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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (Mexican Flavors)

My Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is loaded with Mexican flavors and is the easiest and the most tender shredded chicken you will ever taste!  Made in an Instant Pot in minutes and ready to be used in anything from enchiladas, tacos, soups, quesadillas, salads or any other creation you may come up with.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken with Mexican flavors

Look guys I am going to be frank with you here… this is one of those dishes that is truly simple stupid.  There is minimal effort involved in this shredded chicken because it involves my new kitchen toy… THE INSTANT POT.

And yes I have talked about this new Instant Pot of mine for a minute or so….but honestly it has made my life beyond easy when it comes to certain recipes.

And this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is no exception.

Here is the deal with this recipe:

  1. It is extremely versatile.  The flavors involved are super flavorful but neutral enough that they can take on many other flavors.  It’s a perfect combo of smoky, spicy and sweet that really blends well with any other flavor combination.
  2. It is SO simple!  You simply place everything in the Instant Pot, seal it and let it cook!
  3. You can use FROZEN chicken!  So even when you forgot to plan dinner for the night and only have frozen chicken breast…You can still have an incredible dinner on the table!!!
  4. Speaking of FROZEN, this shredded chicken freezes absolutely beautifully! I have two bags in the freezer right now just hanging out waiting for me to do something magical with it whenever I need a last minute dish 🙂

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken with Mexican flavors
I also really love to sautee them up a bit in a cast iron pan with some oil and a bit of the left over braising liquid until they are gorgeous and crispy.  You have to do a little bit at a time to get a really nice char on them.  And those gorgeous caramelized bits just add THAT much more flavor when you add them to burritos or simple tacos!!!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken with Mexican flavors

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken you can seriously used it in ANYTHING!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken with Mexican flavors

I know I can ramble on about stories usually but this one has just one.  I served this delicious shredded chicken as an option to be used in tacos or in a salad during a huge Mexican night for about 18 people at my house.  It was a last minute thought as I had realized my pork carnitas were not going make everyone happy.  Long story short… the chicken, carnitas and all the other deliciousness was devoured, happily and quickly.

The proof ladies and gentlemen was in the lack of leftovers 🙂


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Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (Mexican Style)

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (Mexican Flavors)

  • Author: Mila
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


My Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is loaded with Mexican flavors and is the easiest and the most tender shredded chicken you will ever taste! Made in an Instant Pot in minutes and ready to be used in anything from enchiladas, tacos, soups, quesadillas, salads or any other creation you may come up with.


  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 each lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 each orange (juice and zest)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves


  1. Place everything into an Instant Pot and turn to close.  Make sure the lid is on the “sealing” position.
  2. Press the “manual” option and use the dial to get to 15 minutes.
  3. After the cooking program completes, turn the pressure valve to “venting” and carefully open the pressure valve (quick release) and remove the lid.
  4. Shred the chicken with two forks or as I prefer, place into a kitchen aid mixer and using the paddle attachment shred the chicken until it is the preferred texture.  Make sure to add in the juices from the braise to really enrich that flavor!
  5. Feel free to sautee up at this point with some olive oil and some juices from the braising liquid.


  1. If the chicken breasts are large, like 1 pound each, you may need to increase the time to 25 minutes.
  2. If freezing, freeze with the braising liquid to keep it nice and tender.
  3. Nutritional information is only to be used as a guide.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Chicken, Main Course, Main Entree
  • Cuisine: Mexican


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  1. Hi — I just tried this (just finished shredding) and I was surprised at how little flavor was imparted on the chicken. It almost seemed to be lacking salt (which I will add when I incorporate). What could have gone wrong?

    1. Hi Rick! Did you add in the braising liquid? It is chicken breast so it will lack flavor as naturally. However, I find that when I add in the braising liquid to the chicken as I emphasized in the post it truly does make a huge difference! In terms of salt, I always say that you should salt as your taste buds allow you… when I make quesadillas I make this pretty simple and really let the flavors come through from the pico de gallo along side as well as the cheese. Same with tacos and with my enchiladas! Let me know if you try it again and if the flavor gets better when you sautee with the braising liquid!

    1. I would add maybe another 5 minutes to it. I have never tried it, but I would imagine another 5 minutes would do the trick 🙂

      1. Followed directions and 15 minutes wasn’t enough for 2 chicken breasts. They were raw. Had to do another 5 minutes

        1. Hi Ashley! Sometimes cooking times will vary based on the strength of your stove and the size of the breasts. But I am glad you did it for another five minutes! Hope it was delish!

  2. I followed this recipe exactly. Chicken tasted great but would not shred. I have done shredded chicken in the IP before, so I am puzzled. It was cooked through but maybe I should have cooked longer or used natural release?

  3. DELISH….adding this to my instant pot rotations.
    (def need to shred and mix liquid in to get more flavor)

  4. I so wish I could post a picture, because this came out perfect. It’s super yummy. Will probably try a little more heat next time, using the shredded chicken for tacos. I used boneless thighs. Doesn’t really need the juices, but saving them to add into a salsa and or sauce later. Thanks for this awesome recipe, new to my Instapot and this is a winner!

  5. I guess there is a comment capacity on this blog, but I thought this was a hit. I followed the recipe to a T. Except I used rotel with habenero. I sautéed the sauce with oil for 6 minutes. Then added the chicken back. I stirred it constantly for 6 more minutes. I don’t like super wet tacos. Now I have a great citrus blend that I’m going to use on salads and other dishes. Thank you.

    1. I would definitely do the same amount of time since the thighs are actually dark meat and will benefit from a little longer cooking time. Good luck!

        1. Just wanted you to know that the chicken was delicious! Everyone loved it and I was pretty impressed with the cooking juices as well. What do you recommend doing with it? Seems like it will make a good soup base. Thanks again. You’re awesome!

  6. I made this tonight and added cumin and chili powder and wish I could hug your neck! This was better than 9/10 Mexicans restaurants. So pumped!

          1. Thank you do much! You were so quick to reply that it was just as my IP was ready for a release. I’m looking forward to using some of the chicken for enchilada tonight.
            I’ll let you know how it turns out

  7. Just an update- this recipe was amazing. The slight citrus flavor is really lovely.I used the shredded chicken to make green enchiladas and it was so perfect! The quick release worked as you said. I used frozen chicken breasts and they could have used just a little more cooking time due to thickness of breasts. Still shredded pretty easily. Thanks much!

  8. Hi new here. What does Braising mean and how should I shred the chicken to make sure I don’t lose flavor? Should I shred it in the instant pot or take it out, shred it, and then heat it up in a pan with the braise?

    1. Braising is cooking something covered in liquid for a low temp . In this situation the braise liquid is the liquid the chicken cooked in. Shred the chicken with two forks and leave it in the liquid to heat up!

  9. Wow – this recipe is amazing! I used chicken thighs. The meat was tender and delicious. My son and hubby raved over it. Now hear this…we decided that the leftover juice would make great soup! I will be working that out tomorrow. 🙂

  10. We used med-large chicken beast and cooked it for 25 minutes. It was cooked but didn’t pull apart. We put it back in for 10 more minutes. It was perfect. I didn’t see what a portion size was. 4oz? Thank you!

  11. This chicken really is so good! My husband was even eating all of the onions, tomatoes, and chilies out of the pot while I made enchiladas.
    I didn’t have a lemon or orange on hand so I just used a lime and it was perfect.

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