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Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Easy Salsa Shredded Chicken

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An Easy Salsa Shredded Chicken recipe for your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker.

This is the EASIEST Instant Pot recipe EVER! Just TWO ingredients: salsa and chicken plus some spices makes a delicious juicy chicken that can be used in tacos, over rice, salads and more!

Made with just TWO (2) ingredients – salsa and chicken plus some spices – this makes a delicious juicy chicken that can be used in tacos, over rice, salads and more! This is the EASIEST Instant Pot recipe on my entire website,

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Easy Salsa Shredded Chicken – just TWO ingredients: salsa and chicken plus some spices makes a delicious juicy chicken that can be used in tacos, over rice, salads and more! Weight Watchers Smart Points: 2 Calories: 125

I’ve been making shredded salsa chicken in my slow cooker forever, sometimes with chicken breasts and other times with thighs. It’s my go-to when I want easy chicken to add to enchiladas, tacos, etc.  I was asked for an Instant Pot version, so here it is!

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Easy Salsa Shredded Chicken – just TWO ingredients: salsa and chicken plus some spices makes a delicious juicy chicken that can be used in tacos, over rice, salads and more! Weight Watchers Smart Points: 2 Calories: 125

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

4.63 from 35 votes
Instant Pot salsa chicken is so quick and easy! Make this juicy 2-ingredient pressure cooker shredded chicken to use in tacos, rice bowls, salads, and more.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Partially shredded cooked salsa chicken on a blue plate next to two forks.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 5 servings
Serving Size: 1 /2 cup


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • black pepper, to taste
  • pinch oregano
  • 1 cup chunky salsa


  • Season chicken on both sides with spices.
  • Place into the Instant Pot and cover with salsa.
  • Cover and 20 minutes. Natural release.
  • Once the Instant Pot releases the pressure, put the chicken onto a plate and use two forks to shred.

Last Step:

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 If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the chicken is done.


Serving: 1 /2 cup, Calories: 125 kcal, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Protein: 22 g, Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 66 mg, Sodium: 379 mg, Fiber: 1 g


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164 comments on “Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Easy Salsa Shredded Chicken”

  1. Avatar photo
    Charmaine Stack

    This was great. I used all the leftover juice to make a lovely flavoured brown rice in the Instant Pot. 

  2. This was the first recipe I made in the IP. Very simple recipe. Adjusted the time from 20 minutes to 10 minutes according to the manual. Glad I did this otherwise the chicken would have been over cooked. Loved the chicken and had it over brown rice. Thank you. Looking forward to trying more Skinnytaste recipes in the IP. 

  3. I was very hesitant to try this because there isn’t any liquid in the recipe except the liquids from the salsa and that’s a minute amount. But I trusted you, Gina! And it failed. I got the burn notice within 3 minutes of full pressurization. I turned it off and did a quick release, then I removed the chicken and as much salsa as I could. I used water to scrape at the bottom. Then I put a cup of liquid in, I put the chicken on the trivet and added the salsa on top of the chicken trying not to lose much into the water. I started again, this time at 16 minutes because it was partially cooked. It came out ok, but not as good as the slow cooker version. I learned my lesson and some recipes are just better in the slow cooker! 

    1. Avatar photo
      Kristine Kerr

      I ran into the same issue. I was concerned about not having enough liquid for the instant pot, so I threw in 16 ounces of salsa! I still got the food burn notice. I want the chicken to cook in the salsa, not on top of it, so I added 1/2 cup of water, and stirred it all around.

  4. I love this dish!! I usually make it in the instant pot but am trying it in the slow cooker today! This one freezes really well. I usually meal prep enough for two weeks and freeze half right away. Thank you!!!

  5. I read somewhere to use a hand mixer to instantly shred pork, beef, or chicken. Works amazingly and so much quicker and easier than shredding with forks. Thought I would share.

    1. Avatar photo
      Brandy Freeman

      Yes, I use frozen chicken quite frequently after forgetting to thaw it out. #busymomlife Depending on the size & number of frozen breasts you are using will determine your pressure cook time. I usually cook 2-3 chicken breasts, cook them on manual high pressure for 15-28 minutes, followed by a natural pressure release. Hope this helps! If you’re unsure how long to cook your frozen breasts you can Google info for different recommendations. Or just start with 15 & you can always put them back on if they aren’t cooked thoroughly.

