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Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Pineapple Mexican Shredded Chicken [+ Video]

24 Reviews

I’ve made this instant pot or slow cooker pineapple Mexican shredded chicken twice in the past week. That is really saying something, it’s so good!

a slow cooker full of shredded chicken in a salsa verde pineapple sauce

This Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Pineapple Mexican Shredded Chicken is definitely one of my new favorites but it’s also a result of being totally lazy, so ya know, there’s that too.

I’m just being totally honest with you. I was feeling a bit worn out and needed a quick and easy chicken recipe, especially a slow cooker chicken recipe or instant pot chicken recipe as I didn’t want to be stuck at the stove slaving away.

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Pineapple Mexican Shredded Chicken

Lately when I create a slow cooker recipe I can’t help but test out instant pot recipes as well. It seems like many slow cooker users don’t yet have the instant pot, but most instant pot users have a crockpot still. This way, no matter which you prefer to use you’re totally covered.

Our Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Pineapple Mexican Shredded Chicken recipe is perfect for Cafe Rio style salads, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, burrito bowls or even just solo with sides like our Mango Bacon Guacamole.

This shredded chicken is a cinch to make. Here’s what you need:

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Chunky Salsa Verde
  • Crushed Pineapple
  • Heavy Cream
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Smoked Paprika

Everything gets tossed into the instant pot or slow cooker and you walk away! That’s it!

a slow cooker full of shredded chicken in a salsa verde pineapple sauce

Shredded Chicken in an Instant Pot

Shredded chicken in an instant pot is an absolute breeze, but you do need to remember one thing, when it doesn’t have hours to simmer sauces don’t end up quite as thick.

To counter this, drain the liquid off of the salsa and pineapple as it’s just water any.

Place everything in the instant pot and set the valve to seal.

Heat to manual high pressure for 10 minutes and that’s it!

And if you haven’t seen our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet, go check it out!

Shredded Chicken in a Slow Cooker

Shredded chicken in the crockpot is a little different than the instant pot. The heavy cream and long cook time will help to thicken things up a bit. Because of this, don’t worry at all about draining the salsa and pineapple. It’s so easy to just dump everything in, give it a stir to evenly combine everything and keep things from sticking to the bottom and start!

We like to cook our chicken on low for 4-6 hours, but you could do high heat for 3-4 hours if you prefer.

a slow cooker full of shredded chicken in a salsa verde pineapple sauce

What Spices for Mexican Chicken?

What spices you use in Mexican Chicken totally depends on the dish you’re trying to create. A simple Mexican chicken could use just chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper while something more complex could take a huge list of ingredients.

This Shredded Mexican Chicken just uses Cumin, Smoked Paprika and a dash of Coriander. However, here’s a more complete list in case you want to try variations out.

  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Cayene
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Mexican Oregano (or regular oregano)
  • Allspice
  • Adobo
  • Cilantro

Can You Use Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot?

I know, once you’ve got the instant pot bug you quickly realize how little planning you can do and still totally pull off dinner. Because of this many people have ditched defrosting their meats, especially chicken. But can you use frozen chicken in an instant pot?

Yes, you really can! Now, frozen breasts have excess liquid and water so that means you might have more liquid than you planned on when it’s done.

Place the chicken in the instant pot with a little liquid to avoid the burn notice. Set the valve to seal and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes, allowing a natural release and then shredding as normal.

Can You Use Frozen Chicken in this Recipe?

This is one of those times I’d prefer you not use frozen chicken in this recipe. Because of the ice and water it makes for a less flavorful sauce. If you need to use frozen, cook the chicken first with the salsa, then drain off excess water, add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 5 minutes.

a slow cooker full of shredded chicken in a salsa verde pineapple sauce

Can You Used Tomatillo Salsa?

Salsa verde is the same as tomatillo salsa, but many are made in different ways. Please use whichever brand and heat you prefer in your family. All will make a delicious Mexican Shredded Chicken!

Can You Make this Chicken Ahead of Time?

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Pineapple Mexican Shredded Chicken is a really great recipe to make ahead of time. You can even make it a whole day ahead of time and the flavor holds up really well for enjoying the next day.

  • How Long will Mexican Shredded Chicken keep in the fridge?

You can store this shredded chicken up to 4 days in a sealed container in the fridge. After this point you should really discard the meat as it could make you sick over time.


Looking for more CHICKEN recipes? 

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a slow cooker full of shredded chicken in a salsa verde pineapple sauce

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Pineapple Mexican Shredded Chicken

4.55 from 24 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8
I've made this instant pot or slow cooker pineapple Mexican shredded chicken twice in the past week. That is really saying something, it's so good!


  • 4 Chicken Breasts Boneless Skinless
  • 16 Ounce Salsa Verde La Victoria Chunky
  • 8 Ounce Pineapple Crushed
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Coriander Ground
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Ground
  • Salt to taste


Slow Cooker Instructions

  • In a slow cooker or crockpot set to low heat, add all of the ingredients, stirring to combine.
  • Place the lid on and allow to cook for 3 hours. Remove the chicken and shred it on a cutting board. Place back in the slow cooker for 1 more hour.
  • Serve!

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Drain the liquid off of the salsa and pineapple so there isn't too much in the instant pot.
  • In an instant pot, add all of the ingredients, stirring to combine.
  • Place the lid on, setting the valve to seal and turn the instant pot on to manual high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and shred it on a cutting board. Place back in the instant pot and toss with the sauce.
  • Serve


Store in a covered container of ziploc bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 day.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Pineapple Mexican Shredded Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 462mg20%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 20g40%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Healthy Habits That Help Me!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • Can this be frozen or will the cream separate?

