3-Ingredient Mexican Shredded Chicken

This 3-Ingredient Mexican Shredded Chicken recipe is full of great flavor, easy to make in the Instant Pot or Crock-Pot, and perfect for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads and more!

3-Ingredient Mexican Shredded Chicken

This post is sponsored by McCormick.

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I feel the need to tell you about the most delicious Mexican shredded chicken hack I recently discovered.

Seriously.  It’s the perfect back pocket recipe that you can whip out when you’re short on time but craving a winner winner chicken dinner.  Because as ultra-simple as this recipe is, it is equally big on flavor, and yields the most tender, juicy, irresistible chicken every time.  Perfect for serving with chicken tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tamales, chilaquiles, nachos, or whatever else you may be craving.

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And best of all?

All you need are 3 easy ingredients, about 3 minutes of prep time, and either an Instant Pot or a Crock-Pot to do the rest of the work for you.  Can you guess the ingredients?  (Drumroll please…)

Mexican Shredded Chicken Recipe Ingredients

Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken Ingredients:

Ta da!  So simple, right?  To make this Mexican Shredded Chicken, you will need:

  • Chicken: I recommend boneless chicken breasts or thighs, you pick.
  • Salsa: Whatever your favorite kind may be!  I have made this with my favorite homemade salsa and my favorite store-bought salsa, and both were total winners.
  • McCormick Original Taco SeasoningTurns out, not all store-bought taco seasonings are created equal.  I’ve become a big fan of this one over the past few years because:
    • It tastes great.  Especially in this recipe.
    • I love the ingredient label.  No preservatives, no MSG, no artificial flavors, no dairy…no hesitations.
    • It’s super easy and convenient, and makes this 3 minutes of prep time possible.

McCormick Taco Seasoning for Shredded Chicken

How To Make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken:

To make this recipe in the Instant Pot pressure cooker, simply…

  1. Add your ingredients: Combine the chicken, salsa and taco seasoning together in the bowl of your Instant Pot, and briefly toss to combine.
  2. Pressure cook: Then pressure cook on high for about 30 minutes.  Quick release the pressure, then remove the lid.
  3. Shred: Use two forks to shred the chicken.  Then give the shredded chicken a good toss in all of those juices to soak them up.  (The juices will thicken a bit into a sauce as it cools.)
  4. Serve! Then dig in!

Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken

How To Make Crock-Pot Shredded Chicken:

Other option that’s just as easy, but will take a bit more time?  Slow cooking.  In a 4-quart or 6-quart Crock-Pot, simply…

  1. Add your ingredients: Combine the chicken, salsa and taco seasoning together in the bowl of your slow cooker, and briefly toss to combine.
  2. Slow cook: Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken shreds easily with a fork.
  3. Shred: Use two forks to shred the chicken.  Then give the shredded chicken a good toss in all of those juices to soak them up.  (The juices will thicken a bit into a sauce as it cools.)
  4. Serve! Then dig in!

Pressure Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken

Uses For Mexican Shredded Chicken:

There are countless ways you could serve this Mexican shredded chicken recipe.  But I would especially recommend using it in:

  • tacos (these Mexican chicken tacos below are topped with Pico de Gallo, so easy!)
  • quesadillas
  • enchiladas
  • burritos (or burrito bowls)
  • nachos
  • tostadas
  • salads
  • tamales
  • chilaquiles
  • huevos rancheros

Also, if you are looking for some side dish ideas, these are some of my go-to faves:

As always, feel free to check out our Mexican Recipes archives here on the blog for more ideas.  And also, McCormick has lots of fun fiesta-worthy Cinco de Mayo recipes on their site right now too.  (I’m especially eyeing their Taco-Spiced Michelada!)

Mexican Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo

However you decide to serve this chicken, hope that you enjoy it, everyone!

How To Make Mexican Shredded Chicken in the Instant Pot or Crockpot

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3-Ingredient Mexican Shredded Chicken

This 3-Ingredient Mexican Shredded Chicken recipe is full of great flavor, easy to make in the Instant Pot or Crock-Pot, and perfect for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads and more!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Instant Pot Method: Add chicken, salsa and taco seasoning to the bowl of your Instant Pot, and toss briefly to combine.  Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.  Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 30 minutes.  Cook.  Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped.  Remove the lid.  Continue with step 3 below.
  2. Crock-Pot Method: Add chicken, salsa and taco seasoning to the bowl of your slow cooker, and toss briefly to combine.  Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours until the chicken shreds easily with a fork.
  3. Shred the chicken with two forks, then give the chicken a good toss with the remaining juices.
  4. Serve immediately.  Or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

*A few people have mentioned getting a “burn” message on their Instant Pot.  I’ve never experienced this, but just to be safe, if you are using a thick/chunky salsa, stir in an extra 1/2 cup water along with the salsa.

All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

This post is sponsored by McCormick, whose spices and seasonings I use regularly in my kitchen.  Thank you so much as always for supporting the brands who help to make this site possible. 

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21 comments on “3-Ingredient Mexican Shredded Chicken”

  1. So easy! How much longer would you cook in IP if the chicken is frozen?

    • Hi Jan! Food safety standards don’t recommend putting frozen chicken in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. So to be safe, it’s best to thaw the chicken completely first and then pressure cook it. Hope that helps! :)

  2. 2 cups of salsa is 16 oz.

  3. Can’t wait to try this!!!

    Rating: 5
  4. Thank you! I didn’t know what to fix for dinner tonight since my kiddo has softball practice. Went to Google to read the stories and there you were! It’s in the pressure cooker as I type this 😊

  5. great for huevos rancheros as you suggest, thank you, love that one since I’m not eating a lot of tortillas these days, good thinking!

  6. I just made this for dinner, and not only was it very simple, (great for weekday cooking), it was absolutely delicious! My husband absolutely loved it too! Thank you for posting this, and can’t wait to make this again!

    Rating: 5
  7. All mine did was burn on the bottom and never pressured up. Wrong salsa I guess.

  8. Yumminess! What other and liquid combo would you recommend to create other flavor profiles or for making chicken good to add to recipes (Tasty but not too strongly flavored that could replace rotisserie chicken in a recipe)??

  9. Can I use chicken taco seasoning if I don’t have regular taco seasoning?

  10. Ali!!! You did it again. Another awesome-sounding recipe to try. Can’t wait!

  11. Omg, this was so good! We made it in the Instant Pot last night and used it for nachos topped with avocado, pico and cheese. Everyone loved it!

    Rating: 5
  12. Thank you for sharing! By the way, what is your favorite store bought salsa?

    • Oooh, good question. I love a brand local to Kansas City called Margarita’s (Spicy) Salsa. But I also love the Frontera line of salsas. :)

  13. In my crock-pot as we speak!!! Taco salad after work, weeeee!!!

    Rating: 5
  14. Thank you so much for all the Instant Pot recipes! Just got one and love having a steady stream of new recipes to try :)

  15. It turned out great! So easy and tasty! :)
    Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  16. I love this recipe! It’s easy and delicious. It will definitely stay in my rotation.

    Rating: 5
  17. This was super
    Tasty and easy! My kids loved it, and it is terrific for my weight watchers diet. The kids put it over rice or in a burrito. They used it the next night for nachos in the oven with cheese and beans. I ate it with black beans and avocado.

    Rating: 5