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Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas

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These Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas are easy to make and taste amazing. This large batch is a meal prep must!

INSTANT POT CHICKEN CARNITAS RECIPE

Have you ever been craving something, and figured that it was going to take too long to make? So you just said “forget about” and moved on, food craving still on the brain, and all? Yeah, me too. Some of my main cravings come in the form of tacos. And it wasn’t until I started to play around with my Instant Pot, did I realize that in the time it would take for me to eat at a restaurant, I could have a giant batch of chicken carnitas ready to go. Instant Pot to the rescue!

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WHAT IS CHICKEN CARNITAS?

Carnitas, which is translated to little meats, originated in the Mexican state of Michoacán. Slow-cooked pork, or in this case, chicken, is shredded, served with warm tortillas, and topped with onion, salsa, guacamole, and refried beans.

WHAT DOES THIS INSTANT POT CHICKEN TACOS RECIPE TASTE LIKE?

Chicken Carnitas is a very flavorful dish. The texture is similar to a pulled pork sandwich found across the Southeastern U.S. just not as juicy. Aside from the chicken, the fresh cilantro adds a nice herbaceous kick. Though this carnitas recipe is cooked in orange juice, it is not citrusy, the OJ helps with carmelize the chicken during the brief broiling step at the end.

INSTANT POT CHICKEN CARNITAS INGREDIENTS

  • Frozen boneless & skinless chicken breasts – 5 pounds
  • Orange juice – 2 cups
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1 tablespoon
  • Ground cumin – 1 tablespoon
  • Dried oregano – 2.5 teaspoons
  • Dried basil – 1 teaspoon
  • Chili powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Paprika – 1.5 teaspoon
  • Light brown sugar – 2.5 teaspoon
instant-pot-chicken-tacos

HOW TO MAKE PRESSURE COOKER CHICKEN CARNITAS RECIPE

  1. In a small bowl mix together salt, ground cumin, dried oregano, dried basil, chili powder, paprika, and light brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. Place frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  3. Sprinkle spices mixture over frozen chicken breasts.
  4. Pour orange juice and water over chicken and spices.
  5. Secure the lid on Instant Pot, and make sure the pressure valve is set to the sealed position. 
  6. Cook on High/Manual for 45 minutes.
  7. Allow Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  8. Shred chicken with forks or using a hand mixer or stand mixer
  9. Spread shredded chicken across a large metal baking tray and broil at 500° F for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings.
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keto-chicken-carnitas-instant-pot

CAN YOU MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN CARNITAS AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes, you can make this Chicken Carnitas recipe and save it. I have doubled the recipe before so I can use it for carnitas bowls while meal prepping.

instant-pot-carnitas

CAN YOU FREEZE CHICKEN CARNITAS?

Yes, you can freeze this chicken carnitas recipe. I like to store them in a gallon-size Ziploc freezer bag. As long as they are protected from freezer burn, you can keep them frozen for a few months.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN CARNITAS?

Chicken Carnitas is a great substitute for ground beef, and they will elevate any Taco Tuesday. Make a spread with warmed tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and chopped onions.
Looking for other Mexican-inspired recipes? Check out:

instant-pot-tacos

WHAT KITCHEN TOOLS DO I NEED TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN CARNITAS?

recipe-for-instant-pot-chicken-carnitas

Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas

These Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas are easy to make and taste amazing. This large batch is a meal prep must!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Pressurizing and Natural Release: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Carnitas, Chicken, Instant Pot
Servings: 8 people
Author: House Hunk

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a small bowl mix together salt, ground cumin, dried oregano, dried basil, chili powder, paprika, and light brown sugar. Set aside.
  • Place frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  • Sprinkle spices mixture over frozen chicken breasts.
  • Pour orange juice and water over chicken and spices.
  • Secure lid on Instant Pot, make sure the pressure valve is set to the sealed position. 
  • Cook on High/Manual for 45 minutes.
  • Allow Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Shred chicken with forks or using a hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Spread shredded chicken across a large metal baking tray and broil at 500° F for 5 minutes.
  • Serve with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings.
Tried this recipe? Did you love it?Mention @HouseHunk or tag #househunk!
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