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chicken tinga instant pot recipe in a serving bowl
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5 from 6 votes

Chicken Tinga - Instant Pot

Tender and packed with big and bold Southwestern flavors, Chicken Tinga is a classic recipe that turns our perfectly every time.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword: chicken, chicken recipes, chicken tinga, chicken tinga instant pot, instant pot, instant pot chicken recipe, tex-mex
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 179kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 2 pounds chicken breast boneless, skinless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute: High. 20 minutes is plenty of time.
  • Sautee the diced yellow onion and garlic in the oil, until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the sauteed onion and garlic to a food processor along with the diced tomatoes and pulse until it is well blended. Alternatively, add the diced tomatoes to the Instant Pot and use an imersion blender to puree the tomatoes and onions.
  • Add the chipotle powder, tomato paste, cumin, and chicken broth to the Instant Pot with the tomato-onion mixture. Mix well to combine.
  • Add the trivet to the instant pot and season the chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper. Set the chicken breasts on the trivet.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Pressure: High for 15 minutes. Seal the lid and press start.
  • Manually release the pot and remove the chicken to shred it. Using two forks or my favorite shredding claws make short work of this.
  • Remove the trivet from the IP and set the IP to Sautee: High, 10 minutes. Let the sauce come to a simmer and simmer it for 3-4 minutes or until it has reduced by a bit and concentrated the flavors. Adjust the seasoning and mix the chicken back into the sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Chef Jenn's Tips

  • I used boneless skinless chicken breast in this recipe. You can use skin-on but your sauce will be fattier. If you use bone-in, make sure to remove all the bones while shredding.
  • If your sauce is really runny (some chicken gives off more liquid) keep reducing it until it has thickened up some.
  • Use chicken thighs instead of breasts, but reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.
  • Frozen chicken breasts will work but add about 10 minutes of cooking time and check to see that they're cooked (165-F internally) before shredding.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 626mg | Potassium: 552mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg