These Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are healthy delicious, and so quick and easy to make using fresh or frozen chicken (Zero WW points, too)! And thanks to a homemade taco seasoning, they are a low sodium, low calorie, gluten-free way to celebrate taco Tuesday. Make a double batch and freeze for easy meal prep!
Let’s be real – I don’t think there’s ever a time when I’m not craving tacos. Whether it’s my Flank Steak Tacos, Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa, or Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos, I could eat tacos weekly (daily?) and not get tired of them.
But for the longest time, I couldn’t get my picky daughter to eat taco meat. She would stuff her taco with all the toppings, but the meat would never make it in.
I questioned whether she was switched at birth because that is just not something I understand.
And then one day I made tacos using shredded chicken breasts made in the pressure cooker instead of ground meat…and omg…she not only tried it, she LOVED it. Go figure.
Why I love this recipe
- It’s the perfect recipe for busy nights – just dump the ingredients and let the Instant Pot do the work.
- It’s easy to batch cook – double or triple the recipe and freeze your extra taco meat for another night.
- It’s delicious for meal prep – I swear it gets tastier the next day.
- You can eat it in warm tortillas, on a taco salad, or in burrito bowls with veggies and cauliflower rice – it’s delicious any way you want to serve it.
- You can even make it with frozen chicken breast without thawing first – a total game changer!
I love how you can make delicious shredded chicken tacos in your instant pot with just a few simple ingredients.
- chicken breast – You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, but I prefer tenderloins in the Instant Pot. As long as you have 1-3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken meat, you’re good to go. Prefer dark meat? You can make these yummy tacos with boneless skinless chicken thighs, too! You can use fresh or frozen chicken for this recipe!
- canned tomato sauce – To keep as much salt as possible out of this recipe, reach for a can of low sodium tomato sauce at the grocery store. You can also sub salsa like in my Salsa Chicken, but if your kiddo is picky and complains about chunky tomato, definitely try the tomato sauce!
- salt free taco seasoning –Instead of grabbing a sodium filled packet of taco seasoning, I have the perfect easy homemade salt free taco seasoning recipe for you made with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, and just a touch of cayenne. I always have this prepped and ready in my pantry!
- Himalayan or kosher salt – If you want these tacos to be totally no-sodium, leave out the salt entirely. However, I like adding a very small sprinkle to help enhance the other flavors.
- chicken broth – You can substitute this ingredient for water, but you’ll be missing out on some flavor.
- lime – This ingredient is optional, but I highly recommend a squeeze of lime juice on this taco meat.
- cooking oil spray – You can use whatever kind you have handy, but I recommend avocado oil spray.
- corn tortillas – Any brand will do! You can also sub flour tortillas if that’s what your family likes.
- Himalayan or kosher salt – The tiniest sprinkle will add so much flavor.
How to make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos
This easy recipe comes together in just a few simple steps!
1. First things first – prep your taco seasoning!
2. Add the uncooked chicken to the Instant Pot inner liner, and add water.
3. Mix the seasonings with the tomato sauce, then pour it over top of the chicken, but don’t stir. The sauce can trigger the burn notice if it touches the bottom of your instant pot.
4. Set the Instant Pot for 15 minutes on manual high pressure, then do a 10 minute natural release before releasing the rest of the pressure. TIP: while your chicken is cooking, prepare your toppings. That way, when the chicken is ready to eat, everything else will be ready to go as well!
5. After cook time, shred the cooked chicken using two forks. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. If you like lime juice like I do, this is when you squeeze in that delicious fresh juice.
6. My favorite step – EAT IT! Enjoy this healthy chicken recipe in a salad or in a tortilla with your favorite toppings!
How to Make Crispy Corn Tortillas
Forget the boxed crunchy taco shells. I love to warm my corn tortillas in a pan to make them perfectly golden, crispy, and full of flavor.
1. Prepare your pan by spraying it liberally with either olive oil or avocado oil spray. Set the heat to medium high.
2. Add in 2-3 corn tortillas and sprinkle them with salt. Cook until the bottom begins to brown, then flip, browning the other side until your tortilla is golden and warmed through.
The Best Taco Toppings
The best part of having tacos is all the toppings! Some of our favorite toppings are:
- Homemade Guacamole or Avocado
- Cheese – we love sharp cheddar, Monterey jack, and mozzarella
- Homemade Salsa or chopped tomatoes
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Lettuce or purple cabbage or even my no-mayo slaw. Don’t forget the cilantro and lime!
- plain Greek Yogurt
- black beans
- red onions and diced jalapeños
Meal Prep and Storage
To prep ahead: I love this recipe for meal prep, as it gets better as leftovers! Prep up to 4 days in advance. Also, even just prepping the taco seasoning in advance is a great time saver!
To store: Store this chicken taco meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To freeze: Making a double or triple batch of this chicken to freeze is an awesome idea. Freeze cooled chicken in Souper Cubes or another freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
To reheat: Reheat taco meat in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, adding a little water if it seems dry.
Yes! You can use frozen chicken in the recipe without many changes. If your chicken is in a frozen solid block, set the Instant Pot to 20 minutes and do a full natural release. If it is partially thawed or frozen in separate pieces, you will be ok to use the cook time in the recipe card – 15 minutes with a 10 min natural release.
Yes! Just like my [One Minute] Instant Pot Freezer Prep Taco Meat, you can make extra of this chicken to freeze! I always make a double batch and use my Souper Cubes to freeze a second portion for another night.
To reheat your frozen taco filling, simply place 1/4 cup of water and your frozen taco meat into your Instant Pot and set it for three minutes. The instant pot will do all the work for you!
More Easy Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
Here are just a few of my favorite Instant Pot Chicken Recipes that are staples in my house!
- Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas – a fun spin on taco Tuesday and one of my top 5 recipes from the blog.
- Instant Pot Chicken Marsala – an oldie but goodie, this one never disappoints.
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken – the perfect way to enjoy BBQ Chicken in the Instant Pot without triggering the burn notice!
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Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- 1-3 pounds chicken breast or tenderloins I prefer tenderloins
- 10 oz low sodium tomato sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons salt free taco seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan or Kosher salt you might need more if you use more meat, but start with less and add more after tasting
- 1/4 cup water or broth
- Optional: squeeze of fresh lime
- Favorite taco toppings: purple cabbage, greek yogurt, cheese, avocado, cilantro, fresh lime, fresh pico
- Cooking Oil Spray
- Corn tortillas
- Himalayan or Kosher salt
For the chicken:
- Mix salt free taco seasoning, if you haven’t prepped it prior.
- Add chicken to the instant pot inner liner and add in water.
- Mix seasonings with the sauce and pour it over chicken.
- Set instant pot for 15 minutes on manual, then do a 10 minute natural release before releasing the rest of the pressure. **If your chicken is a frozen block, set it for 20 minutes instead of 15.
- Using two forks, shred your chicken. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Optional, but recommended, squeeze in some fresh lime.
- Enjoy in a salad or in a taco with your favorite toppings!
For the tortillas:
- Spray olive oil spray into a cast iron or ceramic pan and set to medium high heat.
- Add in 2-3 corn tortillas and sprinkle them with salt. Cook until the bottom begins to brown, then flip, browning the other side until your tortilla is golden, warmed, and pliable.