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Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken (Copycat Recipe!)

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Tender chicken with just the right amount of smoky spice cooked into every bite! Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken is just like the popular Mexican restaurant but made in your own home in the pressure cooker!

platter of chipotle chicken thighs with a spoon

Need to get that Chipotle fix but don’t want to leave the house? This Instant Pot recipe is going to get that chicken cooked perfectly with next to no effort.

Friends, this chicken is SO good. It practically melts in your mouth (thank you chicken thighs) and it’s just the right amount of smoky heat (hello, chipotle in adobo), with the perfect blend of spices.

This protein-filled deliciousness has been a constant meal prep in our house to make salads, burrito bowls, pitas, egg scrambles, you name it. The only thing better than how tasty it is is how simple it is to make.

labeled ingredients for pressure cooker chipotle chicken

How to Make Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken

Grab your ingredients and toss them in the pot! Well, okay, there’s a little more finesse to it than that, but it’s pretty close.

To make your pressure cooker chicken, give the onion a quick cut and add all the ingredients to the pot. Lay the trimmed chicken thighs in the marinade, coating with braising liquid.

chicken thighs in braising liquid in the instant pot

Seal up the pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. You can either manually release or use a natural release. The chicken thighs will withstand the additional time of using a natural release.

Once the pressure is released, transfer the meat to a cutting board and give it a quick chop, running the knife through to create bite-sized pieces. The meat will shred in some spots and not in others, created the perfect mix of texture.

chopped and shredded chicken

Chicken Thighs vs Chicken Breast

This recipe uses chicken thighs to achieve that super tender, fall apart, still juicy texture that still tastes great even after reheating throughout the week. Chicken thighs are super underrated in my book and it’s the cut of protein the actual Chipotle restaurant uses.

Tip: If you typically stay away from chicken thighs because you prefer the leanness of chicken breast, just be sure to trim the fat from the thighs before cooking.

some chopped and some whole chicken thighs on a marble cutting board

Can I Use Chicken Breast?

Yes! Absolutely. We use this recipe for both. My advice would be to reserve some of the cooking liquid to keep the meat nice and juicy. About 1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid will work great.

How to Serve It

If you’ve never been to Chipotle the restaurant but like the sound of pressure-cooked chipotle flavored chicken, this recipe deserves a spot on your menu.

chicken, beans, and rice on a platter

Use the chopped and slightly shredded chicken on top of salads with beans, pico, and chipotle dressing. This meat goes great in burritos, breakfast wraps, or on tacos.

Be sure to whip up some pickled cabbage for extra crunch and jalapeno avocado crema for creamy, spicy sauce!

Store any leftovers in an airtight container and reheat throughout the week for easy add ons to meals!

Did you make this recipe? Let me know in the comments and how you served it!


chopped and shredded chicken

Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken (Copycat Recipe!)

Super tender and full of smokey, perfectly spiced flavor, this copycat recipe for Chipotle Restaurant-style chicken is made even easier by cooking it in the pressure cooker!
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Course: Instant Pot
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Copycat Chipotle Chicken, Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken, Pressure Cooker Chipotle Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Lauren


  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce or 1 whole chipotle + 1 tablespoon sauce for more heat
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs fat trimmed


  • Prep the chicken. Trim any large pieces of fat from the chicken thighs.  
  • Make the braising liquid.  In the pressure cooker pot, combine all the ingredients and give a quick stir. Coat the chicken with the braising liquid on both sides when placing the chicken inside the pot.
  • Cook. Close the Instant Pot with the lid and seal.  Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.  You can either manually release or natural release.
  • Chop. Transfer the cooked chicken thighs to a cutting board.  As you slice the chicken with a knife, the meat will shred into pieces.  Serve and enjoy!


  • If substituting chicken breast, add an additional 5 minutes of cooking time for thicker cuts of breast meat (thicker than 2 inches).


Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 433mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 812IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg

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