Instant Pot Chicken Tacos (Pressure Cooker)

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Instant Pot Chicken is one of the quickest (and easiest) ways to cook chicken!

Just a few simple ingredients (and fresh or frozen chicken) are tossed into your electric pressure cooker, push a button and voila, dinner is ready!

You can barely prepare all of the toppings in the time it takes to make perfect Instant Pot Chicken breasts!

Two Instant Pot Chicken Tacos in crisp taco shells and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and jalapenos


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I love my Instant Pot (and if you don’t have an instant pot, you need one)!  If you’re asking yourself, what is the Instant Pot you’re going to love this! It’s an easy to use (aka super safe) pressure cooker that takes all of the “scary-ness” out of pressure cooking.  (Check them out on Amazon here).

I love being able to grab chicken breasts right from the freezer, pop them into the Instant Pot and have a meal ready to go in just a few minutes.  Not only is it healthy, it’s delicious and crazy tender!

If you use a crock pot regularly, you know you need to thaw frozen meat first and then the recipe usually takes several hours to cook (like my Crockpot Chicken Tacos).

Cooking chicken in the slow cooker is perfect for when I’m gone all day and want to come home to a meal that’s ready to go but the Instant Pot cooks a meal from frozen in just minutes.  I mean, I do TRY to plan meals but sometimes it’s 5pm and I really haven’t even thought about dinner (please tell me I’m not the only one)!

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos shredded in the Instant Pot

In this recipe, you cook fresh chicken for 12 minutes and frozen chicken for 16! Are you beginning to see what I mean when I want to call it the Miracle Pot?

4 ingredients, that’s all it takes to get started. Chicken breast, taco seasoning (I prefer homemade taco seasoning), chicken broth and salsa – that’s it! Once cooked, you simply shred the chicken and you are ready to serve!

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos in the Instant Pot before shredding the chicken breast

Traditional taco fillings and hard shells are perfect, but I also love to use soft tortilla shells or even to serve this over a bed of lettuce for the perfect taco salad!

We set out a whole tray of toppings, sour cream, Homemade Salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole… pretty much whatever you want! Have a little fun with your toppings to see what you can create!

I love to make this recipe not only because it is so simple, but because everyone in my family is satisfied! Seriously, who doesn’t love tacos?!

If you’re serving a crowd, this makes the perfect taco bar… and putting the Instant Pot on warm means your guests can serve themselves whenever they want.

Add in a simple tossed salad while the chicken is cooking and you have a complete meal ready in minutes!

Two Instant Pot Chicken Tacos served in tortilla shells on a white plate

This recipe both freezes and reheats perfectly!  Left overs can be frozen in freezer bags to use later (if there is actually any left-over!) and microwaved until hot for a quick meal. We’ve also used this chicken to make a Nacho Platter for last minute guests!

Instant Pot Chicken is so easy to make and truly one of the most versatile recipes I have ever come across (and one you’ll pull your pressure cooker out for any day of the week). Super-fast, incredibly delicious and crowd pleasing…all reasons to whip up Instant Pot Chicken Tacos tonight!

4.39 from 21 votes
Review Recipe

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Just 4 ingredients and a few minutes of time make this Instant Pot chicken one of the best weeknight recipes we’ve ever had!


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons store bought or homemade taco seasoning
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa
  • taco shells or tortillas
  • cheese
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes

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  1. Place chicken breast in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add chicken broth.
  2. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken breasts. Top with salsa.
  3. Press “Poultry” and cook for 15 minutes if frozen and 12 minutes if fresh.
  4. Once done, release pressure and shred chicken with two forks. Combine with sauce in Instant Pot and serve as desired.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include taco shells or toppings. If your chicken breasts are on the smaller size, you will want to reduce the timing by about 2-3 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 118, Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 729mg, Potassium: 514mg, Carbohydrates: 5g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 19g, Vitamin A: 9.1%, Vitamin C: 5.1%, Calcium: 2.4%, Iron: 3.7%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword instant pot chicken tacos, salsa chicken

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Instant Pot Chicken Tacos require 4 ingredients, that’s all it takes to get started. Chicken breast, taco seasoning, chicken broth and salsa – that’s it! Once cooked, you simply shred the chicken and you are ready to serve with your favorite taco toppings. #spendwithpennies #chicken #chickentacos #instantpot #easyrecipe #weeknightmeal #quickrecipe
Instant Pot Chicken Tacos require 4 ingredients, that’s all it takes to get started. Chicken breast, taco seasoning, chicken broth and salsa – that’s it! Once cooked, you simply shred the chicken and you are ready to serve with your favorite taco toppings. #spendwithpennies #chicken #chickentacos #instantpot #easyrecipe #weeknightmeal #quickrecipe

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Disappointed. Took the lid off the pot and it’s full of liquid. Now I have to put it in a skillet to cook it out before I can eat it. Not sure if I’ll make it again. And the chicken wasn’t tender enough to shred.

