This recipe is set to revolutionise how you do Taco Night! These Shredded Mexican Chicken Thighs are so easy to make, and you can choose your method, whether it is the slow cooker, pressure cooker or instant pot.
Mildly spiced and super tender, these thighs are perfect for filling tacos, tortillas or for topping your nachos. Kid friendly and delicious, they are great for meal prep and restocking your freezer.
Why you're going to love this recipe
You can use your cooked thighs in tacos, tortillas, pizzas, pastries, whatever takes your fancy and pair them with fresh salsa, or guacamole...and even make your own tortillas! Our favourite way to do Mexican is to put all the fillings out on the table and choose our own.
Here is why your whole family will love this delicious shredded chicken:
- shredded chicken is perfect for kids as it is super soft and tender
- simple mild spice mix that makes the chicken super flavourful
- saucy chicken means it stays moist, no matter what cooking method you use
- set it up to cook for the day (it's a dump slow cooker recipe) or cook it quickly when you get home in the instant pot in under 30 minutes
- easy to double or even triple
- freezes well- perfect for meal prepping
What goes into the recipe
don't forget to scrolls to the recipe card for full amounts and method
- chicken thighs- please don;t swap these for chicken breast. It will become too dry. It is also important to not trim the fat from the thighs. Whether you slow cook or pressure cook this recipe, without the fat it will be dry and unpleasant.
- spice blend: this is my standard Mexican spice blend, I use it in my taco mince and also in my chicken taco rice. It's a mix of oregano, paprika, chilli powder, cumin, salt and pepper. All in equal parts. If you're worried about the spice factor, dial back the chilli. But it is a very mild and enjoyable blend that even the kids love.
- coriander- really freshens this up, whenever you make a slow cooker or pressure cooker meal it's super important to add freshness back in at the end. In this case I used coriander. Don't like it? Mint will work or parsley.
How to make this recipe
- Slice the spring onions (Image 1)
- Chop the chicken thighs into quarters. (Image 2)
- Put the chopped thighs into your slow cooker/pressure cooker/ instant pot. (Image 3)
- Add in the spring onions. (Image 4)
- Add the spices to the pot. (Image 5)
- Add the lemon juice. (Image 6)
- Add the passata. (Image 7)
- Mix well (Image 8). Cook using your preferred method: slow cooker on low for 8 hours, pressure cooker on pressure for 45 minutes, instant pot on high for 25 minutes.
- Grab two forks and shred the meat. (Step 9)
- Sprinkle through the coriander. (Step 10)
Instant Pot and Pressure Cooking
When I first made this recipe, it was all about the slow cooker. And to honest, it is an amazing slowcooker recipe, because it's a dump and run slow cooker recipe. Gotta love that!
But, like many of you, I'm time poor and this recipe works wonderfully in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. So why not give it a go?
INSTANT POT: Set the pot to High for 25 minutes. Do a manual pressure release at the end. (I have and Instant Pot Duo Crisp 2021 model).
PRESSURE COOKER: 40 minutes at "stew" or high pressure. I have a CrockPot Multicooker XL (2018 version).
Expert Tips and FAQs
What's not to love about a dump and cook recipe for the slow cooker or pressure cooker? It makes sense, get the main part of dinner done the easy way!
Let's be honest, these shredded cooker Mexican chicken thighs aren't traditional Mexican fare and I'm not Mexican...but they are yummy and have all the flavours of Mexican food.
These Mexican Chicken thighs work really well with the crunch of tacos. They also work really well in a salad with crunchy tortilla strips.
Once cooked, the chicken thigh meat is good for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Yes! In fact this is the best way to stock your freezer with yummy versatile easy dinners! It means all you have to do is defrost and eat. The meat is perfect for use in sandwiches, wraps, and salads.
More Taco Night Dinner Ideas
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Shredded Mexican Chicken Thighs
- 1.4 kgs chicken thighs quartered
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano dried
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin ground
- 200 mls passata
- 3 spring onions chopped
- juice of one lemon
- ½ bunch of coriander leaves only, chopped
- Combine all of the ingredients except the coriander in the bowl of the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low. Instant Pot: 25 minutes on High Pressure, manual pressure release. Pressure Cooker: 45 minutes on Pressure.
- Remove from the heat, shred the chicken with forks, then mix through the sauce.
- Top with coriander.
- Serve with tortillas, fresh salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
This post was first live in 2014, and was subsequently updated in 2017 and May, 2021.