Make these easy Instant Pot Chicken Tacos part of your Taco Tuesday line up! The quick-marinated chicken thighs are tender, moist, and perfectly seasoned. Shred the chicken and enjoy with all of your favorite taco toppings! Ready from start to finish in only one hour.
The one tool that always helps us get dinner on the table quickly is the Instant Pot. In just minutes, it turns the quick-marinated chicken thighs in this recipe into a perfectly shreddable and tender topping for taco night. All you need are a handful of staple ingredients to get it going!
In this recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Tacos, you’ll season up ultra-flavorful chicken thighs by placing them in a quick marinade. Pop the chicken in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes, shred it up, and serve!
If you’re feeling creative, enjoy this easy shredded chicken on a homemade tostada shells or with on sopes instead of tacos. This recipe is also freezer-friendly, making it the perfect recipe to add to your weeknight dinner line up or to prepare for lunches throughout the week.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Chicken thighs – Chicken thighs are great for tacos because they’re budget-friendly, shred nicely, and soak up marinade well. Plus, they’re really juicy and more tender than chicken breasts.
- Chicken broth – A bit of liquid is needed to help the chicken cook all the way through under pressure. Chicken broth will enhance the flavor but you could also use water or any broth you have.
- Seasonings – Classic Mexican seasonings like chili powder, ancho chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika season the meat and give each bite a boost of flavor. If you don’t have ancho chili powder, use regular chili powder for a similar flavor.
- White wine vinegar – We need a little acid in the marinade to help break down and tenderize the chicken. If you don’t have white wine vinegar, regular white vinegar or even apple cider vinegar will work.
- Lime juice – This will not only add a pop of fresh citrusy flavors in the marinade but also helps balance the complexity from the dry seasonings.
How to make chicken tacos in the Instant Pot
Marinate the chicken: Add the chicken thighs to a zip-top bag along with all of the dry seasonings, vinegar, and lime juice to marinate for 30 minutes.
Cook the chicken: Add the marinated chicken (along with the marinating liquid) and the broth to the Instant Pot and pressure cook for 15 minutes.
Shred the chicken: Once cooked, use two forks to shred up the chicken. Serve in warm tortillas with all of your favorite taco toppings.
The best toppings
- diced avocado
- shredded cheese
- diced onions
- pickled jalapenos
- crumbled Cotija cheese
- pico de gallo
- sliced radishes
- toasted red chile salsa
- shredded lettuce
- mexican crema
Alternatively, use the chicken in a burrito bowl with fresh greens and cilantro lime rice with plenty of toppings, salsa verde, and vegetables for a light lunch. Anything else you want or crave will work!
- To prevent the chicken from getting cold, leave the Instant Pot on the warming setting while you’re putting the tacos together.
- To get the absolute best tasting chicken, leave it in the marinade for the full 30 minutes. I don’t recommend leaving it longer due to all the acidic components in the marinade.
- If you’re using chicken breasts instead of thighs for this recipe, you may need to use a bit more broth as chicken breasts are naturally more dry and less flavorful.
Storing and reheating
To store, keep the cooked chicken in the marinade in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To freeze, place the cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe sealed container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Perfect when you need tacos in a hurry!
To reheat, put the leftovers on a skillet over medium low heat and cover with a lid for about 10 minutes or until warmed through. You may need to add more broth or water. You could also reheat in the microwave.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 limes, juiced (about 4 tablespoons)
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- warm tortillas (corn or flour)
- diced onions
- chopped cilantro
- sour cream
- lime wedges
- Add all ingredients except chicken broth to a medium bowl or a gallon-size zip-top bag. Mix together until all the chicken is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Add the chicken with all its marinade and the chicken broth to the Instant Pot. Cover, seal, and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
- Manually release the pressure, transfer the chicken to a plate and shred it with two forks.
- Return shredded chicken back to Instant Pot and mix together to coat with juices.
- Serve in warm tortillas with onions, cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges, and your other preferred taco toppings.
- Nutritional estimate is only for the meat. It does not include tortillas and toppings.
- If you don’t have ancho chili powder, use more regular chili powder.