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Use fresh or frozen chicken when making these 5 minute prep Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos. Juicy shredded chicken that can be used for quesadillas, taco salads, fajitas and so much more. A delicious dinners that requires minimal effort.

Shredded instant pot chicken taco meat with cilantro and taco toppings in bowls.
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I am SO bad at remembering to thaw chicken for dinner. It is always an hour before dinner when I realize it. So being able to make chicken recipes in the Instant Pot with frozen chicken is a dream come true!

These Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are so great for when you are forgetful as well!

Why these are the Best Instant Pot Chicken Tacos:

  • They are so versatile. This recipe may say “chicken tacos” but you can use this seasoned shredded chicken for all sorts of different recipes. Use it for a Mexican chicken salad, burrito bowls, quesadillas, enchiladas and more. It’s a great base recipes that can make many meals even better.
  • You can use fresh or frozen chicken breast. Using frozen chicken in my Instant Pot is such a great thing. If you have a last minute craving for chicken tacos and nothing is thawed, no problem!
  • Great for meal prep. If you are a big meal prepper, these Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos are great to whip up while the other appliances are being used to prep everything else. They are made so quickly and then you are set for the week!

Ingredients:

  • chicken: use fresh or frozen. If you are using frozen, just make sure they are all separated. If the chicken is stuck together, it will likely not cook completely where the pieces of chicken are together.
  • chicken broth: I like to use low or reduced sodium broth. You can also use stock if preferred. Water will work, but the flavor will not be the same.
  • orange juice: freshly squeezed if possible. I find the freshly squeezed orange juice is the star of these Instant Pot Chicken Tacos. I used lime and orange juice in my Carnitas as well and it makes the meat extra flavorful.
  • lime juice: freshly squeezed if possible instead of the bottled stuff.
  • spices: I use a combination of chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne. You can adjust the amount of cayenne for more or less spice. You can vary the flavor as well by adding some smoked paprika or regular paprika as well.
  • cilantro: freshly chopped and lots of it
Broth, frozen chicken breast, spices and ingredients labeled on counter.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  • Add the chicken breast to the Instant Pot, trying to overlap it as little as possible. If the chicken is frozen, make sure none of the pieces are stuck together. (step 1)
  • Pour the chicken broth, orange juice, and lime juice over the chicken. Whisk together all of the spices, salt and pepper and cover the chicken generously with the mixture. (step 2)
Frozen chicken in Instant pot and then with seasonings on top.
  • Close the pressure cooker lid and seal. Set the vent to “sealing” Set the pressure cooker to manual for about 8-12 minutes (see notes below in recipe for times). When the cycle is complete, do a quick release and allow the pressure to escape. Check the chicken to make sure it is 165°F. If it is not, you can close the pressure cooker and add another 2-4 minutes. If it is close to 165, then shut the pressure cooker and allow to rest for a few more minutes. (step 3)
  • When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the Instant Pot and shred it using two forks or you can use a hand mixer. Place back in the instant pot with the juices and stir. (step 4) Feel free to add an extra squeeze of orange or lime juice at this time as well. Add the freshly chopped cilantro and stir in.
Chicken cooked in the Instant Pot and then shredded in juices.

What to add to your tacos:

Let’s be honest, tacos are all about the amazing toppings. Really good meat needs to be COVERED with all the goodness.

Aside from the typical toppings like lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, we love to add some classic guacamole to ours often. For a tropical twist, try some spicy mango guacamole. Some roasted tomato salsa would be another great addition. I also love this simple slaw on these tacos. The perfect combo!

Love a side of corn with your shredded chicken tacos? I do too. Pop some corn in the air fryer and smother it with all the cilantro lime butter.

Oh, and don’t forget to serve these tacos up with something refreshing to drink. Strawberry Basil Margaritas for the win!

Recipes Notes and Tips:

  • Fresh chicken tends to cook better on a trivet in the Instant Pot. You don’t need to use one for the frozen chicken though, just toss it right in.
  • You want your chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Use a meat thermometer after the chicken is cooked and check. You can close the Instant Pot back up and cook for a few more minutes if it has not reached that temperature.
  • Feel free to use a hand mixer to shred your chicken. It has become a very popular method these days. I prefer using a fork for these Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos, but by all means, give it a shot as well.
  • You can add some diced tomatoes or diced jalapeños or chiles if you would like. Strain the juices from the can of tomatoes and pour them over the seasoned chicken before sealing.
  • For a creamy version of these chicken tacos, stir in 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese after shredding the chicken. YUM.
  • Add some hot sauce into the mix as well for even more spice!
Shredded instant pot chicken in glass bowl with cilantro.

Other Instant Pot Recipes:

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5 from 11 votes

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos

Use fresh or frozen chicken when making these 5 minute prep Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos. Juicy shredded chicken that can be used for quesadillas, taco salads, fajitas and so much more. A delicious dinners that requires minimal effort.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ lb chicken breast
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 2 T orange juice
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • c cilantro, freshly chopped
  • taco fixings: tortillas, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, etc.
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Instructions 

  • Place the chicken breast in Instant Pot trying to overlap as little as possible. For fresh chicken, place on trivet and for frozen chicken, place directly into the pan. Pour the chicken broth, orange juice, and lime juice over top.
  • Whisk together all of the spices, salt and pepper and generously cover all of the chicken. Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and lock it. Set the vent to "Sealing."
  • Set the Instant Pot to "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" for: 8-10 minutes for fresh and 10-12 minutes for frozen. Aim for the higher amount of time for thicker chicken. It will take about 10 minutes for pressure to build up. If your chicken breasts are on the larger side (12-14 oz.) you can cook up to 15 minutes.
  • When the cycle is complete, do a quick release and check the temperature of the chicken. If it has not reached 165°F yet, close the lid and cook for another 2-3 minutes. If it is very close, you can shut and allow it to rest until it reaches the temperature.
  • When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the Instant Pot and shred it using two forks. Place back in the instant pot with the juices and stir. Add the freshly chopped cilantro and stir in.
  • Keep the heat on warm until ready to serve and enjoy. Save leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days and in the freezer for 2 months.

Notes

  • Fresh chicken tends to cook better on a trivet in the Instant Pot. You don’t need to use one for the frozen chicken though, just toss it right in.
  • You can use a hand mixer to shred your chicken. It has become a very popular method these days. I prefer using a fork, but by all means, give it a shot as well.
  • You can add some diced tomatoes or diced jalapeños or chiles if you would like. Strain the juices from the can of tomatoes and pour them over the seasoned chicken before sealing.
  • For a creamy version of these chicken tacos, stir in 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese after shredding the chicken. YUM.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be considered an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Lemons + Zest makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 523mg, Potassium: 740mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 427IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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