My family loves Korean food! Two dishes that we regularly order at a Korean restaurant are Bibimbap, which is a rice bowl with sautéed vegetables, meat and Gochujang (chili pepper paste), and, Bulgogi, which is basically Korean grilled meat, served with rice or lettuce cups. This recipe for Instant Pot Korean Spice Chicken is my weeknight, and pressure cooker friendly combination of the two.
If there was ever a contest for the EASIEST INSTANT POT RECIPE, this recipe for 3-ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken would win hands down! The only prep I do is open a packet of Taco Seasoning and a jar of my favorite Salsa. I pressure cook the chicken with these flavorings, in the Instant Pot, so no mess or extra dishes to clean. I shred the chicken and load it up on soft warm corn tortillas and dinner is done, just like that!
Easiest Recipe Ever!
Don’t you love recipes that comes together in a flash and the family ends up loving them? This one’s a keeper! All you have to do is add water, layer chicken, season it, top it with salsa and close the lid! Set an 8 minute pressure cook time and walk away, paint your nails, run an errand, pick up the kids….whatever you want to do. It takes around 10 minutes for it to come to pressure, 8 minutes to cook and around 10 minutes of NPR time, so, dinner is served in under 30 minutes.
Only 3 Ingredients
This recipe comes together with just 3 ingredients; Chicken, Taco seasoning and Salsa. I like using chicken breast for this recipe, but chicken thighs work just as well. I love using Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning Mix and Salsa Autentica for this recipe. This seasoning has a bit of a kick to it, which my family really enjoys, but you can use your favorite Taco seasoning blend for this recipe. The Salsa is a nice sweet salsa, due to which this combinations works really well. The salsa balances the heat in the Taco Seasoning really well.
This is how simple it is
Multiple Uses for 3-ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
Once you pressure cook the chicken, you can choose to eat it as an entrée, or, shred it and using it in a variety of dishes. I use this shredded chicken for Tacos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Tortilla Soup, Pizzas, Pulled Chicken Sliders or even for Taco Salad.
If you choose to have it as it is, make a side-salad with chopped cucumbers, red onions, avocados and cherry tomatoes. Dress it up with fresh lime juice, a dash of paprika, salt & pepper and enjoy a delicious low-carb dinner!
Stove Top Recipe
This recipe can be made in any pressure cooker as well. You can do this on the stove-top as well.
- I heat a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium high heat. I add water, layer chicken ,season it, and top it with salsa.
- When everything starts bubbling, I reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes, or till chicken is fully cooked. Keep stirring every few minutes to prevent the salsa from scorching the pan.
Jazz It Up
If you want to jazz up this 3-ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken, try my recipe for Pulled Chicken Fajita Tacos. The crunch and sautéed peppers and onions add a whole new flavor dimension to this Salsa chicken. These are always on my Game-day menu, either as tacos, or as sliders!
If you’re hosting a game-day party or Superbowl, you need three things- good beer, a great TV, and Buffalo Chicken Wings!! Spiced with a rub, deep fried or baked, then coated in a sauce made with a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and melted butter. Served hot, along with celery and carrot sticks with either ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping, Buffalo Chicken Wings are ‘the most popular’ sports-party snack.
Buffalo Chicken Wings get their name from their place of origin. They were invented in 1964 at Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York by a sports bar owner Teressa Bellissimo.
Chicken wings are prepared by cutting the wing in three parts- drumette, flat wing, and flapper. The flapper is discarded and the drumettes and flats are used for this dish. You can do this yourself, or, buy them pre-cut from your local supermarket, from the meat or frozen section.
OVEN vs. INSTANT POT
One weekend, my kids and hubby challenged me to a Chicken Wings cook-off. They made a batch in the oven, like we have been making them forever, and, I made a batch in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot. We used the same spice rub and same coating sauce for both sets. So here are both recipes and our family’s comparison for both using three metrics- texture, ease of cooking and time. End result of both style of wings looked so similar. Take a look at the images on this page- Can you tell which ones came out of the oven or the Instant Pot? Exactly!
Instant Pot: The wings were super moist after cooking. We ate a few without any sauce and they were delicious. Pressure cooking the wings with the rub infused them with the flavors really well. We coated them with sauce and broiled them to get that crisp texture. It took longer than usual to crisp up the skin though. It took around 6 minutes in the broiler to get the crisp texture and it wasn’t as crispy as the one from the oven.
Oven: The meat was cooked perfectly and the wings had a nice crunch after the first round of baking. We sauced them and broiled them for 1 minute on each side and the result was ‘perfect’ crisp chicken wings.
Winner: In the end, my family preferred the extra-crispness of the oven chicken wings over the Instant Pot.
EASE OF COOKING:
Instant Pot: Cooking ribs was super easy in the Instant Pot. Simply rub them and dump them in the steamer basket and set a timer. The result was so moist that we could have skipped the broiling process and simply dipped them in sauce. The skin wouldn’t have been crispy though. So, that’s entirely a personal preference.
Oven: My kids made the oven recipe entirely by themselves, so it’s fair to say, that it was easy as well. Rub them and bake them in the oven. The result was crisp and cooked well. If you’re short on time, or, serving a huge crowd, you can skip the broiling step and serve them with the hot sauce on the side. It’ll still be wicked good.
Winner: In terms of ease of cooking, I would say it’s a tie, since both methods were equally easy enough for us. The only advantage in the oven method was that in the end, we just had one baking sheet to wash. Whereas, in the Instant Pot method, we had the inner pot and steamer basket in addition to the baking sheet.
Instant Pot: The Instant Pot took around 20 minutes to cook the wings- 10 minutes to build pressure + 5 minutes of cooking time + 5 minutes of NPR time. But then, it took around 6 minutes (3 minutes on each side) to broil them for crispness. So, it took around 26 minutes.
Oven: We baked the wings for 30 minutes at 425F, so including the time for the oven to pre-heat, I would say it took around 37 minutes, depending on your oven. But then, you could do your spice rub prep while the oven is pre-heating. Then, we broiled them for 1 minute on each side. Overall, this method took around 40 minutes.
Winner: The Instant Pot method saved us around 15 minutes of total cooking time.
This comparison is purely based on my family’s preference, but I hope that this helps you understand the difference in results. Here’s the recipe: Continue Reading…
Aloo Gobi or Gobhi Aloo is a popular dry vegetarian side-dish from the northern-Indian cuisine. Aloo gobi is made with Aloo (potatoes), and, Gobi (cauliflower), which is cooked with aromatics like fresh ginger and garlic, chopped onions and ripe tomatoes. It is seasoned with toasted and ground Indian spices like cumin, coriander with a hint of garam masala, and stir-fried till it cooks through and smells heavenly. A garnish of freshly chopped cilantro adds the perfect splash of color and balance to this popular side dish.
My kids love to have Aloo Gobi and Bhindi (Spiced Okra stir-fry). I make two versions of Aloo Gobi. One is a light stir-fry with cumin seeds, green chilies and Indian spices, and this version, where I make a light onion-tomato gravy and cook the potatoes and cauliflower florets in it. Both versions are simple and come together in under 10 minutes. Continue Reading…
Warm, delicious, healthy and comforting, that’s what I think of when I make Chicken Noodle Soup! A classic Chicken Noodle soup is made by simmering chicken and vegetables, such as carrots and celery, spices, herbs and small noodles in chicken broth. The result is a simple meal that warms up your soul!
During winter, I make this soup a lot, almost once a week. Recently, I have been making many variations of it. I keep experiment by adding different spice blends in this soup and this time I think I hit a home run. I added the Ethiopian Spice blend called Berbere Seasoning, which is a combination of warm whole spices like cumin, cardamom, coriander, and fenugreek, garlic, cloves, turmeric, grated ginger root, black pepper, salt, paprika, cinnamon, and dried red chiles, that are toasted and ground together. This spice blend adds a distinctive tangy and mildly spicy and smoky flavor to the soup.
