Kalyn's Kitchen

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga

In this Instant Pot Chicken Tinga we loved the combination of chicken, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs and a touch of Chipotle Chile Pepper. And this flavorful low-carb Mexican chicken specialty can be served in a variety of ways.

PIN Instant Pot Chicken Tinga to try it later!

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga served on tostada with guacamole and limes in the backround

Today I’m excited to share this new recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Tinga! This easy chicken recipe uses readily-available ingredients to produce chicken with Mexican flavors that so many people enjoy. And I can confidently say the recipe is even kid-approved because when I was testing it with my niece Kara, her sister Alyson stopped by with her cute eight year old son Judd and we invited them to stay for lunch. Truthfully, I was skeptical about whether Judd would like it, but we served him a simple kid-friendly taco with the Chicken Tinga mixture, and he gave it a big thumbs up!

What is Chicken Tinga?

Tinga is a dish that originates from the Puebla region of Mexico. It features shredded chicken that’s been cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, chipotle peppers, herbs, and onions. The slightly spicy chicken can be served in a variety of ways, and this delicious way to cook chicken is found all over Mexico.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

Is this an authentic Chicken Tinga Recipe?

I’m not going to claim that this is a completely authentic Chicken Tinga Recipe, although I looked at recipes in cookbooks and all over the web to decide what I should use in my version. I skipped the traditional canned Chipotle Pepper in Adobo in favor of easier-to-use ground Chipotle chile pepper and probably made it a bit less spicy than authentic Tinga would be. And I experimented a bit with dried herbs to get the seasonings that I thought gave this the perfect barely-spicy flavor.

How can you serve Chicken Tinga?

  • We browned Mission Carb Balance Low-Carb Tortillas (affiliate link) in olive oil and topped then with a thin layer of guacamole, shredded Chicken Tinga, and crumbled Cotija Cheese to make the tostadas you see in the photos. (See the ingredients for that in the recipe notes if you want to make tostadas.)
  • You can use low-carb tortillas or your favorite tortillas to make tacos with the shredded Chicken Tinga. Use toppings like avocado, cilantro, diced red onion, and cheese or any taco toppings you prefer for the tacos
  • Roll the Chicken Tinga up in a larger flour tortilla to make a burrito with any other other burrito add-ins you prefer.
  • The spicy chicken would be great served over lettuce for a Chicken Tinga Taco Salad! I’d love it with some Queso Blanco or Cotija cheese.
  • And no matter which way you serve your chicken, I highly recommend adding a few slices of lime to the plate to squeeze on at the table.

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga process shots collage

How to make Instant Pot Chicken Tinga:

  1. Trim chicken breasts and cut into lengthwise strips.
  2. Heat oil in the Instant Pot on SAUTE, HIGH TEMPERATURE. Cook the chopped onion for about 2 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  3. Add Chipotle Chile Pepper, Mexican Oregano (or Marjoram), ground Cumin, and ground Thyme and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  4. Add chicken strips, diced tomatoes with liquid from the can, chicken broth, and sweetener. 
  5. Lock lid and set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH TEMPERATURE, 4 minutes.
  6. When cooking time ends, let the Instant Pot NATURAL RELEASE for 10 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure.
  7. Remove chicken to a cutting board to cool enough to handle.
  8. While chicken cools use SAUTE, MEDIUM TEMPERATURE to simmer and reduce the cooking liquid for about 10 minutes.
  9. Shred chicken apart into bite-sized pieces and add it back to the Instant Pot. Cooker 2-3 minutes to be sure chicken is coated with liquid and heated through.
  10. Use the Chicken Tinga to make Tostadas, Tacos, Burritos, Taco Salad, or any other Mexican dish you prefer.

