Instant Pot Salsa Chicken — Introducing a delicious and effortless meal solution: Instant Pot Salsa Chicken! This recipe is perfect for those busy days when you want a flavorful and satisfying dish without spending hours in the kitchen.
With just a few simple ingredients and your trusty Instant Pot, you can have a mouthwatering, tender chicken dinner bursting with the vibrant flavors of salsa and Mexican spices.
Whether cooking for your family or hosting a casual gathering, this recipe will surely become a favorite. Let’s dive in and discover how to make this delightful Instant Pot Salsa Chicken in no time!
What Is Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is a quick and convenient dish that cooks chicken breasts or thighs in a flavorful sauce using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. The combination of tender chicken and salsa creates a delicious and versatile meal that can be served in various ways. The salsa adds flavor and helps keep the chicken moist and tender during cooking.
It’s a simple yet satisfying recipe that can be customized with additional ingredients like spices, beans, or vegetables to suit your taste preferences. Whether you use it as a filling for tacos, serve it over rice, or enjoy it in a bowl with your favorite toppings, Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is a versatile and easy-to-make dish perfect for busy weeknight dinners.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
You’ll absolutely love this recipe for Instant Pot Salsa Chicken for several fantastic reasons:
- Quick and Easy: It’s incredibly simple to prepare, perfect for busy weeknights or when you’re short on time. You’ll have a satisfying meal with just a few ingredients and your Instant Pot in no time.
- Flavorful and Versatile: The combination of salsa and spices infuses the chicken with mouthwatering flavor. You can customize it to suit your taste by choosing mild to spicy salsa and adding extra seasonings or ingredients like beans, corn, or vegetables.
- Tender and Juicy: The Instant Pot does wonders for the chicken, ensuring it turns out tender, juicy, and perfectly cooked every time—no more worries about overcooking or drying out your chicken breasts.
- Versatile Serving Options: You can enjoy Instant Pot Salsa Chicken in various ways – as a taco or burrito filling, over rice or quinoa, on a bed of greens for a salad, or even as a filling for enchiladas or quesadillas. The possibilities are endless!
- Family-Friendly: This recipe is generally well-received by both kids and adults. It’s a crowd-pleaser that can satisfy a range of taste preferences.
- Meal Prep Friendly: You can easily make a large batch and store leftovers for meal prep throughout the week. It reheats well, making it a convenient choice for lunches or dinners on the go.
- Healthier Option: Using lean chicken breasts and fresh salsa can make this dish a healthy choice, especially when paired with nutritious sides like brown rice, quinoa, or a salad.
- Budget-Friendly: The ingredients for this recipe are often affordable and readily available, making it a budget-friendly option for feeding your family.
Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is a versatile, flavorful, and hassle-free dish that checks all the boxes for a delicious and convenient meal. Whether you’re a busy parent, a meal prepper, or simply someone who appreciates good food without fuss, this recipe will become a favorite in your kitchen.
Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
Get ready to whip up a fantastic meal with simple ingredients! You’ll need a few pantry staples and fresh ingredients to make this mouthwatering Instant Pot Salsa Chicken. With the magic of your Instant Pot, these components will come together to create a delicious and versatile dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Consider what you’ll need to make this flavorful and easy meal a reality.
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts or Thighs: Choose boneless chicken breasts or thighs. You can adjust the quantity based on the number of servings you need.
- Salsa: Opt for your favorite variety, whether mild, medium, or spicy. The salsa provides the flavor base for the dish, so pick one you enjoy.
- Taco Seasoning: Taco seasoning adds a burst of Mexican-inspired spices to enhance the flavor of the chicken. You can use store-bought seasoning or make your own with chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Olive Oil: A small amount of olive oil helps prevent the chicken from sticking to the Instant Pot and adds a touch of richness.
- Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice provides a zesty and tangy element that complements the salsa’s flavors.
- Fresh Garlic: Minced garlic adds a delightful flavor to the dish. Fresh garlic is recommended for the best taste.
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper: A pinch of salt and black pepper enhances the overall seasoning and taste of the chicken.
That’s it! With these basic ingredients, you’ll have everything you need to create a mouthwatering Instant Pot Salsa Chicken dish bursting with flavor. Feel free to customize it further with optional toppings and garnishes.