Variations for the Chicken Noodle Soup
If you don’t like spice, you can reduce the quantity of the Berbere seasoning. Also, for an extra kick, I add a couple of tablespoons of Sriracha to it, but you can replace that with tomato paste if you want to cut down on the heat. For my family, including my kids, this spice level worked great. I make a few other classic Ethiopian dishes using the Berbere Spice Blend: Misir Wot -Red Lentil Stew, and Key Wat – Beef Stew.
To make this soup vegetarian, you can skip the chicken and add some canned chickpeas, they taste awesome too!
To make this Chicken Noodle Soup healthier, I added whole-grain elbow macaroni to the soup. It not only increases the fiber and reduces the net carbs per serving, it also increases the protein content of the soup.
I make this soup in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO, but you can make it in any pressure cooker. Simply follow the suggested timing for cooking chicken breast or soup, and this recipe will work just fine. To learn more about the instant pot, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories blog.
Making this soup on the stove-top is a breeze. Take a heavy bottom sauce pan. Heat olive oil in the pan and add crushed garlic to it. As soon as it starts sizzling, add everything else and let it come to a boil. After that, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes, or till chicken is tender enough to shred. Remove the chicken, shred it and add it back to the soup. Garnish with cilantro and you’re all done!
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This classic Chicken Noodle soup is made by simmering chicken and vegetables, such as carrots and celery, spices, herbs and small noodles in chicken broth. This recipe uses the Ethiopian Spice blend called Berbere Seasoning to enhance the flavor and made in an instant pot.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 32 oz. low-sodium Broth Chicken, Vegetable
- 1/2 cup Whole Grain Elbow Pasta
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 2-3 teaspoon Berbere Seasoning adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha or, tomato paste for mild heat
- 1 lb. Chicken breast
Chop celery and carrots and keep aside. Turn on SAUTE mode. Wait 30 seconds and add olive oil and crushed garlic cloves. Let the garlic sizzle for 30 seconds, then add chopped celery and carrots. Add all the ingredients in the pot and stir everything.
Cancel Saute. Close lid. Set valve to Sealing position. Cook on Manual or Pressure Cook for 6-8 minutes, depending on how thick the chicken breast it. When I use breast halves, like in the video, I set the time to 6 minutes.
Open after 10 minutes of natural pressure release (NPR 10). Remove chicken for shredding. Use two forks and pull apart the chicken. Put the shredded chicken back in the pot. Garnish with cilantro!
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Crisp green beans and carrots, sautéed with mustard seeds and coconut flakes, and seasoned with salt, coriander and cayenne. This super simple and amazingly easy vegetable side-dish is a great accompaniment to many entrée. You can switch out the beans and carrots and make this recipe with your favorite vegetables like cauliflower, peas, zucchini, broccoli, corn…. possibilities of customization are endless. In fact, I make a very similar dish following this recipe with chopped beets, Coconut Beets. The coconut flakes are optional in this recipe, but I really enjoy the slight sweet and nutty flavor that they give in this dish.
My kids who are otherwise not very fond of green beans, enjoy this dish a lot. The sweetness of the carrots and the coconut contrasts really well with the crisp beans.
I made this recipe in my programmable pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO. But, making this on the stove top is as easy, and takes only 10 minutes. To learn more about the instant pot, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories blog.
How to Stir Fry on the Stove-top
- I start off by heating a heavy bottom skillet on medium heat. Add oil and when it’s hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start sizzling/spluttering, add chopped beans and carrots and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add salt and spices. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water and stir everything. Add unsweetened coconut flakes. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
- Open lid and saute for 2-4 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your veggies. Garnish with Cilantro!
Pairing Suggestions for Green Beans and Carrots
Every cuisine has some basic ingredients that form the ‘foundation’ of many dishes. Punjabi Gravy is a rich, aromatic and versatile master curry sauce in north-Indian cuisine, that is the base for a variety of delicious north Indian curries.
