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Instant Pot Mexican Chicken

This Instant Pot Mexican chicken is juicy, tender and packed with flavor! It’s easy to make with a few simple spices and then use the Mexican shredded chicken for tacos, burritos and more!

My family loves Mexican-inspired food! We use this shredded chicken for Instant Pot chicken tacos, sheet pan nachos, chicken taco soup, and more!

Mexican chicken in a white bowl.
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Easy Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken

Your next Taco Tuesday will be a breeze when you try this speedy hands-off Instant Pot Mexican chicken recipe. 

The beauty of cooking chicken in an Instant Pot is that it takes less time than other cooking methods, it’s a breeze to clean up, and if you forget to defrost your chicken you can easily make Instant Pot frozen chicken, too.

Recipe Ingredient Notes

Chicken and seasonings in instant pot.
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts: You can swap chicken thighs for the breasts if that’s what you have. 
  • Chicken broth: Store-bought or homemade will work. Make sure you adjust the amount of salt you add to the chicken based on the saltiness of your chicken broth.
  • Minced garlic: I use fresh garlic, but you can use jarred minced garlic for a handy shortcut.
  • Ranch seasoning: Look for this in the spice aisle at your local grocery store. I used the Hidden Valley brand.
  • Spices: Chili powder and ground cumin bring the Mexican flavor and a subtle heat
  • Lime: Brightens up the dish with a light acidic flavor.
  • Salt and pepper: Taste the chicken after it’s cooked before seasoning.


  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken thighs can be used instead of breasts.
  • Spicier: Add a can of diced green chilis or chopped jalapenos for some heat.
  • Seasoning: Try using taco seasoning or fajita seasoning instead of chili powder and cumin.
  • Onion: Add in one small diced onion for additional flavor.
  • Salsa, corn and beans: Add a cup of your favorite salsa or salsa verde, some corn and beans like I do when making Instant Pot chicken taco bowls.

How to Make Instant Pot Mexican Chicken

If this is your first time using one (yay!) or it’s been a while and you need a refresher, take a look at my step-by-step tutorial on how to use an Instant Pot for tips and guidelines.

Mexican chicken in instant pot.
  1. Place chicken in the Instant Pot. Pour the broth over the top then sprinkle the garlic, ranch seasoning, and spices on top.
  2. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and set valve to Sealing.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE.
  4. Natural Release for 5 minutes then Quick Release the pressure by moving valve to venting then remove the pressure cooker lid. Remove the chicken and place it on a cutting board.
  5. Shred the meat. Using 2 forks, shred the meat and place it back into the Instant Pot. Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Cooking Tips

  • Cook chicken from frozen. If you’re using the frozen chicken to make your meal, not a problem! Simply add 3 more minutes to the original cooking time.
  • Turn up the spice. If you love spicy food and want to amp it up in this recipe, try adding some red pepper flakes, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or a dash of your favorite hot sauce. I sometimes add in some taco seasoning which adds a bit more heat plus an extra boost of flavor.
  • Make ahead. You can make this Mexican chicken recipe in advance and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. I find it tastes even better the next day as the flavors have time to mingle and develop.
Shredded chicken in instant pot.

How to Use Shredded Mexican Chicken

I’ve already mentioned tacos, soup, and nachos, and there are so many other ways you can use this delicious chicken! Here are some more of my favorites:


How do you know if the chicken is cooked?

If you follow the recipe directions, your chicken should be cooked through. To be sure, you can check the temperature with an instant-read kitchen thermometer. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C.

Why is my chicken rubbery?

This could mean either you overcooked it or undercooked it. Always check the temperature to ensure it has reached 165 degrees F. If it is undercooked, place back in Instant Pot and cook a little longer. If it’s overcooked that is okay, just shredded it and add it back into the juices to rehydrate.

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

Sure! Just follow my directions for shredded chicken and add your chicken to the crockpot and cook on high 3-4 hours.

Can I use a hand mixer to shred the chicken?

Sure you can either use a hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment. Just watch it though to ensure it doesn’t overprocess the chicken.

Make Ahead and Storage

This chicken is great for meal prep!

Store: For maximum freshness, store shredded Mexican chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Reheat: As the chicken sits in the fridge, some of the juices may be absorbed into the chicken. When you reheat it, you can add a splash of chicken broth if the chicken looks a bit dry. It will revive beautifully!

Freeze: You can also freeze your shredded Mexican chicken. Store with juices in a freezer safe bag for 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using. Store it in recipe portion sizes for easy weeknight dinners.

Shredded chicken in a white bowl.

Complete your meal with other Mexican dishes like homemade salsa, flour tortillas and cilantro lime rice recipe.

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Shredded chicken in instant pot.

Instant Pot Mexican Chicken

5 from 18 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This Instant Pot Mexican chicken is juicy, tender and packed with flavor! It's easy to make with a few simple spices and then use the Mexican shredded chicken for tacos, burritos and more!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8



  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 ounce packet ranch seasoning (I used Hidden Valley)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 lime , juiced
  • salt & pepper , to taste


  • Place the chicken breast in the Instant Pot and pour the broth over the top. Add the garlic, ranch powder, chili powder and cumin on top of the meat. 
  • Secure the lid and close the pressure valve (make sure it's set to sealing). Cook for 10 minutes on high pressure.
  • Allow to count down for 5 minutes and then do a quick release pressure and remove lid. Remove chicken and place on cutting board.
  • Shred the meat and then place back in the pot. Stir in the lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste. 


Frozen chicken: If cooking frozen chicken in Instant Pot, add 3 more minutes to the total cook time.  
Seasonings: If you like spice, add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce. Sometimes I add in some taco seasoning too. 


Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 469mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 193IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican

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