Fall-apart, tender Instant Pot Chicken Tacos in only 35 minutes, with all the depth of flavor as if slow-cooked all day. This Instant Pot recipe for chicken tacos is an easy pressure cooker recipe, kid-friendly, and weeknight perfect. And if you don’t have an Instant Pot, I’ve got you covered! Recipe variations are included.
What is an Instant Pot?
Amazon Prime. Thank you, Powers-That-Be, for Amazon Prime Day. Because this year, I snagged myself a great deal on my first ever Instant Pot.
If you haven’t heard of the Instant Pot, which I doubt because it is pretty much all the rage right now and I fully admit I’m coming in late to this party …But if you don’t know what it is, it is simply this: Imagine a beast that lets you saute, pressure cook, and/or slow cook. That is the Instant Pot. And I’m sure it does plenty of other things too, but those are the basics.
So it is this multi-functionality and flexibility, that makes the Instant Pot so magical. Let’s go with an example, my Mexican Pulled Chicken. No, say, I planned to make this for dinner, but, per my recipe, I need to start the ingredients cooking in the slow cooker in the morning before I leave for work. But, then I get to work, grab some coffee, sit down to start and …CRAP! I totally forgot to get all that going! Now, I’m stuck and have to figure something else out for dinner.
But in an Instant Pot I am saved! Because I can make the exact same recipe in 30 minutes in this baby, no additional stress, save the day, bring world peace.
You get the idea. So, let’s review…
Key Basic Capabilities of an Instant Pot:
- Saute function.
- Pressure cooker.
- Slow cooker.
All wrapped in one lovely appliance.
Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
Tacos have been done. Chicken tacos have been SO done. Crock-pot chicken tacos, pressure cooker chicken tacos, even Instant Post chicken tacos …done, done, and done. What makes MY Instant Pot Chicken Tacos recipe different though is that I go a little gourmet here with special little ingredients add-ins and substitutions. Unpredictable, unconventional ingredients to make for a surprising new taco but one that is still absolutely approachable to make and family friendly for all.
Why do we love this recipe for soft chicken tacos:
- Mushrooms add depth of flavor, but also add bulk so that even just 1-1/2 pounds of chicken will feed 4 people.
- Sun-dried tomatoes add more depth of flavor and umami.
- Salsa verde brings a smooth Mexican vibe and is more subtle than regular salsa.
- Mild taco seasoning add all the seasoning we need, but keeps the spice down to stay kid-friendly.
- Creative taco fixings like red cabbage and queso fresco make our assembled tacos beautiful.
How do we make these Instant Pot Chicken Tacos?
This recipe is SO easy I LOVE IT. Simple simple …First, we hit saute. Once the unit heats, we brown the mushrooms in olive oil. Then we add the chicken, sun-dried tomato, salsa verde, and taco seasoning, put on the lid, and set the unit to cook for the full poultry cycle (30 minutes) to get the meat fall apart tender. If you are pressed for time, you can go with the normal poultry cycle, but the difference is that you will likely have to cut the meat into chunks rather than shred with forks. Whatever your preference.
Once the cycle is done, we vent the steam, open the lid, and shred the meat. Serve right away, or wait and reheat later, with the fixings for super tasty, homey, awesome chicken tacos.
Now, I mentioned above that if you do not have an Instant Pot, you can still make this recipe …well sort-of. Here is how to do it:
Recipe Variations if You Do Not Have an Instant Pot:
- If you have a slow cooker: Saute the mushrooms in a skillet over high heat on the stove. Add the mushrooms to the slow cooker along with the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, salsa verde, and taco seasoning. Cook 4-6 hours on high heat or 6-8 on low heat. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written below.
- If you have a pressure cooker Saute the mushrooms in a skillet over high heat on the stove. Add the mushrooms to the pressure cooker along with the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, salsa verde, and taco seasoning. Run a cycle to cook the chicken according to the specific instructions for that unit. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written below.
- If you have neither, but have an oven: Saute the mushrooms in a skillet over high heat on the stove. Add the mushrooms to a bake dish along with the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, salsa verde, and taco seasoning. Cover the dish with foil and seal tightly. Bake in the oven at 275F for 4 hours. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written below.
Love Yourself some TACOS!
So that’s it folks. My first Instant Pot attempt and I am super sold on it, but even if you don’t have one, you can still enjoy these amazing flavors. Delicious chicken tacos with incredible flavor and so easy to make, no matter which way you choose.
Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz sliced white mushrooms
- 1-1/2 to 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained
- 1/2 cup salsa verde plus additional for the tacos
- 1 1 oz packet Mild Taco Seasoning mix
- kosher salt to taste
- 8 flour tortillas
- shredded red cabbage
- sliced fresh jalapenos
- queso fresco cheese crumbled
- thinly sliced green onion white and green parts
- Set the Instant Pot on "Saute, More" (ie. for the most heat). Once the unit is heated, add the olive oil and mushrooms and cook, stirring regularly, until mushrooms are browned. Hit "Cancel" to turn off the heat.
- In the following order, add the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, salsa verde, and taco seasoning. Securely put the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the pot to "Poultry, More" (ie. for the longest time to get the meat to fully tenderize, this setting is 30 minutes once it comes up to pressure).
- Once the Instant Pot has run the cycle and sounds the Done alarm, switch the top lever to "Vent" and release the steam. Once this is complete, remove the lid. Use two forks to shred the meat. Taste for seasoning and add a little salt if desired.
- To assemble the tacos, layer in the following order: flour tortilla, shredded red cabbage, chicken taco meat, salsa verde, jalapeno, queso fresco, and green onion. Yields 4 servings, 2 tacos each.
If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can still make this recipe! See my tips above for how to do so.