    1. There should be liquid in the bottom of the Instant Pot as you can see from the 3rd image in the post. You can add some or all of the liquid (depending on how much you have, I usually add all of it) into the shredded chicken. Once shredded the chicken will absorb a lot of it.

      I haven’t had trouble shredding my chicken but a hand mixer or stand mixer can help to shred it quickly and easily. I hope that helps!

  2. Yaaaassssss!!! This was the second ever recipe I’ve attempted in my pressure cooker (I’m using Elite brand, but it’s basically the same as Instant Pot) and I’m officially in love with this method of cooking! In the time it took to prepare all the toppings, the chicken was finished cooking! Tender, flavorful, my boyfriend joked that he wanted to drink the juices that were left over in the pot, and also said that was the best meal he had all month! As toppings, I served shredded romaine, shredded purple cabbage, cooked quinoa, green onions, cilantro, fresh homemade salsa, sharp cheddar, Greek yogurt, fresh homemade guacamole, black olives, raw onions, and taco sauce! It was quite a meal!!

  3. I had a bad experience with an instant pot last year and packed mine away for good… or until I found this recipe! So happy I braved the instant pot one more time for this one! It was beyond delicious and so fast to make! My husband basically licked the pot clean!! :0

  4. If I wanted to make this with bone in chicken thighs (as that is what I currently have in my freezer), how should the cooking time be adjusted? Please advise, thanks.

    1. While I have only tried this recipe as written, other readers have had success with chicken thighs. Frozen chicken will add 4 minutes to the cook time. Enjoy Garrett!

  5. I love the homemade seasoning. It tastes great. This is such an easy and quick meal, it’s definitely my favorite to make now!

  6. Made this yesterday and both my kids loved it. They said this is the best taco ever, even better than restaurant :-) I think I need to double the quantity next time. Thanks a lot Holly for such an easy recipe.

    1. This can vary based on the size but I usually cook a whole chicken (4 to 4.5 lbs) in the IP for about 20-25 minutes on high pressure. Allow to natural release for 15 min.

  7. what the crap is with the preface to the recipe? I dont care about the trip to Santa Anna’s tomb or your grandmothers cure for syphilis. homt crap just post the recipe.

    1. There are actually no personal stories included in the preface to the recipe, only tips to ensure success or answers to common questions.

      There is also a “jump to recipe” button at the top of each page. If you click it, it’ll skip you past the writing right to the recipe. Hope that helps and enjoy!

  8. I made this recipe for my husband for lunch and he’s STILL raving about how wonderful it turned out, and he doesnt even know how simple it was to make, but that will be our little secret ;) thanks for posting.

  9. These look great! When I make a recipe using boneless, skinless chicken breasts that need to be shredded, I put them in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer after cooking and it shreds them in seconds and I don’t have to handle the hot food. Hopefully a tip someone else can use.

  10. I put 2 partially frozen chicken breasts
    1 cup salsa
    1/2 cup water
    1 pack of fajita mix
    Set to poultry setting and it said BURN before coming to pressure. I took everything out of the pot and cleaned the burnt stuff off the bottom of the pot. I’m trying to recook it. Not sure if it’s going to turn out?

    1. I think it has to do with the Instant Pot size. Looking at the ingredients, I knew right away it wasn’t enough liquids for mine because the minimum liquid amount for my 8qt pot is 2 cups. Anything less than that and whatever is inside will burn. I didn’t have salsa at the time, so I just used two cups of chicken broth!

  11. I used fresh boneless chicken breast tenderloins. Brought them home from the grocery store and froze them last weekend thawed them a bit but they were still a little frozen when I put them in the pot. Set the timer for 14 minutes and it came out perfect! Didn’t even need forks to shred, just used a plastic slotted spoon! Perfect! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. I have cooked boneless frozen chicken breast would that work in this receipt?
    I am trying to find dinner ideas using cooked frozen boneless chicken breast.

  13. Love this recipe, quick, easy and delicious! I used a package of fresh chicken thighs because that’s what I had on hand, and 12 minutes with a quick release was perfect, the chicken was juicy and tender, and shredded up perfectly. This is my new go-to recipe for chicken taco night, thank you!

  14. Do not use quick release pressure on this. I did exactly as the recipe here said and my chicken was not done in the middle.

    1. If the chicken breasts are extra large or cold from the fridge, they can take a bit more cook time. I usually use a chicken breast approximately 6oz in this recipe and they are cooked through.

    2. I followed this recipe with fresh chicken but did not do quick release. My chicken still wasn’t done in the middle. Author should re-evaluate her cook times because they are wrong.

