Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos

06.28.2017

These Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Tacos (or Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos) are one of the easiest dinners you can make, and yet they are still perfectly flavorful and everyone will love them!

For a long time I wondered what the hype of the Instant Pot was, then I got one and I totally understood! Perfectly tender shredded chicken in a fraction of the time that it normally takes in the oven or slow cooker!

Salsa Chicken Tacos

Salsa Chicken

It also has other features like cooking rice and whole grain, and has a saute feature that I love (so you can saute veggies or brown your beef first). A new go-to use for my Instant Pot are these Shredded Salsa Chicken Tacos! They are so flavorful and so unbelievably easy to prepare.

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Just sprinkle the chicken with seasonings, add a little fresh garlic because you can’t go wrong with garlic, pour over a generous amount of salsa (bottled, homemade or the refrigerated kind at the grocery store) then set it and in about 15 minutes the chicken is fully cooked and ready to shred and add to taco shells and load up with all of your favorite toppings!

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Tacos

And did I mention the chicken is perfectly tender, flavorful and even moist? Of course you can make this in a slow cooker as well if you don’t own an instant pot it obviously just won’t be as quick. If you’d like to purchase an Instant Pot, you can get them HERE on amazon.

The other thing I really love about this recipe is that my entire family loves these tacos! My kids can be picky but these tacos are 100% kid approved. And if you don’t get too crazy with the toppings (like cheese/sour cream) then they are healthy too – just stick with the corn tortillas over white flour ones.

Salsa Chicken Tacos

To cook corn tortillas I’m not a big fan of just warming and eating them dry so I just brush them with olive oil and cook them in a skillet until lightly golden on each side (or just pour about 1 tsp oil into the skillet per side).

Just don’t omit those toppings because they are what makes a taco a taco. As in bring on the guacamoleeee (or sliced avocados on a lazy day)!

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos

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Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos

5 from 20 votes

These Salsa Chicken Tacos are one of the easiest dinners you can make and yet they are still perfectly flavorful and everyone will love them! Likely to become a new go-to weeknight dinner for you!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 5

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup fire roasted jarred salsa
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

For serving

  • 10 corn or flour tortilla shells warmed
  • Shredded monterey jack or Mexican blend cheese
  • Shredded romaine lettuce
  • Diced roma tomatoes
  • Guacamole or diced avocados
  • Sour cream and hot sauce optional

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in Instant Pot. 

  2. In a small bowl whisk together chili powder, cumin, coriander and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper (some bottled salsas are super salty that's why I recommend only starting with 1/4 tsp then adding more later).
  3. Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides of chicken and sprinkle garlic over chicken, then pour salsa over chicken to cover. 

  4. Close lid, turn vent to "sealing" and set Instant pot to "poultry" or "manual" setting then set to 13 minutes. If using a slow cooker cook 5 - 6 hours on low heat.

  5. Once cycle is complete use quick release method according to manufactures instructions.

  6. Remove chicken and let cool several minutes on cutting board then shred into pieces and return to juices in instant pot. 
  7. Sprinkle in cilantro, and toss chicken to coat. Season with more salt to taste if desired. 
  8. Lift chicken pieces with tongs and allow excess liquid to run off, then place in tortilla shells with listed toppings.
  9. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

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71 comments

  • averie @ averie cooks: I haven’t gotten an Instant Pot yet and this is another reason why I should! 15 minutes. That alone. That is just….a huge YES! Versus 5-6 hours in a slow cooker. I’m sold! Gorgeous tacos! June 28, 2017 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Exactly! I love the Instant Pot! Thanks for the compliment :)! June 28, 2017 at 6:59pm Reply

  • Linda: Inspired to get our main meal cooking in our crock pot this morning. My husband is off to the store for peppers! With 2 working teens on all hour schedule, it is a challenge to get us feed a decent meal. Together? Hardly ever these days. I hang out with them while they grab food and eat at the counter on their way in or out. Have a great day! June 29, 2017 at 7:43am Reply

  • Lindsey: This doesn’t need any liquid? The salsa is enough? July 31, 2017 at 4:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The salsa has been enough to bring mine to pressure every time but in the unlikely event it’s not just add a 1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth or water. September 3, 2017 at 10:37pm Reply

  • Erin: My kids are pretty picky, so just used plain taco seasoning and a mild salsa, but did everything else as the recipe called. One of the best dishes I’ve ever made!!!!❤️ August 10, 2017 at 5:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was loved Erin! August 11, 2017 at 11:58am Reply

  • Sarah: I’ve made this exactly as you’ve recommended at least six times, and it’s perfect and delicious every single time! Thank you so so much for this excellent recipe that provides the best, easy-to-shred, well-seasoned, mouth-watering chicken taco meat I’ve ever found anywhere! (And it takes me maybe 10 minutes now, start to finish!) August 17, 2017 at 11:11am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Sarah! August 18, 2017 at 12:43pm Reply