How To Make Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Recipe
Get ready to whip up a delicious Instant Pot Salsa Chicken recipe that’s quick and flavorful. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making this delightful dish:
Prepare the Chicken: Start by seasoning the chicken breasts or thighs with the taco seasoning, ensuring they are evenly coated. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
Sauté the Chicken: Set your Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. This step helps lock in the flavors and adds a nice sear to the chicken.
Add Salsa and Lime Juice: Pour the salsa and freshly squeezed lime juice over the top of the chicken. Stir in the minced garlic. Make sure the salsa covers the chicken evenly.
Pressure Cook: Secure the Instant Pot lid and set it to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode. Cook on high pressure for 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken pieces.
Natural Release or Quick Release: After the cooking time is complete, you can do a natural pressure release (letting the Instant Pot depressurize on its own) or a quick release if you’re in a hurry.
Shred or Slice: Once the pressure has been released, open the lid and check the chicken. It should be tender and easily shreddable with a fork. Depending on your preference, you can either shred the chicken right in the pot or remove it and slice it into strips or chunks.
Serve: Serve the shredded Salsa Chicken over rice, in tacos, as a salad topper, or in your favorite way. Garnish with additional toppings like shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, or diced tomatoes, if desired.
This Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is a versatile and flavorful dish that can be customized to suit your taste. Enjoy the convenience and deliciousness of this recipe for a quick weeknight dinner or any occasion.
There are various ways to customize and modify your pressure cooker Salsa Chicken to suit your taste and dietary preferences. Here are some recipe variations to consider:
- Protein Choices: While chicken is the classic choice, you can use other proteins like pork, beef, or tofu. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the protein is cooked through.
- Salsa Variety: Experiment with different salsa varieties to change the flavor profile. Use mango salsa for a sweet twist, pico de Gallo, green salsa for a milder option, or chipotle salsa for a smoky kick.
- Homemade Salsa: Instead of store-bought salsa, make your own homemade salsa using fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapeños for a completely personalized flavor.
- Add Vegetables: Enhance the nutritional value by adding bell peppers, corn, black beans, or diced zucchini to the Instant Pot for a heartier meal.
- Creamy Salsa Chicken: After cooking, stir in sour or heavy cream for this dish’s creamy and rich variation.
- Cheese Topping: Sprinkle shredded cheese over the cooked Salsa Chicken and place it under a broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
- Toppings and Garnishes: Customize your Salsa Chicken with various toppings such as diced avocado, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeños, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Serving Options: Serve your Salsa Chicken over rice, quinoa, or pasta, or use it as a filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas.
- Spice Level: Adjust the spice level using mild, medium, or hot salsa, or add extra chili powder or hot sauce if you prefer a spicier dish.
- Cilantro-Lime Rice: Pair your Instant Pot Salsa Chicken with cilantro-lime rice for a refreshing and complementary side dish.
Feel free to get creative and adapt this recipe to your liking. It’s a versatile dish easily customized to meet your flavor preferences and dietary needs.
To make the most of your easy Salsa Chicken and ensure it turns out perfectly every time, consider these pro tips:
- Sear the Chicken: While it’s optional, searing the chicken in the Instant Pot on the “Sauté” mode before pressure cooking adds extra flavor and helps lock in the juices. It’s worth the extra few minutes.
- Use Fresh Lime Juice: Use freshly squeezed lime juice for the best flavor. Fresh lime juice has a brighter and more vibrant taste than bottled juice.
- Adjust the Spice: If you prefer a milder dish, choose a mild salsa or reduce the amount of taco seasoning. Conversely, if you like it spicy, opt for a hot salsa or add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the mix.
- Natural Release for Juicier Chicken: Allowing the pressure to naturally release for a few minutes before a quick release can help keep the chicken even juicier and prevent drying.
- Shred for More Flavor: Shredding the chicken allows it to soak up more flavorful salsa and seasoning. Use two forks to shred it easily right in the Instant Pot.
- Double the Batch: Make extra and store it in the fridge or freezer for quick and easy meal prep. Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is versatile and can be used in various dishes.
