These instant pot chicken tinga tacos hit the spot for a quick and easy dinner. You can make them in a crock pot or instant pot, but they’re finished in less than an hour and pull apart tender. With flavorful spices, these chicken tinga tacos (or whatever you want to put the chicken in!) make a great family meal.
Crock Pot or Instant Pot?
Need a break from all the elaborate holiday cooking? When things get a little chaotic, I always seem to turn to tacos. They’re so easy to make and customizable so everyone in the family can have what they want. If you’re just starting the Heal Your Headache migraine diet, this is a really great recipe you can rely on and that the entire family will love.
I absolutely love this recipe when made in the crockpot. It takes about 5 hours on low and it has such wonderful flavor. However, if you find yourself pressed for time, I highly recommend using an instant pot.
What I Love and Hate about My Instant Pot
My mom got me an instant pot last Christmas since it was the hot new gadget and it took me a while to get sold on it. If I’m being perfectly honest, I think food tastes better when it’s simmered in the crock pot for 5 hours or more (by the way, the instant pot technically has a crockpot function so you can really do both). But sometimes we forget to prep everything ahead of time and you can’t exactly start a crockpot meal when you get home at 5pm. That’s where the instant pot comes in handy. This chicken is ready in about 30 minutes when made in the instant pot.
One thing to note that a lot of food bloggers don’t tell you before you start cooking is that the instant pot isn’t exactly “instant”. It requires some time to build pressure, about 10-15 minutes. And if you do a natural pressure release once the food is done cooking, it means you have to leave the food in another 10-15 minutes after the cooking time. This can add a total of 30 minutes to the cooking times they suggest
The Instant Pot is great for things like chicken stock, and speeding up pulled chicken and pork dishes that would normally take much longer in the crock pot. It can be a little finicky for potatoes, but it’s still slightly more quick than using the oven. As far as the other everyday recipes you see floating around on Pinterest, I don’t waste my time. Often I find I can make some of those recipes faster if I just stick it in the oven or on the stove.
What makes this instant pot chicken tinga recipe unique is the use of dried chipotle powder. Most recipes like to use canned chipotles in adobo. Unfortunately there’s usually hidden MSG in every brand I have found. By using the powder, you’re still getting the flavor without the additives.
I like to use Pomi pureed tomatoes (which come in a box) for this recipe. They may also say “strained tomatoes”. Tomatoes can be a migraine trigger for some, but they are allowed on Heal Your Headache unless you notice that you personally have an issue. If that’s the case for you, just add in a little extra broth instead of the puree.
Chipotle Chili Powders
Morton & Bassett makes a really great chipotle chili powder, but you can get Frontier’s through Amazon. If you don’t like a hint of spicy, try smoked paprika instead. This salsa is a great addition to these tacos!
Use this recipe for the baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos if you’d like to mix it up!
This recipe contains instructions for both the instant pot and crock pot versions. Slightly spicy, smokey, and so easy, these chicken tacos are the perfect weeknight meal.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup tomato puree or "strained tomatoes" * I used Pomi
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- shredded cabbage mix
Place all the ingredients in an instant pot or crock pot. For the instant pot, seal the top and push the vent to closed. Press "manual" and put 10 minutes on the clock. The pot will build pressure before your minute countdown begins.
Once finished, allowed the pot to release pressure naturally by waiting another 15 minutes. Then turn the vent to open to release any excess steam (watch your hands during this step as the steam will be hot). Shred the chicken in the pot using two forks.
If I have extra time I like to reduce the sauce. To do this, remove the instant pot cover, shred your chicken, and press the "saute" button. Everything should come to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the sauce is reduced by half. Stir in the vinegar just before serving.
For the crock pot (which I think has a little more flavor), place all the ingredients in your crock pot and cook on low for 5 hours or high for about 2-2.5 hours. Shred the chicken once finished and add vinegar. Place inside warmed tortillas and top with shredded cabbage and salsa.