This flavorful Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken comes together in less than 30 minutes and is so deliciously versatile! It's the perfect meat to incorporate into many Mexican dishes and freezes well for future meals!
So I know I already shared on my Instant Pot Mexican Rice post how much of a HUGE fan I am of Mexican food. Buuuuut, I'm here to literally do it again (surprise, surprise) because it's the bomb and deserves endless recognition, ya feel me?
I've said before that one of the many reasons why I 💜 Mexican food is because every dish is packed with so much flavor, and this Mexican shredded chicken recipe is no exception. Once again, I'm busting out the Instant Pot for this one because it gives you juicy, pull apart chicken in under 30 minutes. What's not to love?
How to Make Instant Pot Mexican Chicken
The whole process of making this recipe is super duper simple and it doesn't require any fancy, out of the norm ingredients to achieve such great flavor. If you scour the web, you'll find infinite variations of seasoning blends for Mexican chicken, but this little combo is my fav:
The Seasonings :
- Chili Powder
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
This blend doesn't tend to pack much heat (or really any at all), but you can definitely add in more spices to adjust to your taste. If you wanted to kick the heat up a notch, I would recommend using a couple of ripe jalapeños, finely diced (with seeds). A teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, or ground red pepper works very well too.
I like to be very liberal when seasoning my chicken so I made sure to coat the front and back of each chicken breast very well. If you end up with leftover seasoning, you can throw it in a snack sized ziplock baggy and label it "Mexican blend" to use for future recipes 😊.
The other Ingredients
- Chicken breasts
- Chicken broth
- Lime juice
Step by Step (with pictures)
- Combine all of the seasonings together and coat both the front and back of chicken breasts thoroughly.
- Pour chicken broth into inner pot of instant pot and add chicken breasts. Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken breasts.
3. Close Instant Pot lid and set to HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. Your pressure cooker will take some time to actually come to pressure and begin the countdown (around 8-10 minutes). Once the Instant Pot is done pressure cooking, allow a 10 minute natural release of pressure before turning the pressure handle to quick release. This will allow the chicken to really soak in some more of that flavor and get it really nice and tender.
Shredding the Chicken
While you can certainly shred the chicken directly in the pot, I recommend using tongs to transfer the chicken breasts to a separate bowl to avoid burning yourself with the *hot* juices.
There are two methods that you can use to shred your chicken:
1. Two Forks - You can use two forks to carefully shred the chicken and then transfer the shredded chicken back into the Instant Pot to mix in with the flavorful juices.
2. Hand Mixer (gasp!) - I was taught this trick a few years ago and was truly mind blown that such an efficient, time-saving method had been hidden from me all of those years! But yes, it really works! If you have a hand mixer, turn it on to low speed and you'll have shredded chicken in seconds. I would definitely not do this in the instant pot bowl because the hot juices will splash. I would transfer the chicken to a separate bowl for sure if you plan to use the hand mixer.
You'll also want to dump out about half of the liquid before combining with the shredded chicken. Can't throw it all out with all of that flavor though!
Making Mexican Shredded Chicken with Frozen Chicken or Chicken Thighs
The best part about using an Instant Pot is that you can get away with using frozen chicken! I can't tell you how many times this handy appliance has saved me from my poor meal planning strategies. You can also use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. The cooking times just differ slightly.
Using Frozen Chicken - High Pressure 15 minutes then natural release for 10 minutes = juicy shreddable chicken. Be sure that the frozen breasts are separated and not in one big frozen clump to ensure they all cook thoroughly and evenly.
Using Chicken Thighs - Bone in will take 12 minutes on high pressure and boneless will take 10 just like the chicken breasts. Frozen bone in thighs will take 17 minutes and frozen boneless will take 15 minutes on high pressure. 10 minute natural release for all.
Make it A Meal!
Use this delicious shredded chicken in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, dips...the possibilities are endless!
More Delicious Mexican/ Mexican Inspired Recipes
- Chicken Fajita Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice
- Crock Pot Turkey Tortilla Soup
- Chipotle Turkey Stuffed Peppers