Freezer Meal Chicken Tinga Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Freezer Meal Chicken Tinga

9 reviews / 4.1 average

Yes, you CAN make Freezer Meal Chicken Tinga so that these tacos are available to you at your beck and call.

This chicken is some of the BEST for tacos – it’s saucy, just the right amount of spicy, and doesn’t need a ton to go with it to complete the taco – maybe just a little cilantro, lime, and avocado. We often use this chicken tinga for other recipes, too, like rice bowls or other goes-with-anything types of meal prep.

It’s a workhorse. I love this recipe.

How To Make Freezer Meal Chicken Tinga

Okay, first, you need to blend everything for your sauce. This takes about five seconds. Pour your sauce over your chicken and freeze it up! Done.

A transparent packet full of chicken tinga and with a label written over it.

When you’re ready for fresh chicken tinga tacos straight out the freezer, just grab your frozen stuff, pop it in the Instant Pot, and wait for the magic.

A bowl of chicken tinga.

Sometimes I let it simmer for a minute to get nice and saucy… and sometimes I just dive into it because TACOS.

Chicken Tinga tacos on a plate.

This is one of our favorite freezer meals to prep in advance! Prepare to have your taco horizons expanded greatly.

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Chicken Tinga tacos on a plate.

Freezer Meal Chicken Tinga

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This Freezer Meal Chicken Tinga is THE BEST! Just mix it all together in a bag, freezer, and you’ve got saucy, spicy, real food perfection.




  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • half of an onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 individual chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • one 14-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs


INSTANT POT: From frozen, 12-15 minutes on high pressure + 10 minutes natural release.

SLOW COOKER: From thawed, 4 hours on high.

FINAL STEP: Serve as tacos, or on a salad, or in a rice bowl, or in enchiladas…. limitless possibilities!

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cook
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: chicken tinga tacos, freezer meal chicken tinga tacos, freezer meal tacos

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View original recipe here.

You might also like our freezer meals post.

Frozen meals stored in bags.

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    How long would I cook it in the Instant Pot from thawed/ made fresh? Or, at that point should it be slow cooked?

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Theses look good.However I’m new to the instapot. If you put his in frozen do you need additional liquid or does the sauce thaw and allow the pot to come to pressure? THanks

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I just made this fresh, rather than frozen, and a 10 minute cook time worked for me!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Thank you for your response, Emily! I made this last night with fresh (unfrozen) chicken and followed your suggestion of 10 minutes. It was perfect!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This meal was SO easy and REALLY delicious! I had mine over spinach with rice, black beans, avocado, and corn. My husband had his burrito-style. The chicken has some heat from the chipotles, but not so much that I –somewhat of a spice-wimp–couldn’t handle it.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Honey, like many things I have made from your site (which I definitely love), this dish needs more flavour. I doubled the onions and garlic and cumin, and my family still said it didn’t have any taste at all right out of the Instant Pot. I added even more cumin and a few other things, reduced the entire thing in a frying pan to reduce the liquid, and it was very yummy then.We had it with shredded red cabbage slaw and a corn salsa. This was the first recipe I tried with my new Instant Pot and it was a great confidence-builder. As always, sincere thanks for everything you do but, please confirm your seasoning measures!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Agreed – love the concept and structure of the recipe, but the final taste was a little underwhelming. Adjusting with some salt, cumin, hot & smoked paprika and a few other seasonings made it perfect 🙂

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Should I adjust the cooking time if I’m using breasts as opposed to thighs? I’m using a slow cooker. Thank you! I’m excited to try this.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Your picture of the prepped food looks like the chicken is raw, but mine still came out raw in the middle after 15 min of cook time. 🙁 Anyone else have this problem?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi, Elle! It’s possible you froze larger chicken breasts, so they might’ve needed a bit longer to cook. We’d recommend adding an additional 3-5 minutes to the cook time if you use large chicken breasts next time.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Christine Stubbs

    Hi there; just wanted you to know loved your freezer meal chicken tinga! Thank you for the recipe! Love your blog!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this tonight, and the 15 minute cook time was not enough for the frozen. Some of the chicken was still raw.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Same questions as someone else…if using instant pot and my chicken is already thawed….could you please advise the cooking directions? Thanks.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this chicken Tinga tonight, exactly as written. It was fabulous! Going to make more sauce with the rest of the chilis in the can and will most likely make this weekly. Many thanks for the recipe!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I did this in the Instant pot from frozen and followed the directions and after 15 min + 10 min natural release the chicken thighs were raw 🙁 disappointing!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’ll be trying to make it this week, but I dont have a slow cooker/instapot. I’ll make it in my dutch oven and simmer it on low for an hour or so. It looks delicious.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Alison Laden

    Hi- Making this now, i’m just curious why the recipe is different for the chicken tinga vs chicken tinga tacos? I am making it now, I decided to follow this recipe for the ingredients, but I am cooking the sauce as per the other recipe, letting it cool and then putting it in the bag with the chicken overnight before I cook the whole thing tomorrow. Any insight on why they are different methods and ratios? thank you.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Hi Alison! Great question. I think the main reason for the difference in methods and ratios is to make the freezer meal recipe easier with less steps and less cook time. But we love the idea of making the sauce from the original recipe and using it for the freezer meal!