  6. Avatar photo
    Stacy Abrahamsen

    Hello!! First, let me say I love your recipes!!!
    In regards to the fastest, easiest way to shred the chicken.
    Use a hand mixer!!! Can be done right in the instant pot

  7. I added extra liquid and I got a burn notice, for the first time. Maybe chicken should be on a trivet.

  8. I’m wondering if the 20 minute cook time is for frozen chicken? Mine was awfully dry after following your recipe and I’m not sure what I did wrong. I am an Instant Pot newbie…

  9. The directions say “cover & 20 minutes”. Can you be a little more specific about what setting? Poultry? Meat? Pressure cook? 20 mins of what?

  10. I have been making this staple recipe by Ms. Gina for YEARS now.  I add frozen corn or corn on the cob sometime and serve over parboiled rice or on corn tortillas with avocado slices and a little salt.  My family LOVES it!!!!  THANK YOU so so much Ms. Gina for ALL of your wonderful recipes that are health conscious. YOU are my GO-TO person for everything I make. LOVE SKINNYTASTE.COM!!!!!!!!

  11. I just made this last night. I hate cooking and finding an easy recipe like this one makes cooking more bearable.

    Since it’s just me, I used 1 fresh chicken breast. I had some of my homemade dry chili seasoning mix that I used to spice the chicken with. I was a bit leary about the no water aspect of the recipe, but followed through. It came out fantastic. Used the entire 20 minute cook time as instructed. Served it over some brown rice I made earlier in the week, topped with some light sour cream and some Trader Joes healthier guacamole. It was great! I will be making this again, for sure. Thank you for sharing this!

  12. I just made this tonight and it was super easy. However, I was a little wary of cooking it for 20 minutes, and after reviewing my IP manual decided on 10 minutes. I used 2, 10oz boneless chicken breasts and they were frozen. Not sure how you could pressure cook this for 20 minutes. Cooked and ready to shred after 10 mins cooking and natural release.

  13. This recipe is so simple and so delicious! I use it in summer to add protein to my lunch salads. I also like changing the salsa flavor from week to week to mix it up. It’s also easily customize-able. I can make spicy chicken for my husband and mild for myself. This is one recipe I return to over and over again.

  14. I found this recipe when I needed something quick. It was so easy and so good! I used it to make chicken tacos when my son and grandkids were visiting and they all loved it.! Definitely a keeper!

  15. How long for the natural release.? It took 17 minutes! It was very tasty, but 37 minute cook time is long for a weeknight dinner. 

  16. Made this last night for Taco Tuesday. I made a mistake and added cinnamon instead of cumin but realized once I closed the lid. I reopened and added the cumin. It turned out delish even with the mistake! My husband said it was the best taco I’ve ever made and my 9 year old loved it too! Thanks so much for the easy and delicious recipe!

  17. I made this recipe for tacos, and it was seriously some of the best chicken I’ve ever had! So easy to make.

  18. Amazing! We have used the chicken in tacos and on a salad with salza dressing. This will become a staple in our kitchen.

  19. Yummy!  I did the slow cooker version, doubled it and used the leftovers for skinny chicken enchiladas!  I can’t believe how easy this recipe is!  Love it!  Thank you!

  20. Excellent!! Sirred in corn and black beans and had them warming while shredding the chicken. Made a very nice bowl!

  21. Made this last night for dinner in my instant pot. Very delicious and more importantly my 3 teenagers loved it and they are picky eaters. I will be making again. Thanks for sharing.

  22. What’s a good brand of salsa or do you make it homemade I can’t ever seem to find a jar brand that’s super good any suggestions 

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  24. hi – the recipe does not state high pressure just Cover and 20 minutes. Natural release. Do I assume it is high pressure unless noted otherwise
    thanks for the great recipes

  25. Honest question, as I’m new to the Instant Pot – why do you cook for 20 minutes? The manual for my Duo Mini says chicken breasts take 8-10 minutes. Thanks!

  26. Avatar photo
    Carmela Magliocco

    I’m making this as we speak. It smells amazing in here!! My parents bought me an IP for Christmas and I am totally in love with it! 

  27. I followed the directions and it came out perfectly in my IP. I am making a larger batch for a potluck tomorrow. Hopefully it turns out just as good.

  28. This is the perfect dish for a last minute dinner or potluck. I’ve used the same method to switch out marinara or enchilada sauce using frozen chicken tenderloin. 12 min on high. Easy and delicious!