  • Cathy: What is the nutritional values for this dish? October 16, 2017 at 4:26am Reply

    • Will D: Poor question considering there are variables that can be significant in terms of nutritional values, such as the sodium content depending on the type is salsa you choose. It’s funny that instead is offering thanks for the great receipe, instead, you choose to ask more of the chef for your own personal benefit. Time for people to stop being so lazy and take a few moments to figure some things out themselves. March 3, 2018 at 11:20am Reply

  • Lisa: Is this for thawed chicken? October 23, 2017 at 8:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes, thaw the chicken first. October 24, 2017 at 8:34am Reply

  • Rachel: I did this exactly as it said and halfway through the instant pot said burn and I turned it off and opened it and the bottom had burned salsa and the chicken was still raw. What did I do wrong? November 9, 2017 at 9:57pm Reply

    • Jodi: Your Salsa perhaps did not provide enough liquid. Next time add some chicken stock. you should always have about a cup of liquid minimum. December 14, 2017 at 2:02pm Reply

  • Mel: I made it tonight in 6qt instant pot and at 13 minutes it was not done, very tough. I put it back in the pot for another 7 mins. It was then done but still a little tough to shred but tasted good. If I make it again I would cut the breasts into smaller pieces it may help it cook better. November 13, 2017 at 6:00pm Reply

  • Norine: Can you use frozen chicken breast? November 15, 2017 at 6:27pm Reply

  • Pat: Followed the instructions and it turned out great! I will definitely be adding this to my recipe archives. I improvised a little with the tortillas. I used soft corn tortillas that I brushed with a little vegetable oil, added some shredded cheese and then placed on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for 4 minutes. It made tortillas nice and warm with a layer of melted cheese!!! December 4, 2017 at 1:52pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yum! That sounds delicious – thanks for leaving a review! December 5, 2017 at 10:38am Reply

  • Stephanie: Excited to try this tomorrow! Should I do a natural pressure release? For how long? December 6, 2017 at 9:39pm Reply

  • Stephanie: My chicken was done but not tender enough to shred. I had to cut it up with a knife.
    I used my 6 ct. and chicken breasts were thawed. December 11, 2017 at 4:41pm Reply

  • Kim Donnell: Yes! So easy, so good. Hubby said we could do this one more often! He almost never says that. December 13, 2017 at 12:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the positive feedback Kim! December 13, 2017 at 1:16pm Reply

  • Dan: Absolutely perfect. I start w frozen breast & add 5 min & it always turns out perfect. Quickly becoming a asked for dish by family & visiting friends. I always keep corn & 8” flour shells on hand because some prefer burrito style. Always easy & always a hit! December 14, 2017 at 4:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Dan! December 14, 2017 at 5:04pm Reply

    • Margaret: Did you add 5 minutes per chicken breast or just to the overall cook time? January 5, 2018 at 9:23am Reply

  • Angelica Garnica: My husband asks for this about once a week. Very tasty! December 20, 2017 at 11:17am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear it! Thanks Angelica! December 20, 2017 at 12:34pm Reply

  • Melinda M.: Turned out good. I think I’m going to try rice bowls with it next time!! December 21, 2017 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Andrea: I just got a new instant pot but it doesn’t have a “poultry” setting 😕 December 26, 2017 at 11:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I believe the manual setting or high pressure with the same time would be the same thing. December 26, 2017 at 11:43am Reply

  • Amanda: Just got an instant pot for Christmas and am excited to try this recipe! If I want to double it, how should I adjust the cooking time? Thanks! December 26, 2017 at 1:45pm Reply

  • Heather: Very easy and tasty – crowd pleaser! Good leftover too! December 28, 2017 at 10:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked them Heather! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review :). December 29, 2017 at 4:50pm Reply

  • Jill: In adding/doubling the recipe would you add more cooking time?

    Also would you recommend cutting up the chicken first where there is more? December 29, 2017 at 11:23am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t yet tested doubling the recipe so I can’t say for sure. I’m guessing more time would be needed but not sure how much and yes I would cut them into smaller portions. December 31, 2017 at 11:33pm Reply

      • Jill: I gave it a whirl and did 5ish pounds of chicken breast, whole and cooked for 15 min. and it came out fine. January 2, 2018 at 5:35am Reply

  • Tanisha Ware: I appreciate this recipe so much. This was my first InstantPot meal and it was a success (even with three kids). I’m making it a second time and using about twice as much chicken (just under 3 pounds). I upped my cook time to 14 minutes. And I’m using diced tomeaties with mild green chiles, as I don’t want to scorch the children with too much heat. Thank you for sharing. January 4, 2018 at 6:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Tanisha! January 8, 2018 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Tina: So delicious! Also for those in a hurry to shred your chicken, like me. Plug in your hand mixer and stick it in the pot on medium. Shredded 7 breasts in under 1 minute! 😊 January 5, 2018 at 11:23am Reply

