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Oh my it’s been quite a while since I posted a recipe but I felt like this one needs to be shared. I had numerous sweet friends have babies this summer and what better way to convince them to let me come over and hold them by bringing a tray of my instant pot chicken enchiladas.

These enchiladas are super flavorful the first go around, and then get better with each passing day. I am pretty darn proud of this recipe and hope your family loves it as much as we do!

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Instant Pot Chicken Enchiladas

To start off this recipe you will want to gather and prep all your ingredients.

Chop up a large red onion. Rinse 2 pounds of chicken thighs and set them aside. Rinse your cilantro and peel your garlic cloves.

Next push the sauté button on your instant pot. (If you don’t have one of these you could use a large dutch oven pot.)

Coat the bottom of the pot with 2 tbs of olive oil and add the red onion. Allow it to sauté for 3 minutes and stir occasionally.

While the onion is cooking, chop the cilantro. I use every bit of it including the stalks.

After 3 minutes and your onion is translucent, push cancel on the instant pot and add in the 2 pounds(ish) of chicken thighs, 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce (the trader joes brand is the only one I will use because it is the best!), chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper, and press the garlic over the pot.

Give the mixture a quick stir to combine and then close the instant pot and turn the vent to seal.

Push the Meat/Stew button which should automatically set the pot to high pressure cook for 35 minutes. Once it finishes, push cancel and carefully open the vent to depressurize.

Your enchilada filling will be cooked and have a lot of liquid. To shred this up, you simply need to whip it with a fork. The meat will be so tender from the instant pot that this process will require little effort, which is why I love using an instant pot to make the filling for chicken enchiladas.

Look what just a minute of whipping will do! Next you are going to add 8 oz of shredded Mexican cheese and stir it in.

(This definitely isn’t one of my healthiest family dinners but it is dang delicious.)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

Now you will fill each tortilla with the stuffing and lay them across an 8 x 13 baking pan or really whatever you have handy. The point is to get the tray full. Fold over the sides of the tortilla like a taco and flip them over so the folded side is down.

There is no magic here to make the stuffing distribute perfectly between all the enchiladas. You may have a bit extra filling leftover and have to open up some of the enchiladas that you have already laid down. Just play around with it until you are able to use all the filling.

There will be a little bit of liquid left over in the instant pot which you can either dump on top or discard.

Cover your enchiladas with the remainder of the enchilada sauce and use another 8 oz bag of shredded Mexican cheese to top it off.

Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 30 minutes.

This is a perfect meal to make ahead and leave unbaked to bring to functions. You can just quickly heat it up and people will likely think you are a culinary genius!

You could even make this ahead of time and freeze it so that you have an easy dinner during the first few weeks home with a new baby!

It pairs well with my homemade salsa recipe! The best part is these instant pot chicken enchiladas are toddler-approved!

Best Ever Instant Pot Chicken Enchiladas

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 5 people


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 12 oz enchiladas sauce
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs
  • 16 oz shredded Mexican cheese
  • 8-12 flour tortillas


Enchilada filling

  1. Rinse chicken thighs and set aside. Chop red onion and cilantro. Use garlic press or mince 4 garlic cloves.
  2. Press saute on the instant pot. Coat the bottom with 2 tbs of olive oil and allow to heat up for a minute. Add the chopped red oinion and saute for 3 minutes stirring occassionally.
  3. Push cancel on instant pot.
  4. Add chicken, garlic, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, and chopped cilantro to the pot and stir.
  5. Close the instant pot and turn the vent to seal. Press the Meat/Stew button and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
  6. When the timer dings, press cancel and release the pressure from the vent of the instant pot.
  7. Open lid and use a fork to whip the cooked chicken and liquid for a minute or so, which will shred the chicken easily
  8. Add 8 oz of shredded mexican cheese and stir

Assemble the enchiladas

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Fill each flour tortilla so that you can still fold over the sides like a taco.
  3. Place them in an 8 x 13 baking dish side by side to fill up the pan. Turn the folded side of the tortilas down.
  4. Cover enchiladas with the remaining enchilada sauce and top with 8 oz of mexican cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.