I don’t know what took me so long to make an Instant Pot Chicken Tinga. Tender and shredded chicken covered in a super sauce made from one of my favorite ingredients—chipotles in adobo. The chipotles aren’t spicy—they add the perfect amount of smokiness that make this dish different. Let’s Tinga tonight!
Time to Tinga
I’d seen recipes bouncing around for chicken tinga and it never really piqued my interest. But when I started reading over some of those recipes—I realized that I just didn’t know exactly what chicken tinga was—because I love chipotles in adobo sauce.
Now I love chicken tinga.
This is why I love reading recipes. I learn from it. Plus I get something really tasty for dinner.
And then I get to share it with you for another healthy, delicious LPK meal. So much winning.
This chicken tinga is so saucy and delicious that it shouldn’t be this easy to make. But it is. It’s also delicious in many forms—crispy tacos, burritos…and you know I love this for taco bowls.
You heard it here, it’s chicken tinga time. – Linds x
What is Chicken Tinga?
Chicken tinga is saucy shredded chicken cooked in a red sauce made of chipotles in adobo, tomatoes, onions, and spices.
Pretty simple, but loads of flavor. Here’s all you’ll need to make this chicken tinga recipe:
I typically use chicken breasts, although chicken thighs will work as well.
- Onion will be blended into the sauce for a touch of sweetness.
- Garlic clove
- Diced tomatoes – the base for our sauce. Sometimes I use fire roasted diced tomatoes!
- Chipotles in adobo add a creamy texture and smokey flavor.
- Chicken broth
- Lime – typically instant pot chicken tinga is served with limes on the side, but we found this addition to the sauce rounded it out and brought it up a level!
The chicken is so flavorful, that not much is needed to make the tacos amazing. The most important tip is to use toasted tortillas – you can do this on the grill or over the stove. Serve with crumbled cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, and finely diced red onion.
The Keto Way
There are a handful of ways to eat this in low carb form:
- Make chicken tinga bowls over a bed of cauliflower rice. Don’t forget the toppings!
- Using keto tortillas, either storebought or homemade.
- Use leafy lettuce to make wraps.
- Top your salad with instant pot chicken tinga meat.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Tinga
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in your instant pot set to sauté. Once the screen reads hot, sear the chicken on each side until golden. Continue for all breasts — you may need to do this in batches as you don’t want to crowd the IP. Set cooked chicken aside on a plate.
3. Add remaining oil, and sauté the onions until golden.
4. Add all other sauce ingredients.
5. Place chicken in the IP. Seal with the lid and pressure cook on high until the chicken has cooked through — should take about 10 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, release the pressure and remove the lid.
6. Remove cooked chicken to a plate and shred using 2 forks.
7. Pour sauce into a blender and blend until completely smooth.
8. Return sauce and chicken back to the instant pot and toss to coat.
Can you make this in the slow cooker?
Absolutely! If making a slow cooker chicken tinga, I suggest making and pureeing the sauce, then pouring that into the instant pot. Nestle the chicken on top and cook on low until the chicken has cooked through — should be 4-6 hours.
More Mexican Food Recipes
- Cheese Taco Shells
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Zucchini Nachos
- Salsa Verde Stuffed Peppers
- Zucchini Enchiladas
Chicken Tinga Instant PotPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 pounds chicken breast or thighs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 large onion thinly sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 chipotles in adobo coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 juiced Lime
- Tortillas or keto tortillas
- Cotija cheese crumbled
- Red Onion
- Pat chicken (3 pounds) completely dry and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper.
- Turn instant pot to saute, and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once shimmering, add the chicken and sear each side until golden. You'll need to do this in batches so the IP doesn't get crowded. The chicken won't cook through, we're just looking for a good sear here. Don't be afraid to add more oil if the surface is looking dry. Place chicken on a plate and continue until you've seared all the chicken. Psst - you can make this dish with frozen chicken, just skip this step and increase the pressure cooking time to 10 minutes.
- Add 2 remaining tablespoons of oil to the IP, along with the onion (1/2). Saute until the onion is golden and soft, this should take about 5 minutes. Use the back of your spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the chicken as the onion releases its liquid. Add the garlic (2) and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Quickly add the diced tomatoes (1 14 ounce can), chipotle peppers in adobo (2), and chicken broth (1/2 cup). Press cancel on the IP. Nestle the chicken into the liquid. Seal, and select high pressure. Cook for 10 minutes. Once done, turn the pressure release valve to venting, and once the pin drops, remove the lid.
- Place cooked chicken on a cutting board and shred with 2 forks when cool enough to handle. Tent loosely with foil as we finish our sauce.
- Place saute ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sauce back to the IP, along with the chicken, and toss to coat. Taste the sauce and adjust to your liking, I usually add 1/8th teaspoon of salt here.
- To serve, spoon chicken into tortillas and top with your faves. Enjoy!
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