    • Reply
    • Hi Carrie! This recipe freezes great!

      • Reply
  • hi, this sounds amazing. I have to avoid dairy, is there something else I could use in place of the heavy cream? I use Kite Hill Cream Cheese some times as it is free of dairy
    Would that work do you think?



    • Reply
    • Hi Grace! Yes that would be delicious! Regular unsweetened almond milk would also work. I hope you enjoy it!

      • Reply
  • i haven’t made this yet-but you drain the liquid off the salsa? this seems strange to me. please help.

    • Reply
    • Yes, just for making it in the Instant Pot. It will have a little too much liquid in it if it’s not drained. If you cook it in the slow cooker, then you don’t need to drain them. It will thicken up through the long cook time.

      • Reply
  • I’ve made this is a few times and it’s always good, and so easy! Most of the time we do tacos, but putting it on tostadas tonight. I make it in my regular slow cooker and it comes out great.

    • Reply
    • I love how versatile it is! I’m so glad you like it!!

      • Reply
  • Could you use something in place of the heavy cream? I can’t have dairy…

    • Reply
    • Yes, try unsweetened almond milk!

      • Reply
  • Loved this! I made it in my crockpot
    and deviated from the recipe only a little: had to use a smooth salsa since I couldn’t find chunky, and I added a bit of diced onion. The flavor and fragrance were both heavenly! I served it over rice, sprinkled on a bit more smoked paprika, a little cheese, and some chopped cilantro.

    Next time I make it, I’ll use a slightly hotter salsa or maybe add a little bit diced jalapeno.

    • Reply
    • Yay! So glad you enjoyed it Jennifer!

      • Reply
  • This sounds so good, I am going to try this. I LOVE chicken this is something that I can enjoy.

    • Reply
    • You’re going to love it! Let us know what you think!

      • Reply
  • Looks yummy. But does it really yield 68 servings? I’m guessing it was supposed to be 6-8, cause 22 calories per serving doesn’t sound possible!

    • Reply
    • Ugh! Our nutrition calculator has been acting up lately. Yes, it should be 6-8 servings, and I’ll look into the calories per serving. Thank you for letting us know!

      • Reply
    • Hey Cheryl! Thank you!! We got it update so the calories reads correctly.

      • Reply
  • For some reason I got a burn warning twice on this. I didn’t drain anything or add anything else. When it was finished I have to say it was really soupy. I haven’t ever had a burn on something with quite this much liquid before. To make it weirder, the second burn warning came up after it was already at a pretty high pressure; so I opened the valve, and then after 5 seconds or so of venting at high pressure, the burn notice went away and the timer started. So I closed the vent and let it go. It turned out but I have never had that happen before and I use the IP like 3-5 times a week lol. Anyway, I’ll probably try it again because this got good reviews from the family. I will probably deliberately add a bit of liquid (chicken broth or something) and serve it with rice as more of a stew than what I was hoping for, which was tacos. We ended up eating it in bowls, with a scoop of some beans and corn I cooked up on the stovetop, with tortillas on the side.

    • Reply
    • Thank you for the feedback Jamie! That is very interesting! We haven’t had that issue before. We had another read add a cup of rice and extra broth and made it a rice dish!

      • Reply
    • I had the same problem. After the second burn notice, I deglaced the pot, put it into saute until it boiled, deglaced again then put the life on so it sealed instantly. Was good but watery so I added some cornstarch.

      • Reply
  • I added 1 cup white rice and upped the time to 15 minutes and it came out great!

    • Reply
    • Thank for letting us know! I’m totally trying it the next time I make it!

      • Reply
  • Soooo ono! I used frozen precooked shredded chicken plus red bell peppers and onions. It did make the sauce more brothy than creamy. Then added rice with a little chicken broth, cooked a second time. A lovely zesty chicken stew. Can’t go wrong in the instant pot!! This thing will save my marriage.

    • Reply
    • Hahahahhaha! How did we ever live without the instant pot?? That sounds so yummy! I want to try it as a soup now too!

      • Reply
  • For the IP version are you using a natural release or quick release

    • Reply
    • Hi Jacki! Both work just fine.

      • Reply
      • Has anyone done this in the regular slow cooker?  If so, was the cook time mentioned to be on high or low?  Worried about the cream being in a crock that long and maybe separating.  Just don’t have a lot of experience in knowing for sure if that would be a problem,  Thanks!

  • I made this tonight in my instant pot and it was a huge hit! It was incredibly easy as well as delicious. The store was completely out of crushed pineapple so I bought a can of chunks and threw it in the blender after draining it. I did increased the amount of the spices to a rounded tsp and added ancho chili powder bc I was out of coriander. I also added fresh chopped cilantro after shredding the chicken and adding it back to the sauce. I thickened the sauce with a little cornstarch so it wouldn’t make my tortillas soggy. This will definitely go into my weeknight rotation.

    • Reply
    • Yum! I love your tweaks and improvising! So glad it was a hit in your house!

      • Reply
  • This recipe sounds delicious. Could you add uncooked rice to the instapot and keep the liquid from the salsa, and pineapple to make a one pot meal?

    • Reply
    • That is a great question! I haven’t tried it, but it sounds like it would work great to me!

      • Reply
  • This sounds great! What do you serve it with?

    • Reply

Healthy Habits That Help Me!