Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos


Salsa Chicken Tacos are one of the easiest dinners you can make, and yet they are still perfectly flavorful and everyone will love them! This recipe includes methods for both the Slow Cooker and Instant Pot so use the one that works for the equipment you have.

Salsa Chicken For Tacos and More

This chicken isn’t just great for tacos. Try it as a filling or topping in these other ways too:

  • Nachos
  • Enchiladas
  • Tostadas
  • Quesadillas
  • Burritos (and burrito bowls)

It’s so Easy to Make!

This chicken filling is so easy to throw together. It uses a few simple ingredients and minimal prep.

And did I mention the chicken is perfectly tender, flavorful and even juicy? You can’t go wrong with this recipe!

Salsa chicken filling shown here in an instant pot after cooking.

It’s a Family Friendly Recipe!

The other thing I really love about this recipe is that my entire family loves these tacos! My kids can be picky but these tacos are 100% kid approved.

And if you don’t get too crazy with the toppings (like cheese/sour cream) then they are healthy too – just stick with the corn tortillas over white flour ones.

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Recipe

  • Chicken breasts
  • Spices – ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, S&P
  • Garlic
  • Bottled salsa
  • Fresh cilantro

Salsa chicken after shredding in an instant pot garnished with cilantro.

How to Make Salsa Chicken Filling

  • Place chicken in Instant Pot or slow cooker.
  • In a bowl mix spices.
  • Sprinkle spices and garlic over chicken, then pour salsa over chicken to cover.
  • Cook 13 minutes in Instant Pot or 5 hours in slow cooker.
  • Let chicken rest briefly then shred. Return to salsa mixture, sprinkle in cilantro, and toss.

How to Cook Tortillas

I’m not a big fan of just warming corn tortillas and eating them dry so I just brush them with olive oil and cook them in a skillet until lightly golden on each side (or just pour about 1 tsp oil into the skillet per side). Flour tortillas I just warm briefly, about 10 seconds per side then stack and cover.

Just don’t omit those toppings because they are what makes a taco a taco. As in bring on the guacamoleeee (or sliced avocados on a lazy day)!

Salsa Chicken Tacos


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup fire roasted jarred salsa
  • Tbsp chopped cilantro

For serving

  • 10 corn or flour tortilla shells warmed
  • Shredded monterey jack or Mexican blend cheese
  • Shredded romaine lettuce
  • Diced roma tomatoes
  • Guacamole or diced avocados
  • Sour cream and hot sauce optional


  1. Place chicken in Instant Pot.

  2. In a small bowl whisk together chili powder, cumin, coriander and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper (some bottled salsas are super salty that’s why I recommend only starting with 1/4 tsp then adding more later).
  3. Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides of chicken and sprinkle garlic over chicken, then pour salsa over chicken to cover.

  4. Close lid, turn vent to “sealing” and set Instant pot to “poultry” or “manual” setting then set to 13 minutes. If using a slow cooker cook 5 – 6 hours on low heat.

  5. Once cycle is complete use quick release method according to manufactures instructions.

  6. Remove chicken and let cool several minutes on cutting board then shred into pieces and return to juices in instant pot.
  7. Sprinkle in cilantro, and toss chicken to coat. Season with more salt to taste if desired.
  8. Lift chicken pieces with tongs and allow excess liquid to run off, then place in tortilla shells with listed toppings.
  9. Recipe source: Cooking Classy