Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos


Salsa Chicken Tacos are one of the easiest dinners you can make, and yet they are still perfectly flavorful and everyone will love them! This recipe includes methods for both the Slow Cooker and Instant Pot so use the one that works for the equipment you have.

Salsa Chicken Tacos

Salsa Chicken For Tacos and More

This chicken isn’t just great for tacos. Try it as a filling or topping in these other ways too:

  • Nachos
  • Enchiladas
  • Tostadas
  • Quesadillas
  • Burritos (and burrito bowls)

It’s so Easy to Make!

This chicken filling is so easy to throw together. It uses a few simple ingredients and minimal prep.


And did I mention the chicken is perfectly tender, flavorful and even juicy? You can’t go wrong with this recipe!

Salsa chicken filling shown here in an instant pot after cooking.

It’s a Family Friendly Recipe!

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.

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Recipe

  • Chicken breasts
  • Spices – ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, S&P
  • Garlic
  • Bottled salsa
  • Fresh cilantro

Salsa chicken after shredding in an instant pot garnished with cilantro.

How to Make Salsa Chicken Filling

  • Place chicken in Instant Pot or slow cooker.
  • In a bowl mix spices.
  • Sprinkle spices and garlic over chicken, then pour salsa over chicken to cover.
  • Cook 13 minutes in Instant Pot or 5 hours in slow cooker.
  • Let chicken rest briefly then shred. Return to salsa mixture, sprinkle in cilantro, and toss.

How to Cook Tortillas

I’m not a big fan of just warming corn tortillas 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). Flour tortillas I just warm briefly, about 10 seconds per side then stack and cover.

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)!

Salsa Chicken Tacos

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Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos

4.97 from 30 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!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Salsa Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 288 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • 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


  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

Recipe Notes

Nutrition includes corn tortillas. Toppings aren't included.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 288 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Sodium 561mg 23%
Potassium 771mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 2g
Protein 30g 60%
Vitamin A 10.8%
Vitamin C 3.8%
Calcium 7.1%
Iron 9.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  • Kristie: My favorite IP recipe! It’s so easy and delicious! November 13, 2018 at 5:05pm Reply

  • Nicole: My family loves these tacos and I put cumin, pepper and taco seasoning in with the chicken. I then shred with a hand mixer. So easy! Cilantro on the tacos is amazing!!! October 24, 2018 at 6:32pm Reply

  • Brandy: Immune are never cooked through! 15 minutes on poultry setting tonight and still raw in the middle. I love this recipe but I always have to repressurize and cook for 8-10 more minutes! Help! Fresh not frozen and in single layer October 23, 2018 at 7:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry that’s happening! Are you using small/medium chicken breasts or are they really large? Also are they really cold to begin with? And are you adjusting the time to 13 minutes after pushing the poultry setting? Mine come out quite a ways above 165 degrees by that time so I’m not exactly sure what’s happening. Maybe your pressure cooker just cooks a little different and you’ll always want to start out with more time to begin with. October 23, 2018 at 7:37pm Reply

  • Kay Stevens: What do I do if I want to make this recipe with 3 lbs of chicken breast? October 21, 2018 at 6:16am Reply

  • Marla Keown: The chicken will cook and not burn without any extra liquid? I thought you always needed to add liquid to the pot. I’m new at this, obviously! September 25, 2018 at 5:20am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The salsa should have some liquid in it but if not you can add a little. October 17, 2018 at 10:20am Reply

  • Jodi Braun: Thank you for this recipe! I made it for dinner tonight, and it was very simple for an new Instant Pot Head like me. It was delicious!
    I think the only thing I might do differently is turn the sauce on “Saute” while I’m resting and shredding the chicken, to thicken it up just a bit. September 19, 2018 at 10:14pm Reply

  • Kim V: I didn’t have ancho chili powder so I looked at the ingredients on my Penzey’s Medium Hot Chili powder. They were ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, and garlic, so I used 1 tablespoon and a 1/2 tsp of the powder to replace the chili powder, cumin and coriander. I still added the minced garlic because you can never have too much garlic!! It came out well and everyone liked it.

    I always forget how long it can take to shred meat, so be sure to take that into account if you are trying to time the dinner to other ingredients. September 12, 2018 at 9:49am Reply

  • Megan McCracken: These are amazing!I followed instructions for instant pot using Publix brand salsa with black beans and conform deli section. My husband who hates everything but meat and potatoes loved them. Super easy to make and such a keeper. Defiantly will be in the family meal rotation
    Thank You! August 20, 2018 at 6:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review! August 22, 2018 at 11:16am Reply

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