Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken

Zesty and spicy Salsa Verde Chicken is one of my favorite Instant Pot chicken recipes! This tasty shredded chicken with salsa is a versatile and flavorful meal that everyone loves. Perfect to make in the slow cooker, too!

Easy Instant Pot Chicken with Salsa Verde Sauce

Chicken is one of my favorite ingredients for easy weeknight meals. It’s so versatile! Ever since I learned the ins-and-outs of my Instant Pot, I’ve been cooking up some crazy-delicious chicken dinners.

This quick recipe for tender and juicy, shredded chicken breast combined with flavorful Mexican tomatillo salsa is one of them. Zesty and spicy, Salsa Verde Chicken is ready in minutes thanks to the Instant Pot and can be served tons of different ways. This makes it hugely helpful on busy nights! Plus, it’s great for leftovers. 

Enjoy this salsa verde chicken in casseroles, chicken enchiladas, in chilis, or even chicken burrito bowls! 

A forkful of Salsa Verde Chicken.

What is Salsa Verde?

Salsa verde is a Mexican green salsa made from tomatillos. A tomatillo looks a bit like a green tomato and is also in the nightshade family, and often comes covered in a husk. To make salsa verde, the tomatillos are roasted and then blended with other ingredients like cilantro and jalapeno into a peppery, piquant sauce.

For this recipe, I usually use jarred salsa as it cuts down on the prep work. However, if you do have the time, fresh salsa verde is actually easy to make at home! And it only takes three steps:

  1. Assemble 1 ½ pounds of tomatillos, along with a half cup of chopped onion, half cup of cilantro, a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lime juice, and 2 jalapenos.
  2. Cook your tomatillos by broiling or roasting them in the oven for a few minutes until lightly browned and blistered.
  3. Toss the smoky tomatillos and other ingredients into a food processor and blend until everything is nicely chopped and combined. Season with salt and store your homemade salsa verde in the fridge!
The ingredients for Salsa Verde Chicken.

Recipe Ingredients

One of the many reasons I love Mexican cooking is because it often calls for such simple ingredients, that come together with so much flavor! Here’s all you will need for this easy Instant Pot salsa chicken:

  • Boneless Chicken Breasts: Or thighs, as both cuts work for shredded chicken.
  • Seasoning: Cumin, paprika, and kosher salt for extra smoky flavor.
  • Salsa Verde: Either homemade (see above) or store bought. You can blend chopped cilantro into jarred salsa verde if the one you have doesn’t include it already.
Top view of Salsa Verde Chicken on a plate.

How to Make Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Verde

This recipe took me just 25 minutes! That’s it! A bit of prep and a short stint in the pressure cooker is all that stands between you and this perfect, fall-apart, tender chicken. It honestly couldn’t be any easier! Here’s what you do:

Add the Ingredients: In your Instant Pot, combine the chicken breast, seasonings, and salsa verde.

Cooked chicken breasts and salsa juices in the Instant Pot.

Cook: Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes, then quick release and remove the lid.

Forks are used to shred the cooked chicken breast into the salsa verde sauce.

Shred: Shred the chicken and stir it through the sauce to really let it soak up all the flavor.

Can I Use the Slow Cooker Instead?

The beauty of the Instant Pot is that it’s both a slow cooker or pressure cooker all in one. I use the pressure cooker option whenever I’m short on time, however, this recipe is just as delicious when made using a slow cooker method! 

To make salsa verde chicken in the slow cooker, follow the recipe as directed and then leave it to cook for 6-7 hours on low, or 4 hours on high before shredding and serving.

Shredded Salsa Verde Chicken on a plate.

Tips for Success

  • Know Your Pressure Cooker: Not all pressure cookers are the same, and the times and settings can vary! If you buy the Instant Pot, it’s a good idea to thoroughly read the instructions even if you’re familiar with pressure cooking. There was a bit of a learning curve for me, but now it’s a breeze!
  • Let the Pressure Build: The steam will need to build up inside the Instant Pot before it will begin pressure cooking the chicken. It may seem like nothing is happening at the start, but give it a few minutes to fill up!
Salsa Verde Chicken served on a flour tortilla.

