Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is full of salsa verde, taco seasoning mix, Mexican flavors, and can be ready in under 30 minutes! This pressure cooker recipe is a quick, easy, and healthy dinner dish to make for tacos, burrito bowls, or to serve with your favorite salad.
Tex-Mex Shredded Salsa Chicken
Growing up in Texas, there has been a tremendous influence from Mexican cuisine on my style of cooking.
Whether that means adding a dash of cayenne pepper to a Butternut Squash Soup recipe, including a bit of jalapeño in some Homemade Honey Cornbread, or spicing up some Crock-Pot Shredded Chicken with a jar of salsa verde.
All savory food tends to taste a little bit better, and a lot more like home to me, with a touch of Tex-Mex flavors.
The inspiration for this recipe actually came one night when I was crushed for time and really wanted a tender, juicy, shredded chicken recipe to serve as tacos.
This Crock-Pot salsa shredded chicken recipe has always been a huge success in the past, so why not throw it in the pressure cooker and see what happens!
Well, the first batch came out a little too watery (after all, slow cooker recipes tend to evaporate a bit more liquid than pressure cooker recipes do!) but showed promise as it was literally falling apart as I was shredding it with a fork!
So with a little tweaking, this Instant Pot Shredded Salsa Chicken recipe was born and was served as these Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos! It is full of delightful Mexican flavors and is so tender and easy-to-shred.
There are only a few ingredients for this shredded chicken recipe, and they all can be easily located in your local grocery store.
- Chicken – Read below for more details about what type is best to use.
- Red onion – A sweet or white onion will substitute well.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves are recommended, but 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder can also be substituted.
- Taco Seasoning Mix – This homemade taco seasoning was used in this recipe. You can also use a store bought kind, but may need to adjust the amount of additional salt you add.
- Salsa – There are a few different varieties of salsa you can use and you can find out more information about those below.
Different Types of Salsa
A mild salsa verde, or green sauce, was used in this recipe. (The Herdez brand to be exact.)
If you like your salsa chicken to be a bit spicier, feel free to use a medium salsa.
Don’t have salsa verde on hand? A regular red salsa will work great, too.
What Cut of Chicken to Use?
This recipe was originally created using organic skinless, boneless chicken breasts. (ButcherBox has the best organic chicken and is what was used in this recipe.)
However, if you happen to have thighs (bone-in or boneless) you can always use that instead.
How to Make
While the entire recipe is outlined below, here is a general idea of how to make this easy pressure cooker recipe with salsa:
- Set a 6-quart Instant Pot to the sauté function and sauté onions in oil for 2-3 minutes.
- Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for 1 minute.
- Scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot to ensure there are no bits stuck to the bottom and add chicken.
- Sprinkle taco seasoning mix and salt on top of the chicken and pour in salsa verde and water.
- Cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. Do not open the Instant Pot for 10 minutes after the timer goes off for a 10-minute NPR.
- Open the pressure release valve and let any excess steam out.
- Shred the chicken let sit in the liquid for 5-10 minutes before serving.
The best way to shred is by using two forks. Place them on a piece of the chicken breast and pull apart in opposing directions. Repeat this process until the entire amount is shredded.
There are also a few simple tips and tricks you can follow that will ensure your chicken shreds easily and stays juicy and tender.
- It is best to shred chicken when it is still warm but cool enough to touch.
- Using two forks is the easiest way, but you can also shred it with your hands.
- Immediately after shredding, put it back into the juice so it does not dry out.
There are so many different ways you can serve this shredded salsa chicken. A few of my favorite meals to use include:
- As shredded chicken tacos with a bit of avocado and cotija cheese. (See above.)
- In a burrito bowl with some caramelized red onions. (See below.)
- Or on top of your favorite taco salad.
Can I make this in an 8-quart Instant Pot?
Yes. This recipe can be made in an 8-quart Instant Pot without any changes.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes, you can double the recipe. Simply double all of the ingredients and use the exact same cook time if using an 8-quart Instant Pot and increase the cook time by 2-3 minutes if using a 6-quart Instant Pot.
Try to still submerge the chicken breasts in the liquid as much as possible for the most tender texture.
Storing and Freezing
How long can I store leftovers in the refrigerator?
If you have any leftover shredded chicken, it will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Does this recipe freeze well?
This recipe freezes exceptionally well if you shred the chicken first and then place it in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag. This recipe will freeze well for up to 4-6 months.
Other Healthy Mexican Recipes:
Instant Pot Shredded Salsa Chicken
Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is full of salsa verde, taco seasoning mix, Mexican flavors, and can be ready in under 30 minutes! This Instant Pot shredded chicken is a quick, easy, and healthy dinner recipe to make for tacos, burrito bowls, or to serve with your favorite salad.
- 1 ½ lbs. chicken breasts
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ red onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix
- ¼ - ½ tsp. salt to taste
- ¾ cup salsa verde mild
- ¼ cup water
Set a 6-quart Instant Pot to the sauté function. Add oil and diced red onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onions become translucent.
Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for 1 minute. Turn off the Instant Pot.
Scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot to ensure there are no bits stuck to the bottom. Add chicken breasts on top of the onions.
Sprinkle taco seasoning mix and salt on top of the chicken.
Pour in salsa verde and water. Pick up chicken breasts to let some of the liquid get underneath them.
Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is set to sealed.
Cook chicken for 10 minutes on high pressure. Do not open the Instant Pot for 10 minutes after the timer goes off for a 10-minute NPR.
Open the pressure release valve and let any excess steam out.
Shred the chicken with two forks and let sit in the liquid for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serve salsa shredded chicken as tacos, in a burrito bowl, or on top of your favorite salad. Enjoy!
- *If you would like your chicken to be slightly spicier, you can use a medium salsa instead of mild.
- Regular salsa can also be used in place of the salsa verde.
- Homemade taco seasoning mix was used in this recipe, but a packaged mix can also be used. Make sure to adjust the amount of salt added accordingly.