Shredded Mexican Chicken (Instant Pot + Slow Cooker)! This Mexican chicken is super-tender and tossed in the most flavorful and mouth-watering sauce, with a little kick! Perfect for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, taco salad, or served with beans and rice. Just so many options to serve your family this tasty dish!
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Guess what!???? Today I’m sharing my first Instant Pot AKA pressure cooker recipe!!
It’s sooo flipping exciting - isn’t it!?? Well it should be because my reader survey said that’s what you wanted. And of course, there’s also a slow-cooker option because, well, you asked for that too.
What can I say? Your wish is my command. And I’m here to please… most of the time.
Soo, I have to admit I’m not one of those people that jumps on every food-related bandwagon.
There are several kitchen tools that I never want to live without. Like my citrus press – love it! I will only use fresh lemon and lime in my recipes. Sorry – I can’t get with that store-bought stuff, regardless of how cute that little plastic squeezy lemon is. It doesn't even taste like real lemon juice. Just can’t.
Then there’s my OXO can opener that effortlessly cuts off can lids without leaving a sharp edge behind AND without getting any food residue on the can opener itself. Amazing!
Don't you hate when you open a can of tuna and the fishy water goes everywhere and smells up the entire kitchen?? Me too. When I use my handy-dandy can opener I never get it on the can opener itself. So, I rarely have to wash it. #winning
There’s also my KitchenAid mixer which I inherited from my momma – she’s with Jesus now – but she LOVED her mixer. I remember when my dad bought it for her for Christmas – she was one happy camper. She probably baked every day for a month after that. Trust me, I did not complain.
Then there’s my food processor - I’m actually at a loss for words here because I love it so much. Crazy – right!??? That never happens.
My girl Martha – you know Martha Stewart – she leaves hers on her counter out in the open so it’s ready to go when she needs it. She’s smart that one – I know she went to prison but she paid for her crime people - forgive and forget.
The one thing is I don't really like to clean it so much. There are a lot of parts and some of them are sharp and difficult to wash. But it’s dishwasher-safe, so there’s that.
I’m not sure why I decided to highlight my favorite kitchen gadgets today but just consider it a bonus. And for your shopping pleasure we made links above so you can click through to amazon and get all of these goodies with just a few effortless strokes of the finger.
See – I’m always thinking of you.
But what about the device that started this whole kitchen gadget diatribe – the Instant Pot!
Well, I jumped on the bus Gus! After much deliberation, I got one for Christmas this year. I have been an Instant Pot cooking fiend.
I do believe they refer to us as “Pot Heads.” LOL Funny.So, I’ll be the first to admit it’s fabulous. It can cook an 8-hour slow cooker chuck roast in 45 minutes. A low and slow cooker recipe of dried beans: 30 minutes max. And then there’s today’s recipe: Shredded Mexican Chicken. 20 minutes on high pressure and abra-cadabra… perfectly cooked, moist, tender shreddable chicken with a super delicious sauce!!! Just mind boggling – right!??
I just can’t wait for the B man to make some of his amazing baby back ribs in the instant pot – cra-mazing my friend!
I will say just like any other gadget or appliance, there is a time and a place to use this baby. And I’m just so sorry, but using it to cook instant polenta is just not one of them. We can’t just lose all sense and throw anything and everything in the “pot,” now can we?
No - we have to be smart about this. If quick cooking polenta takes 5 minutes on the stove, why would a person put it in the pressure cooker, wait 10-15 minutes for it to pressurize, cook it for 1 minute, then release the pressure for another minute or two. It just don’t make no sense.
So, what have we learned here today?? As much as we adore the pot we aren’t going to try to cook things in it that actually require more time and effort just because we want to use it.
Are we all on the same page??? Quick polenta = no. Instant Pot Risotto = yes!!! That’s coming up soon.
I would like to solemnly swear to only share IP recipes with you that are most efficiently, effectively, and tastefully made in the pot.
Thanks for bearing with me through all of that preamble, I feel like I can now move on with today’s fabulously delicious recipe!
Did I mention it’s super-tender shredded chicken tossed in a flavorful mouth-watering sauce!??
So good people!
Here’s how to make this delicious Shredded Mexican Chicken:
Add 1 can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes and 5 chipotle peppers (canned) to the IP. Mash the peppers up with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Now add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, lime juice, and brown sugar (unless you're following a low-carb diet).
Stir the mixture. Now add in 3 pounds of chicken breast. Turn and coat the chicken in the tomato mixture, then close and seal up the pot.
Next, using the high pressure-cooking setting, set the IP for 20 minutes. Be sure that the steam release valve is set to “Sealing.” Regarding cook times:
- If you’re in a hurry, pressure cook for 10 minutes and the chicken will be fully cooked. It won’t necessarily be easily “shreddable” but you could make it work.
- At 15 minutes, most of the chicken will shred but it still requires a little effort.