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga close-up photo of tostadas with guacamole and lime

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga served on tostada with guacamole and limes in the backround

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga is an Instant Pot version of a Puebla chicken dish that's found all over Mexico! Serve the tasty chicken on a tostada like we did, or make tacos or burritos, whichever you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground Chipotle Chile Pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 2 tsp. dried Mexican Oregano (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1 T Golden Monkfruit Sweetener
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (see notes)
  • one 14 oz. can Fire Roasted Salsa diced tomatoes
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Trim chicken breasts to remove undesirable parts and cut each breast into three lengthwise strips, or 4 strips if your breasts are really large.
  2. Chop onion and mince the garlic if you're using fresh garlic.
  3. Then heat oil in the Instant Pot on SAUTE, HIGH TEMPERATURE. Cook the onion for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  4. Add Chipotle Chili Pepper, Mexican Oregano (or Marjoram), ground cumin, and ground thyme and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  5. Add chicken strips, diced tomatoes with liquid from the can, chicken broth, and sweetener. 
  6. Lock lid and set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH TEMPERATURE, 4 minutes.
  7. When cooking time ends, let the Instant Pot NATURAL RELEASE for 10 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure.
  8. Remove chicken to a cutting board to cool enough to handle.
  9. While chicken cools use SAUTE, MEDIUM TEMPERATURE to simmer and reduce the cooking liquid for about 10 minutes.
  10. Shred chicken apart into bite-sized pieces and add it back to the Instant Pot. Cooker 2-3 minutes to be sure chicken is coated with liquid and heated through.
  11. Use the Chicken Tinga to make Tostadas, Tacos, Burritos, Taco Salad, or any other Mexican dish you prefer.

Notes

You can use dried Marjoram (or skip it) if you don't have Mexican oregano.

Canned chicken broth is fine, but I would use homemade chicken stock if I had some in the freezer.

Instructions and ingredients for making the Chicken Tinga Tostadas shown in the photos:

  • 8 Mission Carb Balance Low-Carb Tortillas
  • 2-3 T olive oil (for heating and browning tortillas to make tostada shells)
  • 2 avocados, mashed with a pinch of cumin, a pinch of Chipotle Chile pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (more or less to taste)
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  • slices of lime for serving

Heat oil in a frying pan and brown tortillas one at a time while you mash together avocado, cumin, Chipotle Chile Pepper, and lime juice. To assemble spread a thin layer of avocado over each crisped tortilla, top with some of the chicken mixture, sprinkle with Cotija Cheese, and serve with a few slices of lime.

This recipe inspired by many different Chicken Tinga recipes in cookbooks and around the web.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 236mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 20g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!


Instant Pot Chicken Tinga thumbnail image of tostadas on plate with limes

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Chicken Tinga is a low-carb good dish for any low-carb eating plan, including any phase of the original South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Instant Pot Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Instant Pot Chicken Tinga Pinterest image

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    8 Comments on “Instant Pot Chicken Tinga”

  1. Is it possible to use another sweetener for those that cannot tolerate the sugar alcohols (Erythritol) in Monkfruit sweetener? 

    • Of course, the list of ingredients says “or other sweetener of your choice.” Even sugar will be fine if you don’t care if it’s quite as low in carbs.

  2. We love the canned chipotle in adobo, any idea how much to use in place of the powdered?

    • I purposely made mine less spicy, so I wouldn’t be able to guess exactly how much of the canned chiles that would be, but I’d start with 1-2 tablespoons chopped chiles at the most.

  3. I wonder if it is possible to use chicken tenders. I buy the organic ones from Costco. Instead of cutting the breast into strips, would this be possible. Or are the tenders themselves too large? This sounds like an awesome recipe and I’m planning to make it soon.

  4. This recipe looks absolutely delicious but I don’t have a pressure cooker. Is it possible to make this recipe in a slow cooker?

    • You probably could cook it in a slow cooker but I can’t give you an exact recipe for that because I haven’t done it that way. Here’s what I would do if you want to experiment:
      -Cook the onions, garlic, and spices as described in a pan on the stove and add to slow cooker.
      -DRAIN the tomatoes and add to slow cooker with the just 1/4 cup chicken broth and the sweetener.
      -Cook on high about 3-4 hours.
      -Remove chicken and shred. You might need to simmer the cooking sauce in a pan on the stove if it seems too watery.
      -Combine liquid and shredded chicken.

      I’d love to know how that works. If you have good luck with it I might try a slow cooker version!