the chicken in the pot in the photo? Or is that after you take the chicken out and shred it and dump the liquid and put the chicken back in the pot? ;)

        • Lisa Longley says

          I pulled out the liquid because it made for a prettier photo ????

  4. Robin says

    New insta pot user here. ????‍♀️ Can I put the chicken in frozen or do I have to thaw it first?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried this recipe with frozen chicken yet! If you give it a go, let me know!

      • Debi C says

        4 stars
        Yes, you can use frozen chicken with the same results. I would also reduce the amount of liquid to 1 cup per pound of chicken.

  5. Bettina says

    4 stars
    The recipe is great, but a little too much liquid and I had to add more taco seasoning for the extra liquid. I made a wonderful chicken bowl with rice, corn, onion, black beans, chicken, extra juice and cheese. Definitely a keeper

  6. Jeannette says

    It sounds like you are doing a quick release since you said to turn the knob to venting. My pot takes maybe a minute to release the pressure this way. Since you said it would take about ten minutes for the float to drop do you mean natural pressure release?
    Thanks! The recipe sounds delicious so I don’t want to mess it up.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes to everything you said. I must have learned different Instant Pot terminology!

  7. G says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now and it’s delicious. I batch cook on sundays and it freezes well. Everyone likes it from my picky eating 8 year old to my keto dieting husband.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy to hear that!

  8. Janna says

    How long do you cook it for if you’re making more than 1 lb?

    • Lisa Longley says

      The same amount of time

  9. April De Haan says

    new follower….for these tenders, I am doubling it. So 2#’s. I see the note about making sure they are covered with stock, but do I need to adjust the time at all for two pounds vs one? Thanks!

    • Lisa Longley says

      No, I’ve done two pounds in the same time and it worked great.

  10. Alissa Rogers says

    What’s the cooking time if you use chicken breasts?

    • Lisa Longley says

      It’s the same!

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