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Chicken Tinga (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto) Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

An easy Instant Pot or slow cooker meal, this Paleo, Whole30 + Keto chicken tinga is a versatile and fun dish the whole family will love! With only 5 minutes of active prep time, just dump everything in the Instant Pot and get ready to enjoy this smoky, saucy chicken tinga.

Holding a bowl of shredded mexican chicken topped with chopped cilantro, red onion and lime wedges.

It’s so easy!

When we say this is in easy meal, it’s really true! With just four main ingredients and some simple seasonings, you can get this meal cooking in just about 5 minutes. The hardest part will be figuring out how you want to serve it. We like it in tacos (with either lettuce shells or Siete tortillas), in a quesadilla, with some fried plantains, or as a chicken burrito bowl with a bunch of toppings!

Shredded chicken tacos on a plate. Toppings include avocado, red onion and cilantro.

Smoky and Saucy

You would think that such an easy recipe would be lacking in flavor, but that’s definitely not the case with this shredded chicken recipe. To make it extra smoky we added some liquid smoke and chipotle powder. These really kick up the smoky flavor and pair perfectly with the tomato based sauce. You’ll get just a hint of cinnamon too, which is a fun addition to these yummy flavors.

Holding a bowl of shredded chicken with cilantro and lime wedges.

Time to party!

Cinco de Mayo is coming up, so we teamed up with some of our favorite bloggers bring you a bunch of Mexican themed recipes to enjoy! Whip up an easy batch of our chicken tinga or try one of these other recipes from our friends over at Real Food with JessicaMary’s Whole LifePaleo Running Momma and Wholesomelicious! Just click on any of the images below to head on over to their site for the recipe.

Your turn to try this chicken tinga

Got a busy weeknight coming up? Or want to meal prep some lunches to take to work? Make this chicken tinga! It’s super quick and easy to make, with just 5 minutes of active prep time and before you throw it in the instant pot or slow cooker. Leave a comment below to let us know how it goes. Also, take a pic to share on Instagram! Tag us @realsimplegood so we can see, and then give us a follow if you don’t already! We’d love to stay connected! 

Angled vertical image of holding a bowl of shredded chicken with fresh cilantro and lime wedges. Text overlay at top for Pinterest.

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Two images of shredded chicken with chopped cilantro and lime wedges with text overlay in the middle for pinterest.

Chicken Tinga (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto) Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

4.16 from 51 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Calories: 313kcal
An easy Instant Pot or slow cooker meal, this Paleo, Whole30 + Keto shredded mexican chicken is a versatile and fun dish that the whole family will love! 
Print Recipe Rate Recipe


  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 oz can)
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke

For topping/serving:

  • romaine lettuce (or sub Siete Tortillas, corn tortillas or other sturdy lettuce) Lettuce only for Whole30
  • cilantro
  • avocado
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For the Instant Pot:

  • Pour the can of tomatoes in the instant pot first. Place the chicken in and toss the onions and garlic on top. Sprinkle the seasonings over everything and add in the liquid smoke.
  • Secure the lid on the instant pot and close the pressure valve. Press the “manual” button (or “pressure cook” button) and set the time to cook for 20 minutes at high pressure. Once the time is up, quick release the pressure.
  • Remove the lid and shred the chicken with two forks. If you wish for serving, you can strain out any excess liquid and either keep or discard it. 
  • Serve chicken in bowls over greens, in lettuce wedges or in tortillas with your favorite toppings.

For the slow cooker:

  • Follow step #1 above, placing all of the items in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks once cooked and serve as noted above.


Nutrition facts are an estimate provided for those following a Ketogenic or low-carb diet and do not include topping/serving items for this recipe.  See our full nutrition information disclosure here

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fiber: 1g
Tried this recipe?Take a picture and tag @realsimplegood so we can see it!
Chicken Tinga (Paleo,  Whole30 + Keto) Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

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