This delicious spicy shredded Instant Pot salsa chicken recipe is equally perfect for weeknight dinners and weekend meal prep! It’s easy to prepare, super versatile, and freezes well. Just 4 ingredients and under 40 minutes prep to table!
Oh, hey there! I know it’s been awhile — back to school and all that entails with five kids seems to have gotten the best of me for the past month or so…
But I’m back with a salsa chicken recipe that’s going to rock your world! It’s seriously, SERIOUSLY good, uber versatile, and super simple to prepare in your Instant Pot.
You do have an Instant Pot now, right? I mean, with all of the Amazon sales, I really hope you’ve invested in one. And if you’re still on the fence, I can almost guarantee a stellar deal will be coming up on Black Friday! Yes, I did go there… I’m in no hurry to wish away summer, but all the lovely fall things and holidays are right around the corner.
If you’re one of those people with an Instant Pot still sitting in the box from Prime Day (no judgment here — I was you a few years back), let me encourage you to pull it out and first make these Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs. It’s the perfect beginner recipe, and I’ll walk you through the process step by step.
When you’ve got the HB eggs down and are ready to move on, it’s a tie between this delicious Instant Pot shredded chicken and these Instant Pot sweet potatoes.
Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
So what makes this Instant Pot salsa chicken so awesome? Let me count the ways:
- Salsa chicken is a great all-purpose recipe. Use it in salads, tacos, nachos, burrito bowls, etc. Or simply eat it straight up!
- It goes from prep to table in under 40 minutes, with most of the time being hands off, so you can focus your attention elsewhere.
- Salsa chicken freezes well! So if you’re not sure you can finish the leftovers, simple toss the remainder in a Ziploc bag and freeze it for later.
- It can easily be made ahead, making it ideal for meal prep. Make a double batch on Sunday, eat half for dinner, then portion out the remainder to have lunches ready to go for the week!
Oh, AND you can even make this salsa chicken using frozen chicken breasts! (I know you were wondering this.) Just add an additional 5 minutes to the cook time, and you’ll want to plan on the Instant Pot taking slightly longer to come to pressure.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
One more thing before we get to the actual salsa chicken recipe — let me just share an important tip for Instant Pot shredded chicken in general…
USE A TRIVET. I hear SO many complaints from people about how their Instant Pot chicken breasts have turned out dry and lackluster, and I can pretty much guarantee that it’s because they didn’t use a trivet when making them. The goal is not to boil the chicken, but to pressure steam it, which requires the chicken breasts to sit above the liquid, not in it.
My Instant Pot came with a steamer insert, but if yours did not, you can pick one up very inexpensively. In the meantime, ball up some aluminum foil and place it under each chicken breast to achieve the same effect.
Salsa Chicken Recipe
Are you ready to make the most flavorful and tender salsa chicken ever? We’re talking layers of flavor here, folks — not simply dumping some salsa over a few chicken breasts and calling it good.
1st LAYER: chicken stock — pour 3/4 cup of chicken stock into the bottom of the Instant Pot insert.
2nd LAYER: chicken breasts — place the trivet (or balled up aluminum foil) in the Instant Pot and lay your desired number of chicken breasts on it.
3rd LAYER: salsa/seasoning mixture — top with a 16-oz. container of restaurant style salsa mixed with a tablespoon of taco seasoning, reserving about a half cup to stir in after shredding.
TIP: As far as taco seasoning goes, you can use store bought, but I wholeheartedly recommend this homemade taco seasoning. And for the salsa, I strongly prefer the fresh restaurant-style salsa you can find in the refrigerated produce section, but feel free to use your favorite brand.
Secret for the Best Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
Finally, the real secret for making this the best-tasting shredded salsa chicken is in how it’s finished. While I’m shredding the chicken, I switch the Instant Pot to the soup setting to reduce the remaining chicken broth and salsa down. Then I stir the shredded chicken back into it, along with the remaining half cup of the salsa mixture. This adds depth of flavor, as well as a pop of freshness from the uncooked salsa.
We love to serve this spicy salsa chicken over brown rice (see: cooking brown rice in Instant Pot) with a few wedges of lime to squeeze over the top!
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What Goes With Salsa Chicken?
This salsa chicken is soooo versatile and can be served with a wide variety of sides for a complete meal. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Coconut Milk Rice — we use this as a base for burrito bowls!
- Instant Pot Brown Rice — the perfect base for when you’re trying to sneak some more whole grains into your diet!
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes — serve these alongside or fill them up with the salsa chicken!
- Loaded Guacamole Salad — give me ALL the avocados, please!
- Coconut Lime Quinoa — also an ideal base for burrito bowls!
- Mexican Sweet Corn Cake — just like Chi-Chi’s made it, adore this!
- Grilled Avocado with Pico de Gallo — grilled avocado is totally da bomb!