Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

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Make chicken tacos in the Instant Pot tonight! Seasoned chicken is cooked with salsa to juicy perfection in this easy chicken taco recipe.

If you love these Instant Pot Chicken Tacos, try these Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas next! Serve with a side of cilantro lime rice for a complete Mexican feast.

Three chicken tacos with all the fixings and instant pot in background.

Why use the Instant Pot

It’s not exactly a secret that I’m borderline obsessed with Instant Pot recipes. Today, I’m showing you how to make the best ever chicken for tacos in your Instant Pot.

  • Set it and forget it!
  • Chicken comes out juicy and tender in minutes.
  • Frees up your stove top and oven.

With a few ingredients and your pressure cooker, you’ll have perfect chicken tacos on the table in under an hour–and most of that cooking time is hands off.

The chicken taco meat is delicious on both corn and flour tortillas. It’s also phenomenal in salads, taco bowls, burritos, nachos. . . you name it!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for instant pot chicken tacos.
  • Chicken. Fresh or frozen chicken breasts work best in this Instant Pot recipe. Chicken thighs make a good substitute, especially if doing the slow cooker method.
  • Taco Seasoning. Mix together a batch of my Homemade Taco Seasoning or grab your favorite store bought mix.
  • Chicken broth. This is the primary liquid used to cook the chicken in the Instant Pot.
  • Salsa. Jarred red salsa combines with the broth to create a flavorful tomato sauce for the chicken.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make Instant Pot Chicken tacos.

Start by pouring the chicken broth into your Instant Pot. Arrange the chicken breasts in the Instant Pot in a single layer. Cover with taco seasoning and salsa.

Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. After releasing pressure, shred the chicken with two forks. Add it back to the pot with a squeeze of lime juice and zest.

Serve on tortillas with any taco toppings you desire. Feel free to drain off any excess liquid.

Slow Cooker Instructions

No Instant Pot? No problem!

Add your chicken, taco seasoning, and salsa to the crockpot. DO NOT ADD BROTH.

Cook on low for 6 hours. Shred and enjoy.

Flour tortilla stuffed with chicken taco meat and all the fixings.

Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure to arrange the chicken in an even single layer. Especially if they’re frozen, they won’t cook fully if they are stuck together.
  • Pour the salsa on top of the chicken before cooking. If it’s on the bottom of the pot it can cause a burn notice.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Cooked chicken taco meat can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge before reheating.
  • Top your tacos or taco bowls with fixings like lettuce, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt is also delicious!
  • This taco chicken tastes delicious in taco salads too. Toss with greens, tortilla strips and avocado dressing.
  • Add leftover chicken to chicken taco soup!
Black serving plate with chicken tacos and fixings.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use fresh salsa instead of jarred salsa to cook the chicken?

Save the pico de gallo and other uncooked salsas for topping your tacos! You need the juices of jarred salsa to create the delicious sauce that marinates the chicken as it cooks.

I want to make this recipe with frozen chicken. Do I need to add extra cooking time?

No extra cooking time is needed for frozen chicken. Your Instant Pot will just take longer to come to pressure.

What size Instant Pot do I need?

We tested this recipe in a 6 quart instant pot.

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Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

4.66 from 23 votes
By: Aimee
Make chicken tacos in the Instant Pot tonight! Seasoned chicken is cooked with salsa to juicy perfection in this easy chicken taco recipe.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 tacos


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning mix
  • ¾ cup salsa
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
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  • Pour chicken broth into the Instant Pot. Add chicken breasts in a single layer. Sprinkle taco seasoning over the chicken breasts. Top with salsa.
  • Secure the lid and make sure the pressure valve is set to SEALING. Select the HIGH PRESSURE (or manual cook mode) and set the timer for 15 minutes.
  • When the timer is done, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes and then manually release the rest of the pressure. 
  • Remove chicken breast and place them on a cutting board or plate. Shred the chicken with two forks.
  • Drain about ¼ cup of liquid from the Instant Pot into a measuring cup. I like to reserve this incase the tacos need a little additional liquid after mixing.
  • Put the shredded chicken breast back into the Instant Pot. Add lime juice and zest. Stir to combine. Serve on flour or corn tortillas.


  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs may be used instead of chicken breasts.
  • Try my homemade taco seasoning for today’s recipe!
  • If you use frozen chicken breasts, you don’t need to change the temperature or cook time.  Your Instant Pot will just take longer to build up to pressure.  You do need to make sure they are positioned in a single layer and not stuck together.  The chicken will not cook.
  • Use jarred salsa for this recipe – it combines with the chicken broth to create a taco flavored tomato sauce for the taco meat. Save the fresh pico de gallo for serving. Make sure to place the salsa on top of the chicken breasts. If the salsa is on the bottom of the pot, it can cause the burn notice warning to go off.
  • Tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot. 
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Cooked chicken taco meat can be frozen in an airtight container and stored for up to 3 months in the freezer.


Serving: 1taco, Calories: 74kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 216mg, Sugar: 1g
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are easy, flavorful and versatile. Fire up the pressure cooker and grab a tortilla!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on October 13, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Great quick recipe, the seasoning mix is great .
    I made this with salsa verde and with chicken thighs, I definitely recommend this recipe

  2. 5 stars
    I don’t have a pressure cooker so I will making this in a crock pot. I was wonder how long I need to cook this using the crock pot?

  3. These are delicious!! The lime really makes it! I used 6 frozen chicken breasts and cooked it exactly by your instructions and it came out perfectly. This recipe is definitely a keeper!! Thank you!

  4. These are delicious!! The lime really makes it! I used 6 frozen chicken breasts and cooked it exactly by your instructions and it came out perfectly. This recipe is definitely a keeper!! Thank you!

  5. This was delicious! The lime at the end really gives it a fresh flavor. I took the liquid and reduced down to 1/2 the original volume, poured over the meat. Tastes even better the next day.

  6. This came out so delicious I will be preparing my chicken tacos like this from now on. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    1. You can double the recipe, cook time remains the same, however it will take a bit longer to come to pressure.

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