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Holding a chicken tinga taco with fresh avocado and finely diced red onion
5 from 8 votes

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga Recipe

Make this easy Instant Pot Chicken Tinga aka Tinga de Pollo for the best chicken tacos! Tender chicken is cooked in a flavorful smoky tomato sauce, then it's shredded and stuffed in tacos, served in burrito bowls, or over crunchy tostadas with refried beans!
Author Diana
Servings 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Coming to pressure 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • Instant Pot


  • 2 pounds (900g) chicken breasts boneless and skinless
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes preferably fire roasted
  • 2 chipotles in adobo and 1 tablespoon of the sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup chicken stock/broth or vegetable stock
  • 1 lime juiced

For serving:

  • 6 corn or flour tortillas
  • avocado
  • fresh cilantro
  • diced red onion


  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper from both sides.
  • Press on SAUTE - NORMAL on the Instant Pot, add heat olive oil. Add the sliced onions and sauté until deep brown and caramelized (5-6 minutes). Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the onions and garlic from the pot, and deglaze with water or stock and scrape off any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Switch off the SAUTE setting.
  • Add the onion and garlic to a blender or food processor, followed by diced tomatoes, chiles in adobo, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and chicken stock. Blend for 30 seconds or until the sauce is smooth.
  • Add the chicken to the Instant Pot, pour the sauce over the chicken, and throw in the bay leaves. Mix so that the sauce covers the chicken well.
  • Secure the lid and set the vent to SEALING. Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL setting and set the cooking time for 10 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take around 10 minutes to come to pressure and start cooking. When the cooking program ends, allow the steam to release naturally for 5 minutes then do a quick release.
  • Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and place it on a cutting board or on a plate and shred using two forks.
  • Squeeze fresh lime juice over the sauce and give it a quick mix.
  • Return the chicken back to the sauce in the Instant Pot to soak up the flavor.
  • Serve stuffed in tacos with diced avocado, fresh cilantro leaves, diced or pickled red onion, and cotija cheese if desired. You can also serve with guacamole, lime crema, and pico de gallo.


  • While this recipe calls for chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs if you prefer.
  • Frozen chicken can also be used, but you'll have to add 5 minutes to the cooking time. Set the timer at 15 minutes, and cook on high pressure then naturally release the steam for 5 minutes.
  • The chipotle in adobo sauce is what gives the sauce a smoky flavor, so do not skip it!
  • Make chicken broth or vegetable stock/broth in your Instant Pot instead of buying it at the grocery store. It's SO easy to make, healthier, and cheaper!
  • I use just regular canned diced tomatoes, you can substitute with fresh tomatoes or fire-roasted diced tomatoes for extra smokiness!
  • If you don't have a food processor or a blender, you can just finely chop everything and add it to the Instant Pot. The result won't be exactly the same, but it will still be delicious.
  • The recipe is dairy-free, and gluten-free if you serve in gluten-free corn tortillas or in a salad or burrito bowl. Also, Whole30 compliant, low-carb, and Paleo.
  • If you double the recipe, keep the cooking time the same.
  • If you have leftover plain shredded chicken, you can easily make it in a pan or in the Instant Pot without pressure cooking (using the SAUTE setting).
  • Storing: Store the leftover tinga in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze chicken tinga in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge completely before reheating and serving.


Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 470mg | Potassium: 761mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 392IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg