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Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Tacos

43 reviews / 4.9 average
Buffalo chicken tacos on a plate with avocado and slaw. this recipe

Hey friends, it’s me! Still cooking, still blogging, STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO HAVE FOR DINNER.

9 out of 10 times this month, these Buffalo Chicken Tacos have been my answer.

Gang’s all there: buffalo tangy, salty browned bits of broiled chicken covered with a limey fresh slaw and a smothering of homemade ranch, all tucked into a pan-charred tortilla, and suddenly it’s Tuesday night and my mouth is having a total rave.

It’s all the good things we like in a weeknight wonder:

  • Mindlessly easy.
  • Fast.
  • Healthyish.
  • Flavortown USA.
  • Filling.
  • But not like, heavy-filling. More like, fresh-filling.
  • Saucy, crispy, crunchy, TEXTURAL HEAVEN.

These Buffalo Chicken Tacos are the cousin to the Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos and the Hawaiian Chicken Tacos, both of which are also delicious.

A few things to know.

About The Chicken

PLEASE use boneless skinless chicken thighs even if you think you don’t like chicken thighs. We’re going to cook them in buffalo sauce, gently pull apart with two forks, and broil them until they resemble straight-up carnitas level yumminess.

Crispy buffalo chicken on a sheet pan.

If you use chicken breasts, they won’t roast up the same way. Chicken thighs roast into crispy bits AND stay nice and juicy because there’s more fat in them. It’s so good.

About The Slaw

Very flexible. Just shred some cabbage or really just other crispy veggies and toss with some salt and lime. Mwah.

About The Ranch

You guys, I am very pro-shortcuts and I only say this when I really think it matters, so here I go: please do not use store-bought ranch for this. This homemade ranch is so saucy and creamy and fresh in a way that just makes the whole thing sing and I would be sad for you to miss out on the crowning glory of this taco.

Hand grabbing buffalo chicken taco on a plate.

If anything can make me rethink my attitude about weeknight cooking, it’s these tangy, crunchy, fresh buffalo chicken tacos loaded with crispy bits of broiled chicken and showered with a drizzle of homemade ranch. Like, can we just have these every night?

You know what to do.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Buffalo Chicken Tacos:

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Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Tacos


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings, depending on hunger level 1x

Description

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Tacos! Buffalo broiled chicken covered with a limey slaw and a smothering of homemade ranch, all tucked into a charred tortilla.


Scale

Ingredients

Buffalo Chicken:

  • 1.25 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce

Ranch:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill (or about 1/4 cup fresh)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste

Tacos:

  • tortillas
  • shredded cabbage
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • limes

Instructions

  1. Place chicken, seasonings, and buffalo sauce in the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow for natural pressure release for 5-10 minutes. When chicken is done, shred with two forks.
  2. While chicken cooks, make the ranch. Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  3. Transfer shredded chicken and sauce to a baking sheet. Broil for 10-15 minutes until browned and crispy.
  4. Assemble tacos: buffalo chicken, mashed avocado, shredded cabbage, lime squeeze, cheese of choice, and ranch all in a nice fluffy tortilla. 

Notes

The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products we use and love!

Kid-Friendly Adaptation: Cook the chicken in broth instead of buffalo sauce. Shred and drain off excess liquid. Put some of the chicken aside for the kiddos (plain, no sauce) and toss the remaining chicken with the buffalo sauce before you broil it. 

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: buffalo chicken, instant pot buffalo chicken, chicken tacos, buffalo chicken tacos, weeknight dinner

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Recipe rating

136 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Aileen

    I don’t own an instant pot, or even a crockpot, but I really want to make this, so I’m going to try cooking the chicken in my Dutch oven in the oven at a low temp. That’s my usual slow-cooker substitution and it usually works well.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    courtney

    This looks great! and with my mealthy crisp lid I can broil the chicken right in the same pot. bonus! Thanks again for another great recipe!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Keith Neely

    Buffalo chicken needs blue cheese, not ranch. Insult to the people is Buffalo. Lol. Otherwise fantastic!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My Instant Pot has been one of the best investments for kitchen tools in years! Aside from my mixer, the IP is so worth it!

    This recipe looks great, this will be on our to-try list for the week for sure! Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sarah

    I thought the rule of thumb with pressure cooking in the IP was that you needed a minimum of 1 cup of liquid. Could using only 1/4 cup result in a burn notification?

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Abby

        DO NOT FOLLOW THIS RECIPE AS IS, IT WILL BURN IN YOUR INSTAPOT!!!

        You need at least a cup of liquid. You should update your recipe so you don’t ruin people’s dinner and INSTAPOT.






      2. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Ashley

        I’ve made this three times with no issue. I did use a bit of avocado spray oil before adding the ingredients though.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Julie MacDowall

        Mine did too with 1/4 cup of Franks but it didn’t burn hard. There was no liquid left though. Followed recipe exactly. Still tasty though.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I tried the high setting on my slow cooker for 3 hours and it resulted in slightly tough chicken thighs. I had to wrestle the meat into shreds rather than it falling apart. It still tasted fantastic as thighs are forgiving but next time I’ll cook them for 6-8 hours on low to get that soft, fall-apart texture.

        Amazing recipe and I was so happy I managed to get Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce from Sainsbury’s here in the UK.






  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Alix

    What is buffalo sauce and where does one get it? I didn’t see the recipe for it included here.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kelly

    How do you not get a burn notification cooking it on high pressure for 15 min with almost no liquid??? Are the directions accurate? The setting in your Instagram story was different than what you have written here.

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo
          Jen

          I used another recipe for my buffalo chicken, using breasts: 1/4 c EVOO, 1/2 c hot sauce, 1 ts salt, 1/2 ts cayenne pepper. IP 10mins on pressure cook. Turns out perfect every time.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    AISHA MILBURN

    Any thoughts on how to cook if the chicken is frozen? #momfail I forgot to take it out of the freezer this morning.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Peggy

    I loved this! Good recommendation on having faith in chicken thighs! We preferred with crunchy shells. It was a flavor explosion!!!






  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    xtinabish

    I just want to thank you for the kid friendly adaptation! HUGE fan of your site. Love from Atlantic Canada xo

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ginny

    Made the buffalo chicken last night and WOW! So tasty and easy. I didn’t make tacos with the meat – just ate it over brown rice. Used some of the leftover chicken in a salad for lunch today.






  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Buffalo + Ranch + Easy enough for a weeknight. You’re speaking my language! I’ve never made my own ranch but need to try it. Living in Pennsylvania, people take their ranch seriously here so I see how that could be a game changer.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Tracey McConnell

    Looks delicious! I love all your recipes. BTW, how long would I cook this in the crockpot? I have an instant pot but have challenges cooking with it.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Mohit

      Thanks, I’ll definitely try this. QQ… Can I replace chicken thighs with grounds chicken? What would I need to change in the cooking proceed?






  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Susan

    I made this tonight for dinner and my husband and I loved it! My husband especially loved the ranch and we agreed that store bought ranch would not have worked in this recipe. I also loved that you had the note on how to adapt the recipe to make it kid friendly! My husband and I love spicy food and we have an infant and keep discussing ways we will have to adjust some recipes at first so he can eat with us as he gets older. Thank you!






  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Megan

    I was also getting a burn warning following the recipe as written and cooking with high pressure for 15 minutes. Will the meat/stew setting work instead and cook the chicken in 15 minutes? Thanks!