Instant Pot Chicken Tinga

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Chicken Tinga is a flavor-packed Mexican dinner made with juicy, shredded chicken, tomato puree, and chipotle peppers. Prepared in the Instant Pot, this chicken stew is a breeze to put together and serve!

three chicken tinga tacos arranged on a plate and topped with cheese

Saucy Instant Pot Chicken Tinga

Today I’m coming to you with yet another chicken dinner. And, guess what… it’s just as delicious as usual!

This time we’re going to make Instant Pot Chicken Tinga, and I promise you’re going to fall in love with it – really! Homemade chicken tinga is made with juicy shredded chicken, sautéed onions, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and more. The sauce that forms with this meal is honestly the component that sealed the deal for me – it’s a little spicy, perfectly seasoned, and it tastes amazing in a taco or over rice!

You can eat this easy chicken tinga dinner as-is, or serve it in tacos (my favorite as you might have guessed!), burritos, etc. It’s very versatile. Throw some fresh tomato, some avocado slices, and a few other vegetables onto the plate, and dinner has never looked or tasted better!

P.S. Chicken Tinga is also healthy, low cal, low carb, keto friendly!! Checks all the boxes, right?! 🙌

What is Chicken Tinga?

Chicken tinga is a traditional Mexican dish, made with shredded chicken, tomatoes (in this case tomato purée), chipotle peppers or chilis in adobo sauce, and onions. It’s flavored with a number of seasonings such as dried oregano and cayenne, which elevate its savory elements and add a little heat, if that’s your thing. Chicken tinga is a essentially a stew on its own, but you can serve it in tacos too, or on a tostada!

four chicken tinga tacos arranged on a plate and topped with cheese

What You’ll Need

Chicken tinga uses a fair amount of seasoning, but there aren’t too many main ingredients. Here’s everything you need to know about this chicken dinner’s essentials:

  • Olive Oil: For sautéing the onion – other cooking oils will work too.
  • Onion: I used a yellow onion – thinly sliced.
  • Garlic: Minced.
  • Seasoning: You’ll need ground cumin, dried oregano, salt, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne (optional), and a bay leaf.
  • Tomato Purée: Use one 14-ounce can – any brand will work.
  • Canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: Minced, plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce. I normally use two chipotle peppers, but if you like it really, REALLY spicy, use more.
  • Chicken Broth: I like to use low sodium chicken broth for this recipe.
  • Chicken Breasts: Boneless and skinless.
tomato puree with chipotle peppers sauce and topped with a bay leaf

How to Make Chicken Tinga in the Instant Pot

Chicken tinga is the perfect meal for busy weeknights – it doesn’t require much prep work, and basically all you have to do is throw the ingredients into the Instant Pot. It’s a little more complicated than that, but not too much more:

  • Sauté the Onions: Select the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot. Add the oil and heat it up until shimmering. To the instant pot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Make the Sauce: Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, and the ½ teaspoon salt, and stir to combine. Stir in the tomato purée, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off sauté.
  • Prepare and Cook the Chicken: Season chicken breasts with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add chicken breasts to the Instant Pot. Pressure Cook for 8 minutes. Allow 10 minutes of natural pressure release.
  • Shred the Chicken: Open the Instant Pot, take the chicken out, and shred it using two forks. Stir the shredded chicken back in the pot and turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode.
  • Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Serve.
up close photo of shredded chicken for Mexican tinga

Tips for Success

Doesn’t talking about this flavorful chicken dinner just make your mouth start watering? It definitely does for mine. 😋 Here are a couple of extra tips on how to make the best chicken tinga:

  • Can I Do Quick Pressure Release? Sure. I generally do natural pressure release, but if you’re crunched for time, feel free to do a quick pressure release.
  • Adjust the Spice to Your Tastes: If you aren’t big on spice, feel free to a) leave out the cayenne and b) use less of the chipotle peppers in the adobe sauce. Conversely, if you like a little heat, feel free to add a little more of each.
  • Can I Use Chicken Thighs? Yes, you can. Both chicken breasts and chicken thighs will taste great in this recipe. You may have to slightly adjust the cooking time, though, and make sure that the chicken cooks all the way through. Chicken is done when internal temperature registers at 165˚F. Use an instant read meat thermometer to check.

Serving Suggestions

How does one serve chicken tinga? 🤔

  • There are a few different directions that you could go in. Serve it in tacos, on tostadas, with a salad, in lettuce wraps, etc. It’s really up to you. You can also present it over a bed of white or brown rice, if you want to keep things simple.

If you’re going to serve chicken tinga as chicken tacos, I have a couple suggestions. In my house, we like to use low carb flour tortillas as the base. We then include the following add-ins:

  • Shredded cabbage
  • Avocado slices
  • Cotija cheese
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Of course, feel free to include your own additions and truly make this meal your own!

four chicken tinga tacos arranged on a plate and topped with cheese

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
  • The best way to reheat chicken tinga is on your stovetop. Include both the chicken and the sauce in a pan over medium heat, and cook until the chicken is warmed through.

Can I Freeze This?

  • Absolutely, you can. Once the chicken tinga has cooled completely, place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating and enjoying again.

I hope you love this dinner as much as we do! 🍽

More Chicken Dinner Ideas

If you loved this easy chicken tinga recipe you might enjoy these ones as well!

ENJOY!

5 from 8 votes
three chicken tinga tacos arranged on a plate and topped with cheese
Print

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga

1 3 1
WW Freestyle: 1
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Chicken Tinga is a flavor-packed Mexican dinner, made with juicy shredded chicken, tomato puree, and chipotle peppers.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Calories: 201

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • Select the “Saute” button on the Instant Pot. Add the oil and heat it up until shimmering. To the instant pot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, and the ½ teaspoon salt, and stir to combine.
  • Stir in the tomato purée, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off saute. Season chicken breasts with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add chicken breasts to the Instant Pot.
  • Secure the lid and Pressure Cook for 8 minutes. Then, allow 10 minutes of natural pressure release.
  • Open the Instant Pot, take the chicken out, and shred it using two forks or shredder claws. Stir the shredded chicken back in the pot and turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
  • Serve in tacos, tostadas, salads, lettuce wraps, etc…

Notes

  • NET CARBS: 6 g
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Chicken Tinga
Amount Per Serving
Calories 201 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 731mg30%
Potassium 703mg20%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 530IU11%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keywords: chicken tinga, chicken tinga instant pot, chicken tinga recipe

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20 Responses
    1. Katerina Petrovska

      YES, that will definitely work. Cook on LOW for about 4 hours, or until internal temperature of the chicken registers at 165˚F.

  1. Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    Oh my gawsh!!! This looks so amazing! The rich colors lead to big flavor, I’m sure! I can’t wait to give this a go!

  2. Valentina

    Love making this EASY instant pot chicken tinga recipe for dinner! The chicken is so juicy and tender and loaded with flavors!

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Katerina of Diethood
Hey There!
I'm Katerina, a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

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