This delicious spicy shredded Instant Pot salsa chicken recipe is equally perfect for busy weeknights and weekend meal prep! It’s easy to prepare, super versatile, and freezes well. Just 4 ingredients, 5 minutes of prep, and 30 minutes of cook and finishing time!
Easy Salsa Chicken
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 an easy 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. My whole family adores this easy meal, and really, that NEVER happens!!
By the way, you do have an Instant Pot now, right? I mean, with all of the Amazon sales, I really hope you’ve invested in one. However, if you’re still unsure about whether to spend the money, let me tell you why this easy weeknight dinner recipe alone makes it worth it!
Pressure cooker salsa chicken in the Instant Pot is absolutely SO much easier than making a baked salsa chicken recipe in the oven. With just a few simple ingredients, the boneless chicken breasts always turn out tender and juicy. They’re cooked to the perfect internal temperature without the need for a meat thermometer. AND it’s nearly effortless to shred the chicken because it’s so succulent!
Simple Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners
On the other hand, if you’re one of those people who DID buy an Instant Pot, but it’s still sitting in the box from a Prime Day long past, I just want to encourage you to pull it out of the box and take the plunge. NO judgment here at all — I was you a few years back! But I can almost guarantee you’re going to fall in love with it…
Start by making these Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs. This is the perfect easy recipe for beginners, and I walk you through making them step by step.
When you’ve got the HB eggs down and are ready to move on, it’s a tie between this flavorful Instant Pot salsa chicken and this 5-ingredient cream cheese pasta. Totally your choice, but again, I will walk you through the steps from start to finish. You’ll be an Instant Pot pro in no time!!
Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
So what makes this Instant Pot shredded chicken such a great recipe? Let me count the ways:
- Shredded salsa chicken is a great all-purpose recipe. This low carb recipe (if you care about that) is ideal in salads, tacos, nachos, burrito bowls, etc. Or simply eat it straight up!
- This simple shredded chicken Instant Pot recipe goes from prep to dinner table in under 40 minutes, with minimal effort. Most of the time is hands off, so you can focus your attention elsewhere.
- Salsa chicken freezes well! So if you’re not sure you can finish the leftovers, simply toss the remainder in a Ziploc bag and freeze it for later.
- This Mexican shredded chicken recipe can easily be made ahead, making it ideal for meal prep. Make a double batch of this simple recipe on Sunday, eat half for dinner, then portion out the remainder to have lunches ready to go for the week!
- EASY CLEAN UP!! ‘Nuff said…
Shredded Chicken Recipe With Frozen Chicken In Instant Pot
Oh, AND you can even make this shredded salsa chicken using frozen chicken breasts! I know you were wondering this… Right?!
Just add an additional 5 minutes to the cook time when using frozen chicken! Keep in mind that you’ll also want to plan on the Instant Pot taking a few extra minutes to come to pressure, but this is still WAY faster than waiting for the chicken to thaw first.
Instant Pot Chicken Recipes Trivet Tip
One more thing before we get to the actual salsa chicken recipe — let me just share an important tip for Instant Pot chicken recipes in general…
USE A TRIVET. I hear SO many complaints from people on how their Instant Pot chicken breasts have turned out dry and tough, 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 up a basic trivet very inexpensively. In the meantime, ball up some aluminum foil and place it under each chicken breast to achieve the same effect.
Flavorful Salsa Chicken Recipe
I don’t know about you, but I’ve made a lot of so-called easy chicken recipes that were totally boring and bland. But NOT this Mexican shredded 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 in your Instant Pot and calling it good.
1st LAYER: chicken stock — pour 3/4 cup of chicken stock into the bottom of the Instant Pot insert for robust chicken flavor.
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 mix, reserving about a half cup to stir in after shredding.
PRO TIP: As far as taco seasoning goes, you can use store bought, but for best flavor, I wholeheartedly recommend this homemade taco seasoning. I blend it with a combination of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, Mexican oregano, and black pepper. No salt, no sugar, so it’s much better than the store-bought stuff!!
As for the salsa, I strongly prefer the fresh cantina-style salsa you can find in the refrigerated produce section at the grocery store for this salsa chicken Instant Pot recipe. But feel free to use your favorite shelf stable jar of salsa or even fresh homemade salsa.
Secret for the Best Instant Pot Mexican Chicken
Finally, the REAL SECRET for making this the best-tasting shredded Mexican chicken is in how it’s finished. Before I use a couple forks to shred the cooked chicken breasts, 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 half cup of remaining salsa mixture. The uncooked salsa adds delicious depth of flavor, as well as a pop of freshness!
Versatile Mexican Shredded Chicken In Instant Pot
This flavorful chicken and salsa recipe is super versatile… We love to serve this spicy Mexican Instant Pot chicken over brown rice (see: how to cook brown rice in Instant Pot) or white rice (see: coconut milk rice). You can also sprinkle this chicken with salsa recipe over tortilla chips and add some melted cheese to make nachos, AND it makes amazing salsa chicken tacos.
Or occasionally, when I’m feeling super lazy, I just serve the warm chicken salsa straight up with a boatload of toppings. Let your imagination go wild, but here are some of our family favorite garnishes.
Topping Ideas For Salsa Chicken
- grilled bell peppers and onions
- chopped green onions and/or fresh cilantro
- basic black beans
- guacamole (extra for me, please!)
- a dollop of sour cream
- shredded cheese: Mexican cheese blend, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, etc.
- more salsa: salsa verde, chunky salsa, mild salsa, burn-your-mouth-off salsa (my fave, LOL), etc.
Don’t forget a few wedges of lime to squeeze some fresh lime juice over the top!
What To Serve With Salsa Chicken?
This Mexican shredded chicken Instant Pot recipe 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:
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice — the perfect easy side dish to serve alongside this spicy shredded chicken or any Mexican food!
- 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 — an ideal base for taco burrito bowls!
- Mexican Sweet Corn Cake — just like Chi-Chi’s made it, my entire family is crazy for this!
- Grilled Avocado with Pico de Gallo — grilled avocado is totally da bomb!
P.S. If you love this salsa Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe, I’m certain you’ll also ADORE this Instant Pot Dr Pepper pulled pork! Try it and let me know what you think…