Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken – This shredded chicken uses green salsa + simple seasonings to make perfectly tender chicken that’s perfect for burrito bowls, tacos, nachos, and more! (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Whole30)
Back today with another Instant Pot recipe–Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken!
I’ve been riding the Instant Pot train a lot lately (with pasta, beans, chili), mostly because it’s easy, it’s relatively hands-off, and I find that it’s a lot less likely to overcook than a slow cooker. I especially love Instant Pot recipes like this–super simple ingredients, BIG flavors, and not a lot of fuss.
You’ll toss chicken + a few flavor boosters in, set it to cook and let the Instant Pot do the rest. The result is perfectly tender, flavorful chicken that’s perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, salads, nachos, and more.
Here are the 4-5 ingredients you need to get started on this easy Instant Pot chicken recipe…
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO MY INSTANT POT SALSA VERDE CHICKEN:
This pressure cooker salsa chicken is made with really simple ingredients since salsa is so full of flavor. You’re looking at just 5 ingredients…
- BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN BREAST. My family prefers using chicken breast for Instant Pot shredded chicken, but you can totally make this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs if that’s what you prefer or have on hand! I love that it’s easy, lean protein that we pack with TONS of flavor, thanks to…
- SALSA VERDE (GREEN SALSA). I use mild store-bought salsa verde for this Salsa Verde Chicken to keep things simple, but you can totally make your own. The better quality your salsa, the better your chicken will taste, so be sure to use one you like. You can control the heat by buying mild, medium, or hot salsa–double-check your jar to get what you need! (PSST! Prefer to make your own? You can find my homemade recipe in the recipe card of this recipe.)
- SMOKED PAPRIKA. I consider this my “secret” ingredient. This yummy spice adds a smoky, deeper flavor that makes this Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken amazing. I recommend adding it if you can!
- CILANTRO. For a little freshness and color, I love to stir in some fresh cilantro after cooking the chicken. Not a cilantro fan? Feel free to skip it.
- SALT (MAYBE). Depending on how salty your salsa is, you’ll want to season this with a little salt at the end. I usually recommend adding salt in layers as you cook, but for this recipe, I suggest waiting till the end so you can see how salty the salsa made the chicken.
That’s IT! See? So easy!
YUMMY WAYS TO SERVE THIS SALSA VERDE CHICKEN:
Now that you’ve got lots of tender, flavorful shredded chicken, it’s time to use it! You can enjoy this plain, but we love adding salsa verde chicken to our meals in the form of…
- IN BURRITOS. Wrap your Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken in a flour tortilla (gluten-free or paleo, if needed!) with all your favorites.
- IN BURRITO BOWLS. All the goodies of a taco without the tortilla or shell! Build a bowl with rice or cauliflower rice, black beans, salsa verde chicken, shredded lettuce, avocado or guacamole, and tomatoes or pico de gallo.
- IN TACOS. Or, you can turn your salsa verde chicken into tacos. Mix and match your favorite goodies to build something amazing!
- ON TOSTADAS. Spread tostada shells with refried beans, then add salsa verde chicken (and cheese, if you want). Pop them under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, then top with lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes, or a yummy slaw.
- OVER NACHOS. Nachos have never looked so good! Layer tortilla chips with beans, cheese (or dairy-free cheese), and more nacho goodies, like green chiles or onions, sliced olives, etc. Pop into the oven or under the broiler to melt, then top with dollops of salsa, guac, or sour cream and dive in!
- IN TACO SALADS. Get in more greens by starting with a leafy base of greens. Pile high with your favorite taco salad fixings (like you might at Chipotle/Cafe Rio/Costa Vida). Add chicken, rice, beans, guacamole or avocados, salsa, tomatoes, etc. Whatever sounds good! Then, drizzle the whole thing with some tomatillo ranch because you’re worth it.
- IN ENCHILADAS. Tuck some salsa verde chicken into flour tortillas, roll up, and smother in green enchilada sauce & cheese. Bake until bubbly & dive in!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR THIS INSTANT POT SALSA VERDE CHICKEN
A TIP FOR SHREDDING! Two forks will totally do the job, but if you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, you may not have heard this tip yet–try shredding your chicken with a hand mixer! It works! In this case, you’ll want to work carefully since it’s hot, but you can put your hand mixer in with the beaters attached and blend away. (A stand mixer also works, but I prefer a hand mixer here since I can just put it down into the Instant Pot and save myself a dish.)
WHAT SIZE INSTANT POT DO YOU USE? I tested this in a 6-quart Instant Pot. It’s been a great size for everything we’ve made so far!
WHAT KIND OF GREEN SALSA DO YOU LIKE? Our homemade tomatillo salsa! My very favorite store-bought salsa verde is Sprouts tomatillo salsa. It’s mild-medium in heat, has great flavor, and works well in all kinds of dishes. Otherwise, I like Trader Joe’s and Target brands!
CAN I MAKE THIS WITH RED SALSA INSTEAD? I think so, though I haven’t tried it yet. It should work just fine as far as cook time if you’re swapping red salsa for the green salsa. The only real difference will be the flavor.
CAN I USE FROZEN CHICKEN BREAST? I haven’t tested this using frozen chicken breast yet, so I don’t feel comfortable advising you on the time. (If you try it this way, I’d love to know how it goes!)
CAN I FREEZE THIS? You sure can! Like all cooked shredded chicken you freeze, the texture will be slightly different upon thawing, but if that doesn’t bother you with other recipes, it probably won’t bother you here.
CAN I MAKE THIS IN A SLOW COOKER INSTEAD? Absolutely. Add the chicken, salsa, and smoked paprika to a slow cooker and cook 3-4 hours on HIGH. Shred + add the cilantro + salt, as needed. Voila!
CRAVING MORE? YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE:
- Tomatillo Ranch Dressing
- Our Ultimate Guide to Guacamole
- How to Make Pico de Gallo
- Chipotle Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Salsa Verde Chicken & Rice Soup
HELPFUL FOR THIS INSTANT POT SALSA VERDE CHICKEN:
Originally shared May 2020. Updated July 2022.