Need a quick taco Tuesday recipe? These Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos have you covered. The hardest thing you’ll do is wait for your Instant Pot timer to go off. This recipe is totally customizable for multiple nutritional needs and food preferences. (Yay for options!) Ideal for those crazy days where you have zero time for dinner and want something filling and flavorful.
Why I Love This Taco Recipe
These tacos come together with virtually no hands-on prep – just toss in the Instant Pot, shred, and go! It also features a brilliant tip for faster shredded chicken that is going to change your taco game for good.
Instant pot shredded chicken tacos can also be customized – you can make them gluten-free, dairy-free, lower-sodium or make them into different dishes (quesadillas, burrito bowls, salads) with a few simple substitutions.
They’re easy and versatile – what a perfect recipe for busy weeknights, families, and feeding a crowd!
Nutrition Fun Facts
This recipe is an awesome high-protein option (30 grams per serving) so it will keep you full and satisfied. This recipe is simple to customize for any nutritional need (see my notes in the last section – Recipe Modifications).
Don’t get me wrong, I love tacos when I’m dining out, but making tacos at home has its benefits. Cooking at home allows you to connect with your food and your family. It also gives you more control over customizing your recipe and taking ownership of what goes into it. This recipe uses my signature DIY taco seasoning mix – WAY better than the storebought packets.
This has to be one of the easiest recipes ever! After tossing a few ingredients into the Instant Pot and preparing your toppings, all you have to do is wait for those chicken breasts to cook! (Literally the hardest part in my opinion.)
What if I Don’t Have an Instant Pot?
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can also make these babies in a crockpot. Just set it to high and cook for 4 hours. The wait will be longer but it’s SO worth it.
How to Shred Chicken Faster
If you remember one thing from this post, let it be this – shred your chicken with a hand mixer. I’m serious. It will improve your life x10,000. (Goodbye hand cramps from shredding by hand.) You can thank me later.
A Note on Tortillas
I used wheat tortillas in this recipe because that is what I’m used to, but this recipe can (and probably should) be made with corn tortillas. I give you full permission to honor your taste buds and preferences, but let’s learn a little bit about the cultural significance of tortillas in tacos, shall we?
The corn vs wheat tortilla debate involves more than just taste, it actually has cultural significance too. Corn (and corn tortillas) are a staple in native cultures, while wheat was more of a colonial import. To read more about the history of our beloved taco, see this article from the Smithsonian – Where Did the Taco Come From?
More Taco Pro Tips
I also like toasting my tortillas to help them hold up a bit better. (And would you look at those little toasted parts?! So pretty.)
There’s also a secret to making tacos less soggy – wanna hear it?? It’s all about the layers. It sounds weird, but putting down a base of greens as your first layer totally works. Putting a layer of greens between the juicy chicken and the tortilla acts as a little buffer.
- Make it in a crockpot/slow cooker – cook on high for 4 hours before shredding
- Make it a salad – swap taco shells for greens
- Make it a burrito bowl – swap taco shell for a rice base
- Make it a quesadilla – add shredded chicken and cheese to a tortilla and melt. (Want more quesadilla recipe ideas? I think you’ll like these One Pan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas)
- Make it gluten-free – use gluten-free tortillas
- Make it dairy-free – omit the sour cream
- Make it lower in sodium – omit salt in your seasoning mix and try a low-sodium salsa (like Newman’s Own) or homemade salsa
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos
- pressure cooker or crockpot
- 16 oz chicken breast
- 1/2 container salsa
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- t tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 10 whole wheat soft taco shells
- 1 cup mixed greens
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 5 tbsp sour cream
- 10 slices avocado
- Add chicken breasts, salsa, and spices (cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, chili powder, and dried oregano) to the Instant Pot.
- Set Instant Pot to manual (high pressure) for 20 minutes. Let your Instant Pot do a natural release (aka let it sit for 10 minutes after the timer goes off), then quick release the pressure valve.
- Shred chicken with a hand mixer or with two forks. Drain any excess liquid. Keep warm.
- (optional step) Briefly toast tortillas in a pan heated over medium heat or in a toaster oven until light brown spots begin to show. Don't over-toast!
- Assemble your toppings. Assemble each taco or serve family-style.