  29. My picky 7 year old refused to eat tacos, much to my Mexican husband’s disappointment. But when I made tacos with this chicken recipe (homemade salsa) she gobbled them up and actually complimented me and asked me to make tacos only this way again. I have, many, many times and always delicious.

  30. Great recipe!! Made it tonight and it was so juicy and delicious. I added about 1/4 cup of water because I was nervous (first timer) and also onion and garlic powder to the spice mixture. Cooked for 16 minutes and it was perfect. Thank you for sharing!! 

  31. Pingback: Tried and True Instant Pot Recipes & Techniques - Nourishing Foundations

  32. Avatar photo
    Melissa Patterson

    As a busy mom this a fabulous recipe and so tasty and yummy for my VERY picky eaters! Thank you sooo much!

  33. You need to add water to the bottom of the liner or you will get a burn warning. Easy Salsa Shredded Chicken 

  34. I made this despite fearing that 20 minutes would leave the chicken way over cooked but it turned out delicious!! I used frozen breasts and just added an additional 3 minutes.

  35. I think 20 minutes for this is too long. I did about 14, after reading a few other recipes and freaking out that my chicken was going to be way overcooked, and the chicken was already 180+ degrees. As a bariatric patient, rubbery chicken is my worst enemy! It was great though, and I’m thrilled to have quick protein to grab that’s delicious and low carb.

  36. I made this tonight and we loved it. I added 1/4 cup of a weight watchers molasses chipotle bbq sauce that I had made. Definitely a keeper

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  38. Hi Gina, 

    Could I use pork instead of chicken for this recipe ? I am looking to make pulled pork in my IP I to add to pizza.

    Thank you for your help.


  39. Hi Gina, 

    I have the IP Duo plus and it doesn’t have a poultry button. I used the pressure cooker button and added 5 min.. Is thus correct? 

    Thank you, 


  40. I made this recipe exactly as is and my family LOVED it!  I would like to double or triple this recipe, but I am very new to Instant Pot cooking and I’m not sure how to make alterations yet.  If I increas the quantity of chicken, do I need to increase the cook time?

  41. Gina you are the best!!! I love your website, it’s super user friendly… love that you include smart points. I have lost 11 pounds so far  thanks to you!

  42. Pingback: Mexican Inspired Recipes | Instant Pot Resources

  43. This is my first recipe using my instant pot, and I changed the cooking setting/times. I read the reviews saying their chicken came out burnt, so first, I read my manual for the recommended cooking settings/times. My instant pot does not have a “poultry” setting, instead my manual says to use “meat/stew” it also recommended 10-11 min cook time for chicken breast. I think I set mine for 12 minutes. It came out perfect, exactly how Gina’s looked. So, if you’re having trouble with overcooking the chicken, take a look at your manual’s recs.

  44. Just finished packing my lunches for the week using Salsa Chicken.  I doubled the recipe with no issue and have extra to freeze for later.  ????

  45. Made this last night! It was so good! Can’t believe it took 20 minutes and only 2 ingredients. Makes cooking so easy and fun!

  46. Pingback: 10 Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Recipes You'll Absolutely Love | Mom Fabulous

  47. Do you think it would work putting brown rice and water in the bottom and then laying this recipe on top for a one pot meal?

  48. I have a new Instant Pot, with lots of buttons, but doesn’t have one that says poultry.
    I will use manual, but for how long

  49. Pingback: Instant Pot (with Recipe Links!) | Three Heaping Cups of Unpredictable

  50. Love, love, love this! So easy and convenient for me to stay on track when this is sitting in the fridge waiting for me after work. I used black bean and corn salsa the 2nd time I made it. Change the points a bit, but also very good!

  51. Gina,

    I made this last night—-my first time using my new Instant Pot. I followed the directions exactly, and the chicken was burnt to the bottom of the pot. There was no liquid in there after pressure was released, the entire bottom was black. Luckily, the chicken was super tender despite being burnt to the bottom, and dinner wasn’t ruined. Any idea what went wrong? I’m afraid to use this thing again…dinner is in the good ol’ Crock Pot tonight. 🙁

      1. Nope, it was fresh. I’m going to give it another try with one of your meatball recipes this weekend.

    1. The IP defaults to warm after the cook time. I don’t know if this recipe calls for natural or quick release, but maybe (see Megan’s question above) it just stayed on heat for too long? You can hit cancel when the cook time is over so it doesn’t stay on heat.

