This Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is quick, flavorful, and perfect for tacos, burritos, salads, nachos, quesadillas, and more!
I’m all about quick and easy (and of course, delicious) dinners. I’ve always been a huge fan of my crockpot, but these days, I seem to never find time to actually plan ahead. Enter: the instant pot…aka the crockpot (still often throw and go recipes) for people who need last minute dinners.
The best part of this salsa chicken? You probably have the ingredients on hand already!
- Chicken Broth – gives the chicken so much flavor and moisture. Use water if you’re in a pinch.
- Chicken Breasts – use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Whatever you have on hand is fine.
- Salsa – use your favorite! I like Pace Thick & Chunky Salsa.
- Tabasco Chipotle Hot Sauce – adds an extra kick of heat and a slightly smoky flavor.
- Taco Seasoning – use store-bought taco seasoning packets or whip up some homemade taco seasoning. You’ll need 2-3 tablespoons of homemade for every 1 packet.
- Lime Juice – to taste; adds a bright, tangy flavor to balance out the smoky hot sauce and taco seasoning flavors.
- Cilantro Lime Sauce – for serving. Don’t skip the sauce, it takes the chicken to another level of yum!
How to make
This ultra flavorful and versatile chicken comes together in a total of 15 minutes!
- Grease your instant pot then pour in chicken broth. Top with chicken breasts.
- Layer on salsa, hot sauce, and taco seasoning. Don’t stir. Cover and lock the lid then cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes.
- Do a quick release then shred the chicken directly in the instant pot before serving!
How to shred chicken
There are two ways to shred chicken: with two forks or with a stand mixer.
If shredding with two forks, hold one fork in each hand, then use them to pull the chicken apart. You can also hold the chicken down with one of the forks then use the other to pull shreds off.
Shredding chicken with your stand mixer is another option. Place chicken into your stand-mixer with the flat beater attachment. Turn the mixer on low for about 30 seconds, or until shredded.
If you’d rather cube or slice your chicken instead of shred, feel free to do that as well!
Can you use frozen chicken?
Yes! You’ll need to cook on HIGH pressure for 25 minutes instead of the 10 minutes listed. You may end up with additional liquid from the frozen chicken, so keep that in mind.
If you have the time, I’d recommend thawing your frozen chicken first to avoid a watery result. To do this quickly, place the frozen chicken in a bowl of cold water and let it sit for about an hour. Change out the water every 20 minutes so it doesn’t get too warm.
Can you make salsa chicken without an instant pot?
You sure can! If you don’t have an instant pot, check out my crockpot salsa chicken instead!
Salsa chicken is also super easy to make in the oven!
- Place your chicken breasts on a baking sheet lined with silicone mat and drizzle with olive oil.
- Coat with taco seasoning then bake at 450ºF for 15-20 minutes or until cooked to 165ºF.
- Shred in a large bowl then stir in salsa, hot sauce, lime juice, and salt.
- Add chicken broth to moisten if necessary then serve as desired!
How to serve salsa chicken
This instant pot salsa chicken is packed with flavor but versatile enough to be used in so many different ways!
- In tacos. Spoon it into hard or soft shell tacos and serve with all of your favorite fix-ins.
- As filling for burritos. Wrap it up in your favorite tortilla with rice, beans, pico, corn and avocado salsa, and more of your favorite fillings.
- On taco salad. Toss it with lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, olives, and tortilla chips!
- Over nachos. Use it in my loaded chicken nachos.
- In quesadillas. Sandwich it between two tortillas with melted cheese.
Serve any of those recipes with a drizzle of my homemade cilantro lime sauce and you’ve got such a flavorful and delicious homemade dinner in no time at all!
How to store
Leftover salsa chicken will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, you have a few different options:
- Oven — preheat to 425ºF and place the chicken in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165ºF.
- Microwave — place in a microwave-safe container, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 1 minute.
- Stovetop — melt butter or oil in a skillet then add in the chicken. Heat until the internal temp is 165ºF.
Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
Equipment for this recipe
- Grease a 6 quart Instant Pot with cooking spray.
- Pour in chicken broth, then top with chicken breasts.
- Layer on salsa, hot sauce, and taco seasoning — don’t stir, this helps avoid a BURN reading.
- Cover and lock the lid — be sure the pressure valve is pointing toward SEALING.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes, then flip the valve to do a quick release.
- Shred chicken directly in the Instant Pot, then taste and season with lime juice and salt, if desired.
- Serve as tacos, in a burrito bowl, on nachos, in a quesadilla, over a bed of lettuce, etc. with a drizzle of my homemade cilantro lime sauce and enjoy!
- Take 5 seconds to rate this recipe below. We greatly appreciate it!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.