  • Sam: Very good! Made it after my husband had surgery (who is the chef) and he enjoyed it very much! Impressed by the instant pot! Would recommend making! January 10, 2018 at 7:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Sam! Hoping this helps your husband recuperate quickly! January 17, 2018 at 11:58am Reply

  • Amanda: Thank you so much for this great recipe!! The chicken was juicy and delicious. January 14, 2018 at 5:07pm Reply

  • Kris: Like the ingredients, but got the burn message. Using an 8 qt (don’t know if that matters). Will add some chicken stock next time. January 18, 2018 at 4:18pm Reply

  • Tanya: Very easy to make and very tasty! I did add a little more water to the salsa. January 26, 2018 at 8:47am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Tanya! January 26, 2018 at 10:00am Reply

  • Toni Herndon: My instant pot does not have a poultry setting. Do I do pressure cook? I have the Instant Pot Duo Plus. January 28, 2018 at 4:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes, a pressure cook setting/manual (and high pressure if that’s on there also). January 28, 2018 at 9:19pm Reply

  • Sandy: I made this tonight and it was very yummy! My entire family loved it. It was very easy. I had 1.75# of chicken and it turned out perfect at the 13 minute setting. Thank you! January 29, 2018 at 8:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving a review Sandy! January 30, 2018 at 2:10pm Reply

  • Shari Giarraputo: Made this tonight and it was so delicious. Thanks for sharing. It’s low calorie and I just skipped the taco shells and just added avacado and low calorie sour cream and added cheese. I had a hard time finding that type of salsa and I finally found it in Trader Joe’s. My husband had his with the taco shells and he loved it too. I had a little over a 1.50. but I cooked a few minutes more because I was afraid from some of the previous reviews that some of the reviews had a hard time shredding the chicken. I cooked it for 16 minutes. Awesome!!!! February 2, 2018 at 8:21pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Shari! February 5, 2018 at 12:39pm Reply

  • Spaz: This was amazing! So juicy. I pulled it out, shredded it, then put it back in the juices to keep warm. Made the best burritos ever. I made it exactly as written, but doubled. February 2, 2018 at 10:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! February 5, 2018 at 12:36pm Reply

  • Missy: This recipe was exactly what I needed tonight. My daughter asked for Taco Tuesday at the last minute – this was on the table in about 45 flat. All of my chicken breasts were frozen, so I added five minutes to the cooking time as someone else had mentioned in the comments and I rinsed a can of black beans and threw them in with everything because my kids love them. It turned out as promised – chicken was cooked all the way through and was easy to shred. Thanks for the recipe – it’s a keeper! February 6, 2018 at 6:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad your family liked these Tacos Missy! Thanks for your review! February 6, 2018 at 8:48pm Reply

  • Ana: Can I use chicken thigh? February 15, 2018 at 5:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes definitely. I’d trim the fat off well first. February 19, 2018 at 12:05pm Reply

  • Haylee Johnson: Made this and my husband said “these are our new tacos. Don’t make anything else!” Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out fabulous March 3, 2018 at 1:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear it! March 6, 2018 at 5:49pm Reply

  • Will D: Just tried this… So easy and turned out great! March 3, 2018 at 5:15pm Reply

  • bebehu: I tried this recipe out tonight! I must’ve had more chicken than I realized. It was slightly uncooked after 13 mins. I added another 10 mins and it was perfect! I shredded the chicken and mixed it with a salad. Perfect low carb meal! March 4, 2018 at 7:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked them! March 6, 2018 at 6:01pm Reply

  • Cathy: I just made this-my first instapot meal besides steaming broccoli. I added 1 can of rinsed black beans to the chicken mixture -used 1.90 lbs of chicken breast pieces-and added half cup of chicken broth. I then added frozen corn after it all cooked at 13 minutes perfectly. It shredded beautifully!! Delicious and simple. March 12, 2018 at 11:50am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Cathy! March 15, 2018 at 10:29pm Reply

  • Rhonda Garcia: This is so fast, taste great, my picky daughter loved it. I used 2 lbs of chicken and cooked it for 20 minutes . It was perfect. March 18, 2018 at 1:56pm Reply

  • Lindsey: Love this! Perfect for burritos. March 19, 2018 at 4:59pm Reply

  • Tina Spring: O M G Make these… Make them… Make them NOW. Fantastic. Truly fantastic! May 4, 2018 at 9:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Tina! I’m glad you loved them! May 4, 2018 at 9:46am Reply

  • Julie Sanchez: I don’t have an Instapot, but a Power XL. I put it on the poultry setting, but it could have used some chicken stock. Tastes ok, but a bit dry. June 21, 2018 at 3:39pm Reply

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