Instant Pot Shredded Salsa Chicken
Use this quick shredded chicken for tacos, salads, rice bowls, or burritos. You only need chicken, salsa, and seasonings! Everything goes right into the instant pot!
We eat a lot of tacos or taco-inspired food around here (burrito bowls, rice bowls, and taco salads mostly). It’s really the one category of food (can taco-inspired be a category???) that I am never tired of. Never. David will occasionally wonder “tacos again?” and the answer is yes. There’s no such thing as too many tacos, friend.
I love this Instant Pot Shredded Salsa when I’m feeling that taco inspiration. You can make it with both frozen or fresh chicken. Whichever you have is totally fine! We’ll just adjust the cooking time based on which chicken you use.
Plus the ingredient list is simple. Chicken, salsa, and a few seasonings. That’s it!
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):
- Chicken breasts
- Cilantro (optional)
This chicken is so very easy. Just add all ingredients to the Instant Pot except the cilantro. Seal the Instant Pot. Set it to Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on the model Instant Pot you have) on high pressure for 20 minutes if chicken is thawed or 25 minutes if chicken is frozen.
Frozen or thawed chicken?
It’s up to you! If you use frozen chicken you’ll set your Instant Pot timer for 25 minutes. If your chicken is already thawed you’ll go for 20 minutes.
Natural release or quick release?
A quick release is best for foods that cook fast like vegetables. You don’t want them to continue cooking any longer than absolutely necessary or they’ll be mush.
A natural release allows the cooking to stop gradually. This is ideal for large cuts of meat (think of it like letting your meat rest) because it will give you more tender meat. This is also a good idea for large pots of soup so you don’t end up with foam shooting out of the valve.
For shredded chicken you can use either method. If using quick release you may find that some of the chicken breasts are harder to shred than others but once shredded (or chopped) you won’t noticed a difference. Thighs are most likely to be tender and shred easiest.
Does this chicken freeze well?
Yes! I actually have a bag of this chicken in my freezer as I type this!
Just place the finished Instant Pot Shredded Salsa Chicken in a freezer bag or other freezer safe container. If using a bag be sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing. This chicken will be good in the freezer for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy it just thaw it out and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Slow Cooker instructions (if instant pot isn’t your thing)
- Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Add all other ingredients on top.
- Cook on high with lid on for 3 – 4 hours or low for 6 – 8 hours.
- Remove chicken from slow cooker and use a fork to shred it. Place shredded chicken back in the slow cooker. Stir. Add chopped cilantro (optional).
How to serve this
The obvious way to serve this Instant Pot Shredded Salsa Chicken is of course in tortillas. Make tacos by loading tortillas with this chicken plus lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and/or avocado. I personally love white rice, black beans, feta cheese, and sriracha on my tacos too. (I know, I know, they’re fully loaded!)
Want to do something a bit different but still super satiating? Create a taco salad with this chicken by serving it over lettuce with all those yummy taco toppings I mentioned in paragraph above.
And of course you can’t go wrong with adding this chicken to cauliflower rice, white rice, or Skillet Breakfast Potatoes. Again, with all the taco toppings I mentioned above.
Any of these delicious options can be thrown together even on a busy weeknight!
More chicken recipes like this:
Instant Pot Shredded Salsa Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs (boneless and skinless), frozen or fresh
- 1 cup salsa, Use your favorite brand.
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
Optional: stir in chopped fresh cilantro after cooking
- Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot except the cilantro.
- Seal the Instant Pot. Set it to Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on the model Instant Pot you have) on high pressure for 20 minutes if chicken is thawed or 25 minutes if chicken is frozen.
- Carefully release the steam once done or do a natural release.
- Remove chicken from Instant Pot and use a fork to shred it. Place shredded chicken back in the Instant Pot. You'll see quite a bit of liquid but the chicken will absorb a lot of it once shredded. Taste and add more salt if desired. Stir in chopped cilantro (optional).