Rating: 5 stars
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Chicken carnitas made in the pressure cooker are quick and easy! We crisp them up in the broiler, and they are perfect to meal-prep and enjoy for the week! Serve with tortillas, diced onions, chopped cilantro, sauteed cabbage, lime wedges, and anything else you like!


Recipe Summary

25 mins
10 mins
1 hr
25 mins
10 servings


Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Chipotle Sauce:


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle over chicken breasts on both sides.

  • Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®) and select Saute function. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sear chicken breasts, 1 to 2 minutes per side, working in batches so chicken sears rather than steams. Transfer chicken to a plate.

  • Add garlic and onion to the hot cooker; cook and stir until browned evenly on all sides, about 2 minutes. Return chicken to the pressure cooker along with lime juice, chicken broth, cilantro, chipotle pepper with 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, orange zest and juice, and bay leaf. Close and lock the lid. Set timer for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on size of chicken breasts.

  • Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, milk, chipotle pepper and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, salt, and garlic powder to an electric blender. Blend chipotle sauce until smooth.

  • Release pressure from the cooker using the natural-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, 10 to 40 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid.

  • Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler.

  • Transfer chicken breasts to a clean surface and reserve cooking liquid. Shred chicken meat using 2 forks. Place in a large bowl and drizzle 1/4 cup cooking liquid over chicken; toss to coat. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over the surface of a baking sheet. Add chicken to the sheet and drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil on top. Stir to coat evenly.

  • Broil chicken in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Toss chicken with 1 to 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid and rotate the pan for even broiling. Continue broiling until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes more. Serve with chipotle sauce.

Cook's Notes:

You can use chicken thighs instead of breasts, if you'd like.

Leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be kept in a zip-top bag in the freezer.

Instead of releasing pressure naturally, you can also use the vent setting if available, allowing to vent completely before removing the lid.

Nutrition Facts

236 calories; protein 19.6g; carbohydrates 4.7g; fat 15.3g; cholesterol 56.1mg; sodium 185.9mg. Full Nutrition