Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

It's Taco Thursday at our house and to celebrate, it's tacos for dinner! This recipe has always been a favorite among my boys and on my blog. It seemed about time for me to provide an Instant Pot version and it did not disappoint. These Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos are full of fresh flavor, incorporating cilantro, lime, cheese, garlic and a few other ingredients. You'll be surprised how easy and quick it is, especially with an Instant Pot...

I'm all about quick and easy meals because of our crazy work and activity schedule. This is no exception because it's really two steps - cooking the chicken in the Instant Pot and making the cilantro lime pesto. You can do both in advance and combine just before dinner. You can also combine both the chicken and pesto in advance to allow the chicken to absorb all the flavors. I've also included the make ahead/freezer instructions below too.

Back to the recipe, the pesto is really the star of this dish. While the chicken is cooking in your Instant Pot, you can prepare the pesto by combining everything in a blender or food processor. Before you know it, it's just a matter of tossing the two together. Aside from tacos, we enjoy this in burritos, tostadas and even on tortilla chips for heartier nachos!

Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
original Joelen recipe

blender or food processor (to make pesto)

2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup cilantro lime pesto (recipe follows)
flour or corn tortillas
preferred taco garnishes (salsa, sour cream, cheese, etc)

In your Instant Pot:

Season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Plug in the IP and add your seasoned chicken and chicken broth to the IP pot.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 7 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 7 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 7 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NRP or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure.

When the display reflects 10 (which is 10 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release pressure (also known as QRP or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Remove chicken breasts from IP and transfer onto a cutting board. Chop or shred chicken breasts and place in a large bowl.

Add 1/2 cup of cilantro lime pesto (recipe below) to chicken and toss to coat.

Use chicken for filling tacos, burritos and/or tostadas or top nachos!

Top with your preferred garnishes.

Cilantro Lime Pesto
recipe adapted from Food Network

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (do not include stems)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sliced, toasted almonds
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh garlic
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup shredded asiago (Parmesan or Romano can be substituted too)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chicken broth

Using a blender or food processor, mix together the cilantro, olive oil, almonds, garlic, lime juice, asiago, salt and chicken broth on low speed for 2 minutes. 

* To make ahead/freezer meal - Cook chicken as directed as above and cool. Place chicken in freezer bag. Prepare cilantro lime pesto as directed below. Place a 1/2 cup of pesto in a small storage bag then place inside the freezer bag with the chicken. Freeze. When ready to prepare, defrost and heat chicken. Toss chicken with defrosted pesto. If desired, heat chicken and pesto together before filling tacos.

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