As with most recipes in Indian cuisine, this one also starts off with fresh produce. All it is, is onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes, simmered with warm Indian spices like garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and of course, salt, turmeric and cayenne, which is the inseparable trio in Indian cuisine! Continue Reading…
Thai Green Curry with Tofu is one of the most popular and spiciest curry dish that you will find at a Thai restaurant. This curry is made by cooking a homemade or store-bought curry paste with coconut milk. Thai curry paste is a combination of many aromatics and dry spices. The curry paste includes lemongrass, ginger-root, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, chilies, and, some fragrant dry spices like coriander and cumin. It’s lemony, earthy, spicy, and pairs really well with the creamy coconut milk. The two balance each other so well and the result is a sweet and spicy curry that compliments any meat or vegetable you add to it. I love making this curry vegetarian by using extra-firm Tofu, but can make this curry with the protein of your choice- Chicken, Shrimp or even Beef. Thai Green Curry is another weeknight favorite in my home!
Homemade Green Curry Paste:
When I have time to plan ahead, I like to make this paste from scratch. I blend together the following with a tablespoon or so of oil for easy blending:
1 lemongrass stalks, outer layers removed
5 serrano chiles, de-seeded
1 large shallot, cut in half
3 garlic cloves
2-inch piece ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves with stems
- 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
But then there are days, where I barely have time to cook. For those days, this pre-made paste works great. I really like the Maesri brand of Thai curry pastes. They make weeknight meals taste so good. I always tell my friends that Maesri curry pastes are so authentic, that if you ever did a blind taste test, you won’t be able to tell between a restaurant version and yours.
I simply simmer this paste with coconut milk, add protein and vegetables and cook it for 2 minutes in my programable pressure cooker, Instant Pot, on Manual or Pressure Cook, QR after 5 minutes! Finish with brown sugar and few drops of lime juice. Simultaneously, I make Brown Jasmine rice and our meal is done! To learn more about the instant pot, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories blog.
Spice level Tip:
This Thai paste is on the spicier side. If you’re not sure about the spice level, start by adding 1/2 a can of this pre-made paste. If you like it to be more spicy, you can always add a few more tablespoons after the cooking process, and then saute it for a few more till everything comes together.
Customize your Thai Green Curry:
I personally love making this Thai Green Curry with Tofu. You can customize it and make it with Chicken, Shrimp or beef. You can add your choice of vegetables like water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, zuchhini. If adding peppers, add them after the pressure cooking step, and saute for 2 minutes. If using Chicken , increase the cooking time to 4 minutes for bite size boneless chicken pieces. When cooking this with Shrimp, cook the curry for 1 minute, QR, and then add the Shrimp, saute’ for 1-2 minutes, till they turn opaque. If you’re using beef stew pieces, cook the meat in the curry sauce for 25 minutes, QR and then add all the veggies and cook on SAUTE for another 2-3 minutes. If you add them earlier, they’ll be over cooked. This is a very versatile curry, add your favorite combination and enjoy!
More Thai Favorites from my Kitchen:
Juicy, tender and flavor packed Low Carb Chicken Shawarma with Tzatziki sauce is on my family menu a few times a month. This delicious low-carb recipe is a breeze to put together and very family friendly. I marinate the chicken in simple blend of lemon and a handful of spices. T hen, I pressure cook it in my Instant Pot or grill it in the oven, under the broiler.
I stuff the sliced shawarma meat in a pita pocket, combine it with a tangy yogurt sauce called Tzatziki, and my kids love it for dinner, and even school lunches. My husband and I eat a low-carb diet and enjoy it with a side of Greek salad. Chicken Shawarma goes well with a variety of condiments like Hummus, Garlic Chili sauce, Greek salad, Tabouleh salad etc. The condiments add a ton of flavor and complete this healthy meal.
Shawarma spice mix:
I make my own combination of the Shawarma spice mix. I use the same spice mix for lamb, beef, fish and even flavoring rice or couscous. This middle eastern gem is a super hit with my family and friends too! I start by putting together the spice mix and then marinating the chicken. If I’m using chicken thighs, I trim off the excess fat. If I’m using chicken breasts, I half them each breast in two and then cut it half, length-wise. I marinate the chicken for 20 minutes to 4 hours, depending on how much time I have. But this spice mix is so flavorful that even with a 20 minute marinade, the chicken comes out juicy and delicious.
