This Instant Pot Mexican shredded chicken comes together in a total of 30 minutes! Use the pressure cooker to quickly shred chicken for an endless amount of dishes. This easy Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe will be your go-to!
What is the Instant Pot?
Instant Pot is a brand name, and they produce a variety of different types of cooking tools. They sell rice makers and other gadgets, but their pressure cooker is the most popular Instant Pot product.
Here is how a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot works: the inside becomes pressurized, leading to your food being prepared more quickly. I was excited because I’ve always wanted one, and I won this in a contest for my Bolognese recipe!
Now, I use it to make so many different recipes- many on this blog!
Ingredients for Instant Pot Mexican shredded chicken
To make this Mexican chicken, I highly recommend keeping it as simple as possible. This is what I used:
- Chicken breasts
- Chicken broth
- Mexican seasoning
What type of chicken to use for shredded chicken
Chicken breasts are the larger chicken pieces that shred the best when you cook them in the Instant Pot.
If you use boneless chicken thighs, they might not shred as easily but it is still a great substitution!
What is Mexican seasoning?
There are a few different combinations of spices used in traditional meat rubs or seasonings. Most types of Mexican spice blends include chili powder and garlic powder.
This is what I used in my spice blend:
- Dark chili powder
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
If you don’t have all of these seasonings or want to make your prep time shorter, you can just buy a premade Mexican seasoning of your choice.
How to make Mexican shredded chicken
To keep the process of making this shredded chicken recipe easy, I went ahead and added:
- Two whole chicken breasts, a cup of chicken broth, and my favorite spice blend all to the inner pot.
- Mix together the spice blend in a small bowl, then sprinkle it on top to cover the chicken breasts.
Depending on the size of your Instant Pot, it may require more or less liquid.
Instant pot settings
I have the digital version, but the same settings will apply to the other models. I selected “high pressure,” 10 minutes of cook time, and my “keep warm” setting was on.
Depending on how many chicken breasts you have inside will affect the preheating time. However, mine took about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
After 10 minutes of cooking, I do a natural release of 10 minutes. Natural release means do not release the pressure yourself. Once the needle has dropped, you can safely open the pot.
How to shred the chicken breasts
There are two different ways you can shred the chicken:
- You can shred the chicken in the Instant Pot itself, but be careful because the pot will be hot.
- Or, you can use tongs and place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Then, use two forks to shred the chicken apart.
Saucing the chicken
I place the shredded chicken back into my Instant Pot and mix it with all the juices. Don’t sleep on how delicious all those juices are at the bottom! They also help keep the leftovers moist when refrigerated.
How to serve Mexican shredded chicken
This chicken is so versatile! Some of the dishes I use it in are my chicken enchiladas and shredded chicken fajitas, and it can be used for meal prep too!
You can also switch up the spices used for different dishes, such as my pesto chicken pasta bake.
This is a simple way to cook chicken breasts and reuse them in other recipes.
How to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot
I would add 2 extra minutes to the cooking time if using frozen chicken. Also, if the chicken breasts are extremely thick, consider cutting them in half to be thinner because I have noticed the chicken will come out tough.
How-to store shredded chicken
This shredded chicken will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to three days. Keep it in an airtight container or food storage bag.
Then, reheat it in the microwave, in a skillet on the stove, or in the oven. Reheating it on the stove or oven will make it crispier.
For the web story version of this recipe, click here!
Other Mexican recipes
Made this recipe and loved it? Leave a star rating below!
Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon dark chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Pour chicken broth into the instant pot and place the chicken breasts side by side into the broth. Mix seasonings together in a small bowl and then evenly sprinkle over the top of the chicken.
- Place the lid onto the pressure cooker and lock into place. Turn on instant pot, select “Pressure Cook” setting, set to “high pressure” for 10 minutes, and start. Allow to come to pressure, depending on how much chicken is inside, can take 8-10 minutes. After it has come to pressure it will cook for 10 minutes.
- Once the timer has expired and the chicken has finished cooking, do not touch it. Allow the pressure to release naturally. This should take about 10-12 minutes. Once the float valve is all the way down, signaling the pressure has released, carefully open the instant pot.
- You can shred the chicken inside of the pot, but the sides will be very hot. I opt to use tongs to remove the chicken breast and place onto a cutting board to shred with two forks. Once you have shredded the chicken, I add it back into the pot, and mix it all up with the delicious juices.
- Use the chicken in your favorite Mexican dish or for meal prep!
- Different size Instant Pots have different minimum liquid requirements, this recipe was made using a 6QT ultra instant pot. See your user manual for different size pots.
- If you don't have all of these seasonings or want to make your prep time shorter, you can just buy a premade Mexican seasoning of your choice.
- If your chicken breasts are extremely thick, consider cutting them in half lengthwise to make them thinner. I have experienced toughness with extremely thick breasts.
- Natural pressure release will vary depending on the size of breasts, do not open the instant pot until it is safe to do so and the valve is completely down.
