Instant Pot Chicken Jalapeno Popper Tacos


This dish was inspired by a jalapeno popper dip my husband and I were craving one night. I normally make this dip for special occasions in the fall and winter for football games or bonfires (although I’m pretty sure my husband would let me make it every day). The original recipe for the dip is pretty indulgent, so I wanted to create something that tastes just as good, but is a little lighter, and I think this recipe accomplishes that beautifully!

You can serve it as a taco which I recommend, but here are some other options:

  • serve it over cauliflower rice
  • serve with wide strips of red, yellow, and/or orange pepper for dipping
  • serve in a skillet topped with the panko and use tortilla chips to dip (gluten free or otherwise)

Instant Pot Cheddar Jalepeno Chicken Popper Tacos


•3 chicken breasts, shredded (note: this is 3 normal medium sized chicken breasts)
•3 large jalepenos, diced (if you’re scared of the heat, use 1 or 2 instead)
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 cup salsa verde (Herdez brand is my fave)
•3 tbsp bacon crumbled (pro tip: use Oscar Mayer selects natural uncured bacon bits instead of cooking bacon or plan this meal for a night you know you’ll have leftover bacon)
•1/4 cup chopped pickled jalepenos or 1 can mild diced green chiles, drained, your choice
•4 oz (1/2 package) cream cheese (regular or low fat)
•1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
•1 package of soft corn tortillas
•2 tbsp butter (I always use salted)
•3/4 cup GF breadcrumbs + 1/8 tsp salt (I use Kikkoman Gluten Free Panko)


1. Cut Each chicken breast into three or four large chunks and place in instant pot. Note: I like cooking mine in the instant pot because it’s fast, but you could cook in the slow cooker as well. Season with 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add the garlic, diced jalepeno, bacon, and salsa verde. Set the instant pot to “Manual” for 15 minutes.

2. If you’re not using bacon crumbles as I described above, dice 4 slices of bacon and cook in a skillet until crisp. Tip: cutting bacon is easiest when it is very cold or frozen.

3. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet and add the breadcrumbs + 1/8 tsp salt. Stir until toasted. About five minutes over medium low heat. Set aside.

4. Char several soft corn tortillas over an open gas burner on medium/low heat 20 seconds per side or use a small skillet or griddle over medium heat and cook 30 seconds per side. Set aside.

5. Press “Cancel” and do a quick pressure release when the Instant Pot timer goes off. Shred chicken with two forks. Add cheddar cheese and cream cheese and stir until completely melted. Stir in green chiles or jalapeños. Taste and add more salt if desired.

6. Fill your tacos with the popper chicken. Top with toasted breadcrumbs.

Top with extra bacon and chopped pickled jalapeños if desired.


If you are using lowfat dairy in this recipe (especially low fat cheddar cheese) please note that it may not melt the same way that a full fat cheddar will and you risk a curdling effect.

If you are planning to make this recipe dairy free, please note that dairy free ingredients behave a differently, and I have not tested this although all signs point to being able to substitute any dairy for dairy free here if you have experience with it.

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