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Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos {Instant Pot Tacos}

Juicy and flavorful Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos are a quick and delicious weeknight dinner. Perfect for freezer meals and make-ahead dinners, these Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are also Whole30 compliant, paleo-friendly, keto, and gluten-free. This kid-friendly meal makes the perfect shredded chicken taco recipe.

whole30 pressure cooker chicken tacos on a salad in a bowl with a fork

Chicken tacos are something that most families can agree upon for dinner. They work so well because they’re versatile and adaptable to the preferences of everyone around the kitchen table.

Add some of the shredded taco meat to crunchy taco shells or tortillas for those want handheld tacos. Much like Sheet Pan Pork Fajitas, you could also use a large piece of leaf lettuce to make grain-free, Whole30 compliant and paleo-friendly tacos.

Or, like in the above photo, add some of the meat to a huge bowl of greens and veggies and make a killer chicken taco salad. The world is your oyster! Errr, I mean it is your chicken taco.

What Ingredients Are in Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos?

If you have leftover chicken when all is said and done, try it on top of these Greek Fries.

Sarah, Why Don’t You Use Salsa in This Recipe?

Many people love throwing a jar of salsa into the Instant Pot or slow cooker with some chicken and calling it a day.

I don’t, and there are two reasons why. One: when you cook chicken, there are always odd little bits that come off during the cooking process (see photos below under “here’s how you make it”). Sometimes it is almost like a foam(?). I don’t want that in my finished product. Adding salsa means the sauce you’re serving with the chicken has those odd bits in it. No thanks.

Two: if you add seasoning to the chicken while it cooks, you’re stuck eating it in that form. Whereas when you cook up a ton of unseasoned chicken breasts, you have more options for meal prep. Double the recipe and all of a sudden you can have pressure cooker chicken tacos or Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup.

You could also make Chicken Salad With Greek Yogurt (delicious, but not Whole30 compliant), or Asian Chicken Taco Boats. You could also throw a bunch of cooked shredded chicken into soup like the Ultimate Chicken Gnocchi Soup.

Should I Use Chicken Breast in Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos? Chicken Thighs?

Use either. Or both! I like to use a mix of chicken breasts that we get in our Butcher Box order and organic chicken thighs that I buy from Costco. Use the rest of the chicken thighs to make Whole30 and Paleo-friendly Roasted Greek Chicken Thighs.

Chicken breasts are easy and tend to be pretty straightforward (no gnarly fatty bits). But over time they can dry out. Chicken thighs are fattier and thus make super flavorful Whole30 tacos. But the act of shredding them takes more “hunting” to remove fatty parts.

Can I Double The Recipe?

Yes! Just watch the max fill line of your Instant Pot and use at least 2 cups of liquid total to make sure there are no burn alerts.

Can I Use Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot?

You can! The cook time increases by 5 minutes. If you’re using frozen chicken in this recipe, make sure they are frozen individually and you’re not just putting a big stuck together brick of chicken in the Instant Pot.

Brick of Chicken is my new band name. Dibs.

Can I Use a Slow Cooker Instead?

You can! Check the recipe card below for cooking times. If you’re interested in more slow cooker taco recipes, check out my Slow Cooker Stree Tacos recipe.

Can I Freeze the Cooked Meat?

I’d be mad if you didn’t! Meal prep and freezer cooking is my jam (related: cook 30 days worth of food in one day with Once a Month Meals) so it would be a huge missed opportunity to not stick a ready-made meal into the freezer.

Store cooked shredded chicken taco meat into freezer Ziploc quart-sized bags for quick grab and go meals.

Pressure cooker chicken taco meat will keep in the fridge for three days.

Here’s How to Make It

*Detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom of this post.

Place chicken in the Instant Pot insert and add 3 cups of chicken broth or water.

Lock the lid into place and set the steam release handle (valve on top) to “Sealing”. Press Poultry>High Pressure>12 minutes. <—–If you have any questions about those terms, check out this post on recipes for Instant Pot beginners.

two photos showing how to cook pressure cooker chicken tacos in the instant pot

See? Foamy bits. You don’t want that in your salsa!

Allow for a 10-minute natural release and then perform a quick release. Remove the chicken and transfer to a bowl and shred with two forks. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the Instant Pot to the bowl along with 1.5 tbsp of taco seasoning.

A bowl with shredded instant pot chicken and two forks

Plain shredded chicken – a bowl full of possibilities!

Serve with your favorite taco fixings, or see freezing tips above to store for future meals.

Pro tip: If desired, transfer meat to a foil-lined baking sheet and put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. It will give you amazing crunchy bits while still keeping the meat tender.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • To avoid over or undercooked chicken, it is best to use uniform sizes of chicken in the Instant Pot. My pieces of chicken were about 6 oz each.
  • Many people love to shred their chicken with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer. I’m not a fan of this because I find it makes the texture of the chicken too mushy.

What to Serve With Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos

If you eat rice, some rice with broth and Whole30 Taco Seasoning would be lovely! If rice isn’t your jam, use cauli rice instead for a delicious base for these shredded chicken tacos.

I love to top my own taco salad with Cilantro Chimichurri and I will often add some Encurtido for a bright, colorful, and spicy addition. 

three tortillas with pressure cooker chicken taco meat and other toppings

More Whole30 Instant Pot Recipes Like This

Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos Weight Watcher Points

One serving of Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos has 2 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

Making this recipe or others?

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whole30 pressure cooker chicken tacos on a salad in a bowl with a fork
Print
Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos {Instant Pot Tacos}
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Pressurizing/depressurizing time
10 mins
Total Time
17 mins
 

Juicy and flavorful Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos are a quick and delicious weeknight dinner. Kid-friendly and great for freezer meals and make-ahead dinners. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: Instant Pot Chicken Tacos, Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos, Whole30 Tacos
Servings: 6
Calories: 179 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in the Instant Pot insert and add 3 cups of chicken broth or water.

  2. Lock the lid into place and set the steam release handle (valve on top) to “Sealing”. Press Poultry>High Pressure>12 minutes. 

  3. Allow for a 10-minute natural release and then perform a quick release. Remove the chicken and transfer to a bowl and shred with two forks. 

  4. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the Instant Pot to the bowl along with 1.5 tbsp of taco seasoning.

  5. If desired, transfer meat to a foil-lined baking sheet and put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Frozen chicken breasts will need 17 minutes at high pressure. Make sure frozen chicken breasts are separated and not in one big clump.

 

Store cooked shredded chicken taco meat into freezer Ziploc quart-sized bags for quick grab and go meals.

 

Slow cooker: use 4 cups of broth and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Nutrition Facts
Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos {Instant Pot Tacos}
Amount Per Serving (6 oz)
Calories 179 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 96mg32%
Sodium 215mg9%
Potassium 653mg19%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 105IU2%
Vitamin C 10.3mg12%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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