    2. My fear, too, with a time of 20 minutes. Should the Poultry function be used on the Instant Pot? If so, maybe that’s why such a long time…but the recipe doesn’t indicate to choose that function. 

  52. Do you wait for the instant pot to naturally release or do a quick release?

    Wouldn’t it become over cooked with a natural release which can take quite awhile?

  53. My first Instant Pot attempt was this recipe. I have a healthy WW friendly lunch for tomorrow!  Thank you!

    1. If you do quick release, your chicken may be dry. Let it come down naturally for optimal deliciousness!

  54. Hi. I am looking forward to making this tomorrow night. Should I shorten the time for thighs? Also, is it possible to cook rice at the same time? Maybe do the chicken pip and the ricevin the pot?
    Thank you.

  55. So good! I just received my Instant Pot for my birthday and love it!! Please post more recipes using the Instant Pot!

  56. Hi! I just bought an instant pot and I’m so excited to try this recipe! Having never used a pressure cooker, can I put the chicken in frozen? If so, do I need to adjust the cook time?

    1. My chicken was partially frozen for this recipe and it turned out fine. I put the timer to 25 mins instead of 20 just to be sure. It turned out juicy and fully cooked.

  57. Do you know why I can’t print this recipe. I’ve been printing recipes all day and can not print yours????

  58. You can make this with frozen chicken, four bone in thighs is what I used. Press soup button, which is 30 min. Add 1 cup water. Remove chicken skin to reduce grease. You can also substitute the salsa for a jar of tomato sauce.

  59. I have made this recipe a lot before in my slow cooker. I just got an instant pot and want to try it…I always use frozen chicken breasts, any idea how long I should cook them for? Thanks!

  60. I just made this FABULOUS recipe in my Instant Pot Duo and it WILL be in my weekly meal circuit.

    Because it’s what I had, I used 2# of bone-in breasts (removed skin), doubled the seasonings, and used 1.5 cups of chunky salsa. In my my IP, the “Poultry” button automatically programmed 20 minutes so I did not adjust. Once the finished timer went off, I hit the Cancel button, and waited 10 more minutes to fully release pressure. IT WAS PERFECT!

    I was quite surprised that there was almost two cups of “new” liquid left in the pan, but it came in useful once I had shredded the chicken. Not that the few spices in this recipe were any chore, but I have recently fallen in love with Badia’s Sazon Tropical seasoning (no MSG) and will try that next time.

    Gina – Thank you so much for this great IP recipe and I will continue to buy every cookbook you publish.

  61. I think 20 minutes was too long or my salsa wasn’t chunky enough. Chicken burnt and salsa dried up. Not saucy like the picture . I saw some other sites that 7 minutes but I went with the 20 on poultry

  62. What would have happen if I add canned black beans? Would they get mushy? I LOVE your slow cooker Chicken and Black Bean Tacos and am wondering if I can recreate it in the IP.

  63. Hey, quick question! I have a regular pressure cooker, with no settings. How many whistles would you say it needs to go before removing from heat?

  64. Hello Gina,

    I just wanted to say thank you for all you do. I have cooked several of your recipes and loved them all. I just bought a power pressure cooker 2 weeks ago and love it.
    I am so excited now that I see you have posted pressure cooker recipes. A giant thank you from Vancouver Canada. 🙂

  65. Avatar photo
    Francine Pennacchio

    OMG! This was delicious!  I made it tonight in my Instant Pot and I am so happy! It was super easy to make, fast and really tasty.  This is the third time using the Instant Pot and I used Skinny Taste recipes each time. You rock Gina!

  66. Made this tonight. First time I used my pressure cooker – it turned out fabulous. Super tender. Boosted my confidence! Thanks Gina!!!

  67. For those who need to lower the salt and cut calories, I found this recipe for homemade salsa: 1/3 C fresh cilantro, 4 cloves garlic, and 1-2 Jalapeno peppers (all 3 finely minced), 1 med onion and 5 med tomatoes (both chopped), 1 can tomato sauce & 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Add chopped & minced ingredients to bowl, then mix in tomato sauce and lemon juice. Says it will last 2-3 weeks in fridge.

  68. Avatar photo
    Scrappymama Elaine

    I want to make this in my instant pot but i have a question? should I put water in the pot?

