Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco Filling

It’s great to have taco meat in the freezer waiting to be used for a quick lunch or easy dinner. Since I was making the filling for my Chicken Emapanadas, I decided to triple the recipe so I would have plenty to freeze.

I also wanted to use frozen chicken breasts, but I wanted to use them without having to defrost them first. I was inspired by Frieda’s From Frozen to Fabulous in 12 Minutes: BBQ Chicken. Cooking them in the pressure cooker allows you to avoid defrosting and results in moist, tender, flavorful chicken. Perfect for any recipe.

I froze the taco meat in 1/2 cup portions in quart size Freezer Ziplocs. The perfect amount for one individual serving.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you could cook the chicken in the crockpot for 8 hours, or check out my Shredded Pork Tacos post to get a method for cooking it in the oven.

Visit Pressure Cooking Today for all my pressure cooking recipes.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco Filling

Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco Filling


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large chicken breasts, frozen*
  • 1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel Original)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Heat the oil in pressure cooker pot for 2 to 3 minutes. Sauté the onion until tender, approximately 10 minutes.

Add the chicken, tomatoes, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and lock lid in place. Select High Pressure and 12 - 15 minutes cook time (depending on how large your breasts are). When timer beeps, turn off and use a quick pressure release. *If using thawed chicken breasts reduce cook time.

Remove chicken from pressure cooker and shred. Return shredded chicken to pressure cooker pot and stir to combine with tomatoes and juice in pot.

Select Sauté and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until all liquid is absorbed/evaporated.

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Brian says

    I made this tonight and these were the best tacos I have ever had!! I didn’t use any chili powder but instead used about a 1/3 of a packet of taco seasoning plus a very small amount of extra cumin. I had to cook my chicken for about 20 minutes because one of the breasts was really big but it just meant the other chicken was falling apart that much more. A fun trick: use a handheld mixer to shred the chicken, the chicken will be fully shredded in seconds.

  2. Grace says

    Looking to try this recipe tonight. What if I’m using defrosted chicken breasts for this recipe? How long should the cook time be if I’m not using frozen chicken breast?

  3. Kelly says

    I made this tonight for future dinners and it turned out delicious! Awhile back, I accidentally bought a can of extra spicy Rotel tomatoes (with habaneros… eek!) instead of regular and that’s all I had on hand, so I (hesitantly) used them. It was good and SPICY, but ohhhhh so tasty. I just used a sprinkle of chili powder since the tomatoes were extra spicy. I love how easy it was to make. Heck, I love all of your recipes that I’ve tried so far! Looking forward to chicken tacos, some spicy chicken and noodles, and maybe a spicy chicken casserole. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  4. Drew says

    I made this on Sunday and it was awesome!!! I tweaked a bit by using half thighs and half breasts which made it nice and rich. I think next time I may try some chipotle peppers in there. Great recipe and super easy!

  5. says

    You got to be kidding me GF…I LOVE this. How easy can life get with a recipe as good as this? I love th idea of frozen chicken breasts. Must try this SOON!

  6. says

    I’m so glad I saw your post! Just got back from vacation and will post my shredded chicken recipe tomorrow. Took an old Rival Crockpot Mexican Turkey recipe and used it with chicken in my pressure cooker ~ I was pleased with the results! Linked your post to my blog…

  7. says

    I have used a pressure cooker for years. But I just may need to upgrade to a model like yours. Looks like the Cadillac of pressure cookers! I do love having cooked meat in the freezer in 1-2 serving containers. Saves us from the dreaded ‘fast food’. This meat looks delish and very versatile. Have a great weekend.

  8. says

    Talking about taco fillings, I still have 2 packets of special seasoning for the filling which were sent to me by a sweet blogger friend from US. Yours pressure cooker meat sounds amazing. I bet it tastes tenderly delish. Have a great day, dear.

  9. says

    We saw pressure cookers somewhere on our walk yesterday and I mentioned them to JP and he rolled his eyes and said “I never understood the purpose”! Ha! If one brings me a yummy meal like these tacos – which I am often in the mood for, then that is purpose enough, right?

  10. says

    Thanks for another great pressure cooker recipe to try. I currently have a whole bunch of chicken breasts marinating in asian marinade for shish-kebobs tomorrow. I wish I had saved some for tacos. Maybe Asian tacos. It’s a thought.

  11. says

    My godness these tacos make me so hungry! I no not have a pressure cooker but I do have a crook pot that I use often. I love chicken tacos

  12. says

    I haven’t used a pressure cooker in over twenty years! Not sure I’d remember how LOL. Your tacos look very appetizing and I love that plate you have them served on.

  13. says

    This sounds like a delicious and simple recipe! Chicken tacos are one of my favorite foods (especially with a bit of ranch). I’ll have to give this one a try. Thanks!

  14. says

    I went to a demonstration yesterday at Williams Sonoma on Memphis barbecue. They had cooked the ribs in a pressure cooker. What a time saver! I’m thinking of getting one too though I haven’t used one since I used my mom’s 3 decades ago!

  15. Isabel in Spain says

    Hi Barbara, Sounds like a great way to not have to worry about defrosting the chicken beforehand. But, I have a question – is the time give for a standard pressure cooker or for the super fast variety. Mine is the Kuhn Rikon super fast and I wonder if it would be the same time??? Do you have any idea about this?? Thanks

    • says

      I have a Cuisinart 6 quart electric pressure cooker. I don’t know if yours would cook faster or not. You could try it for a shorter time and give it more time if necessary. I checked mine after 20 minutes and it wasn’t done, so I cooked it 5 more minutes. Since the chicken and liquid were hot it came back up to pressure really quickly. Gooc luck.

  16. Kari H. says

    So I don’t have a pressure cooker. Would you use the same amount of time in a slow cooker on High? Just wondering how I could make this without the pressure cooker.

  17. says

    I haven’t used a pressure cooker in years. I like your tip about cooking frozen meat in it since most of the time I forget about defrosting my meat. Nice taco filling.

  18. says

    I love the idea of taking frozen chicken straight from the freezer and popping it into a crock pot or pressure cooker. It sure comes in handy when you’ve forgotten to thaw your meat!

  19. says

    This looks so delicious, Barbara. I like your suggestion to freeze individual servings. Often I cook for one and it is so nice to pull something out of the freezer that is just the right amount. I’ll use a crockpot. I still have visions of my mother’s old pressure cooker and all the steam it produced. I was sure it would explode at any minute.

  20. says

    Do you know that I have never used a pressure coooker. My husband asked if I wanted one last year for my birthday and I said I don’t think so but after reading your post I think I need one. Do you use yours alot? Its basically like a faster slow cooker right?

    • says

      That’s a perfect description. Any recipe that is great in a crockpot would probably be great and much faster in a pressure cooker. I don’t think to use it often, but when I remember to I’m always glad i did.