- At 20 minutes, the chicken shreds easily and it’s still nice and moist. This is my personal recommendation. (Normally you don’t need to cook chicken this long in an instant pot, but to achieve the perfect moist, shreddable chicken, this is my choice).
- At 30 minutes, the chicken shreds effortlessly, but it could potentially be a bit dry.
Now go prep the rest of the ingredients for your incredibly delicious dinner or prop those feet up and enjoy a glass of wine.
The IP will actually take 10-15 minutes to pressurize, then it will cook the chicken for the 20 minutes it was set to.
Once the time has reached zero you can carefully, release the pressure nozzle manually. Be careful that thing is like a volcano erupting with very hot steam.
Remove the lid and transfer the chicken to a large platter or cutting board.
Then using two forks shred the chicken. I like to leave some of it in small chunks so it still has a little texture.
Now, using a hand immersion blender (another amazing kitchen gadget that I love) puree the tomato mixture left in the pot. It should thicken up and yield a little over 2 cups of sauce.
(If you’re feeding the kiddos, this would be a good time to hold some back for them... before the spicy sauce gets added.)
Put your chicken in a large mixing bowl and pour ½ the sauce over it.
Gently use a spatula to fold the sauce into the chicken (if you just quickly stir it up, the chicken will break up and turn into one large mound. Which would still taste good but the texture would be less than amazing.) You can add more sauce or use it as a drizzle for the chicken as your eating it.
Now it’s time to eat!
You can grab some tortillas, avocados, queso fresco, onions, jalapeños – whatever you like - and make the most delicious Mexican feast you’ve ever experienced.
The possibilities for this yummy Shredded Mexican Chicken are endless!
You could create so many tasty meals with it:
- Taco salad
- Served over rice and beans
- Tortilla/Taco Soup
- For some low-carb options, pair up with spaghetti squash, or serve on a salad.
How ever you serve it, one thing’s for sure – it will be muy delicioso! And if you want more info to help you decide which IP is for you, check out my Instant Pot Review here.
I would love to connect with you! Leave a comment and follow me on Instagram,Twitter, Facebook, & Pinterest!
Shredded Mexican Chicken (Instant Pot + Slow Cooker)
Super-tender chicken in the most flavorful and mouth-watering sauce, with a little kick! Perfect for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, taco salad or served with beans and rice.
- 14.5 ounces canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes (1 can)
- 5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, (use 2 peppers for a less spicy version)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (omit for low-carb version)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (juice from ½ lime)
- 3 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
- Add 1 can of diced fire roasted tomatoes and 5 chipotle peppers to the instant pot. Mash the peppers up with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, lime juice and brown sugar (omit if following a low-carb diet.)
- Stir the mixture, then add the chicken breasts. Turn and coat the chicken in the tomato mixture, then close and seal up the instant pot.
- Set the instant pot for 20 minutes of high-pressure cooking and set the steam release valve to “Sealing.” After 10 minutes of pressure cooking, the chicken will be fully cooked, but won't necessarily be “shreddable.” At 15 minutes, most of the chicken will shred. After 20 minutes, the chicken shreds easily and it’s still nice and moist. (This is my personal recommendation). At 30 minutes, the chicken shreds effortlessly, but it could potentially be a bit dry.
- The instant pot will actually take 10-15 minutes to pressurize, then it will cook the chicken for 20 minutes. Once the time has reached zero you can carefully release the pressure nozzle manually. Be careful of the escaping hot steam.
- Remove the lid and transfer the chicken to a large platter or cutting board.
- Use two forks to shred the chicken, leaving some of it in small chunks so it still has a little texture.
- Use a hand immersion blender to puree the tomato mixture left in the instant pot (or transfer to a regular blender). It should thicken up and yield a little over 2 cups of sauce.
- Put chicken in a large mixing bowl and pour ½ the sauce over it.
- Gently use a spatula to fold the sauce into the chicken. Add more sauce if needed, or use it as a drizzle on each individual serving.
- Place all the sauce ingredients and Chicken in the slow cooker, cover with the lid and cook for 4 hours on low. You'll know that the chicken is ready when it can be shredded easily with 2 forks. Be careful to not overcook. Chicken will fall apart into little strands and the texture will be less than ideal.
If you’re in a hurry, you can pressure cook for 10 minutes and the chicken will be fully cooked. It won’t necessarily be easily “shreddable,” but you could make it work.
At 15 minutes, most of the chicken will shred but it still requires a little effort.
At 20 minutes, the chicken shreds easily and it’s still nice and moist. This is my personal recommendation. (Normally you don’t need to cook chicken this long in an instant pot, but to achieve the perfect moist, shreddable chicken, this is my choice).
At 30 minutes, the chicken shreds effortlessly, but it could potentially be a bit dry.
