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.
Instant Pot Salsa Chicken for Tacos and More
This salsa chicken recipe isn’t just great for tacos. Try it as a filling or topping in nachos, enchiladas, tostadas, quesadillas and burritos (and burrito bowls!).
This chicken filling is so easy to throw together, and it uses a few simple ingredients and requires minimal prep.
And did I mention the instant pot salsa chicken is perfectly tender, flavorful and even juicy? You can’t go wrong with this salsa chicken tacos recipe!
The other thing I really love about this recipe is that my entire family loves these pulled chicken 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 Ingredients
For the instant pot salsa chicken (or slow cooker, whichever you prefer!), you’ll need:
- Chicken breasts
- Spices (ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper)
- Bottled salsa
- Fresh cilantro
And for serving these tacos, you’ll need:
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Shredded cheese
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Guacamole or avocado
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce
How to Make Salsa Chicken Filling
- Place chicken in Instant Pot or slow cooker.
- In a bowl, mix the spices together.
- 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.
- Add salsa chicken to your choice of tacos, burritos, and more!
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)!
Can I Make This Recipe with Fresh Salsa?
If you’d like to make Instant Pot salsa chicken with fresh salsa instead of bottled, that’s fine! You just may need to add 1/4 cup broth (give or take) to make up for the lack of moisture in the fresh salsa.
Can I Make This Recipe With Chicken Thighs?
Definitely! You’ll want to trim off any excess fat before cooking the chicken though.
Tips for the Best Salsa Chicken
- Although you can technically add frozen chicken to the Instant Pot, you’ll want to thaw the chicken for this recipe before cooking it in either your Instant Pot or slow cooker.
- If you’d prefer to make slow cooker chicken tacos, make sure to cook the salsa chicken on low heat. I don’t like to cook chicken on high heat in the slow cooker because I find it doesn’t become quite as tender.
- I haven’t made a double batch of this recipe yet, so I can’t say for certain how doubling the ingredients would affect the cook time.
More Mexican Recipes You’ll Love:
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Tacos
- Mexican Grilled Salmon Salad
- Grilled Chicken and Avocado Street Tacos
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
More Instant Pot Recipes to Try:
- Carnitas (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Chili
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice
Follow Cooking Classy
Salsa Chicken Tacos (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)
- 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
- 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
- Place chicken in Instant Pot.
- 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).
- Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides of chicken and sprinkle garlic over chicken, then pour salsa over chicken to cover.
- 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.
- Once cycle is complete use quick release method according to manufactures instructions.
- Remove chicken and let cool several minutes on cutting board then shred into pieces and return to juices in instant pot.
- Sprinkle in cilantro, and toss chicken to coat. Season with more salt to taste if desired.
- Lift chicken pieces with tongs and allow excess liquid to run off, then place in tortilla shells with listed toppings.
- Although you can technically add frozen chicken to the Instant Pot, you'll want to thaw the chicken for this recipe before cooking it in either your Instant Pot or slow cooker.
- Recipe source: Cooking Classy
- Nutrition includes corn tortillas. Toppings aren't included.