- Customize Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, diced tomatoes, and guacamole for everyone to customize their plate.
- Use the “Keep Warm” Function: If you’re not serving the Salsa Chicken immediately, switch your Instant Pot to the “Keep Warm” function to keep it at a safe temperature until you’re ready to eat.
- Clean the Instant Pot Lid: After sautéing the chicken, check the lid for any residual food particles that may have stuck. Clean it thoroughly to avoid any issues with sealing during pressure cooking.
- Adjust Cooking Time: Depending on the thickness of your chicken pieces, you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly. Thicker cuts may require a couple of extra minutes under pressure.
With these pro tips, you’ll be well on your way to making delicious and flavorful Instant Pot Salsa Chicken that your family and friends will love.
Can I use frozen chicken? It’s recommended to use thawed chicken for this recipe to ensure even cooking. If you use frozen chicken, it will require longer cooking time and may affect the dish’s texture.
Can I make this in a slow cooker instead of an Instant Pot? Yes, you can make Salsa Chicken in a slow cooker. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until the chicken is tender and easily shreds.
Is it possible to make this recipe without an Instant Pot or slow cooker? Absolutely! You can make Salsa Chicken on the stovetop. Sear the chicken in a skillet, add the salsa and seasonings, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? Yes, you can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for chicken breasts. Thighs are often juicier and have a slightly different flavor, which can be equally delicious in this dish.
What type of salsa should I use? You can use your favorite type of mild, medium, or hot salsa to match your preferred spice level. To create unique variations, you can also experiment with different salsa flavors, such as roasted tomato, verde, or fruit-infused salsas.
Is this dish keto-friendly or low-carb? While this recipe is relatively low in carbs, the exact carb count depends on the salsa and taco seasoning used. To make it more keto-friendly, choose a salsa with lower sugar content and a taco seasoning without added sugar or starch.
How do I store and reheat leftover Salsa Chicken? Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, use the microwave or stovetop, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent drying out.
Can I double or halve the recipe? Yes, you can easily adjust the recipe to make more or less Salsa Chicken. Just be mindful of the Instant Pot’s maximum fill line and adjust cooking times accordingly if needed.
What side dishes go well with Salsa Chicken? Suggested side dishes include rice, quinoa, black beans, tortillas, or a simple green salad. Add toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, and fresh cilantro.
Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned? Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes in place of canned tomatoes. Just peel and dice them before adding them to the Instant Pot.
How to serve: Use the shredded chicken in burrito bowls, taco bowls, taco salads, white rice, or over the top of cauliflower rice or tortilla chips.
More Instant Pot Recipes
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- INSTANT POT CHICKEN BROCCOLI AND RICE
- HOMEMADE INSTANT POT HOMEMADE GHEE
- INSTANT POT SOUTHERN DEVILED EGGS
- INSTANT POT ELDERBERRY SYRUP
- TRADITIONAL INSTANT POT ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
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Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts , boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup salsa, choose your preferred heat level
- 1 package taco seasoning, about 1.25 ounces of taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole lime, juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt , to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper , to taste
- Prepare the Chicken: Start by seasoning the chicken breasts or thighs with the taco seasoning, ensuring they are evenly coated. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Sauté the Chicken: Set your Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they are lightly browned. This step helps lock in the flavors and adds a nice sear to the chicken.
- Add Salsa and Lime Juice: Pour the salsa and freshly squeezed lime juice over the chicken. Stir in the minced garlic. Make sure the salsa covers the chicken evenly.
- Pressure Cook: Secure the Instant Pot lid and set it to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode. Cook on high pressure for 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken pieces.
- Natural Release or Quick Release: After the cooking time is complete, you can choose to do a natural pressure release (letting the Instant Pot depressurize on its own) or a quick release if you’re in a hurry.
- Shred or Slice: Once the pressure has been released, open the lid and check the chicken. It should be tender and easily shreddable with a fork. You can either shred the chicken right in the pot or remove it and slice it into strips or chunks, depending on your preference.
- Serve: Serve the Instant Pot Salsa Chicken over rice, in tacos, as a salad topper, or in your favorite way. Garnish with additional toppings like shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, or diced tomatoes, if desired.
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, or Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker