Recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

I simply enjoy using my Instant Pot to prepare taco fillings. In the oven, bone-in chicken thighs take around 25 minutes to cook, but they only take 12 minutes in the Instant Pot. The resulting chicken is soft, juicy, and flavorful. You can also use the Instant Pot to reduce pan drippings and produce a tasty chicken sauce!

I use Foster Farms Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Thighs in this recipe, and I remove the skin but leave the bone in. The bone provides flavor to the chicken while also keeping it moist. This cut of Foster Farms chicken is the most easily accessible at grocery stores around me, but you can use boneless, skinless if you want.

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

To prepare Instant Pot Chicken Tacos, season bone-in, skin-off chicken thighs with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and Mexican oregano. Here, I used New Mexican chile powder, but you may use whatever you have on hand.

Next, peel and slice an onion into large rings, then line the bottom of your instant pot with the onion rings (as shown in the photo below). Place the seasoned chicken on top of the onion rings, followed by 2 jalapeño halves and 4 garlic cloves tucked in between the chicken. Grate 1/2 orange and 1 lime zest over top, then pour in 1/2 orange and 1 lime juice.

The layer of onion rings prevents the bottom chicken thighs from overcooking while also adding onion flavor to the filling!

Cook for 12 minutes on high pressure in the Instant Pot. Allow the pressure to naturally release before removing and shredding the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Return the remainder of the pan juices to the Instant Pot. Cook the liquid till reduced in the saute function, then fold in the shredded chicken. Finish by sprinkling with salt to taste!

How Long Do Chicken Thighs Take to Cook in an Instant Pot?

In an Instant Pot, bone-in chicken thighs (skin on or off) cook in 12 minutes on high pressure. On high pressure, boneless, skinless chicken thighs cook in 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally relax (up to 15 minutes).

Small flour tortillas that have been mildly scorched on the stovetop are the tortillas of choice here. Toppings include a fiery red salsa, a blend of chopped onion and cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Other tasty toppings include green salsa, sliced avocado, crispy chicken skin, and melted cheese!


  • Foster Farms Bone-in Skin-On Chicken Thighs (or boneless skinless) 6 – 8
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional salt to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, broken into smaller pieces with your fingers
  • 3/4 cup chile powder* 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 peeled and cut onion into large rings
  • 1 jalapeno, cut in half
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 orange zest and juice 1 lime zest and juice


  • Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and set aside or save for later use (such as crispy chicken skin in the oven!).
  • Stir together salt, oregano, chile powder, cumin, and black pepper in a small bowl. Season the chicken with the seasoning mix all over.
  • Arrange onion rings in an equal layer in the bottom of an Instant Pot. Place the chicken on top of the onion rings, followed by the jalapeño halves and garlic cloves. Top with lemon zest, then pour citrus juice down the side of the Instant Pot, making sure it doesn’t disturb the spices.
  • Cook for 12 minutes on high pressure with the lid sealed. Allow the pressure to naturally release (up to 15 minutes) before transferring the chicken to a big container with tongs. Shred the meat with two forks, then season with salt to taste. Remove the bones. Return the liquids to the pot after straining the cooking liquid. Reduce the sauce until thick (approximately 8 to 10 minutes) using the saute function.
  • Toss the shredded chicken in the sauce, then taste for spice.
  • Warm flour tortillas on the stovetop before serving. Top the tortillas with the chicken filling, onion, cilantro, and salsa. Add a squeeze of lime to finish.

Learn more: Quick and Easy Greek Salmon Salad