3-Ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Tacos

January 30, 2018 (Updated: April 29, 2019) By Aneesha |

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salsaIf there was ever a contest for the Easiest Instant Pot Dinner, 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!

A plate of shredded salsa chicken tacos garnished with onion and cilantro

I pressure cook the chicken in the Instant Pot, which means no mess or extra dishes to clean. I shred the chicken and load it up on soft warm corn tortillas and dinner is ready!  Just like that!

The chicken is so juicy and flavorful that you don’t even need any condiments or toppings with this recipe.

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken by Spice Cravings. If there was ever a contest for the EASIEST CHICKEN TACO RECIPE EVER, this recipe for 3-ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken would win hands down! The only prep I do is open a packet of chicken, taco Seasoning and a jar of Salsa. I pressure cook the chicken, shred it and load it on to soft warm corn tortillas! #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty

Only 3 Ingredients in this Chicken Recipe

This Tex-Mex 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.

Taco Seasoning

I love using Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning Mix 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.   

I also have a homemade taco seasoning recipe in the recipe card below. You can customize it to you liking.

I use Salsa Autentica from Trader Joe’s.   This is a slightly sweet salsa, due to which this combination works really well.  The salsa balances the heat in the Taco Seasoning really well.

3-ingredient instant pot salsa chicken on white plate
3-Ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

How to Make Salsa Chicken in Instant Pot

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… in that order. 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.

3-ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
Two key Ingredients for Salsa Chicken- Salsa and Taco Seasoning

This is how I Make Salsa Chicken in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken

Add water in the pot
3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Season one side of chicken
3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Add seasoned side down
3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Season this side
3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Mix salsa & seasoning
3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Pour over chicken
3-ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Set cook time!
3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Done!

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.

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Low Carb Salsa Chicken Dinner

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!

Stovetop Chicken Taco Recipe

This recipe can be made in any pressure cooker as well. You can do this on the stove-top as well.

  1. I heat a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium high heat. I add water, layer chicken, season it, and top it with salsa.
  2. 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.

Variation: Pulled Chicken Fajita Tacos

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!


Pulled Chicken Fajita Tacos

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken by Spice Cravings. If there was ever a contest for the EASIEST CHICKEN TACO RECIPE EVER, this recipe for 3-ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken would win hands down! The only prep I do is open a packet of chicken, taco Seasoning and a jar of Salsa. I pressure cook the chicken, shred it and load it on to soft warm corn tortillas! #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty
Pulled Chicken Fajita Tacos

Check out my Top Tex-Mex Recipes, including Chilis, Fajitas, and Bean Burgers.

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below! For more quick & easy recipes, FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram,  Pinterest and Youtube.

A plate of shredded salsa chicken tacos garnished with onion and cilantro

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Tacos

If there was ever a contest for the “Easiest Chicken Taco Recipe Ever”, this recipe for 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Chicken would win hands down! The only prep I do is open a packet of chicken, taco seasoning and a jar of salsa. I pressure cook the chicken, shred it and load it on to soft warm corn tortillas!  YUM!
Print Pin Discuss Recipe
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 196kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast or boneless skinless thighs
  • 1.3 oz Taco seasoning : I use Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning Mix (see notes for substitute)
  • 1 cup Salsa Autentica : I use Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica
  • 1/4 cup water : adjust based on how thick your salsa is

Instructions

  • Turn on Instant Pot.  Add 1/4 cup water.   Season one side of the chicken breasts with about 2-3 teaspoons of Taco seasoning and add them into the instant pot, seasoned side down.   Season on the other side with 2-3 teaspoons of Taco seasoning.  
  • In a bowl, mix salsa with the remaining taco seasoning. Pour over the chicken, coating the chicken with the salsa mix. Close the lid. Vent set to Sealing. Cook for 8 minutes on Manual or Pressure Cook.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes (NPR 10). Open lid.  Using two forks, shred the chicken in the pot . Mix well. This shredded chicken can be used for Tacos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Tortilla Soup, Pizzas or even for Taco Salad.

Taco Seasoning Recipe

  • I use Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning mix. It is a bit on the spicier side. If you want to make it mild, you can substitute with: 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 t​sp paprika, ​1/2 tsp salt,​ 1 tsp cumin, ​1​ tsp coriander powder, 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp​ brown sugar.

Stovetop recipe

  • Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium high heat.  Add water, layer chicken, season it, and top it with salsa.
  • When the sauce 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.

Video

Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 976mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 16.6% | Vitamin C: 6.5% | Calcium: 2.1% | Iron: 6.4%
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: instant pot salsa chicken, mexican chicken recipe, salsa chicken recipe
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Jay
    April 16, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Seems to overcook the white meat. Mine came out tough. 8 minutes of high pressure cook time followed by 10 minutes of natural release might be too long. Any tips?

    • Reply
      Aneesha | Spice Cravings
      April 16, 2019 at 8:29 pm

      Hi Jay, 8 mins works great for chicken breast for shredding. I and many readers have made this recipe many times, so I’m wondering what went wrong with yours. So help me by answering a few questions. How thick were your chicken breast? Did you have enough liquid in the pot?

  • Reply
    Lisa
    December 11, 2018 at 11:54 am

    how much time do you add if chicken breasts are frozen?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      December 11, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Lisa, I have never cooked with frozen chicken in the IP so can’t say from experience, but as per my understanding, you don’t have to add more time, the Instant Pot will take more time to come to pressure, because it will thaw it first and then start the cooking process. I would love to hear how it works for you!

  • Reply
    Becky
    August 7, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Its cooking in my IP right now; I prepared it exactly as stated. The small amount of water was perfectly fine, it came to pressure in no time and I used fairly thick & chunky salsa.

    I am very happy with the results. I have made this with other recipes but all of them turned out with too much liquid for my tastes. Thanks!

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      August 7, 2018 at 5:40 pm

      Hi Becky, that’s so nice to hear. I am super glad this recipe worked great for you too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Marilyn
    July 28, 2018 at 6:51 am

    I have the 8 quart – it says I need 3 cups of water . . . it makes everything way too watery – can you help me? Should I put 3 cups in the bottom and put a stainless bowl on the trivet and put the ingredients in there and cook it according to your directions? Thank you for your help!!!

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      July 28, 2018 at 10:32 am

      Hi Marilyn, I agree with you. 3 cups would make this too watery and kill the flavor. The PIP option is a good one. I’ve always made this in a 6 qt, so even though it says 1 cup of water, I only add 1/4-1/2 cup water, since my salsa is pretty thin and adds liquid, then the chicken will also release it’s juices. So I would say you can adjust accordingly for your 8 qt. Just remember to add the water first and then follow the sequence and don’t stir. Hope that helps.

  • Reply
    Arie
    July 9, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Please provide nutritional information

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      July 10, 2018 at 9:42 am

      Hi Arie, I am currently working on converting all recipes to have nutritional information. It’s a time consuming process so might take a few days, but I’ll prioritize this recipe. Thanks for understanding!

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