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Instant Pot Mexican chicken is easy to make, and the meat is packed with flavor! Make this recipe for the best Mexican shredded chicken.
During any busy week, holiday or not, using an Instant Pot can be a huge time saver. I think pressure cooking is even better when one recipe can be made and used for several meals, which is the case with this Mexican chicken recipe.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you could make a similar dish using my recipe for Mexican baked chicken.
Instant Pot Mexican Chicken
There are MANY reasons I think this recipe will become a favorite, but more than anything, it is just so versatile!
Use chicken breasts or thighs
For starters, you can make the recipe using chicken breasts or thighs. Breast meat has less fat and calories than chicken thighs, but the fat in thigh meat does add moisture that helps to keep the chicken juicy.
Shred or serve as-is
You can decide how to cut and serve the meat. My preference is shredded Mexican chicken, because shredded and pulled chicken freeze really well, and they thaw more quickly than whole chicken breasts or thighs.
Double the recipe to serve a crowd
Instant Pot Mexican chicken is a fantastic meal to make for a regular family meal, but the recipe can be doubled. This makes it perfect for a holiday get-together or to feed a crowd on game day.
If you want to make Mexican shredded chicken, it’s perfect for using in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or in creamy chicken enchilada soup! But, you could just as easily serve the chicken as-is, either whole, diced or cut into slices.
When it’s diced, Instant Pot Mexican chicken is fantastic on any salad, but I especially love it on cactus salad. Or slice it up and serve it on slider buns or yeast rolls for spicy chicken sandwiches.
For an even simpler serving option, plate it straight out of the Instant pot over arroz rojo (red rice), with sides of rajas con crema and borracho beans. That there is an authentic Mexican dinner that’s sure to please!
How to make Instant Pot Mexican chicken
- Saute the veggies.
There are plenty of “dump and go” recipes out there, but it only takes 5 minutes to saute the veggies. Not only does sauteing soften the vegetables, but it also improves their flavor and texture.
- Add remaining ingredients and pressure cook for 16 minutes.
NOTE: Want to double the recipe or use frozen chicken breasts?
If you’re using frozen chicken breasts or thighs, or you want to double this recipe, set the cook time for 22 minutes.
- Allow a 10 minute natural pressure release.
I don’t recommend manually releasing the pressure immediately after cooking. It tends to make the Instant Pot Mexican chicken dry and tough. Besides, it allows the meat to continue cooking, which makes it easier to shred.
- Reduce the cooking liquid, and thicken if desired.
The sauce is very flavorful but not very thick, so it needs to simmer and reduce for a few minutes. If you’d like it even thicker, use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the ingredients. Or, feel free to stir in some enchilada sauce!
Storing and freezing instructions
Shredded or not, store the Mexican chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for about 5 days. For longer storage, it can be frozen for 3 to 4 months. Just be sure to let it thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Hope you enjoy this delicious, quick and easy Mexican chicken dinner!
Instant Pot Mexican Chicken
- 3 lbs chicken breasts or thigh meat
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 white onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano or original oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 3 chipotles in adobo sauce diced
- 2 fresh jalapeños diced
- 15 oz whole roasted tomatoes See Note 1
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- Turn the Instant Pot to Saute setting. Add the oil and saute the onion for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, chipotles, adobo sauce and jalapenos and saute for another 3 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, lime juice and chicken. Be sure the chicken is fully submerged under the liquid.
- Secure Instant Pot lid, press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and use the +/- buttons to set the timer for 16 minutes.
- Once the timer beeps, perform a Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure. Remove lid, transfer chicken to a large bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Turn Instant Pot to Saute setting. Simmer the cooking liquid for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces by about half. Meanwhile, if desired, use two forks to shred the chicken.
- For thicker sauce, use an immersion blender or carefully transfer contents to a traditional blender and puree. Otherwise, add half the cooking liquid to the shredded chicken, toss to coat. Save remaining cooking liquid for a soup or add more to chicken if you prefer.
- Use chicken for tacos, enchiladas, burritos or in a salad.
- Use canned whole roasted tomatoes or 2 cups fire roasted tomatoes.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.