These Instant Pot chicken tacos are so easy to make but don’t skimp on flavor! Made with simple ingredients, these tacos feature tender, shredded chicken cooked in salsa and taco seasoning, stuffed into tortillas, and topped with an optional (but delicious!) avocado-jalapeño sauce. A must for every weeknight dinner rotation!
🌮 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- It should come as absolutely no surprise to you, if you’ve spent any time at all perusing the blog, when I tell you I’m a HUGE fan of shredded chicken. It’s just SO versatile. You can cook it in the Instant Pot, the Crockpot, or just on the stovetop. There’s an impressive FIVE tried-and-true ways to shred the cooked chicken super easily. From there it can be chicken salad or chicken tacos or chicken-stuffed sweet potatoes or used in soup or spread over nachos or… Well, you get the idea.
- You only need 3 ingredients for the Instant Pot chicken, plus your favorite toppings for the tacos! The avocado-jalapeño sauce is just as easy, using only 5 ingredients, but you’re welcome to skip it entirely if you want.
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- Make sure the chicken breasts are completely covered with the salsa! If they’re very large or if you have a smaller Instant Pot, you may want to add just half the salsa to the Instant Pot before you put in the chicken. Once you add the chicken breasts, pour the rest of the salsa over the top of them. That’ll help them stay nice and juicy while they cook.
- You shouldn’t need to add any liquid to the Instant Pot, unless you use a really thick, chunky salsa. Those may not contain enough liquid to prevent a burn notice. Thinner salsas, on the other hand, should work just fine. If you opt for a chunky salsa, add just a splash of chicken broth, but be careful not to add too much to the Instant Pot. We don’t want to boil the chicken for the tacos!
🥘 Some of Our Favorite Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast
- Cheesy Instant Pot Potatoes
- Rich & Creamy Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- Instant Pot Pork Roast with Carrots, Potatoes, and Gravy
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Creamy Instant Pot Risotto with Parmesan and White Wine
- Instant Pot Paella
- Dreamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
For the Salsa Chicken
For the Avocado-Jalapeño Sauce (Optional)
- 1 large avocado peeled, pit removed
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper stem removed, seeds removed if desired
- ½ loose cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ cup water at room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt more or less to taste
Serving Suggestions (All Optional)
- 6 8-inch flour tortillas
- sour cream or crema
- shredded cheese or crumbled queso fresco
- sliced jalapeños pickled or fresh
- chopped freshly cilantro
- shredded lettuce
- pico de gallo
- Instant Pot or similar pressure cooker
- Cutting board or large bowl
- 2 forks or hand mixer with beater attachment, see Notes
- Large wooden spoon
- Food processor or blender
- Paper towels
- Microwave-safe plate
For the Salsa Chicken
- Pour 1 16-ounce jar salsa of choice into Instant Pot. Add 1 1-ounce packet taco seasoning and stir well to incorporate ingredients.
- Add 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts to Instant Pot, then flip chicken breast 3 to 4 times to coat in salsa on all sides. Do not add water.
- Secure lid on Instant Pot with vent in Sealing position. Set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 21 minutes. Instant Pot will pressurize, then cook time will start.
- When cook time ends, immediately and carefully Quick Release pressure from inside pot. Remove lid and set aside. Escaping steam will be very hot – use caution when venting and when removing lid.
- Using tongs, carefully transfer chicken to cutting board. Use two forks to shred chicken breasts into pieces of preferred size. Alternately, place chicken breasts in large bowl and use hand mixer to beat chicken breasts until shredded.
- Return shredded chicken to Instant Pot. Set Instant Pot to Sauté mode and stir chicken into remaining salsa until salsa is fully absorbed into chicken.
For the Avocado-Jalapeño Sauce
- Add 1 large avocado, 1 medium jalapeño pepper, ½ loose cup fresh cilantro leaves, ½ cup water, 2 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons white vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt to food processor or blender.
- Pulse until ingredients are fully combined and sauce is very smooth. Once desired consistency is achieved, taste sauce and add more salt if desired.
To Warm the Tortillas
- Wet paper towels, then wring out excess water until paper towels are just damp. Lay one paper towel out flat on microwave-safe plate, covering surface of plate completely.
- Place one flour tortilla in center of paper towel, then cover tortilla with second paper towel. Repeat layers, alternating tortillas and damp paper towels until all 6 8-inch flour tortillas have been stacked on plate. Cover top tortilla with final paper towel.
- Place plate of tortillas in microwave. Microwave tortillas 15 to 30 seconds or until tortillas are warm and soft. Be careful not to over-microwave or tortillas will dry out and become chewy.
To Assemble the Tacos
- Carefully remove tortillas tortillas from microwave. Portion shredded chicken into warm tortillas. Drizzle avocado-jalapeño sauce over chicken, then add toppings of choice and serve immediately.
- To drizzle avocado-jalapeño sauce, fill a plastic sandwich bag with prepared sauce. Snip off a small piece of one corner and drizzle sauce over chicken in tacos.
- Salsa: If you use a thick, chunky salsa, you may need to add just a tiny splash of chicken broth to prevent a burn notice. Don’t add liquid to thinner salsas, you don’t want to boil the chicken.
- Shred Chicken: Watch this quick video to see how to shred chicken with a hand mixer.
- Make it Whole30: Use a Whole30-compliant taco seasoning and salsa. Replace tortillas with lettuce cups. Omit any cheese.
- Make it Paleo: Use paleo-friendly taco seasoning and salsa. Replace tortillas with lettuce cups, or use grain-free tortillas. Use paleo-friendly cheese.
- Make it Gluten Free: Make sure your taco seasoning and salsa don’t contain any hidden gluten. Replace tortillas with lettuce cups or use corn tortillas or gluten-free tortillas.
- Make it Low Carb/Keto: Use a keto taco seasoning and a salsa without any added sugars or sugar substitutes. Replace tortillas with lettuce cups, low-carb tortillas, or homemade keto tortillas.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.