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Instant Pot Chicken Tinga

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 this Instant Pot Chicken Tinga, and I promise you’ll fall in love with it. 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 the component that sealed the deal for me – it’s a little spicy, perfectly seasoned, and tastes amazing in a taco or over rice!

What is Chicken Tinga?

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

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Flexible: It’s just the right fit for tostadas, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or any Mexican delicacy you choose.
  • Tasty: The DIY sauce is a breeze to prepare and packs a punch in flavor!
  • Healthy: It’s made with fresh produce, and the complete dish complements fresh toppings like lettuce, cilantro, and avocado.
four chicken tinga tacos arranged on a plate and topped with cheese

Ingredients For Chicken Tinga

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Olive Oil
  • Onion & Garlic
  • Seasonings: You’ll need ground cumin, dried oregano, salt, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne, 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 usually use two chipotle peppers, but if you like it really spicy, use more.
  • Chicken Broth: I like to use low sodium chicken broth for this recipe.
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 add the ingredients to the Instant Pot.

  • 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 the sauté.
  • Prepare and Cook the Chicken: Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts to the Instant Pot and 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

Here are a couple of extra tips on how to make the best chicken tinga in the Instant Pot:

  • 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

  • There are a few different directions that you could serve Chicken Tinga. 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 white or brown rice to keep things simple.
  • If you’re going to serve chicken tinga as chicken tacos, I have a couple of suggestions. In my house, we use these low carb flour tortillas as the base. We then include shredded cabbage, avocado, cotija cheese, some cilantro, and serve it with lime wedges.
    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 and keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
    • The best way to reheat chicken tinga is on your stovetop. Include the chicken and the sauce in a pan over medium heat, and cook until the chicken is warm.

    More Chicken Dinners

    ENJOY!

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

    Instant Pot Chicken Tinga

    Katerina | Diethood
    Chicken Tinga is a flavor-packed Mexican dinner, made with juicy shredded chicken, tomato puree, and chipotle peppers.
    5 from 11 votes
    Servings : 8
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes

    Ingredients
      

    Instructions
     

    • Select the “Saute” mode 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. Then, turn off the saute mode.
    • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them 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…

    Equipment

    Notes

    • Chicken: Chicken breasts and chicken thighs work well here. However, if you’re going to use a cut different from the suggested boneless chicken breasts, in that case, you will need to adjust the cooking time and use an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure the chicken’s internal temperature is 165˚F. 
    • Spices: If you’re not into spice, omit the cayenne and use fewer chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. But if you love heat, add more.
    • Can I use a quick pressure release? Absolutely. If you’re short on time, you can opt for a quick one.
    • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 201 kcal | Carbohydrates: 8 g | Protein: 26 g | Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 73 mg | Sodium: 731 mg | Potassium: 703 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 3 g | Vitamin A: 530 IU | Vitamin C: 9 mg | Calcium: 29 mg | Iron: 2 mg

    Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

    Course: Dinner
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Keyword: chicken tinga, chicken tinga instant pot, chicken tinga recipe
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