- I would add 2 more minutes to the cooking time if using frozen chicken breasts.
- Note: the cook time takes into consideration the 8-10 minutes to come to pressure, 10 minute cook time, then the 10-12 minutes of natural release
HI, I’m just wondering if I’m missing something. When I put this recipe in MyFitnessPal, it comes up with only 259 calories per serving. Curious to know how you got over 400, when the only ingredients with significant calories are the chicken and maybe the chicken broth.
Hi Kelly! Unfortunately, the nutrition calculator auto-calculates and it doesn’t take into account the excess chicken broth that remains and different brands of ingredients. Sorry about that!
Hi- Should the broth cover the chicken breast? I tried the recipe and the broth was not covering the chicken. It turned out tough. However I also misread the recipe and did not allow the steam to release naturally, I released the steam at ten minutes, nor did I cut my chicken into thinner pieces. Thanks
Hi! The broth doesn’t need to cover the chicken, the natural release however is vital to the recipe. I hope you give it another try!
Can you use chicken thighs instead? and how long would they need to cook for? Thanks
Hi Isa, yes you can use chicken thighs instead, but I haven’t tried this recipe with thighs so I can’t give you an exact time difference. If you are using bone-in thighs, I would cook them for 12 minutes and then do the natural release. If you’re doing boneless, 10 minutes should be enough, then natural release as well. I hope that helps.
I’m doing this right now with thighs and drumsticks. Skinned them but did not debone. I’m sure it’s going to be delicious for burritos and and tacos 😃
Can you use a slow cooker?
Yes, you can search “ slow cooker Mexican chicken” on my site or here is the link https://girlwiththeironcast.com/slow-cooker-shredded-chicken/
Made this recipe and it was amazing. Went by the instructions and all I can say is wow
This recipe is fool proof. My teenaged son raves about it every time I make it! We use it to make burrito bowls with rice, beans, corn, etc. It has become a staple in our meal rotation. Thanks for sharing!
Wow- what a great recipe! I did about 12 breasts in 15 min on high. I’m going to do this all the time for catering. P.a I HATE chicken breasts, but this is so succulent and delicious
This was so simple and delicious! I salted and peppered chicken thighs separately to make sure they were well salted, but otherwise did the chicken broth bath and spices and it turned out so juicy, soft, and delicious! Ate it with tortilla, chopped fresh onion, and guacamole.
Thanks for sharing this recipe!
If doubling the recipe how much more time should I add to cook time?
For 4 lbs of chicken I would do 17 minutes
This is such a great recipe! The only thing I do differently is I use the regular sodium broth and I add about half a cup more than what the recipe calls for. It makes for great left overs this way, because the chicken soaks up all the broth.
I’ve made this 4 times in the last month. So easy yet so delicious! It’s great with salads, tacos, and quesadillas.
I’m so glad you love it! Great idea to have more broth for leftovers.
Really good and so easy! I substituted some of the chicken broth with orange juice and vinegar. It gives the chicken a nice, light tang.
Such a great idea! I’ll have to try that next time. So glad you enjoyed it.
This recipe was so helpful, in around 20’ you can have a delicious meal.
Thanks for posting this.
I am so glad you enjoyed it Priscila!
This is awesome. Will keep it on hand all the time. Warm up a flour tortilla throw some of this goodness in it roll it up. Good eats. Thank you for the recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Steve!
Thank you for sharing. My family really enjoys this flavorful meal.
I’m so glad you love it, thank you for making!
So good! I have to pass along a shredding hack that works every time, also – stand mixer! I use a KitchenAid but I’m sure a regular one would work well, too. It takes less than a minute and is perfectly shredded 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Julie! I’ve heard great things about shredding chicken with a mixer, I’ll have to try! Thanks
First time using my InstantPot this was amazing
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Mary!
If you double the recipe, is the cook time instructions the same?
Hi Kelly, unfortunately I haven’t doubled the recipe myself so not sure about cook time. Due to the increase in volume, I would believe they would need a few extra minutes.
Made this tonight! Really great recipe! Using some for chicken enchiladas and some for street tacos. Thanks!
What else could you do with chicken. Thanks
Hi Mary, I’ve used the chicken in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chicken enchiladas, taquitos, over a salad, in a burger bun, over nachos, on the side of rice and veggies, lots of different uses!
Can it be frozen for future meals?
Hi Miranda, sure! Allow it to cool and then place it in a freezer safe container. I would allow it to naturally defrost in the refrigerator the night before.
Are serving sizes about a cup? So delicious btw!
Hi Amanda! Yes, each serving is about a cup. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
This chicken was SO tender and juicy! I’ll definitely be making it again!!
Thanks Jessica! I’m so glad you loved it, it’s such a delicious versatile recipe!
We are just two so I’m going to 1/4 the recipe. Do you know if I still need a full cup of broth for the Instant Pot?
Hi Jim! I would just do 1/2 a cup of broth