I know how it goes… You’ve been running around all day, from this place to that place. Shuffling kids back and forth to and from school and activities. Grocery shopping. Paying bills. Cleaning house. etc. etc…
Once the end of the day rolls around, you’re exhausted. And, by the time the whole family is back home, settled in and ready for dinner, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen trying to put together a good dinner. You need something easy that can be ready in no time. This Instant Pot Salsa Chicken recipe is here to save your day! It’s so fast and so easy that you’ll regularly come back to this recipe on those crazy weeknights.
The best part about this recipe – you probably always have the ingredients on hand. Plus, you can use this salsa chicken as a base for an almost unlimited number of easy dinnertime meals. What other recipe can give you so much with so little?
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How To Make Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
This is one of those recipes that you will always keep in your back pocket ready to use on those days when you just don’t have a lot of time to spend cooking in the kitchen. Or, maybe you have the time but you’re not in the mood to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. That happens too! Well, this recipe is here to save you on those days.
Let’s get started making this easy Instant Pot dump meal.
Ingredients for Salsa Chicken
This recipe uses super simple ingredients that you likely already have. Chicken, salsa, and a few spices. Really, that’s all you’ll need.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: The recipe calls for 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I always try to pick out a medium to large sized chicken breasts at the super market. I don’t like to get those super giant breasts that look like they’ve been pumped full of hormones because they take forever to cook through. You could also make this recipe using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. That will actually make a much tastier salsa chicken. Plus, you’ll probably be able to pick up a pack of chicken thighs at a better price. Even so, we like to stick with the chicken breast because they are lighter and ingredients in this recipe add plenty of flavor.
- Salsa: One jar of your favorite salsa is all you’ll need. If you’re like us, you likely always have a jar of salsa in the pantry. We like to use a very flavorful salsa for this recipe and have found that Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa really packs a punch. When the whole family (included little ones) will be eating from the chicken, I’ll use the mild version but when it’s just me, my hubby and the older kids, we always go for the Habanero Hot.
- Chili Powder, Cumin, and Ground Black Pepper: You actually don’t have to use these spices but I feel that they amp up the flavor that much more. The chili powder and cumin really add a flare of Tex-Mex.
See, I bet you already have these ingredients.
Add the chicken to the pot
First, add the four chicken breasts to the Instant Pot. I use a pair of tongs when handling raw chicken because I hate touching it with my bare hands. It’s just too slimy and gross for my liking 🙂
Add the salsa
Next, take your jar of salsa and dump it into the pot on top of the chicken breasts. This will be all the liquid that you will be adding to the pot. Don’t worry, you won’t get a burn message. As the chicken heats up it also releases a lot of liquid. With the juices released from the chicken plus the salsa, there will be more than enough liquid in the Instant Pot.
Add the spices
Now it’s time to add the chili powder, cumin, ground black pepper, and salt to the pot. Just sprinkle them over the salsa in the pot. There is no need to mix anything. All the ingredients will mix as the chicken cooks in the pot.
Close the pot and set the cook time
Place the lid on the pot, close it, and then set the pressure release valve to “Sealing”. Set the Instant Pot to cook for 10 minutes on “Manual” / “Pressure Cook”, “High Pressure”.
Perform a 5-minute natural pressure release
Once the cook time has completed, allow for a 5-minute natural pressure release and then release any remaining pressure from the pot. Once all of the pressure has been released, open the pot and then let the cooked chicken breasts sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before attempting to shred them. This will give the liquid in the pot a chance to stop boiling and allow the chicken breast to start cooling down a little. Otherwise, you can end up burning yourself when shredding the chicken.
Shred the chicken
Using a hand mixer set to medium speed, slowly begin shredding the chicken. Once about half of the chicken has been shredded, you can adjust the speed on the hand mixer higher to speed up the process. Continue shredding the chicken until all of the breasts are fully shredded and there are no longer any large pieces of chicken left in the pot.
Serve and enjoy your salsa chicken
See, that was super fast and simple. Now it’s time to serve up this salsa chicken however you like. And that’s the wonderful thing about this chicken. There are so many ways to serve it. On those really crazy nights where I’m really in a rush, we’ll usually serve it up on warm tortillas with some pico and cheese.
Now that you’ve gone through the step-by-step instructions, you’ll want to head over to the Instant Pot Salsa Chicken recipe. There you’ll find the full printable recipe card and tons of great tips and serving suggestions for turning this shredded chicken into a quick and wonderful meal that your family will love. I hope you have a chance to make this wonderful dish. It really has saved me on so many nights when I didn’t know what to make for dinner. If you do try this recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know how it was.