Shredded Chicken Tacos

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Chicken tacos might not be the most conventional type of taco, but they are still plenty delicious and perfect for those wanting to lighten up on red meat. This simple recipe uses all of the classic Mexican seasonings to produce a succulent and rich shredded chicken to fill your tacos with. I used my cowboy caviar to top them – it was the perfect accompaniment to the tacos.

For more tasty taco recipes, why not try this Light and Delicious Ground Beef Taco Salad, or the Best Taco Dip?

A close up of shredded chicken tacos, folded and topped with cilantro and avocado.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

The joy of shredded chicken tacos is that you can take some heavily seasoned, delicious dark meat and cook it until it is falling apart and tender.

Alongside some broth and lime juice, you end up with a really tasty, classic dish. Make sure to top this with all of your favorite taco ingredients like cilantro and chopped white onion, and make sure you only use the best taco shells you can find.

Shredded Chicken Tacos Ingredients

Definitely look at the recipe card below for the full ingredients and more detailed instructions.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Chicken broth
  • Lime

 

All the ingredients of making shredded chicken tacos

How To Make Shredded Chicken Tacos

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Mix all the spices together in a large bowl, adding the chicken thighs and coating them in the spice mix
  • Set the Instant Pot to sauté and heat olive oil in the bottom
  • Sear the chicken in batches, 3 minutes per side
  • Remove the chicken, then add the onion and cook until it turns translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant
  • Pour in half of the chicken broth, and deglaze the bottom of the pot by scraping the brown bits up with a wooden spoon
  • Add in the lime juice, cook for a few minutes, and then add in the chicken and the rest of the chicken broth
  • Set the Instant Pot to manual for 10 minutes, then set the valve to seal
  • After 10 minutes, quickly release the pressure and then remove the chicken to shred on a different plate
  • With the chicken removed, turn to sauté and reduce the liquid down a bit until it is as thick as you like it
  • Warm up some tortillas or taco shells and then stuff the tacos with the warm chicken and toppings.

 

Stove Top Instructions

  • Mix the spices together in a bowl, coating the chicken thighs with the spice mixture
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil and fry the chicken in batches, 3 minutes each side
  • Remove the chicken, and then add in the onion and cook until it is translucent
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant
  • Deglaze the bottom of the pan with half of the chicken broth, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon
  • Add in the lime juice, cook for a few minutes and then add the chicken back to the skillet and the chicken broth
  • Place the lid on top of the pan and simmer the chicken and broth for 20 minutes until the chicken is entirely cooked
  • Remove the chicken, shred it on a plate and then return to the pan
  • Reduce the liquid until thickened as you like it, then serve in warmed up flour tortillas or taco shells

What Kind Of Tortillas To Use For This Recipe?

Your choice of tortillas for this recipe is probably going to depend almost entirely on where you come from. If you live in the Northern Mexico / Southern US area, then you are probably used to flour tortillas. However, outside of that area, the first thing that springs to mind is to use corn tortillas.

You should use whatever kind of tortilla you enjoy best, but just make sure that you heat it up beforehand. Warming the tortillas first gives it the needed flexibility to be able to fold into a convenient taco shape.

Can I Use Chicken Breasts?

You sure can, just remember that they tend to dry out more when cooked and shredded. I prefer thigh meat, it’s juicer, more tender and shreds up beautifully! It really is personal preference however.

Which Is Better: Instant Pot Or Stove Top?

This recipe contains instructions for both an Instant Pot and a stovetop method; so, which is better?

The Instant Pot is a wonderful piece of kitchen equipment, as it lets you set it and forget it, no matter what it is. However, it doesn’t really allow for individual temperature control or fine-tuning the recipe as you cook it.

It is amazingly convenient, though.

The stovetop version definitely requires a lot more effort and time, but it also lets you cook your chicken precisely how you want it.

The choice is ultimately entirely up to you!

 

Looking for more delicious Instant Pot recipes? Try these:

 

Happy cooking!

Love,

Karlynn

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Shredded Chicken Tacos

These fast and easy shredded chicken tacos are a perfect family friendly recipe that you can make in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop!

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Course
Main Course
Cuisines
American, Mexican
Servings
12
Calories
196
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lime juiced

Toppings

  • 1 batch cowboy caviar topping
  • diced avocado
  • lime slices
  • shredded Tex Mex cheese

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the spices together. Add chicken thighs to the bowl and rub the spices all over the chicken.

  2. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté and add olive oil to the bottom of the pot. Heat up.

  3. Sauté the chicken for 3-4 minutes each side. Don’t try to cook the chicken all at once-do it in batches.

  4. Pull the chicken out of the Instant pot and place on a plate.

  5. Add in the onion and cook until the onion is translucent, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.

  6. With the pot still on sauté, pour in half of the chicken broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot by scraping the browned bits off the bottom and into the broth.

  7. Add in the lime juice cook for a few minutes then turn off the Instant Pot.

  8. Add the chicken back to the Instant Pot and add the rest of the chicken broth.

  9. Set the Instant Pot to Manual for 10 minutes and set the value to sealed/closed.

  10. After the 10 minutes, quick release the pressure and take the chicken out to shred it.

  11. With the chicken out of the pot, turn it to sauté and reduce the liquid down a bit.

  12. Once the liquid is reduced to your preference, return the chicken to the pot.

  13. If desired, top with my Cowboy caviar recipe! It's scoopable as a snack with tacos and the perfect topping!

  14. Warm up some flour tortillas or taco shells. Place the warm chicken in a bowl and stuff the tacos with chicken and toppings of choice. Serve with lime slices and a little cilantro.

Stove Top Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the spices together. Add chicken thighs to the bowl and rub the spices all over the chicken.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Fry the chicken in batches, 3-4 minutes each side. Remove and place on a plate.

  3. Add in the onion and cook until the onion is translucent, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.

  4. Pour in half of the chicken broth and deglaze the bottom of the skillet by scraping the browned bits off the bottom and into the broth. Stir in the lime juice and cook for a few minutes.

  5. Add the chicken back to the skillet and add the rest of the chicken broth.

  6. Place a lid on top of the pan and simmer the chicken and broth for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken has cooked all the way through.

  7. Remove the chicken, shred it, then return the shredded chicken to the pan. Keep cooking until the liquid has reduced and is thickened to your liking. (you don't need to remove the chicken as stovetop is going to lose a lot of liquid compared to the instant pot! This is going to take less time to reduce the liquid.)

  8. If desired, top with my Cowboy caviar recipe! It's scoopable as a snack with tacos and the perfect topping!

  9. Warm up some flour tortillas or taco shells. Place the warm chicken in a bowl and stuff the tacos with chicken and toppings of choice. Serve with lime slices and a little cilantro.

Recipe Notes

  • Calories don't include wraps and toppings of choice

Nutrition Information

Calories: 196kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 524mg, Potassium: 207mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 169IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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