Chipotle Chicken Tacos


Chicken dinner and taco night collide.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Taco Tuesday has a standing spot on our calendars. We love a recipe that relies on simple pantry staples to deliver a meal that's super-charged with flavor. This week, ditch the ground beef and taco seasoning packets in favor of main dish that's more exciting, but just as easy to execute: Chipotle Chicken Tacos.

One of the key ingredients in this recipe is a jar of salsa from the supermarket. Yes, really. The salsa creates a spice-packed cooking liquid for the chicken to stew in, adding big flavor from the very beginning. When shopping, pick a jarred salsa with a chunky consistency. "Restaurant-style" and "cantina" salsas are too watery for this recipe.

Most of the flavor of the dish comes from the jarred salsa, which tenderizes the chicken thighs and infuses them with tomato and spice. Honey and canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce play the supporting roles that take this dish to the next level. Since this chicken cooks in the multicooker, it develops the flavor that'd usually require hours of stewing in a matter of minutes. We recommend topping these Chipotle Chicken Tacos with avocado, sour cream, lime, and cilantro.


  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs 

  • 1 (16-oz.) jar mild salsa

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (from 1 [7-oz.] can)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 12 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas, warmed 

  • Serving options: crema, lime wedges, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado


  1. Toss together chicken, salsa, honey, chipotle chiles, salt, and garlic powder using tongs in a programmable pressure multicooker, such as Instant Pot. (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Cover with lid; lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 8 minutes. (It will take 12 to 14 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

  2. Carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position; let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). This will take 1 to 2 minutes. Remove lid. Transfer chicken to a bowl, leaving chile mixture in cooker.

  3. Select SAUTÉ setting on cooker. Select HIGH temperature setting; bring chile mixture to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Press CANCEL.

  4. While chile mixture thickens, shred chicken using 2 forks. Return shredded chicken to cooker; stir to coat in sauce. Add additional salt to taste, stirring to combine. Serve with warmed tortillas and desired toppings.

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