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Soft tortillas open on parchment paper filled with chicken tinga, smashed avocado, queso fresco, diced onion and cilantro

Chicken Tinga Tacos (Tinga de Pollo)

  • Author: Jessica
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Main Course
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican


Chicken Tinga Tacos are filled with delicious Mexican “tinga de pollo” – shredded chicken in a smoky chipotle and tomato sauce. This chicken tinga recipe is easy to make, full of flavor and ready in about 30 minutes.


  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, poached and shredded or about 3 cups rotisserie chicken
  • 12 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, 1 cup diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chicken or veggie broth
  • juice of half a lime

For serving:

  • Tortillas
  • Avocado
  • Queso fresco or cotija cheese
  • Finely diced onions
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges



  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent.
  2. Add garlic and cook another minute until just fragrant.
  3. Stir in oregano, cumin and chipotle peppers and cook for one more minute.
  4. Add in tomatoes, broth and salt. When it’s bubbling, turn the heat down and simmer on medium low for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool until warm. Transfer to blender (venting the top) and blend until smooth.
  6. Pour sauce back into sauté pan over low heat. Add in cooked, shredded chicken and heat for about 5 minutes until sauce thickens and coats chicken. Check for seasoning and add more salt to taste. Finish with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves. Serve in warmed tortillas with desired toppings.

For the Instant Pot:

  1. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, chipotle chilis, broth and fire roasted tomatoes to a blender and blend until smooth. Do not sauté first.
  2. Pour sauce into Instant Pot with stainless steel liner. Nestle whole raw chicken breasts in the sauce.
  3. Place the lid on, make sure the valve is pointed to sealing, set to manual high pressure for 10 minutes.
  4. Allow to natural release for at least five minutes. Carefully release remaining pressure, shred chicken with two forks right in the sauce and finish with a squeeze of lime and sprinkling of cilantro leaves.

For the slow cooker:

  1. Follow the exact same instructions as the Instant Pot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.


This recipe is spicy! To reduce the spice level, use one instead of two chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I find that two is the perfect amount of heat.

My favorite way to enjoy Tinga de Pollo is in tacos but this chicken is also great for burritos, bowls, tortas and nachos!

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