Serving Size4-6 ounces
Amount Per Serving Calories 414Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 193mgSodium 626mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 71g
This nutrition card uses an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. This estimate is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice!
Has anyone used the extra sauce to make enchiladas? I'm wondering if there's enough and how it tastes.
I have a IP foodie and I only have two settings for pressure cooking; Low and High. Which would you recommend for 20 minute shreddable moist chicken?! Thanks! I can't wait to try this.
Hi Margie, we use the high pressure setting on this recipe. Enjoy! 🙂 - H&B
I only have a large can of fire roasted whole tomatoes. Should I use that or should I use a small can of diced tomatoes with chilies? I plan on making this today so let me know! Very excited to make this.
Hey Debbie, so sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Hopefully this recipe turned out delicious. I would have gone with the fire roasted tomatoes but honestly wither option would work.
It was delicious! I used the fire roasted tomatoes. I just doubled the recipe as I had a huge can. My family loved the recipe!
So glad that your family loved it! Thanks for your comment. 🙂 - H & B
Thank you for this recipe! Made for dinner last night. So simple & quick. The most AMAZING chicken ever. My family loved it & the flavors were awesome. My husband was outside and could smell it walking up the steps. Also made hubby two small burritos to take to work for lunch today.
So glad your fam loved it! Thanks for your 5-star rating and your comments! 🙂 - H&B
There was a sale on chicken thighs, can I use those?
This was amazing! Only change I made was to saute the sauce in the instant pot for 7-8 minutes instead of blending! Thank you! This will be added to our rotation.
Thanks so much, Samantha! I LOVE this saucy IP chicken and I'm excited you do too! Thanks so much for the 5 star rating!!
Hi! This recipe looks AMAZING and love all of the fantastic reviews 🙂 I’m looking to do this in my IP during lunch, allowing to do a natural pressure release, and serving for dinner after work. Would you cook about 15 min and natural release, or 10 and natural release, for something comparable to the 20 min cook with the manual Pressure release? Thank you!
Hey Anne, I would probably go with 15 minutes of cook time with a natural release. Personally I would rather have it more tender and shreddable than less. Let me know how it goes! Good luck!
Hi Anne! Did you end up using the natural release method?? I was wondering about this as well bc several other sources say you shouldn’t use quick release with meat.
Hi Lauren! Using quick release on chicken is perfectly fine because the meat is thinner than other meats like beef or a roast, which should be put to natural release so it doesn't get tough! Just watch out for that steam!
I know I'm about a year late to the party but I made this tonight and it is AWESOME. I used 5 lbs chicken (aldi was selling 2.5 lb. packs) and kept the sauce the same, maybe added a couple extra dashes of lime juice, and it turned out fabulous. More flavorful than the shredded Mexican chicken with just salsa as the sauce. Thanks!
Thanks Rachel! So glad you loved it... this chicken is a family favorite over here!
Hi I’m wondering if I can make this recipe with chicken drums and thighs bone in, that’s all I have right now.
Hey Alexandra, I think it would work great! Enjoy!
What a fantastic recipe. And thanks to all who posted reviews AFTER trying it. (The ones who quickly say it looks good don't really help, do they?). I read the reviews and decided on this recipe for a crowd. My friend had given me 3-4 lbs of chicken so I felt an extra responsibility. I used salt free tomatoes, and I added a can of drained black beans, and a few home cooked chick peas - all salt free of course. I added them after the sauce was blended. I added 1/2 tsp of salt. I doubled the sauce, but I don't think it would have been necessary. I'm glad to have leftovers, and sauce, to freeze.
Hi Elyse we love that you did some experimenting and had it turn out so well. Glad you enjoyed it!!
Hi! I want to make this using chicken thigh. Would you recommend this? Will it affect the cooking time at all? Thank you!
Hi Samantha! So we haven't tried thighs for this particular recipe, but my guess is somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes. The theory is that thighs are thinner and have less "mass" ... also they have more fat and fat usually helps break down the protein. Having said that I would try 12 min high-pressure cook time, temp to be sure you've reached 165F, and if thigh isn’t easily "shreddable" to your liking, then you can always start up the instant pot for 5 more minutes of cook time and check again.
Question- same time for thighs?
Hi Janice! The same time would work great! Enjoy!
Hello, I'm preparing it in advance. I have company arriving next week and was wondering if I could freeze this after completion or do you think I should add the sauce only when I'm ready to warm it up. Thanks
Hi Lynne, I would fold some of the same into the chicken before freezing. Then add the rest after you defrost it. You can even add a little chicken stock if it seems to thick. I hope your company enjoys the dish!
This recipe is very quick and easy. The meat is delicious. I used it for tacos. Great recipe!
I love hearing that, Mary! Thanks so much!
I’d give this more stars if I could. The flavor is phenomenal. Definitely in my meal rotation.
Yayyy! I love this! Thanks a ton, Laurie! I'm grateful for your feedback!