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Chicken Taco Cups Appetizer Recipe in Phyllo Cups

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This Chicken Taco Cups appetizer recipe is DELICIOUS and a super quick and easy appetizer to make at home. In mini phyllo cups, the shredded salsa chicken is loaded with Mexican flavors and makes the perfect bite-size finger food for parties and game-day tailgating.

Chicken Taco Bites on a wooden serving board.
Let’s make this Taco Cups appetizer!

Why You’ll Love These Taco Cups

This Taco Cups appetizer recipe was sponsored by Rojo’s.

When I was trying to figure out what appetizer recipe would be a good fit for a football party I knew it had to be easy to eat and easy to make enough for a crowd.

These Taco Cups are a hearty but bite-sized appetizer to serve for your football parties.

My entire family loves Mexican flavors, so I decided to do something I knew my kids would eat up. The Salsa Chicken Taco Cups are delicious and it’s easy to make as many as you need.

Related: Instant Pot Game Day Recipes

And the chicken helps to make them more filling.

I paired them with a variety of store-bought items, like salsas, and pre-cut veggies, as well as homemade guacamole and chips.

This is one of my favorite ways to keep entertaining easy and put less pressure on you as the hostess.

But you can’t serve just any old salsa. Rojo’s products are made in small batches using premium, fresh ingredients that give them a great homemade taste.

They come in a variety of flavors including Homestyle, Restaurant Style and Southwest Fire Roasted (my favorite).

Pair this recipe with a pitcher of margaritas and a simple printable football banner to kick the party off right.

Ingredients

Woman standing in front of a can of beer, pot of salsa and sliced chicken breasts on the kitchen counter.
What you need to make chicken phyllo cups.

Making shredded chicken in the Instant Pot couldn’t be easier. It’s super easy and you always end up with tender, juicy chicken.

You’ll need:

I didn’t see phyllo cups on Amazon but I usually pick them up in my store. If you can’t find cups, you can make your own by cutting squares of phyllo dough and pressing them into a muffin tin to make your own cups.

Look for these cups in the freezer section and try to find cups that look like the ones pictured.

Or you can use wonton wrappers, or even puff pastry. The flavor will change slightly but you will still get a one-bite, crunchy appetizer.

I don’t recommend using the Pepperidge Farms phyllo cups that have to be baked first and then you make the hole with a spoon. These do not hold enough filling or have the crunch like the cups I show in the photos.

The package of cups that I used had 12 cups in it.

I’ve tried a few types and these work the best. These came in a box of 12 so you’d need to figure out how many boxes you need to get based on how many appetizers you want to make.

How to Make Taco Cups

These tasty taco cups with chicken are super fast to put together once you have your shredded chicken. This recipe is very forgiving so it’s ok to not have exact measurements.

You need at least 1 cup of liquid in the Instant Pot to cook the chicken correctly.

Woman adding chicken pieces to an Instant Pot.

Make the Shredded Chicken

Step 1

Season the chicken before placing it in the Instant Pot. My seasoning was a blend of chili powder, lime and salt but anything will work including just salt and pepper. 

Woman pouring salsa into an Instant Pot.

Step 2

To make the shredded salsa chicken, add 1/2 container of Rojo’s Homestyle Salsa and a cup and a half of Mexican beer.

You can totally skip the beer if you want but I love the flavor it gives the chicken.

Woman pressing buttons on an Instant Pot.

Step 3

Set the Instant Pot to 15 minutes.

In the meantime, gather all the other ingredients you’ll need to make these taco cups.

Step 4

When the cooking time is up, let the steam release naturally for about 15 minutes.

The chicken literally falls apart without being dried out. Every time. 

Spooning salsa into a bowl of shredded chicken.

Step 5

Remove the chicken to a large bowl and quickly shred it with two forks.

Step 6

Add another cup of Rojo’s Homestyle salsa to add even more flavor. Mix well.

Put the Taco Cups Together

Woman assembling chicken salsa taco cups.

Step 7

Add the shredded chicken to the phyllo cups.

