This salsa chicken is perfect for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salads and more! With the Instant Pot, you can make this yummy, tender, and juicy chicken recipe in about 45 minutes!
My love for the Instant Pot and also Mexican food grows each day! This Instant Pot salsa chicken recipe is perfect for meal prepping or cooking for a crowd and can be used in so many different dishes. Serve it with my Spanish rice, restaurant style guacamole and/or mango pineapple salsa and we are ready for a fiesta!!
Salsa Chicken in Instant Pot
I love this recipe because I can have perfectly tender and juicy salsa chicken in about 45 minutes, start to finish!
It is so quick and easy and the best part? I can use fresh or frozen chicken! This Instant Pot recipe really is set it and forget it.
Another perk is you probably already have everything you need in your pantry and freezer. Grab your boneless chicken breasts or thighs, seasoning salt, salsa, and lime juice and you are ready to go.
How to Make IP Salsa Chicken
Trust me – you’ll love how simple this is!
Pour ½ cup of salsa in the Instant Pot and place seasoned chicken breasts on top of the salsa. Pour another ½ cup of salsa and lime juice over the chicken and set the IP to manual for 22 minutes.
Once it finishes cooking manually release the pressure, remove the chicken and then shred in a bowl with 2 forks. It is literally that quick and easy!
Slow cooker: To make this in the crockpot put the chicken and the salsa in the crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
Quick Tips + Notes
- What cut of chicken? Boneless chicken thighs or breast is best! I love chicken thighs because they have more flavor and don’t dry out as easily.
- How spicy? The spice level of this dish is determined by the kind of salsa you use. If you’re trying to make it kid-friendly you can choose a mild salsa. If you’re more of a spice lover you can use a medium or hot salsa.
- What liquid to use? I usually don’t need to add liquid to my recipe, but if your salsa is very chunky and you’re worried there isn’t enough liquid you can add ½ cup of chicken broth or water.
- Can you make it from frozen chicken? You can use frozen chicken! This is a lifesaver when you forget to get the chicken out to thaw for dinner. Just increase the cooking time by another 3-5 minutes.
- How to shred? I love that I can easily shred my chicken using two forks. But you can also use your stand mixer with its beater attachments, this is especially helpful when cooking in large batches. 😉
Variations + Additions
The options are endless, but here are a few different variations you can make with this recipe.
- Salsa verde: If you want to mix it up you can cook this recipe substituting the normal salsa for salsa verde. Salsa verde is a salsa with a base of tomatillos instead of tomatoes, giving it a bright green color.
- Lime: for salsa lime chicken try doing ¼ cup lime juice for every cup of salsa
- Mango/Pineapple salsa: If you want to mix it up you can cook this recipe substituting the normal salsa for mango salsa.
- Cream cheese: You can make creamy salsa chicken if you follow the instructions like normal for the salsa chicken and then after shredding you let the 8 oz of cream cheese melt into the chicken and salsa on the warm setting of the IP. This makes for great tacos cause its a mix of hot and creamy! I suggesting bringing the cream cheese to room temperature before adding to the Instant Pot.
- Black bean soup: Use your leftover salsa chicken to make a soup typically made in the crockpot with black beans, shredded chicken, salsa, corn, and chicken broth. Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for about 2-3 hours so that the flavors become combined and everything is warmed.
- Casserole: This flavorful chicken would be great to incorporate into any Mexican casserole. For example, our chicken tortilla casserole would be great with salsa chicken.
- Tacos: This chicken makes an excellent filling for chicken tacos in either soft tortillas or fried corn tortillas!
- Rice bowl: Add this chicken over top of rice, add salsa, guacamole, tomatoes or any other topping to make a tasty rice bowl!
Salsa Chicken Storing Tips
Storing: Store any leftover chicken in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Freezing: If you would prefer to make a huge batch of this chicken and freeze some of it for later make sure to use the chicken within 3 months. Store in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.
Reheating: Let chicken thaw in the fridge overnight and then incorporate it into another awesome recipe like enchiladas, burritos, taquitos, etc.
I would suggest either serving this in tacos or serving this over rice as a main dish. Or go all out and make our homemade flour tortillas too! And don’t forget our restaurant-style black beans or 5 minute restaurant-style salsa!!!
For more Instant Pot chicken recipes, check out:
- Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken
- Instant Pot Fiest Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Recipe
- 1 lb chicken thighs - boneless, skinless
- 2 tsp seasoning salt - I used Trader Joe's chili lime blend
- 1 cup salsa - fresh or jarred (if using fresh, make sure to blended a bit)
- 1 lime - juiced
- Add the chicken back to the Instant Pot. Season with seasoning blend. Pour salsa and lime juice over top.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook on the MANUAL setting for 22 minutes.
- After the chicken has fully cooked, carefully turn the steam release vent (I always do this with a long oven mitt on) and let the pressure come down manually. Once the valve pops, remove the lid and shred the chicken in the pot with two forks.