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Instant Pot Salsa Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Crema


With just 10-15 minutes of prep time, Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is a recipe that is perfect for weeknight eating. It’s quick to make, made with real food ingredients and delivers flavors that both kids and adults will like. When it comes to serving, we like to serve the juicy, shredded chicken bowl-style with our favorite fixings including our easy Cilantro-Lime Crema. The salsa chicken is also perfect for serving in a tortilla, burrito-style, for something a bit more hearty. You’ll also appreciate that this recipe is budget-friendly and features many pantry staple ingredients make this perfect for year-round cooking.

Bowl-style or burrito-style, this salsa chicken recipe is one you’ll want to make again-and-again

If you need a family-friendly, weeknight dinner that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen to prepare, you’ve come to the right place. As The Real Food Dietitians, all of us being moms of young children that understand the chaos which tends to occur around the dinner hour, it will always be our mission to share recipes that are short on ingredients, delicious, wholesome, approachable, and simple.

This Instant Pot Salsa Chicken fits the bill on all accounts. The chicken salsa portion of this recipe is made with just 8 ingredients including a few budget-friendly pantry staples like canned black beans, canned corn, broth, taco seasoning, and a jar of your favorite salsa. And while the Cilantro-Lime Crema is technically optional, we highly recommend you give it a try. It makes for an easy and flavorful addition to the recipe and is made with just 5 simple ingredients. As far as how you serve Instant Pot Salsa Chicken, we leave that up to you but do give some of our favorite suggestions below.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken Salsa

  • Olive oil or avocado oil – We like Primal Kitchen oils
  • Yellow onion and garlic cloves – sautéed  to bring out their best flavors
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts – You may also substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs. Butcher Box is our go-to when it comes to a source for quality meats
  • Salsa – choose your favorite salsa, mild or medium
  • Canned black beans – we recommend no salt added
  • Canned sweet cornwe recommend no salt added
  • Low-sodium chicken broth – our homemade bone broth is perfect for this recipe and adds a boost of nutrition
  • Taco seasoning – any taco seasoning will work. We always have our Homemade Taco Seasoning which works wonderfully in this recipe and is made with real food ingredients
  • Fine salt and black pepper

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How to make Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

  1. Select the ‘saute’ function on the iInstant Pot. Once hot, add the oil and diced onion. Stir occasionally cooking for 3-4 minutes or until onions start to become tender. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. 
  2. Next, place the remaining ingredients in the Instant Pot. Put the lid on and make sure the vent is sealed.
  3. Set Instant Pot to ‘High Pressure’ setting then set the cooking time for 10 minutes.
  4. Once cooking is completed, allow natural releasing of pressure for 3-5 minutes then switch the valve to ‘vent’.
  5. When all of the pressure releases and the lid unlocks, remove the chicken and shred the chicken with two forks. Toss chicken back into the pot to coat with sauce.

Confused about poultry labeling? Check this post out to learn all about how to choose the best chicken in the grocery store. 

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken after cooking in the instant pot, ready to be served.

Ingredients for Cilantro-Lime Crema

Cilantro-Lime Crema makes for a delicious addition to not only this salsa chicken recipe but also any of your favorite Mexican-inspired recipes like our Instant Pot Barbacoa, Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos, and Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken

  • Sour cream – for dairy-free use a dairy-free sour cream such as Forager
  • Lime – juice of 1 lime + ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Honey – may substitute agave or maple syrup
  • Garlic clove – may substitute ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 
  • Fine salt

How to make Cilantro-Lime Crema

  1. Cilantro-lime crema is easy to make. Simply add the ingredients to a small blender cup or small food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Store in a mason jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Cilantro-Lime Crema in the mason jar with a gold spoon, garnished with lime zest.

How to serve Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

As noted above, there are endless ways you can serve Instant Pot Salsa Chicken. We like to serve them bowl-style on a bed of cooked rice or cauliflower rice with all kinds of fixings (or whatever we have on hand). A couple of other options include serving the tender, shredded chicken, burrito-style or tucked in lettuce wraps and again with your favorite fixings.

Fixings to serve with Instant Pot Salsa Chicken:

To give you a little ‘fixing’ inspiration, here are some of our favorites:

  •  Avocado or guacamole
  • Cilantro-lime crema
  • Thinly sliced or pickled jalapeño
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Pickled red onion or sliced red onion
  • Crushed blue corn tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese or your favorite cheese
  • Fresh diced tomatoes

How to store or freeze Salsa Chicken leftovers

To store the salsa chicken leftovers, simply place the cooled meat in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken in a speckled white bowl served with cauliflower rice, avocado, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño and topped with cilantro-lime crema.

Other Instant Pot weeknight dinner recipes you’ll love:

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Crema

With just 10-15 minutes of prep time Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is a recipe that is perfect for weeknight eating. It’s quick to make, made with real food ingredients and delivers flavors that both kids and adults will like. When it comes to serving, we like to serve the juicy, shredded chicken bowl-style with our favorite fixings including our easy Cilantro-Lime Crema. The salsa chicken is also perfect for serving in a tortilla, burrito-style.

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min (+time to build pressure)
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Entree

Ingredients

For the Salsa Chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (14-16 ounce) jar of your favorite salsa (mild or medium)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no salt added black beans, drained and rinse
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no salt added sweet corn, drained
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning (or taco seasoning of choice) 
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the Cilantro-Lime Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 23 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 1 lime) + ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 1 small garlic clove or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine salt

Optional for serving: serve chicken salsa over cooked rice or cauliflower rice, top with sliced avocado, cilantro-lime crema, thinly sliced jalapeno, lime wedges, fresh chopped cilantro, pickled red onion, and side of blue corn tortilla chips

Instructions

Directions

  1. Select the ‘saute’ function on the Instant Pot. Once hot, add the oil and diced onion. Stir occasionally cooking for 3-4 minutes or until onions start to become tender. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally to prevent garlic from burning.
  2. Next, place the remaining salsa chicken ingredients in the Instant Pot. Put the lid on and make sure the vent is sealed.
  3. Set Instant Pot to ‘High Pressure’ setting then set the cooking time for 10 minutes.
  4. Once cooking is completed, allow natural releasing of pressure for 3-4 minutes then switch the valve to ‘vent’.
  5. When all of the pressure releases and the lid unlocks, remove the chicken and shred the chicken with two forks. Toss chicken back into the pot to coat with sauce.
  6. To make the cilantro-lime crema: Add the ingredients to a small blender cup or small food processor and blend until smooth. 
  7. Assemble the bowls with suggested serving options.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup chicken + 2 tablespoons crema
  • Calories: 325
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 730 g
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 30 g

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All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.





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