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If you’re looking for an easy Instant Pot or slower cooker meal for busy weeknights, or when hosting football watch parties, give these Instant Pot Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos a try!

Instant Pot Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos

As we all know, Instant Pot (or slow cooker) recipes are great for busy weekdays. Simply prepare your meal then walk away and let the Instant Pot do the work! Which is what makes these recipes perfect for football watch parties or when hosting in general as well. You can get your recipe started then prepare everything else ahead of your guests’ arrival. 

Instant Pot Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos

For these Instant Pot Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos, chicken is first perfectly seasoned and then browned. Next, the chicken slowly simmers in a delicious chipotle mixture that is brightened by a bottle of beer. And if you’ve never cooked chicken in beer, you are in for a treat. It adds the perfect flavor to the sauce while also helping to tenderize your chicken. But don’t worry, the alcohol cooks off so this is still great for the whole family — my girls loved this recipe!

Instant Pot Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos

While your chicken is cooking, you’ll make a quick avocado crema that only further brightens this dish. Pile up your tortillas with your preferred toppings — I like the full work-up with shredded lettuce, thinly sliced radishes, cilantro, and cotija cheese — then top with the avocado crema and all you’ll need are lime wedges + another beer for drinking, and you are set! 

To make this even easier when serving your family or guests, you can also set up a build-your-own taco station. Set the chicken out with all of the topping options and let everyone create their own perfect tacos or lettuce cups, making it even easier for you!

Instant Pot Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos
5 from 22 votes

Instant Pot Beer-Braised Chicken Tacos

Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

For the Chicken:

  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil more as needed
  • 2-3 chipotle pepper in adobo minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Two 4-ounce can mild chopped green chiles
  • One 12-ounce bottle Modelo Especial sub Pacifico

For the Avocado Crema:

  • 1 large ripe avocado peeled and seed removed
  • ¼ cup jarred jalapeno slices
  • 2 tablespoons brine from the jarred jalapeno slices
  • cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice about 1 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Optional For Serving:

  • Corn tortillas or lettuce cups
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Radishes thinly sliced and cut into matchsticks
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Cotija cheese
  • Lime wedges

Instructions 

Prepare the Chicken | Instant Pot Method:

  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika, and garlic powder. Stir until well incorporated. Season both sides of the chicken with this seasoning mix.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on the sauté function and heat the oil. When hot, in batches to not overcrowd the Instant Pot, sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set browned chicken aside and continue cooking until all chicken is browned, adding additional oil if your Instant Pot runs dry.
  • Next, add the chipotle pepper and tomato paste. Stir to toast the paste, about 1 minute. Add the green chiles and beer to the Instant Pot and whisk to combine.
  • Nestle the chicken back into the Instant Pot and turn the saute function off. Securely fasten the lid on top of the Instant Pot, making sure the vent is sealed. Press the "manual" and then set the time to 15 minutes. Walk away from the Instant Pot and let it do its thing! Note: If your IP doesn't have a manual button, set it to 'high pressure.’
  • When the cook time is complete, release the pressure manually by carefully turning the valve. When all of the pressure has been released, remove the lid and transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet (do not discard the remaining liquid in the IP). Using two forks, shred the chicken then add back to the Instant Pot.

Prepare the Chicken | Slow Cooker Method:

  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika, and garlic powder. Stir until well incorporated. Season both sides of the chicken with this seasoning mix.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken until golden on each side, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside.
  • In the bottom of a slow cooker, combine the chipotle peppers, tomato paste, green chiles, and beer and whisk until well combined. Nestle the chicken into the sauce, cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6.
  • When cook time is complete, shred the chicken with two forks directly in the slow cooker or transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet to shred with two forks (do not discard the remaining liquid in the slow cooker) and add the chicken back to the slow cooker. Serve with avocado crema.

Make the Avocado Crema:

  • In a blender or using an immersion blender, combine the avocado, jalapeno slices and brine, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.
  • Serve as desired and top with the avocado crema.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Servings: 12

Photography and styling by Eat Love Eats.



Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!


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Recipe Rating




46 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious!!!! This was so quick and easy to make, perfect for a week night dinner! The whole family loved it 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This was so delish and fed my husband and I for days!! I made the avocado crema with sweet and sour jalepenos from Trader Joe’s, and that was such a highlight! Will definitely be making this again.

  3. 5 stars
    These were some of the best chicken tacos I’ve ever had. My mom joined us to dinner and said she felt like she was eating at a gourmet Mexican restaurant. Truly amazing!!

  4. Does the abobo peppers make this spicy? Can I omit them to make it kid friendly without changing the flavor too much?

    1. I would say these are smokier than spicy and that my kids eat as is, but you could just do 1 pepper if worried!

    1. You can make the crema ahead of time but keep in mind that it has avocado in it, so it browns a bit. Since it has the other ingredients mixed in, it doesn’t brown super quickly but I would use it within 1-2 days.

  5. This is SO good. I used chicken breasts in the slow cooker for 6 hours on low and WOW so good! Another amazing Defined Dish recipe 🙂