Buffalo Chicken Tacos (Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Recipe)

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These tacos… I can’t stop thinking about them. The flavorful chicken, crunchy slaw and creamy ranch. And the blue cheese! I can’t even. Your pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) makes quick work of turning boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts into juicy, zesty, tender shredded chicken. Your broiler takes this chicken to the next level by browning and caramelizing the shredded chicken so the flavor is intensified and you get those little crispy bits that resemble carnitas. It WILL be difficult to NOT eat this chicken straight off of your sheet pan.

I adapted this recipe from Pinch of Yum. EVERYTHING she makes is delicious! I give the chicken a little time in the fridge with a spice rub and then I sear it before pressure cooking. I found this tip on the Recipe Teacher’s site and I think it adds a ton of flavor to the chicken. He has some amazing Instant Pot recipes and has been my go to for figuring out what to do with mine! If you need more dinner inspo…I would check out both of their blogs!

This recipe makes a big batch of chicken. With my 2 teenage boys, I always make plenty of food. We LOVE left overs and this was no exception. The leftovers went into hamburger buns for Buffalo chicken sandwiches the next day! You can cut the recipe in half for a smaller batch.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

adapted from Pinch of Yum
Tender, juicy AND crispy shredded Buffalo chicken nestled in a tortilla and topped with a crunchy slaw, sharp cheddar, blue cheese, avocado, and ranch dressing.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
  • Sheet pan


For the Buffalo Chicken:

  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken I like using a combo of thighs and breasts. I used 2 lbs thighs and 1 lb breasts. You can use all thighs but I would NOT use all breasts because you won't get the same result since they are so lean.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce (original)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter

For the Slaw:

  • 3 cups finely shredded cabbage (about 1/2 of a small cabbage)
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 of a red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 green onions, chopped small
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

For the Tacos:

  • 1 dozen warm flour or corn tortillas
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • crumbled blue cheese
  • sliced avocado
  • squeeze of lime
  • your favorite ranch dressing
  • extra hot sauce or buffalo sauce (optional)


Directions for the Buffalo Chicken

  • Combine the first 7 ingredients to make the spice rub. Add the spice mix to a 1 gallon zip loc bag along with all of the chicken and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Massage the oil and spices into the chicken until it looks evenly coated. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 6 hours.
  • Set your pressure cooker to sear (or saute if you don't have a sear function) and add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Once it has heated up, brown your chicken for a few minutes on both sides in batches so you don't overcrowd the pot. Set aside on a plate until all the chicken is done. Once all of your chicken is browned and out of the pot, deglaze the pot with the chicken stock using a wooden spoon to scrape up any of the bits from the pot. Next add the Worcestershire sauce and return all of the chicken to the pot. Pour the Frank's Red Hot sauce over the top of the chicken and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes with natural steam release.
  • Once the chicken is done, shred it right in the pot with tongs or forks. Transfer the chicken and all of the juices/sauce to a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle the melted butter over the chicken and broil on high for about 5-10 minutes depending on your broiler. Mine was done in 5 minutes. Keep a close eye while you do this, you want some brown and crispy bits but it will burn quickly if you are not careful.

For the Slaw

  • While the chicken is cooking, combine all of the ingredients for the slaw together in bowl. I don't add any dressing to the slaw, instead I top it with ranch when assembling the tacos. You can toss the slaw with the ranch in advance if you prefer.

Assemble the tacos

  • Add some of the buffalo chicken to a tortilla and top with some shredded sharp cheddar, the slaw, some avocado slices, a squeeze of lime, some ranch dressing, and some crumbled blue cheese. Enjoy!


This makes a BIG batch of Buffalo chicken. It fed my family of four (2 teenage boys!) with the best leftovers. You can cut the recipe in half for a smaller batch.

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