A Spicy Perspective

Chicken Tinga Tacos (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

Chicken Tinga Tacos – Make zesty, savory, and spicy, incredibly flavorful shredded chicken tinga using the Instant Pot or our quick Stovetop method. This recipe is terrific as a base for the best tacos, burrito bowls, salads, and more!

chicken tinga tacos loaded with toppings

Easy Chicken Tinga Tacos

Who doesn’t love a good spicy chicken taco?! There is seriously nothing better than a soft, warm tortilla loaded with tender chicken and lots of flavorful fixins. Add a kick of heat and I am in heaven.

Our 2-Ingredient Crock Pot Taco recipe is terrific for making a simple, family-friendly dish that is pleasing to nearly any palatte. However, this Chicken Tinga recipe is absolutely my favorite for when I need a meal that satisfies with lots of spices. Today we share with you two easy methods for making the best authentic Chicken Tinga in the Instant Pot or on the Stovetop. They both create a shredded chicken that is bursting with spicy, savory, and smoky flavor – and each method only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Use homemade Chicken Tinga to make delicious tacos, salads, burritos, enchiladas, burrito bowls, wraps, and more!

smoky chicken tinga taco recipe

Ingredients You Need

Here are the simple ingredients needed to make the most flavorful Chicken Tinga recipe in the IP or on the stovetop:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breastsor thighs, if you prefer, chopped
  • Onionpeeled and chopped
  • Garlic clovesminced
  • Olive oil or preferred cooking oil
  • Seasoningsground cumin, dried oregano, salt, plus a bay leaf
  • Canned tomatoesfire roasted, diced
  • Chicken brothwe recommend low sodium
  • Chipotle chilesin adobo sauce, chopped

Plus your favorite taco or burrito bowl toppings.

Our Favorite Chicken Tinga Taco Toppings

  • Diced red onion
  • Crumbled cotija or shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped cilantro

And lime wedges on the side for a pop of fresh acidity that brings all of the flavors together.

how to make tinga in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop

How to Make Chicken Tinga Tacos in the Instant Pot

Prepare Chicken Tinga using the Instant Pot for absolutely the easiest, most hassle-free recipe. Including the time needed to build pressure, this method typically takes less than 30 minutes.

Firstly, set out a large 6 quart Instant Pot and turn it to the Sauté setting. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Sauté for 3-4 minutes to soften the onions, stirring as needed.

Once the onions are translucent, add in the chicken chunks, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, chopped chipotle peppers, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.

Next, lock the lid into place and pressure cook on High for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, wait 5 minutes before you do a Natural Release. It is safe to open the pot as soon as the steam button drops.

Get the Complete (Printable) Chicken Tinga Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Now use two forks to shred the chicken into the sauce. Set on Sauté again and simmer for another 5 minutes or so, until the sauces reduces by about half. Stir occasionally.

Remove the bay leaf before serving warm.

instant pot chicken tinga

Stovetop Instructions

No Instant Pot? No problem! It’s just as easy to make this Chicken Tinga recipe on the stovetop in a large pot. Similar to the IP version, this method is ready in under 30 minutes.

  1. Set out a large 6 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Sauté 3-4 minutes to soften the onions, stirring as needed.
  2. Once the onions are soft, add in the chicken chunks, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, chopped chipotle peppers, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and simmer for 12-14 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Use two forks to shred the chicken chunks into the sauce. 
  4. Then simmer for another 2-3 minutes to reduce the sauce by half. Remove the bay leaf and serve warm.
Instant Pot Chicken Tinga recipe

Chicken Tinga Serving Suggestions

Smoky and savory homemade Chicken Tinga is fantastic to use in many of your favorite dishes. Here are a few ideas:

best spicy tacos

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will leftovers keep well?

Leftover Chicken Tinga will keep well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

Can I freeze Chicken Tinga?

Absolutely! Let the taco meat cool completely before transferring to an airtight container, and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How do I make extra spicy Chicken Tinga?

Feel free to add an extra chipotle pepper to get a even bigger kick of spiciness.

How can I prepare a Chicken Tinga that’s less spicy?

Make a version that’s not quite so spicy by only including 1 or 2 chipotle peppers.

What sides go well with Chicken Tinga tacos?

Serve chicken tinga in tacos, burrito bowls, on salads, or however you like with your favorite Mexican-inspired sides! Try our recipes for the Best Refried Beans, Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad, or easy 4-Ingredient Spanish Rice for yummy side dishes.

loaded spicy chicken tacos

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Chicken Tinga Tacos (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Chicken Tinga Tacos – Make spicy, flavorful shredded chicken tinga using the Instant Pot or our quick stovetop recipe. Perfect for tacos and more!
Servings: 16 tacos

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken into large 2-inch chunks. Chop and mince the onions, garlic, and chipotle peppers.

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Set out a large 6 quart Instant Pot. Turn on the Sauté setting. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Sauté 3-4 minutes to soften the onions, stirring as needed.
  • Once the onions are soft, add in the chicken chunks, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, chopped chipotle peppers, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
  • Lock the lid into place and set the IP on Pressure Cook High for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, perform a Natural Release for 5 minutes. As soon as the steam button drops, it is safe to open the pot.
  • Use two forks to shred the chicken chunks into the sauce. Then set on Sauté again and simmer for another 5+ minutes to reduce the sauce by half. Remove the bay leaf and serve warm.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Set out a large 6 quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt. Sauté 3-4 minutes to soften the onions, stirring as needed.
  • Once the onions are soft, add in the chicken chunks, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, chopped chipotle peppers, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
  • Cover and simmer for 12-14 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Use two forks to shred the chicken chunks into the sauce.
  • Then simmer for another 2-3 minutes to reduce the sauce by half. Remove the bay leaf and serve warm.

Video

Notes

Leftovers will keep well in the fridge in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 2oz, Calories: 89kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 287mg, Potassium: 242mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 124IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Author: Sommer Collier

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3 comments on “Chicken Tinga Tacos (Instant Pot & Stovetop)”

  1. These were absolutely amazing..just wow!

  2. These were so delicious and my 11 year old said they are way better than Tinga’s!

  3. This chicken Tinga taco recipe is the best tacos that I have made since the pandemic started! I love the flavors and it makes me feel like I am out at a restaurant and getting served this amazing dish!