Typically, I make Chicken Shawarma in the oven, under the broiler. I line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Spread the chicken flat, giving enough room for the chicken (don’t crowd the baking sheet). Then turn on BROIL and put the chicken in about 2-3 inches away from the broiler and bake for 8 minutes on the first side, flip it, and 6 minutes on the second side. This timing may wary a bit, depending on the size of the chicken and your oven intensity. Cool the chicken for 10 minutes and then slice it thin, on an angle.
Oven vs. Instant Pot:
Ever since I got my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, I have been wanting to try this recipe. And when I did, the result was amazing. If I compared it to the oven method, there was a texture difference, but both methods had their merits that contribute to the flavor of this dish. The chicken turned out super moist in the Instant Pot, since we steam cooked it. Broiling it in the oven, gave it that crispy crust on the chicken that you see commonly when you go to a mediterranean restaurant. So, you will get a flavorful Chicken Shawarma either way. To learn more about the instant pot, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories blog.
Chicken Shawarma in an Instant Pot
I try to imitate the Shawarma/Gyro spinners in my Instant Pot. I used half an onion as a base. Then, I inserted 4 bamboo skewers as 4 pillars on which the meat is stacked.
Then, I thread the meat pieces though those 4 skewers, one by one, forming a stable stack of chicken. This allows the chicken to stay super moist and looks fancy too. But, if you don’t feel like going the extra mile, just stack the chicken on top of each other and you’ll have the same delicious flavor within minutes!
Chicken Shawarma goes really well with Tzatziki sauce. It adds a creamy contrast to the spicy and lemony chicken. It’s real simple to make as well. Simply combine plain greek yogurt with lemon, cumin, paprika, salt, mint and grated cucumber and you have yourself one of the simplest dips ever! You can also add half a clove of grated garlic in it too, but my family prefers our Tzatziki sauce without it. Check out the recipe for Tzatziki sauce.
Recipes that compliment Shawarma: Saffron Rice
Lamb Korma is an Indian Mughlai dish where Lamb stew meat is braised in a cream based sauce and bold Indian spices and simmered for hours to reach the perfect tenderness and flavor. The word Korma or Kurma draws it’s origin from the Persian word Kormah, which literally means “braise”.
The flavors of Korma are developed by using the popular spice blend called Garam Masala, which includes, Cardamom, Cumin, Coriander, Cloves, Bay leaves etc. These flavors are infused in a yogurt, cream or coconut cream sauce. The meat is then simmered in this sauce for hours over slow heat, till it becomes tender. I am able to mimic that slow-cooking set-up by cooking this Korma in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO. The end flavors are to die for and I and am able to cut down the cooking time significantly. You’ll never guess how easy this is! To learn more about the instant pot, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories blog.
Customize your Lamb Korma
You can make the korma sauce using three different cream bases- heavy cream, yogurt or coconut milk. My family loves the taste of a coconut milk based sauce, so that’s what I end up making most of the time. Using coconut milk also makes this dish is dairy-free, so people with dairy restrictions can also enjoy this amazing curry.
It goes really well with a homemade flatbread called, Parantha, or nutty brown rice, and if you’re eating low-carb, you can have this with cauli-rice. My family loves to eat this korma with butter naan, paratha- flat bread, cumin rice or brown rice. I serve this with a side of garden salad with a simple lemon vinaigrette. The salad adds a beautiful contrast to the creamy Korma, and adds some greens to your meal too!
Make the Korma with Chicken or Beef
You can make this Korma with chicken or beef too. For boneless skinless chicken, reduce the cooking time to 5-6 minutes of high-pressure cooking. For beef stew meat, increase the cooking time to 25-30 minutes of high pressure cooking, depending on the size of pieces. Continue Reading…