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shredded chicken carnitas on a bake sheet

Instant Pot Carnitas Chicken

Instant Pot Carnitas Chicken is tender pulled chicken with notes of citrus and oregano. Ready in 35 minutes, use this healthy chicken thigh recipe in tacos, burrito bowls, tamales, and more. Perfect for meal prep and lunches!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 people
Calories 241 kcal


  • 2 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed of large pieces of fat
  • 1 lime juice and zest
  • 1 orange juice and zest
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • good pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Mexican seasoning blend or grill rub of choice
  • ¼ cup beer or chicken stock


Make in the Instant Pot

  • Add all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot. Place on the lid and rotate to lock securely.
  • Set the pot to "Poultry, More". The time display will read "ON". After the unit comes up to pressure, the time gauge will display 00:30 (30 minutes).
  • Once the Instant Pot has run the cycle and sounds the alarm, switch the top lever to "Vent" and manually release the steam. When complete, remove the lid.
  • Transfer the meat to a rimmed bake sheet. Use two forks to shred the meat. Taste for seasoning and add a pinch of salt if necessary.

Make in a slow cooker

  • Follow all the directions as above, except cook in the slow cooker 4 hours on high heat or 6 hours on low heat.


Use a dish towel to protect your hand when venting the steam.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 241kcal (12%) | Carbohydrates: 2g (1%) | Protein: 28g (56%) | Fat: 6g (9%) | Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) | Cholesterol: 107mg (36%) | Sodium: 101mg (4%) | Potassium: 23mg (1%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin C: 6mg (7%) | Calcium: 60mg (6%)

Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keyword carnitas chicken, healthy chicken thigh recipe
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