Instant Pot Chicken Tinga


This post may contain affiliate links.

This Chicken Tinga recipe cooks quickly in the Instant Pot and comes out juicy, tender, and deliciously smoky and saucy. Serve it in tacos (our favorite!) or in a rice/veggie bowl for an easy and delicious meal!

Almost four years later…my Instant Pot love is still as strong as ever! I use mine at least 1-2 times per week and have come to rely on a steady rotation of recipes that we all love. Last year, I perfected how to make the best Instant Pot Shredded Chicken, and today I’m coming at ya with a fun variation of that – Instant Pot Chicken Tinga.

Have you ever heard of Chicken Tinga? I hadn’t until several months ago…and we’ve been devouring it ever since in our home. ūüôā Chicken Tinga is a classic Mexican dish with shredded chicken cooked in a smoky (and absolutely delicious) sauce made from chipotle peppers in adobo, onions, and a few other simple pantry ingredients. It’s amazingly delicious for something that’s so simple, and you can eat it a variety of ways. Our favorite way is in tacos with all the fixings, or in a rice bowl with some grilled veggies or beans on the side. No matter how you decide to enjoy Chicken Tinga, I promise you that it’s super delicious and insanely easy to make!

Chicken Tinga in the Instant Pot.


  1. Chicken breasts: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are what I always use.
  2. Sauce ingredients: An onion, one can of Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies), chipotle peppers in adobo, fresh garlic, dried Italian seasoning (or Oregano), dried cumin, and salt are all it takes for this flavorful dish to come together.
  3. For serving: If making tacos – tortillas (I suggest our Easy Flour Tortillas, or your favorite corn tortilla), shredded cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, and lime wedges. If making into bowls – cooked rice, black beans, shredded cheese, sour cream, and lime wedges.


  1. Make the sauce: This recipe features a blender sauce (aka, throw everything into a blender and boom, there’s your sauce ūüėČ ) and we are Place all ingredients except for the chicken into a strong blender (I have a VitaMix and it makes everything smooth in no time. I even place the [peeled] whole onion into the blender without chopping. If you have a not-quite-as-strong blender, roughly chop the onion before adding it in). Blend until smooth.
  2. Prepare chicken (if necessary): Trim any excess fat off of the chicken breasts.
  3. Add ingredients to the Instant Pot: Place chicken breasts in the bowl of your Instant Pot. Pour the sauce in and gently stir.
  4. Cook: Set Instant Pot to Manual (high pressure) and cook for 10 minutes. Do a quick pressure release (you can also let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes if you have the extra time).
  5. Shred: Remove the Instant Pot lid and carefully shred chicken with two forks, or this amazing tool. I also highly recommend using a hand mixer or stand mixer to shred your chicken – it’s so easy and quick! Toss the chicken in the sauce in the bowl of the Instant Pot once more to ensure all of the yummy sauce is infused into the chicken.
  6. Serve & enjoy!


  1. Storage: Chicken Tinga will keep well in the fridge (stored in an air-tight container) for 3-4 days.
  2. Substitutions: Chicken Tinga traditionally calls for dried Oregano, so feel free to use that instead of the Italian Seasoning. I just so happen to love Italian Seasoning because it provides a little additional flavor, so I prefer to use it where I can. Either one works well!
  3. Frozen chicken: If you’re using frozen chicken breasts instead of thawed, add 2 minutes to the cooking time.
  4. Ways to enjoy: We love to enjoy Chicken Tinga on tacos (we always make our own tortillas which I highly recommend; you can also use your favorite corn tortilla). Then load it up with your favorite toppings (I love shredded cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, and a squeeze of lime. Some fresh cilantro is delicious too, if you have it! Another yummy option is making Chicken Tinga bowls – serve the chicken in a bowl with some cooked rice, black beans, shredded cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, and a big squeeze of lime!

We hope you grab your Instant Pot (or maybe this post swayed you to finally buy one? ūüôā ) and make some Chicken Tinga for dinner. It’s a keeper! Let us know if you try it!


Recipe by Danielle


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1¬†small¬†white onion

  • 1¬†10 oz. can¬†Rotel (diced tomatoes & green chilies)

  • 1-2¬†chipotles in adobo sauce¬†(I use 1)

  • 2¬†cloves¬†garlic, minced

  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†dried Italian seasoning¬†(you can sub. dried oregano instead)

  • Heaping 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†cumin

  • 1/2¬†teaspoon¬†salt

  • 2¬†chicken breasts¬†(about 1.5 pounds total)


  • Place all of the ingredients except the chicken into a blender – blend until you have a smooth sauce.
  • Place the chicken breasts into the bowl of your Instant Pot in a single layer, then pour the sauce over the top. Gently stir to ensure the sauce gets underneath the chicken and is covering each piece.
  • Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and set the valve to “Sealing.” Cook on Manual (high pressure) for 10 minutes.
  • When the chicken is finished cooking, do a quick release of the pressure (cover the valve with a dishtowel or cloth to prevent splatter, if desired). You can also allow the pressure to release naturally if you have the time.
  • Carefully remove the lid and shred the chickens. Toss it in the liquid in the Instant Pot to ensure it’s nice and juicy.
  • Serve and enjoy!

This post contains affiliate link(s).

If you’re looking for more great Instant Pot recipe ideas, check out the Instant Pot section of our Recipe Index!


We love to see what you’re cooking! Tag @thedowneshome on Instagram and use the hashtag #thedowneshome

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *