These Instant Pot chicken tacos are incredibly easy to make, taste fantastic, and they are a great option for Taco Tuesday. Only 4 ingredients are needed to make this juicy pulled Instant Pot salsa chicken.
Chicken tacos are one of my favorites. They are lean, low calorie, healthy and really flavorful. This Instant Pot version is also really easy to make with minimal effort, and it's incredibly versatile.
Serve this 3 ingredients Instant Pot salsa chicken like a regular taco, or use the meat in burritos, wraps, or as an entree with side dishes. You can even meal prep a big batch, and use it in multiple dishes through the week.
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Why you'll love it
- Make it in less than 30 minutes
- Hands-off, easy cooking
- Only requires 4 ingredients
- Really flavorful
- Healthy, low calorie, lean chicken dinner
- Easy to customize to suit your preferences
- Kid friendly
- Dairy free, nut free, gluten free
Chicken: Chicken breasts are perfect for this dish. They are lean and easy to cook with, and the sauce will keep the meat juicy. You can substitute with boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer, or use a combination of the two.
Salsa: Any restaurant style salsa will do. I use jarred salsa to make the process faster, but you can absolutely make your own if you want.
Taco seasoning: Use any taco seasoning! You can buy store bought seasoning packets, or make your favorite homemade taco spice blend.
Water: This is an essential ingredient in most Instant Pot recipes. The water prevents the chicken from burning to the bottom of the pot as the meal cooks. You can also use chicken stock if you prefer.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Layer the ingredients in the Instant Pot in the following order: water, chicken, taco seasoning, and salsa. Don't stir, as it's important that the salsa sits on top of the chicken.
Two: Seal the lid on the pressure cooker. Select the PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL setting, and cook for 10 minutes. Then, perform a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, before you quickly release any remaining pressure. Use a utensil or oven gloves when you turn to release the pressure, as hot steam will be coming out.
Three: Use a hand mixer or two forks to shred the chicken meat. You can shred it directly in the Instant Pot, or place the chicken breasts on a cutting board first. Stir the shredded meat into the salsa to make it extra juicy.
Four: Serve the salsa chicken however you like; as Instant Pot chicken tacos, wraps and more!
- Use your favorite taco seasoning and salsa. These ingredients will largely determine the flavor of the salsa chicken.
- Don't combine the ingredients, and layer them according to the instructions. The salsa has to sit on top of the chicken for the dish to cook correctly.
- Use a hand mixer to shred the chicken really fast. You can also use two forks to pull the meat apart, but this isn't as efficient.
- Instead of taco seasoning, you can also use any Mexican spice blend such as fajita seasoning.
Serve Instant Pot tacos for lunch or dinner, alone or paired with a side dish. The chicken is typically added to a tortilla, but you can also serve it as an entree, add it to a burrito bowl and more. Here are some of my favorite recipes to serve with salsa chicken:
- Rice: Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice, Chili Lime Rice
- Vegetables: Mexican Potatoes, Air Fryer Eggplant
- Taco toppings: Guacamole with lemon, Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing, Strawberry Pineapple Salsa
Spicy chicken tacos: Make the salsa chicken extra spicy by using spicy salsa and taco seasoning, or by adding diced chili or jalapenos to the Instant Pot.
With vegetables: Adding some vegetables can make the meat a lot more flavorful. Consider adding diced onion, peppers, jalapenos or corn over the salsa before pressure cooking.
Chicken taco bowls: Add the meat to a bowl, and serve with black beans, rice, tortilla chips and vegetables for a healthy and filling dinner. This is a great alternative to traditional tacos, and tastes just as good.
Keto / low carb: This recipe is easy to make keto friendly, as long as you use low carb taco seasoning and salsa. Watch out for store bought taco seasoning, which often contains a lot of hidden sugar.
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You can store leftover chicken tacos in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 4 days. I recommend storing the salsa chicken separate, and assemble them into tacos, or using the meat whenever needed. This will keep the food fresh for as long as possible.
You can easily prepare a big batch of salsa chicken with this method, and use it in multiple meals throughout the week. This is one of my favorite everyday lunch or dinner ideas, and it's really versatile. You can add it to a chicken paste one day, have chicken tacos the next, and finally chicken and rice the day after.
Frequently asked questions
Tough chicken indicates that it's overcooked. Smaller chicken breasts cook faster, so if they are very small, you might want to reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.
Absolutely! Add 5 minutes to the cooking time if you're using frozen chicken breasts. There is no need to defrost or thaw them, as long as the chicken breasts are separated and not frozen clumped together.
You might also like these recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
- Swordfish Tacos
- Instant Pot Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Tacos
- Air Fryer Fajitas
- Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken
- Instant Pot Carnitas
Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- 1 ½ pound chicken breasts (3 large)
- 1 cup salsa
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning (homemade or store bought)
- ⅓ cup water
- Layer the ingredients in an Instant Pot in the following order: Water, chicken breasts, seasoning and salsa. Don't stir.
- Seal the lid on the pot, and select the PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL setting on high pressure. Set the timer to 15 minutes for fresh chicken, or 20 minutes for frozen. The pressure cooker will take about 5 minutes to get to pressure before the timer starts counting down.
- After the time is up, perform a quick release according to the manufacturer's instructions. Do this carefully, using an oven glove or a utensil like tongs or a wooden spoon, to avoid touching the hot steam. Remove the lid.
- Use two forks or a hand mixer to shred the chicken. Stir it through the liquid to add flavor to the meat.
- Serve the salsa chicken however you like, either in tortillas, lettuce wraps or taco bowls.
- This recipe has only been tested with a 6 qt Instant Pot.
- Store leftovers in a refrigerator for up to 4 days.