  69. I just made this. AWesome sauce!
    More more more IP please. Oh heck what about just making a IP cookbook? ?

  70. I made this last night using my new IP for the first time. I bought it so I could try all your recipes! It is unbelievable how quickly this chicken cooked, and was so tender and delicious. It made terrific tacos! More recipes please!!!

  71. Avatar photo
    Mary Frances Berstene

    More, more, more Instant Pot Weight Watcher recipes please! I made the Beef, Tomato and Acini di Pepe Soup in my brand new Instant Pot last night. It was delicious!

  72. Avatar photo
    Tracy Sheehan

    I have an electric pressure cooker not an instant pot. Would I use high or low pressure for this recipe, and how long?

    1. Tracy, did you ever try making this? I am wondering this same thing – if it is supposed to be cooked on high or low pressure.

  73. Hi Gina,

    I made this in my crock pot and it was great! Be careful with Dole lettuce (not sure if that's what kind you buy) but there was a massive recall affecting NY. I managed to buy a recalled bag for these tacos – ugh!

    Thanks for the amazing recipes.

  74. Hi Gina – Thanks for sharing this recipe! I think this chicken could be used in a ton of different ways – not just tacos. Do you suggest pounding it out beforehand? Or do you think the acidity from the salsa helps break it down enough?

  75. Avatar photo
    Melissa McClusky

    Has anybody tried the IP recipes with a regular pressure cooker? If so, was the timing affected at all?

  76. I just got an Instant Pot for Christmas and have been having a hard time finding Weight Watcher recipes for it until I saw a couple on your blog. Please post more Instant Pot recipes! 🙂 Thanks for all your awesome recipes!!!

  77. I just got an Instant Pot for Christmas and have been having a hard time finding Weight Watcher recipes for it until now. Please post more Instant Pot recipes! 🙂

  78. This looks delicious. I love using the crock pot, so easy and always amazing. Can't wait to try!

  79. I also received a Instant Pot for Christmas. I can honestly say, it has changed my life in the kitchen. If your on the fence about getting one, jump off the fence and just do it, you will be glad you did! I also hope Gina can give us some more recipes for the I Pot!

  80. This looks delicious and I will definitely try it soon. Thanks so much for the IP recipes and please keep them coming. I got mine for Christmas and the first thing I made was your Chicken and Lentil Soup. Yum!

  81. I too have a regular pressure cooker which I am a newbie at using as it is second hand. Could you give several of us that requested the instructions please??

    1. It is an electric cooker that allows you to use it as a slow cooker, pressure cooker,steamer and has different buttons for your different types of meat. Apparently you can even make cheese cake in them. Mine is just called an electric pressure cooker but it does all that an instant pot does. I love it. Dinner is done in no time at all! 🙂

  82. Does the time need to be adjusted for doubling the recipe, thawed vs frozen? I guess I just need to get one and read up on it. thank you as always for the inspiration! My family too loves your recipes.

      1. Yes!  I made this today with frozen chicken breasts and they were perfectly cooked in 6 minutes.

  83. I have a regular pressure cooker, not an instant pot. Do you need to modify these recipes for a pressure cooker? Thanks

    1. I had a similar question. I don't know what the poultry button does; I assume is the time that poultry usually cooks (approx. 5-6 min for 2 lbs.) Since it calls for 1 lbs. do I need to reduce the time?

  84. Love your recipes and so does my picky family. Please post more Instant Pot Recipes 🙂 Just received my new pot on Saturday and am so excited to try it.

  85. Avatar photo
    Kimberly Eddy

    Thank you so much for more Instant Pot recipes!!! I actually bought one because of your Chicken and Lentil soup recipe and I love it!!! That recipe was soooo delicious!!!! Thanks for wonderful healthy recipes!!! Please continue more Instant Pot recipes!!! Thanks so much!!!!

  86. Avatar photo

    Sounds yummy! I'm newer at using the IP, and I notice you don't need to add water to the pot to be able to bring it to pressure in this recipe. Is that because of the salsa, and that the chicken has fluid in it? I'm trying to learn. Thank you! 🙂

      1. yep, was wondering the same thing..  I just want to cook a couple of plain drumsticks so that I can shred it into a salad, can I just toss them alone in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes, or do I need to add water?

  87. Please please post more recipes with Instant Pot! I have one and I love it! Just looking for a variety of recipes!:)))

    1. So glad you posted this for cooks with Instant Pots AND for cooks who have only slow cookers. Gina, please continue posting recipes for both appliances!