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Instant Pot Mexican Chicken

Instant Pot Mexican chicken is so juicy and tender that it practically shreds itself! It’s seasoned with chili powder and cumin with a hint of lime to add some brightness. Not only is it incredibly flavorful, but it’s so quick to make!

shredded chicken in white bowl
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Easy Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken

My family just loves Mexican-inspired food, and this delicious recipe is no exception! It’s bold in flavor and is effortless to cook and shred. The great thing is it’s so versatile and can be used in Instant Pot chicken tacos, sheet pan nachos, chicken taco soup, and more!

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

The beauty of cooking chicken in an Instant Pot is that it takes less time than other cooking methods It’s also a breeze to clean up, and if you forget to defrost your chicken before dinner as I do, you can easily cook it from frozen directly in the pot. 

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.

chicken and seasonings in instant pot

What You’ll Need to Make this Recipe

  • 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.
instant pot shredded chicken

How to Make 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 TO SEALING.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE.
  4. Count down for 5 minutes then QUICK RELEASE the pressure and remove the 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.
shredded chicken in pot with spoon

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 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 chicken 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.

FAQs

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.

What’s the best way to store shredded Mexican chicken?

For maximum freshness, store the chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 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!

shredded chicken in bowl

Ways to Use 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:

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shredded chicken in white bowl

Instant Pot Mexican Chicken

5 from 3 votes
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Instant Pot Mexican chicken is so juicy and tender that it practically shreds itself! It’s seasoned with chili powder and cumin with a hint of lime to add some brightness. Not only is it incredibly flavorful, but it’s so quick to make!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 8

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 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

Instructions

  • 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. 
    chicken and seasonings in instant pot
  • 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.
    instant pot shredded chicken
  • Shred the meat and then place back in the pot. Stir in the lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste. 
    shredded chicken on cutting board

Notes

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. 

Nutrition

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

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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