Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Taco Tuesday has never been easier.

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Loren Wood; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
55 mins

With a recipe this easy, every night could be taco night. These Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are convenient, easy, and delicious. You start by throwing pretty much everything except the spice mixture into the pressure cooker, let it work its magic, and –poof–dinner. All you need to do is shred the meat and reduce the sauce—also done in the Instant Pot. When choosing your chicken, we recommend thighs over chicken breast; the former of which are more forgiving. As for the spice, the chipotle will definitely bring a kick, but it's balanced by the acidity and sweetness of the tomatoes. If you prefer a less spicy version, go for a tablespoon of chopped chiles, which will give the dish a mild heat. Finally, the sauce: It's incredibly adaptable—drizzle in honey and toss in Mexican oregano, fresh chiles, or coriander if you fancy—but you must let it reduce! Why? Reducing will give you just the right consistency, otherwise the water from the chicken will dilute it. Allow it to thicken, and you'll be rewarded with maximum flavor. Let everything rest together for 15 minutes and then serve with chopped pineapple or mango.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (such as Rotel), drained

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

  • 3 fresh bay leaves

  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Corn or flour tortillas, crema, lime wedges, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, guacamole, and/or shredded green cabbage, for serving (optional)


  1. Using tongs, toss together chicken, onion, diced tomatoes with chiles, chipotle chiles in adobo, bay leaves, cumin, salt, paprika, and garlic powder in a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Cover cooker with lid, and 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 16 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 vale will drop). (This will take 1 to 2 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker.

  3. Transfer chicken from cooker to a plate; let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Shred with 2 forks.

  4. Meanwhile, select SAUTÉ setting on multicooker. Select HIGH temperature setting, and bring chile mixture to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid has nearly evaporated, and sauce thickens, 15 to 17 minutes. Press CANCEL. Return shredded chicken to cooker; stir to coat in sauce. Serve with tortillas and desired toppings.

Related Articles