Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Made with only 4 simple ingredients, this easy Instant Pot Salsa Chicken recipe is sure to become a new staple in your weeknight dinner routine! It’s a great base for tacos, burrito bowls, salads, nachos, and more. 

Easy Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Recipe

If you’re looking to pinch a penny with your weeknight dinners, this is the recipe for you! Made with just chicken, taco seasoning, salsa, and chicken broth, this easy-to-make chicken is as budget-friendly as it is delicious!

Using an Instant Pot to make this chicken is the reason why it’s so quick and easy. As much as we love a good slow cooker recipe, sometimes you want shredded chicken and only have thirty minutes as opposed to eight hours to make it. With the Instant Pot, you get tender, juicy, flavorful chicken in no time at all!

The best part about this easy salsa chicken recipe is how many ways there are to use it. Serve it over rice in your burrito bowl, stuffed in a tortilla for taco night or in a light Mexican salad. No matter how you serve it, we promise you will love every last bite of this flavorful shredded chicken. 

Ingredients for salsa chicken on parchment paper.

What You’ll Need

This simple chicken dinner idea only needs a handful of ingredients. Here’s a quick overview. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • Chicken Broth – Chicken broth adds more flavor, but water can also be used in a pinch. 
  • Taco Seasoning – For the BEST results, use our favorite Homemade Taco Seasoning! You’ll get all of the flavor, but no preservatives and half the sodium of a store-bought packet.
  • Chicken – Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. 
  • Salsa – If you don’t have a ton of time, feel free to use a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles. You can use the mild version if you don’t love it too spicy, or the hot Rotel if you prefer it spicy. However, if you have a few minutes to spare, our Homemade Pico de Gallo is SO good in this recipe! 

How to Make Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Grab your instant pot and the trivet (or steamer basket) and lets get started!

  • Pour the broth. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the instant pot and place the trivet into the instant pot. 
  • Make it flavorful! Season the chicken with taco seasoning and place on the trivet. Top the chicken with Rotel. 
  • Cook the chicken. Place the lid on the instant pot and lock in place. Set the steam release knob to sealed. Select Manual (or Pressure Cook) and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Don’t forget, it will take about 10 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure and then the timer to start counting down. 
  • Natural Pressure Release: Allow the instant pot to naturally release the pressure by letting it sit untouched for 10 minutes after the countdown timer ends. Once 10 minutes pass, release any pressure left in the instant pot and open the instant pot.
  • Enjoy! Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Serve immediately, as desired!

How To Serve Salsa Chicken

Here are just a few of the best ways to enjoy salsa chicken:

  • Burritos or Burrito Bowls: Serve it with some Cilantro Lime Rice in a burrito bowl with all the toppings (sour cream, guacamole, beans, shredded lettuce, cheese, limes, etc).
  • Quesadillas: Use it as your filling with some cheese in a quesadilla. We like to use pepper jack cheese and black beans with this salsa chicken in quesadillas.
  • Salad: Toss it with some fresh greens to make a filling, flavorful Mexican style salad. We like to add all the toppings: black beans, corn, sour cream, guacamole, lime juice, crispy tortilla strips, etc.
  • Tacos: This chicken makes great tacos! Wrap it up in whatever tortillas you like and all the toppings! Serve it with some rice and beans on the side for a filling, budget friendly dinner.
  • Chicken Skillet Enchiladas: You can also use this salsa chicken in our favorite Chicken Skillet Enchiladas!
Salsa chicken shredded on a cutting board with cilantro on top.

Helpful Tips

  • Avoid the burn notice. To avoid getting the dreaded burn notice, use the trivet that came with your Instant Pot. You can place the chicken directly on it and this keeps the chicken from sitting flat against the bottom and causing the burn issue.
  • Avoid drying out the chicken. Use the broth to keep your chicken from drying out. Instead of tossing out the leftover broth, store it in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. and use in other recipes.
  • Chunky Salsa. If you choose to not use a can of Rotel or Homemade Pico De Gallo, make sure the salsa you are using is a chunky salsa. A thin salsa will not do well in this recipe, because it will just run off the chicken when cooking it in the instant pot. A chunkier salsa sits right on top of the chicken

Can I Use Frozen Chicken Breasts?

Yes! Prepare the frozen chicken just as you would fresh chicken breasts. I like to make sure the breasts aren’t frozen together, so I let them thaw a little and then separate them with a fork or knife. This is so the chicken doesn’t come out under-cooked, which is the last thing you want. 

Also, you will need to add a few extra minutes onto the cooking time since the breasts are frozen and not fresh. I cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot for 18 minutes at high pressure.

Instant pot salsa chicken shredded on a cutting board with cilantro.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Let any leftovers cool, then transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.

When you are ready to reheat some of your chicken, simply spoon the amount you want to eat into a microwave-safe bowl and zap it until warmed through. The time required will depend on how much you are heating at once. A single serving will usually reheat in about 1 minute and 30 seconds. I recommend pausing halfway through to give the chicken a stir and make sure the middle heats up too.

Can I Freeze Extras?

Yes! Instant Pot chicken salsa freezes really well. Let it cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight freezer-safe container. The chicken will keep for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing single servings so it is easier to use your frozen extras. Defrost overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to use the chicken.

Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Shredded chicken with tomatoes on a cutting board with a fork picking up a piece of shredded chicken.

Made with only 4 simple ingredients, this easy Instant Pot Salsa Chicken recipe is sure to become a new staple in your weeknight dinner routine! It’s a great base for tacos, burrito bowls, salads, nachos, and more. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

    1. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the instant pot and place trivet into the instant pot.
    2. Season chicken with taco seasoning and place on trivet. Top the chicken with Rotel.
    3. Place the lid on the instant pot and lock in place. Set the steam release knob to sealed. Select Manual (or Pressure Cook) and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. (Don’t forget, it will take about 10 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure and then the timer to start counting down.)
    4. Allow the instant pot to naturally release the pressure by letting it sit untouched for 10 minutes after the countdown timer ends. After the 10 minutes, release any pressure left in the instant pot.
    5. Remove the chicken and serve or shred using two forks to create shredded chicken to use in burrito bowls, tacos, salads, enchiladas, etc!

Notes

STORE: You can store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 772mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 54g

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More Instant Pot Dinner Ideas

Looking for more easy dinner ideas that use the instant pot? We have quite a few! Here are some of our favorites:

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