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Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken – Use the pressure cooker to make salsa chicken that is tender, juicy, and flavorful.  Great for tacos, enchiladas, salads, quesadillas and more! 

Chicken is probably the most used protein out there.  It is cheap, easy to cook, and is used in pretty much every type of cuisine.  But the thing about chicken is, it can get over cooked and dry out very quickly, especially if you are using chicken breasts.  Which is why I really like using the Instant Pot to make shredded chicken, it keeps it tender and juicy every time!  Plus you can just turn it on and let it go. 

Salsa Chicken made in the Instant Pot


You all know that I love Mexican food, and this chicken is one of my favorite easy recipes to make during the week.  I can make a big batch and use it in recipes and lunches for a couple of days.  Plus it is ready so fast in the Instant Pot.  I mean, you can easily do it in the crock pot or even the oven, but I think the pressure cooker just does a better job of keeping the chicken moist and tender.  

This is one of the few times that I like to use jarred salsa and think it works the best.  If I am dipping chips, I am all over this Chili’s Salsa recipe, but for this I think it is too thin and doesn’t coat the chicken nearly as well. So use whatever jarred salsa you like, and if you like things spicy feel free to use extra and hot variety or even add in a few jalapenos to the mix. 

Why You’ll Love This Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

  • Easy – doesn’t get much easier than 3 ingredients!
  • Fast – chicken cooks really fast in the Instant Pot, even with waiting for it to come up to pressure, it is less time than baking the chicken and significantly less than the crockpot.
  • Make Big Batches – you can add more chicken and double this recipe with no added cooking time, so it is great for big get togethers or if you just want to do meal prep.
  • Versatile – you can use this chicken in a million different ways, so it is great to have in the fridge for quick lunches or dinner on busy days.
Shredded salsa chicken made in the Instant Pot

What You’ll Need

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the FULL PRINTABLE recipe card.

  • Chicken Breasts – I personally like chicken breasts for this, but boneless chicken thighs would work great as well, and the cooking time should remain the same.
  • Taco Seasoning – my Homemade Taco Seasoning is a great option to control the sodium and make it your own.
  • Salsa – I like to use store bought here because it is thicker and doesn’t leave the chicken watery. But if you want to use homemade, you are welcome to use your favorite.
  • Water

How To Make Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

  1. Start by adding the water to the bottom of the instant pot.  You need this to make sure the chicken doesn’t burn to the bottom as it cooks.
  2. Season chicken with the taco seasoning.
  3. Pour over the salsa.  Try to mix it around and make sure there is some under the chicken.  This also helps so it doesn’t burn.  
  4. Cover and let it cook for 12-17 minutes depending on the type of chicken you are using (fresh or frozen).  See notes below for frozen chicken breasts.
  5. As soon as it is done cooking, quick release the pressure and then use 2 forks to shred the chicken.
Pressure cooker salsa chicken for tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas and more

Can I use Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

Yes, you can use either fresh or frozen chicken in the Instant Pot.  If you are starting with frozen chicken you will need to cook for 17 minutesFresh chicken cooks in about 12 minutes.  If your frozen chicken is super thick for clumped together you will want to add 2 minutes to the cooking time.  But standard frozen chicken breasts cook in 17 minutes. 

How to Use Salsa Chicken

There are so many uses from it aside from just eating it on its own.  Serve with Mexican Rice and you have a great dinner.  But if you want to mix it up, here are great ways to use the leftovers as well.

Can You Freeze Salsa Chicken

Yes, you definitely can.  It is great to make extra of and have in the fridge or freezer.  Store it in an air tight container in the freezer for 3-4 months and then take out to use in all sorts of different recipes. 

Chicken and salsa in the instant pot

More Instant Pot Recipes

Yield: 6

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken - Use the pressure cooker to make salsa chicken that is tender, juicy, and flavorful.  Great for tacos, enchiladas, salads, quesadillas and more! 

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken - Use the pressure cooker to make salsa chicken that is tender, juicy, and flavorful.  Great for tacos, enchiladas, salads, quesadillas and more! 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds chicken breasts (approximately 3 chicken breasts)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa


  1. Pour water into the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  2. Add chicken and season with taco seasoning.
  3. Pour salsa over chicken and mix to make sure some of the salsa is under the chicken to prevent burning.
  4. Set Instant Pot to cook under high pressure for 12 minutes if using fresh or defrosted chicken and 17 minutes if using frozen chicken breasts.
  5. Quick release pressure and remove lid once it is unlocked. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 221Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 96mgSodium 882mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 36g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Tuesday 12th of May 2020

This is so moist and flavorful! Perfect for tacos!


Monday 11th of May 2020

This is the best way to cook up chicken! So simple and easy!

Jacque Hastert

Monday 11th of May 2020

I am going to pull out my instant pot just for this chicken dinner! I love all the flavor that comes with this simple dish.


Monday 11th of May 2020

I am sure this will be our new favorite family recipe. Love it!


Friday 8th of May 2020

Sounds delicious! Making ASAP

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