30-Minute Instant Pot Chicken Tinga makes for the best version of chicken tacos….EVER! Smoky chipotle flavor with a tangy tomato base creates the most flavorful shredded chicken. A meal that resembles restaurant quality, but comes together so quickly at home in the Instant Pot! 30 minutes is all you need! Low-carb, Keto, Paleo and Whole30 friendly.
Chicken Tinga: A Must for Taco Tuesday!
Yes, these are the absolute best way to enjoy chicken tacos! Yes, they are ridiculously easy! And yes, I am obsessed with creating delicious taco recipes.
As a nutritionist, I also love creating shredded chicken recipes in my Instant Pot. Why? They are such a healthy and nutritious way to meal-prep, and all of my shredded chicken recipes come together so quickly. Having shredded chicken on hand in the fridge is a game-changer for upping my protein throughout the day. I love building bowl recipes or salad recipes. A few of my favorites: Pulled BBQ Chicken and my Chicken Cacciatore.
And now….. This Quick and Easy 30-minute Chicken Tinga!
What is Chicken Tinga?
What is Chicken Tinga? I’m glad you asked. Because honestly guys, this Mexican food loving girl born and raised in California didn’t even know what it really was until last month. Not going to hold anything back here. After a double header baseball game in Richmond, VA, we decided to eat out at the closest and authentic sounding/looking Mexican restaurant we could find.
But but. The best part about this gem of a restaurant? They had an entire section of “Mexican bowls”. Totally my jam. One of the dinner options was chicken tinga with lots of vegetables over a bed of rice. They also served you a nice portion of guacamole, and a Mexican salad.
I discovered after my first bite, that Chicken Tinga was a chipotle tomato infused braised pulled chicken. And that if I had to name this recipe a few months ago, I would have called it: Instant Pot Shredded Chipotle Chicken.
But now I know better. It has a proper name. And it is everything you want for dinner!!!!
Making Instant Pot Chicken Tinga
Here are the Ingredients you need to make Chicken Tinga:
- Chicken breast or thighs
- Avocado oil or olive oil
- Small yellow onion
- Garlic cloves
- Chicken broth
- Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (see note below)
- Ground cumin
- Sea salt
- Fire roasted diced tomatoes
We’ll start by selecting saute on the Instant Pot and adding oil once hot. Saute the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, then select cancel. Pour in the chicken broth to deglaze the pan and make sure all the browned bottom is clean. This helps to prevent the burn signal.
Dump the chicken broth and sautéed onion/garlic mixture into the blender. Add in chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, ground cumin, sea salt, and diced tomatoes. Blend and create a sauce. Place the chicken in the Instant Pot and dump the sauce on top. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. Use a quick release and shred the chicken with a fork.
Tips for Instant Pot Chicken Tinga
- To make this recipe have more of that chipotle flavor, use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I have yet to find one that is Paleo/Whole30 compliant because most brands contain trace amounts of sugar. BUT, you can easily swap with chipotle spice powder.
- The Instant Pot works wonders in this dish, giving you that pulled tender chicken in just 10 minutes!
- It tastes even more delicious after it sits for a day, which also allows the sauce to thicken (hello leftovers)
- DO NOT forget about all of the goodies: salsa, avocado, guacamole, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, etc.
Can you make this in the slow cooker?
Oh yes! Saute the onion and garlic in a regular saucepan before making the sauce, this helps to bring out more flavor. Now add this onion/garlic mixture to the blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients. You could cut the chicken broth to just 1/2 cup. Add the chicken breast to the bottom of the pot, then top with sauce. Cook on low for 6 hours, then shred with a fork.
So many ways to eat Chicken Tinga!
- In a bowl with Cauliflower Spanish Rice or Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
- In a tortilla wrap
- Over a bed of rice as a salad (meal prep, oh yes!)
Other taco recipes you will love:
We eat tacos all the time. Here are a few family favorite variations:
30-Minute Instant Pot Chicken Tinga
10 Minutes of prep time is all you need for this easy 30-Minute Instant Pot Chicken Tinga! Flavorful shredded chicken that tastes delicious in a taco, wrap, or over a bed of rice.
For the Chicken Tinga:
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*
- 1 tbsp adobo sauce*
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 2 lbs chicken breast or thighs
- 3 cups cauliflower rice**
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 large avocado sliced
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Select the saute function on the Instant Pot. Once hot, coat the bottom of the pot with oil. Toss in onion and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant. Select cancel. Transfer the onion and garlic mixture to a high powered blender or food processor. Clean the bottom of the pot (this will help to prevent a burn message when you bring the chicken to pressure).
Now add the diced tomatoes, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, ground cumin, salt, and chicken broth to the onion/garlic in the blender. Pulse until smooth.
Pour the sauce into the Instant Pot. Add the chicken, and secure the lid. Select manual (or high pressure) and cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. Use a quick release.
Once steam has been completely removed, remove the lid and take out the chicken. Dice or shred using a fork and knife. Return the chicken back to the pot. At this point you can select cancel, and let the sauce cool and thicken. Or serve immediately.
Serve with rice or cauliflower rice, or tortillas. Top with tomatoes, avocado, onion, or fresh cilantro.
*If following a Whole30 or strict Paleo diet, you can use 2 tsp chipotle spice powder in place of the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce.
**You can quickly saute the cauliflower rice to cook, or buy frozen rice and heat in the microwave.