That Spicy Chick

Spicy Mexican Shredded Chicken

This Spicy Mexican Shredded Chicken is extremely easy to make in a pressure cooker or an instant pot, great for meal prep, and the perfect back pocket recipe for easy Mexican dinners! It’s also incredibly flavorful, ready to go in just 25 minutes, and naturally gluten-free!

shredded salsa chicken garnished with coriander on plate

Do you like spicy chicken nachos? Maybe spicy chicken burritos or tacos? Or even spicy chicken sandwiches?

Yes? Okay good! Glad that we are on the same page!

More importantly, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, this super EASY PEASY, perfect for summertime lazy Mexican patio dinners, and extremely flavorful Pressure Cooker (or Instant Pot) Spicy Mexican Chicken is FOR YOU!

shredded salsa chicken garnished with coriander on plate

WHY I LOVE THIS SPICY MEXICAN SHREDDED CHICKEN

  • You only need a handful of ingredients to make it. And I bet most of them are in your pantry already!
  • It takes less than 30 minutes to make, and it’s made in ONE POT (your pressure cooker or Instant Pot!).
  • It’s incredibly flavorful and a bit spicy! I’m not talking crazy spicy or anything that. But more like tasty-with-a-slight-kick kind of spicy!
  • The recipe can easily be doubled if you need to make it for meal prep for the week. For that matter, you can even triple it if needed!
  • There are multiple ways to eat it! Tacos, burritos, salads, nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas, Mexican chicken and rice bowls, etc. Heck, you can even dump it in this delicious Spicy Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup if you like! Basically, the world of Mexican & Tex-Mex food and quick and easy dinners is truly your oyster here!
  • It’s great for meal prep! Think Sunday night taco dinner and a week’s worth of easy spicy chicken lunches!.

SPICY MEXICAN SHREDDED CHICKEN INGREDIENTS

chicken breasts in a bowl, seasonings, garlic, and chipotle chili in adobo sauce in small ingredient bowls, and salsa in a measuring cup

You will need just a few ingredients to make this Spicy Mexican Shredded Chicken. They are:

  • Chicken: I use boneless and skinless chicken breasts. But you are welcome to use boneless and skinless chicken thighs if you have them on hand or prefer them instead.
  • Spices & Seasonings: You’ll need some kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season the chicken, and also some ground cayenne, smoked paprika, and oregano flakes. If you want to make this milder, adjust the ground cayenne to taste or omit it completely.
  • Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce: This usually comes in a can and you can buy it in most supermarkets. Just finely chop 1 pepper up and use ½ TBLS of adobo sauce in this recipe. However, do note that chipotle peppers are hot! So if you would like to make this chicken milder, feel free to leave to leave it and the adobo sauce out. Or alternatively, you can remove the inner ribs and seeds and then chop up the pepper.
  • Spicy Mexican Hot Sauce (or Mexican style red salsa) – Use your favorite kind! I like to use Mrs. Renfro’s Mexican Hot Sauce or La Morena Picante Salsa. The prior is not insanely spicy, but the latter is made from chipotle peppers. Therefore, I would only recommend using it only if you know you can handle the heat. I have also used a combination of Frontera Chipotle Salsa and Mrs. Renfro’s Mexican Hot Sauce, and they work great together! But if you don’t like your food spicy and prefer not to use a Mexican Hot Sauce at all, just use your favorite type of mild or medium Mexican style red salsa.
  • Freshly chopped Coriander/Cilantro (optional) – This is optional. I recommend adding it if you will be using all of the chicken immediately (since freshly chopped coriander always tastes better in my honest and humble opinion) and if you know that everyone at your table likes coriander. If not, I suggest serving chopped coriander at the table in a small bowl. This way, whomever wants a little (or A LOT like in my house!) can serve themselves!
  • Olive Oil: Feel free to use any other cooking oil you have on hand and/or prefer.
chicken breasts, salsa, spices and seasonings, garlic, olive oil in a pressure cooker

HOW TO COOK SPICY MEXICAN SHREDDED CHICKEN

You can use a stovetop pressure cooker or your Instant Pot for this recipe. I’ve included instructions for both in the recipe card below. But let’s go through the pressure cooker method since that is what I normally use (and what you see in the photos). 

