Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken

This is it!! my favorite shredded chicken recipe to make in the instant pot! Our Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken is so simple but it is so flavorful!


an instant pot full of shredded Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro over the top.


Are we all still on this instant pot bandwagon? I’ll admit, we fell off of it a bit this summer as we were grilling so much, but with fall just around the corner we can’t help but bust out the ol’ electric pressure cooker again and this Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken was just the right recipe to start with because oh my goodness it has got flavor!!!

I’m not just looking for a good shredded chicken recipe, or a Mexican chicken recipe, I want a hole in the wall, favorite Mexican restaurant worthy chicken recipe. One with actual flavor but without the long spice list and hours upon hours of cooking.

And I found it.

This is the BEST Instant Pot Chicken Recipe ever.


Years ago Cade made me this Poblano Braised Beef Tacos recipe that I fell head over heals in love with. It’s so good!!  I’d occasionally seen the Poblano Peppers in the store and wondered what to make with Poblano Peppers. Slow roasted meats is the perfect solution (or stuffed peppers which is a huge hit!!

This Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken is fall apart tender, full of flavor, totally not spicy and so easy to make. I’ve made enough shredded Mexican chicken recipes to know that not all of them turn out juicy and crave-able, but this, ohhhhhh my goodness, you’re wearing crazy pants if you don’t make it.


a silver platter with shredded mexican poblano instant pot chicken, limes on the side, tortillas in the background


I mean, just look how juicy and tender that chicken is!!


Is an Instant Pot and Crock Pot the Same Thing?

A crock pot or slow cooker cooks at a lower temperature with a lid that can be removed at any time. You can dump everything in the slow cooker and cook an entire meal without turning on your oven and in the case of roasts, that slow cook time and low heat lead to a fall apart meat.


When the Instant Pot Says Burn

There are many different reasons that your instant pot can come up with the message “BURN”.

  1. Food Stuck to the Bottom of the pot- Check the pot and see if there’s food stuck to it. If there is, use a wooden spoon or plastic spatula to scrape it off.
  2. Too Little Liquid in the Pot- Liquid is what helps the instant pot come to the correct pressure, so if you don’t have enough in there you may end up with a burn notice.
  3. You’re Burning Your Food- It seems funny to say, but you may actually be burning your food. Especially when cooking the peppers and onions. Make sure you have enough fat in there and are moving the peppers and onions so that things don’t sit and burn.
  4. Your Food is Thick and not as liquid– Our Award Winning Instant Pot Chili is an easy example. It’s thicker and can sometimes lead to a burn notice. Stir your food well and add more liquid if needed.


What Instant Pot to Buy

We get asked all the time what instant pot to buy. I truly believe that for most families the 6 qt 7 in 1 Instant Pot is the best size with the best functionality. Smaller and it’s hard to cook extra for leftovers or for freezing, or for feeding guests, bigger and you better be feeding a crowd.


a silver platter with shredded mexican poblano instant pot chicken, limes on the side, tortillas in the background

Can the Instant Pot Cook Frozen Chicken

The instant pot can cook frozen chicken. It’s a really great thing too because sometimes, no matter how awesome you are, you forget to get the meat out to defrost.

However, that being said, this Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken is best if you have defrosted the chicken so that,

  1. You can properly brown the chicken
  2. The ice on the chicken doesn’t lead to more liquid than you need which would lead to less flavorful chicken.


How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

If you find yourself stuck in a bind and need to cook the chicken from frozen in the instant pot, here’s how you do it.

  1. Cook your peppers and onions like normal
  2. Place all other ingredients in the pressure cooker.
  3. Close the lid and turn vent to sealed.
  4. For Frozen Chickencook on poultry setting on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  5. Allow a natural release.

If you need to know how to cook any other Instant Pot basic, check out our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet!


Are Poblano Peppers Hot?

Poblano peppers have very mild heat. They are less spicy than jalapenos, and add just a great flavor!

Are Pasilla Peppers the Same Thing as Poblano Peppers?

Actually, Pasilla Peppers and Poblano Peppers are not the same thing, however you may have noticed that grocers often mislabel the poblano pepper as a pasilla. In fact, both of the stores I’m closest to do just that.

  • Pasilla Peppers are thinner and wrinkly
  • Poblano Peppers have a dark green, thick skin and are a larger pepper, like a bell pepper, but it’s long and not short like the bell pepper.


a silver platter with shredded mexican poblano instant pot chicken, limes on the side, tortillas in the background


What Poblano Peppers Look Like


  • Which is Hotter, Poblano or Jalapeno Pepper?

