Shredded Jerk Chicken Tacos (Instant Pot)–from frozen

Make this flavorful chicken in your Instant Pot with frozen chicken thighs or chicken breasts. The flavor is incredible, the meat is so juicy, and these Jerk Chicken Tacos can’t be beat!!

Try my One-Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff with all the tips for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan! Done in under 30 minutes, you’ll love this one!

Instant Pot Jerk Chicken Tacos

If you don’t have an instant pot you can use your slow-cooker. I’ve included instructions for how to use your crock-pot instead of the Instant Pot.

Y’all, I am not terribly great at thinking ahead enough to take meat out of the freezer. I love this recipe because it allows me to use chicken thigh frozen and straight from the freezer. Thank goodness!

Go ahead and sub out chicken breast for thigh, if your family prefers. You’ll reduce the cooking time to compensate.

Frozen chicken thighs and ingredients for jerk sauce in the Instant Pot

This recipe has all the chicken, seasonings, and peppers going into the pot at the same time. Those seasonings are ON POINT.

In fact, there was a month last year that I made this jerk sauce at least once or twice a week because Levi was obsessed with it. It is that good.

Jalapeno peppers diced

I usually have jalapeno peppers on hand and they tend to be what goes into this recipe. However, if your family loves heat go for the habanero or scotch bonnets to turn the heat up.

If you find that the heat got away from you in this recipe, stir in a bit of cream or yogurt during the saute time. The cream will help tone down the heat and make it feel more gentle. Serve a bit of yogurt or sour cream alongside the chicken, as well. I often mix lime juice and yogurt together and serve it on top of the tacos (as pictured in these tacos).

Good meals don’t have to take a ton of effort, energy, or heartache. Use easy recipes and techniques to create yummy food that doesn’t make you go nuts!

liquid in a measuring cup

A good majority of the liquid that goes into this sauce is lime juice. Oh gosh…most of this recipe can be tweaked and adapted to what you have on hand. But please…don’t tweak that lime juice. You need the acid and flavor!

The main components you want to be sure you have in this sauce are salty, sweet, spicy, and fatty. Soy sauce, brown sugar (you could sub honey or maple syrup), peppers, and olive oil are the ingredients you really need, or a good alternative. The other spices can be adjusted or skipped based on what you have on hand.

The chicken, when cooked, will appear quite liquid. That’s okay! Use a couple of forks to shred it, turn the saute feature on, and let it simmer away. You’ll find in 7-9 minutes it will have simmered down and left you with flavorful, juicy chicken!

Be careful of the salt on this recipe! Use low-sodium soy sauce and skip adding any in. You’ll find this can get salty in a fast hurry if you aren’t careful!

a taco with shredded jerk chicken

Serve this shredded chicken up with your favorite toppings inside a shell, on a pizza, inside a bun for sandwiches, or even mixed up with spaghetti and soup for a hotdish! You’ll be making double batches of this chicken to use for later meals.

So good, so easy, and chicken thighs are always a budget-friendly choice.

Shredded Jerk Chicken Tacos

| 4 people
Prep Time | 5 minutes
Cook Time | 20 minutes
Saute time | 10 minutes
Total Time | 35 minutes
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This shredded chicken is flavorful, juicy, and downright easy! You'll be making this one again and again!



  • 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers habanero or scotch bonnet
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup lime juice about 4 medium sized limes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce use low sodium, if possible
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar honey can be substituted
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme oregano or marjoram would be good subs.
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot
  • Use the pressure cooker setting on high for 20 minutes (for chicken breasts use 18 minutes) using manual release.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks and turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting.
  • Saute for 7-9 minutes or until the sauce has reduced down. Alternatively, you could mix 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of flour together to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the chicken and stir. This will help thicken the chicken.
  • Add additional seasoning, as needed. (Most often I need to add a bit of salt or a bit more sugar)
  • Serve.


Put everything into your slow-cooker and cook on high 5-7 hours or low 8-10 hours.
Shred chicken and make a little slurry of 3 tablespoons flour and 1/4 cup water. Pour the slurry into the chicken, turn the crockpot on high, and cook for about 10 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally. 
Go ahead and just double the meat without changing the liquid. There is enough liquid in this recipe to allow for doubling it up. 


Calories: 355kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 23gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 362mgPotassium: 441mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 287IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 2mg

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