  1. Season and sear the chicken: First, season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Then heat olive oil in your pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, briefly sear the chicken breasts for a couple of seconds on each side.
  2. Dump all your ingredients in: Add all the remaining ingredients into the pressure cooker, and give everything a good stir to make sure that the chicken breasts are submerged in the sauce.
  3. Pressure Cook: Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pressure cooker, cook for 15-20 minutes (3-4 whistles), then turn off the heat. Allow the pressure to release naturally (this should take 8-10 minutes), then remove the lid.
  4. Shred the chicken: Use tongs to transfer the chicken breasts to a chopping board (or plate) and shred with two forks. Add the chicken back into the sauce in the pressure cooker and top with the chopped coriander (if using). Stir everything to combine with the spicy and delicious sauce.
  5. DEVOUR!: Make quesadillas, tacos, nachos, burritos, sandwiches, wraps, salads, etc. and enjoy!

Too easy right?! That’s the beauty of this recipe! It’s so simple and easy, and just so darn yummy!

shredded spicy sauce chicken with coriander leaves in a pressure cooker

WAYS TO SERVE THIS SPICY MEXICAN SHREDDED CHICKEN

There are so many ways to have can enjoy this delicious, mouthwatering spicy Mexican shredded chicken! But below are my top ten favorites things to make with it!

  • Tacos
  • Burritos
  • Spicy Chicken Nachos (HALLLOO LOVER!) 😍
  • Sandwiches (My current favorite lunch after a spicy shredded chicken taco dinner is made with toasted bread that’s slathered with mayo, filled with a few spoons of this spicy shredded chicken, some diced avocado, and topped with freshly chopped coriander and a small squeeze of lime juice!).
  • Salads
  • Wraps
  • Mexican rice and chicken bowls (Try this with some diced avocado, black and refried beans, corn and chopped red onion! Don’t forget to top your bowl off with extra chopped coriander, a dollop or two of sour cream, and a generous squeeze of lime juice!)
  • Pizza (Try this with a naan base, mozzarella, and Muenster cheese. Bake in a pre-heated oven set to 200°C/400°F for 6-8 minutes or until has fully melted. And then you can go straight to heaven!)
  • Enchiladas
  • Chimichangas (My all-time favorite easy chicken chimichangas recipe is to die for when made with this spicy chicken! I serve it with a side of Mexican rice, black and refried beans, and also top it with spicy salsa, sour cream, plenty of gooey-melty cheddar cheese, and a big dollop of good ol’ guac! I’ll be posting this recipe soon, so stay tuned!).

As you can see, you will never be bored with this chicken because there are so many delicious ways to serve it. However, please don’t feel limited to just the above options – feel free to get creative! 😉

chicken quesadilla garnished with coriander and sour cream in a small dish on plate

HOW LONG WILL THE CHICKEN KEEP IN THE FRIDGE?

If you aren’t using all of the chicken immediately, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use within 4-5 days.

chicken quesadilla garnished with coriander and sour cream in a small dish on a plate

IS THIS FREEZER FRIENDLY?

Yes! If you would like to freeze the chicken, transfer to a freezer friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the chicken overnight in the refrigerator to use the next day. To reheat, heat over medium-high heat in a pan on the stovetop. You can also just reheat it in the microwave if you like.

IS THIS GLUTEN-FREE?

Yes. All of the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten-free. But it’s best to check if the brand of Mexican Hot Sauce and/or salsa you are using is indeed GF certified.

Close up of stacked salsa chicken quesadilla

To sum up guys, this Pressure Cooker Spicy Mexican Chicken has become a weekly thing in my house. And I am not even remotely tired of it because:

  • I LOVE spicy Mexican food!
  • There are so many different types of legit tasty lunches and dinners you can make with this chicken.
  • It truly is a meal prep godsend!

