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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
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
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- 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