Whether you're making weeknight tacos for your family or hosting a potluck party for a crowd, making shredded chicken in the pressure cooker is such time saver.
Cooked in a mixture of Mexican spices and tangy pineapple juice, chicken thighs quickly become tender and easily shredded, ready for piling into tortillas.
How to Make Shredded Chicken in the Pressure Cooker
I didn’t do much to change Elise’s recipe—it’s delicious as is. My one tweak for the pressure cooker was to use ketchup instead of tomato paste to ensure that there was enough cooking liquid for the pot to come up to pressure; if it’s too thick it won’t.
With the ketchup and the pineapple juice, I had just enough liquid to make my 6-quart Instant Pot pressure cooker seal up properly. If you’re using a larger pressure cooker, add an extra can of pineapple juice so there’s enough liquid.
Once the chicken is finished cooking, I recommend removing it from the pot with tongs or a slotted spoon and then reducing the cooking liquid into a sauce on your pressure cooker’s “Sauté” setting.
- New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.
Try These Pressure Cooker Staples!
- Pressure Cooker Chinese Pulled Pork
- How to Cook Potatoes in the Pressure Cooker
- Pressure Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork (Carnitas)
- Easy-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs in the Pressure Cooker
- How to Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker
Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken Taco Meat
For stovetop pressure cookers, cook for 12 minutes at high pressure and perform a quick pressure release after cooking. Reduce the cooking liquid over high heat on the stovetop.
- For the spice rub:
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- For the chicken:
- 2 1/2 pounds (about 8 medium) boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- For the tacos:
- 1 dozen corn tortillas
- 1 to 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 cup sliced radishes
- 2 large avocados, cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
1 Make the spice rub: In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the spice rub.
Combine everything in the pressure cooker:
Add the chicken to the pressure cooker. Arrange the thighs in a single layer in the pot. Sprinkle with the spice blend, then pour over the pineapple juice and ketchup. Stir to coat the chicken evenly.
Pressure cook the chicken:
Place the lid on your pressure cooker. Make sure that the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position. Select the “Poultry” or “Manual” program and set the time to 15 minutes at high pressure.
It will take about 15 minutes for your pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then the actual cooking will begin. The total time from when you seal the pressure cooker to the finished dish is about 30 minutes.
Release the pressure:
You can either perform a quick pressure release by moving the vent from “Sealing” to “Venting,” or you can let the pot depressurize naturally (this takes about 15 minutes).
Separate the chicken and cooking liquid:
Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken thighs to a plate or cutting board.
Reduce the cooking liquid:
Select the “Sauté” program on the pressure cooker and let the cooking liquid reduce for 10 minutes.
While the liquid is reducing, use a pair of forks to shred the chicken thighs
Toss the shredded chicken with the reduced liquid and serve:
Return the chicken to the pot with the reduced cooking liquid and toss it to coat the chicken evenly. Serve it in tortilla shells with the fixings listed above.
Leftover shredded chicken will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to three months.