Making taco fillings has never been easier! This perfectly tender and juicy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is also super fast to make with just four simple ingredients.
Now that we live in Mexico tacos are literally everywhere around us. And one of the things that surprised me most about Mexican tacos is how simple (and still so good) they are.
TexMex tacos are often loaded with toppings like shredded cheese, refried beans, shredded lettuce, sour cream and the like on top of the meat or other main filling.
While salsa or chimichurri with a little bit of crumbled (Farmer's) cheese is almost fancy here. Sometimes the taco meat is simply topped with chopped onion, cilantro and a little fresh lime juice.
Today's shredded chicken taco recipe is inspired by simpler yet fully flavorful Mexican tacos. Just shredded Instant Pot salsa chicken inside fresh corn tortillas with avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
I am using my beloved Instant Pot to make the shredded chicken. I love how it cooks the chicken breasts to fork-tender consistency in no time while still retaining its juiciness.
But time savings are the only appeal to this popular small kitchen appliance. I mostly love how hands-off the whole cooking process is.
Like my Instant Pot Chili. It has the flavor of chili that simmered on the stove for hours, but I never once have to check and stir to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.
Or cooking dry beans - this is probably what made me into a total fan. I didn't use to cook my own beans because I couldn't stand the sometimes 2 hour long process of simmering while constantly having to check the water levels. Now with the easy of pressure cooker beans I have ditched canned beans altogether.
And finally, yogurt! Yes I have started to make all of our yogurt at home in the Instant Pot. I love that I can be sure of the milk quality and that there are no thickeners or other additives.
>> Click here for more Instant Pot reviews and the latest prices ! << Amazon usually has the best deal on the Instant Pot. But now let's get back to how to make pulled chicken.
How To Make Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot
This is really a super simple recipe. Just 4 ingredients is all it takes.
Start with 2 chicken breasts and season them generously with salt and a Mexican seasoning mix. I used chili spice mix but you can also use taco or fajita seasoning.
Lastly, you need a cup of your favorite salsa - mild, medium, hot - you choose. I used red homemade blender salsa, but you can totally turn this into Instant Pot salsa verde chicken too.
Place the seasoned chicken in the Instant Pot (I added it right to the bottom - a trivet isn't necessary in this recipe). Then spread the salsa right on top of it.
Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Then let the pressure release naturally for another 10 minutes. With meats you usually don't want to do a quick release (QR) as that may result in it losing its juiciness.
Some of liquid from the salsa will accumulate at the bottom of the pot while most of the chunkier pieces should still be on the chicken breasts. Carefully lift out the cooked chicken with most of the solid salsa bits on it.
Add them to a large bowl and use 2 forks for shredding. Add in some of the cooking liquid as needed to moisten the shredded chicken breast.
Alternatively, you can use a hand or stand mixer for shredding. This comes in very handy especially when you are making a bigger batch.
Shredded chicken flavor alternatives
Maybe Mexican seasoning and salsa isn't your thing or you are just looking for a very simple pulled chicken recipe. In that case use just salt and pepper as seasoning on the chicken breasts and simple water or broth in the bottom of the pressure cooker.
How long to cook frozen chicken in Pressure Cooker
Whenever I post an Instant Pot chicken recipe this question always comes up:
- Can I use frozen chicken?
- How much time do I add for making frozen chicken in the pressure cooker?
I have to thank my readers for knowing the answer to these. Thanks to your willingness to share your Instant Pot wisdom in the comments, I now know that YES, you can use frozen chicken in this and most other Instant Pot chicken breast recipes.
And NO, you don't need to adjust the timing. When using frozen chicken in the Instant Pot, it will just take longer to come up to pressure (before the timer starts counting down.)
So the adjustment for frozen chicken breast recipes happens pretty much automatically.
And the same is true when increasing the recipe. If you want to cook more than 2 chicken breasts at once, the cooking time won't change. Again, the pot will just take longer to come up to pressure.
As long as you don't pack them in to tight. You could even use a trivet then to raise the next layer above the first layer of chicken breasts.
How long can you store cooked chicken in the refrigerator
The official recommendation for storing cooked chicken in the refrigerator is no longer than 3-4 days.
So keep this in mind when you make this pressure cooker pulled chicken for later use. In that case you may want to go with the advice in the next point.
Can you Freeze Shredded Chicken
Yes, of course you can also freeze the shredded cooked chicken to extend its shelf life. Store it in airtight containers or freezer bags with as much air as possible removed.
This way it will last about 4 months.
What to make with shredded chicken
As you see in the pictures, I turned this pressure cooker shredded chicken into simple and easy tacos. A little avocado, cilantro and lime juice is all I added for toppings.
But tacos aren't the only way to eat this mexican shredded chicken. It's also fantastic in enchiladas, burritos, chicken sandwiches, or any (Mexican-style) casserole that calls for shredded chicken.
And however you end up serving this shredded salsa chicken, a topping of pickled onions will make the perfect condiment.
Pressure Cooker I Use
Other Recipes with Mexican Flair
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless (about 1.5 pounds)
- sea salt
- about 2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning*
- 1 cup salsa mild, medium, or spicy - you choose
- Season the chicken breasts by generously sprinkling on sea salt and chili seasoning (or any other Mexican spice mix) on both sides.
- Place the chicken breasts into the Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker), then spread the salsa over the top of the chicken.
- Close the lid and set the pressure valve to sealing. Select the 'Manual' button and adjust the time to 10 minutes on high pressure.
- At the end of the pressure cooking time, let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for 10 minutes, then turn the pressure valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Use tongs to transfer the cooked chicken breasts to a bowl and use 2 forks to shred the chicken breasts while adding some of the cooking liquid back in to moisten the chicken. You can also use a hand or stand mixer for even easier and faster shredding.
- Use the shredded chicken in your favorite casseroles, freeze for later use, or simply add to corn tortillas with some avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for a quick meal.
Pin Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipe for later?
Season chicken breasts, add salsa, and pressure cook for 10 minutes with natural release. Shred the chicken with forks or a mixer, adding some cooking liquid for moisture.
Overcooking can result in rubbery texture. Follow the recommended cooking time for tender and juicy shredded chicken.
No, overcooking can lead to toughness. Stick to the recommended cooking times for best results.
Use two forks or a hand mixer to shred the cooked chicken. Add some cooking liquid to keep it moist and flavorful.