So get out your pressure cooker or Instant Pot and make some for a spicy chicken taco dinner tonight! While you’re at it, maybe even crack open a nice cold bottle of your favorite Mexican beer too.

Then go ahead and plan a week’s worth of easy Mexican lunches (and/or dinners!) and enjoy all of them like a boss! 😎

Shredded salsa chicken and chicken quesadilla on plate with coriander

MORE EASY PRESSURE COOKER/INSTANT POT RECIPES

Print
shredded salsa chicken garnished with coriander on plate

Pressure Cooker Spicy Mexican Chicken

This Spicy Mexican Shredded Chicken is extremely easy to make in a pressure cooker or an instant pot, great for meal prep, and the perfect back pocket recipe for easy Mexican dinners! It’s also incredibly flavorful, ready to go in just 25 minutes, and naturally gluten-free!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 large Chicken breasts (about 400g), boneless, skinless
  • 23 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce – finely chopped, plus ½ TBLS Adobo Sauce from can
  • ½ TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • ½ TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
  • ¼ TSP ground Cayenne
  • ¼ TSP Smoked Paprika (Hot or Sweet, your choice)
  • ½ TSP Oregano Flakes
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil (or any other cooking oil you prefer)
  • 1 cup your favorite Mexican Hot Sauce or red salsa (My favorites are Mrs. Renfro’s Mexican Hot Sauce and La Morena Picante Salsa. I also occasionally like to use a combination of 1/3 cup Frontera Chipotle Salsa + 2/3 cup Mrs. Renfro’s Mexican Hot Sauce.)
  • 12 sprigs Coriander/Cilantro (optional) – chopped

Instructions

For Stovetop/Pressure Cooker:

  1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Heat olive oil in a pressure cooker over medium high heat. Once hot, place the chicken breasts in the pressure cooker and briefly sear for half a minute on each side.
  2. Add the minced garlic, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, ground cayenne, smoked paprika, oregano flakes, and the Mexican hot sauce (or red salsa). Stir to combine.
  3. Lower to heat to medium-low and cover the pressure cooker. Cook for 15-20 minutes (3-4 whistles), and then turn off the heat.
  4. Allow the pressure to release naturally (this should take 8-10 minutes), then remove the lid of the pressure cooker.
  5. Use tongs to transfer the chicken breasts to a chopping board or plate and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken back to the sauce in the pressure cooker and add the chopped coriander (if using). Stir to combine.
  6. Use in quesadillas, tacos, nachos, burritos, sandwiches, wraps, salads, etc. If not using immediately, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within 4-5 days.

For Instant Pot:

  1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Select the ‘Sauté’ function on the instant pot. Once the pot displays ‘Hot’, add olive oil in the inner pot and heat for a minute. Place the chicken breasts in the pot and briefly sear for half a minute on each side.
  2. Add the minced garlic, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, ground cayenne, smoked paprika, oregano flakes, and the Mexican hot sauce (or red salsa). Stir to combine.
  3. Select the ‘Cancel’ function and close the lid. Make sure that the vent is in ‘Sealing’ position. Select ‘Manual’ and adjust the +/- buttons to set the cook time to 20 minutes.
  4. Once cooking has completed, allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove the lid.
  5. Use tongs to transfer the chicken breasts to a chopping board or plate and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken back to the sauce in the pot and add the chopped coriander (if using). Stir to combine.
  6. Use in quesadillas, tacos, nachos, burritos, sandwiches, wraps, salads, etc. If not using immediately, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within 4-5 days.

Notes

  1. To freeze: If you would like to freeze the chicken, transfer to a freezer friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the chicken overnight in the refrigerator to use the next day. Reheat on the stovetop in a pan or in the microwave.
  2. Is this gluten-free?: All of the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten-free. But it’s best to check that the brand of Mexican Hot Sauce and/or salsa you are using is GF certified.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 181
  • Sugar: 2.1g
  • Sodium: 611.3mg
  • Fat: 6.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4.0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 22.7g
  • Cholesterol: 73mg

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

shredded spicy chicken with coriander on white plate

This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

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