      1. I’ve made this recipe many times and it works for me as written. It is possible that your chicken breasts were bigger than mine and required extra cooktime.

  15. This is a new favorite recipe!! So simple and so yummy!

    We tried the 12-15 times and on a couple occasions actually had to restart the whole process to cook the chicken longer because it wasn’t done. We now do 20-25 depending on frozen or fresh and it’s perfect!

    We like to then mix in a can of corn and black beans once it is shredded.

    Thank you!!

    1. I’m so glad you loved it Tara! Thank you for sharing your cook times, chicken breasts can vary from 5oz to 10oz so size can definitely affect cook times. Love the corn and bean additions!

  16. I just made this and followed the instructions exactly. The chicken turned out so dry and rubbery that I could barely swallow it. I’m not sure what to do with it now, actually. The chicken was also lacking flavor. Any idea what went wrong (or ideas for how to save it)?

    1. How disappointing for you! I can’t say for sure why this didn’t work out for you as I’ve had great success with this recipe. If your chicken breasts were on the smaller side, did you reduce the cook time as mentioned in the recipe? Did you use homemade or store bought taco seasoning/salsa or low sodium products?

    1. I have only made the recipe as written. Omitting the salsa would change the taste and you may need to add more liquid for the Instant Pot to cook correctly.

  17. Tried this recipe tonight and it was a total bust :( I’m a sure it has good flavor, but I had to set the timer for 6 more minutes after the first time (chicken wasn’t done), then another 8 after that. The chicken was rubbery and did not shred (was basically I edible). I may try it again and make sure my chicken is thawed first. Maybe that would help? 

    1. Boneless chicken breasts cook in the pressure cooker in minutes. If you added 6+8 minutes to the initial 15 minutes your chicken would be overcooked making it rubbery as that would double the cooking time.

  18. Love this – thank you! I have made chicken with salsa in the pressure cooker, but adding the taco seasoning and chicken broth made it so moist and tasty. Definitely a go-to for all our favorite Mexican dishes!

  19.   I am going to triple the recipe.  Do   I need to triple the chicken broth?    I know sometimes the water stays the same.  Thanks.

    1. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried it, but I would suggest you would want more liquid to mix the chicken with afterwards. Please let us know if you try it Nancy!

  20. Thank you, Thank You, Thank Youuuuu!!! This is my new favorite “go to” recipe! So simple and so delicious. Once it’s done cooking, I shred my chicken right in the pot with an electric beater and it works great. You are a lifesaver! I am a busy mom so my family truly appriciate you sharing this.  

  21. Not a fan. 12 minutes and the chicken was borderline done – probably underdone. Who wants undercooked chicken?

    Liquid from salsa was not absorbed at all. Had to simmer afterwards to cook down.

    Taste was pretty meh.

    1. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this, we make it frequently and always love it!

      The liquid will not be absorbed until the chicken is shredded and placed back into the juices (as you can see from the 3rd photo, there is a lot of juice). The timing is fairly standard for boneless chicken breasts however if yours were on the larger size you could potentially add a minute extra.

  22. Made and redone several times! They are very good! !!! Now I’m in the oven for a dinner with friends

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I’d expect the cooking time to be the same, or maybe slightly more, a couple of minutes, for this recipe. Be sure to keep your Instant Pot under the maximum level. It will take longer to reach temperature with doubling or tripling. I’d suggest you check at the regular time, and add a few minutes if needed.

  23. Tried this recipe tonight and it was fantastic! I do not cook well, but got an instant pot for Mother’s day and so far, this has been the easiest, most flavorful meal yet. My husband loved it. Thank you for sharing!!

  24. On my IP says that I need to use, at least,  2 cups of water to generate steam. Would I need to double the recipe or this doesn’t apply for this recipe? Thank you!

    1. I was wondering about this too, but I just made it as written and had no problem. Used frozen chicken breasts and cooked 15 minutes. Perfect!

  25. Should this recipe be finished with a slow pressure release or is quick release ok? I’m new to pressure cooking:)

  26. easy & yummy, thank you for sharing this recipe for the Instant Pot! I’ll be back to try more of your recipes :)

  27. Thanks for a yummy, quick family dinner idea, Holly!
    If I need to double recipe, or triple it actually, how long should it take in the Instant Pot?
    I’m an IP newbie and haven’t worked with enough to know if it’s simply double, or triple the time, or…
    Melissa :)

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I’d expect the cooking time to be the same, or maybe slightly more, a couple of minutes, for this recipe. Be sure to keep your Instant Pot under the maximum level. It will take longer to reach temperature with doubling or tripling. I’d suggest you check at the regular time, and add a few minutes if needed.

  28. My dad actually bought me a pressure cooker for my birthday last month, and I’ve been wanting to try it out. Will definitely be giving this a go this weekend!