Poblano peppers are a very mild variety of peppers so you’re safe to use them much like you would a bell pepper, in a salad, mole, or for roasting.


How to Store Poblano Peppers

You should store poblano peppers in a veggie drawer in the refrigerator. Poblano Peppers will last for about one week in the refrigerator.

  • Can You Freeze Poblano Peppers?

Yes, in order to freeze: Slice or chop the poblano peppers, then place in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.


Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken


Instant Pot RECIPES

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an instant pot full of shredded mexican poblano instant pot chicken
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Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken

This is it!! my favorite shredded chicken recipe to make in the instant pot! Our Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken is so simple but it is so flavorful!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Mom's Best 100 Easy Chicken Recipes
Keyword: chicken, dinner, healthy, instant pot, main dish, mexican
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Calories: 446kcal
Author: Sweet Basil


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 Chicken Breasts boneless, skinless
  • 1 1/2-2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Cups red onions peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 Poblanos seeded, thinly sliced (Pasilla Peppers or Poblanos in the store)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups Orange Juice
  • 12 soft corn tortillas 6-inches
  • Toppings for tacos


  • In an instant pot (or large dutch oven to go even faster) drizzle in a little oil and heat to saute or medium high heat on the burner.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of the chicken and place top down in the pan, depending on how many will fit. Allow the chicken to brown and turn over. Cook until just golden again and remove to a plate.
  • Repeat with all remaining chicken.
  • Turn the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Add the peppers and onions and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until tender.
  • Sprinkle in the cumin and garlic, and cook for another minute.
  • Add the chicken back in as well as the chicken stock and juice.
  • Allow to come to a simmer on the saute mode and then turn off the saute and turn on the pressure cooking button, setting the timer for 35 minutes. If you're using a dutch oven, bring to a simmer and then pour the liquid and place the chicken into the instant pot.
  • Once the cooking is done, allow to rest for 5 minutes and then do a quick release and shred the chicken on a cutting board. Place the meat back in the instant pot and toss with the peppers and juices.
  • Serve with tortillas, salsa, etc


Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 2400mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g
Tried this recipe?Mention @OhSweetBasil or tag #OhSweetBasil!
an instant pot full of shredded Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro over the top.

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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23 comments on “Mexican Poblano Instant Pot Chicken”

  1. Pingback: Mexican Inspired Recipes | Instant Pot Resources

  2. I made this tonight and agree with other comments about it lacking flavor. The texture of the chicken was great and I was able to pull the chicken apart in a snap and did not find it to be dry at all. Followed recipe exactly except I did not put the chicken back in the pot with the liquid because there was so much liquid it would be too wet! So instead I scooped out all the cooked peppers and onions and added them plus a a few ladles of the liquid to the shredded chicken in a bowl. I would not make this again unfortunately.

  3. Really bland tasteless recipe. Only loads of salt, spices, and two cans of rotel saved it. Also wat too much liquid. Followed recipe exactly. 

  4. Too much liquid, unlike the photo that showed a relatively dry sauce on the chicken. I should have known not to add 3 cups of liquid…

  5. whatever you do do not make this recipe. it was a disaster! no flavor & dry chicken over cooked.

  6. Pingback: Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Shredded Beef Enchiladas

  7. How long would you cook bone in chicken thighs?

  8. Hi. I’m planning on making this soon. Do you happen to know the approximate total weight of the chicken breasts you used? The ones I have on hand are huge, and I can’t imagine using 5 of them. Thanks!

  9. Pingback: Meals for the Week, Sep 22-28 – Meals We Like

  10. I put in 4 poblanos and added some mexican oregano. I thought it lacked flavor, honestly. I probably would roast the poblanos to generate more flavor, but I’m not even sure that would get this dish over the hump. Okay, but nothing to write home about.

  11. I made this tonight, and cooked it for 35 minutes. It seemed a little crazy, but I trusted you. The chicken turned out moist and was amazing. My family loved it.

  12. Is it possible to cook this in a slow cooker and, if so, what would the cook time be? Thank you so much!

  13. The cook time of 35 minutes is wayyyy too long. For shredded chicken I always do a 15 minute cook time with a 5 minute wait and then a quick pressure release. Never fails. I do however, totally recommend this recipe as long as you ignore the recommended cook time. It was yummy.

  14. Pressure cook for 35 minutes? Is that a typo?