Woman adding cilantro to the top of Chicken Taco Cups appetizers on a cookie sheet.

Step 8

Top the chicken with cheese and add a little bit of cilantro.

Step 9 (optional)

You can pop these into the oven for a few minutes (before adding the cilantro) to get the cheese to melt.

I’ve made them both ways and they taste very similar so this is your personal preference. 

Serve

Wooden serving board of Salsa Chicken Taco Cups with a tub of salsa in the background.

While I just topped them with cilantro, you can top them with anything you like. Chopped red onion would be delicious as would some diced jalapeno. A dollop of sour cream would also be a great finishing touch.

Snacks laid out on the table for a Superbowl party.

Pair this taco cups appetizer with a variety of salsas, chips and guacamole. And really make it a party with some margaritas.

Woman holding a small white appetizer place with Chicken Taco Cups and salsa and adding guacamole from a spoon.

Make these Salsa Chicken Taco Cups, with Rojo’s salsa, for your game day parties!

This easy chicken appetizer is great for football entertaining! 

Tips

This recipe makes a dinner-size portion of shredded chicken which means, because you don’t use very much for each Taco Cup, you can make A TON of these! They come together quickly and are a great party appetizer idea.

I didn’t know when I made these that they would turn out to be something my kids loved too! We’ve had them several times now, for dinner, and I’m adding them to our regular dinner rotation.

I just serve them with some rice and beans and you’ve got a full meal. 

These Salsa Chicken Taco Cups can be made ahead of time and put in the oven, right before serving, to reheat.

Add the chicken to the Instant Pot. If you don’t have one, you can also simmer the chicken in water, then shred it. But the Instant Pot is so easy!

A dining table with party food and 3 containers of salsa next to guacamole and a bowl of chips.

Rojo’s salsas can be found in the refrigerated section of major grocery retailers, nationwide. Making your own salsa can be totally time-consuming so I like to serve store-bought.

Keep your eyes out for some new salsa flavors, like Hatch Chile Salsa and Salsa Verde, and for their new Queso Dips! Who doesn’t love queso!?

Images by Dez and Tam Photography

Printable pages on top of an image of kitchen gadgets with text next to it.

A few more easy recipes you might enjoy!

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Taco Cups with chicken on serving trays on a party table.

Chicken Taco Cups

My family loves these easy Chicken Taco Cups. The Instant Pot makes it super easy to make shredded salsa chicken that works perfectly in these crispy phyllo shells.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Calories: 165kcal
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Follow the direction on the package of your Phyllo Cups (some just need to thaw, some go in the oven to crisp up for 3 minutes).

Make the Shredded Chicken

  • To your Instant Pot, add chicken seasoned with Tajin or other seasoning, 1/2 container of the salsa (approx. 1 cup) and beer (about 1 cup) plus 1/2 cup water.
  • Set pot to manually cook for 20 minutes.
  • Let steam release naturally for approximately 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, release the rest of the steam manually before removing the lid.
  • Open Instant Pot and remove the chicken from the cooking liquid (which you can discard).
  • In a bowl, shred the chicken using 2 forks.
  • Add the rest of the Homestyle salsa and mix.

Put the Taco Cups Together

  • In your thawed phyllo cups, add about a TBSP of salsa chicken.
  • Top with shredded cheese and top with cilantro.
  • Repeat to fill the remaining cups.
  • If desired, put in an oven heated to 350 degrees, to melt the cheese (approximately 3 minutes).

Notes

*Notes on the phyllo cups. I like to use the cups (check the photos from my post) that have a large opening. These are ready-made and can be used once thawed from the freezer. I don’t recommend using the Pepperidge Farms phyllo cups that have to be baked first and then you make the hole with a spoon. These do not hold enough filling or have the crunch like the cups I show in the photos. The package of cups that I used had 12 cups in it. Buy as many packages as you need to for the amount of appetizers you want to make for your party.
*Nutrition values are slightly off due to making the salsa chicken and not accounting for just the amount you use for the taco cups. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2taco cup | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 263IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 1mg
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