Recipe Break: Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

Alternate Titles:

  • Three Ingredient Chicken Tacos, Four Ingredient Style
  • Anything You Can Cook In A Crock-Pot, I Can Cook In A Pressure Cooker. Faster.
  • Examples Of How NOT To Put Food Photographers/Bloggers Out Of Business
  • Holy Smokes, I Made Something I Saw On Pinterest!

The other morning I saw a recipe for slow-cooker chicken tacos—written about by ChocolateTherapy and originally seen on TastyKitchen—appear on my Pinterest feed. It looked ridonkulously easy, and likely tasty. I repinned it, planned to “one day” make it pressure-cooker style, and mostly forgot about it, as pinners are wont to do. That evening, as 7pm passed and I still hadn’t planned anything for dinner, the recipe popped back into my head. I happened to have the required ingredients on hand. I didn’t have any chicken conveniently thawed out, but I recalled my dad mentioning that he’d seen somewhere that meat can be cooked from frozen in a pressure cooker. I looked it up, read (at a reputable source) that it is indeed possible, and set about making dinner.

Without taking the time to look up the actual recipe. Because it’s three ingredients in a slow cooker, right? Slow cooker recipes typically have a lot of leeway. I don’t need to measure no stinkin’ ingredients! I recalled the recipe being something like “[some quantity of] boneless chicken breasts, a packet of taco seasoning, and it couldn’t possibly have called for an entire jar of salsa, right?” (It does, but it also calls for twice as much chicken as I used.)

My Version of 3 Ingredient Chicken Tacos, made with 4 Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless, frozen chicken thighs
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning (I know the recipe calls for taco seasoning, but I’m working with what’s in my pantry.)
  • 1/2 cup salsa (Why a 1/2 cup? Because that’s what was left from the jar I already had open.)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream (because my pressure cooker instruction manual says that meat should be cooked with a minimum of 1 cup of liquid, and besides, I’d already mixed it the day before into the salsa to make dip.)
1. Frozen chicken 2. Empty salsa/sour cream bowl 3. Frozen chicken with seasoning mix and salsa/sour cream on top. No stirring necessary.

7:18pm – set electric pressure cooker to High, timer for 10 minutes*

7:27pm – the kitchen already smells really good

7:40pm – pressure cooker beeps that it’s ready, I quick-release the pressure valve and peek inside.

Cooked chicken thighs sitting in their resulting juiciness, the cooked sour cream on top looking a wee bit icky.
Stirred up and shredded with a fork.

The slow cooker version of this recipe requires a minimum of FOUR HOURS to cook. Add another, like, gazillion hours if you start with frozen meat. This took TWENTY-TWO minutes FROM FROZEN. Throw in a few extra minutes for shredding the chicken and dishing it out, and you’re still eating dinner a mere half hour after you opened the freezer.


*On an electric pressure cooker, the timer countdown will start automatically once pressure is reached. The length of time any cooker takes to reach pressure will vary based on volume, temperature of the ingredients, and altitude.

5 thoughts on “Recipe Break: Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

  1. Thanks for this recipe. Although I only recently bought a pressure cooker, I’m in love with it. I’m learning how to use it and trying out new recipes. At first I wasn’t sure which one to buy and what to look for but I found which really helped me. My only advice for new pressure cooker users is to do your research and just have fun with it. It makes cooking in the kitchen a real joy!

  2. I’ll be adding corn and beans and such to this as well, was looking for the time I should set it for, thanks for doing the heavy lifting! How did this turn out, flavor wise?

    1. Sairah, I personally thought it was tasty and have made it again since. However, while I generally like dark meat as much as white, when using frozen thighs there is no way to trim off the fat before cooking. This definitely lent a flavor to the dish that some (like myself) might not find appealing. Adding corn and beans sounds like a wonderful idea! If using canned beans (and corn), I might stir those in at the end rather than cooking them along with the frozen chicken and risk turning them to mush. Please let me know how it turns out!

      1. Thanks for the tip of adding those items in at the end, definitely something to keep in mind.

        I’m not a fan of dark meat, I was planning to use boneless skinless chicken breasts. I know people complain that they’ll get too dry or whatever, but I hope it turns out…

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