Serving Suggestions

You can use this shredded chicken verde recipe in so many ways! Serve it over a bed of rice with a sprinkle of cheese and chopped cilantro for a quick and tasty meal. It’s also wonderful in recipes like this Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole as an easy weeknight dinner!

Here are other ways to enjoy this flavorful salsa verde chicken:

  • Chicken Burritos: Stuff your salsa verde chicken into warm tortillas with shredded cheese, refried beans and a dollop of guacamole.
  • Chicken Tacos: The possibilities here are endless. Go crazy with fixings like avocado, diced bell peppers, green onions, and more!
  • Quesadillas: Use shredded chicken as a filling between layers of cheese.
  • Enchiladas: This easy Instant Pot chicken is perfect for savory Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas.
  • Taquitos: Salsa verde chicken and melted cheese wrapped in a crispy tortilla? Yes please.
  • Burrito bowls: Fill a bowl with shredded chicken, Mexican rice and black beans. Top with diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, plus some jalapenos for good measure!

These suggestions are really the tip of the Instant Pot salsa verde chicken iceberg! Have you tried this recipe in more ways? Share your ideas and successes in the comments!

Top view of Salsa Verde Chicken on a plate.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Let your chicken come to room temperature and then refrigerate it in an air-tight container for up to 4-5 days.

My favorite way to reheat salsa verde chicken is on the stovetop. Scoop a single portion into a small pan and then warm it over low heat, stirring frequently, until the chicken is heated through, and then serve! A microwave will also do the trick if you prefer.

Can I Freeze This?

You can make this chicken recipe into an easy freezer meal! Place the cooled shredded salsa verde chicken into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container, and store frozen for up to 3-4 months. Thaw the chicken in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.

Shredded Salsa Verde Chicken on a plate.

More Flavorful Chicken Recipes


Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield Yield: 56 servings 1x
  • Category Category: Chicken
  • Method Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Mexican


This Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken is packed with flavor and super easy to prepare for weeknight dinners! If you’re looking for a versatile and easy chicken recipe that everyone will love, this is it.



  • 22 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 ounces salsa verde


  1. Place all the ingredients in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
  2. Set cooker to high pressure for 25 minutes.
  3. When the timer goes off, quick release the pressure and shred the chicken with 2 forks.


Slow Cooker option:
Prepare as instructed and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours or on high heat for 4 hours.

Nutrition Information:

1 Scoop
3.4 g
1186.2 mg
7.4 g
6.8 g
43.9 g
132.4 mg

Keywords: instant pot salsa chicken, instant pot chicken recipes, easy chicken dinner ideas

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This post contains an amazon affiliate link. I was not sponsored by Instant Pot for this pot, but if you do buy it via my link I will earn a few extra dollars. Thanks!

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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Nov 19, 2021 12:23 am

This was perfection! We were able to have a yummy lunch in no time.

Feb 27, 2021 8:29 pm

this is a huge favorite in our house. Thank you for such an easy, delicious recipe!

Dec 23, 2020 4:41 pm

Slow release! When I followed this recipe it was much harder to shred than when I had a slow cooker. Then one time I forgot about it and when I finally got it out, it was perfect. Now I always do a slow release and recommend everyone do likewise.

Nov 13, 2020 7:07 pm

If you have really large chicken breasts you may want to add 5 more min to cook time. At 25 min the chicken didn’t shred easily and looked a little pink still so I stuck it back in on high pressure for another 5 min.

Teresa T
Sep 18, 2020 1:40 pm

Is it the same cook time for frozen/partially frozen chicken?

Feb 27, 2021 8:30 pm
Reply to  Teresa T

In the instant pot, yes. Frozen takes longer to come to pressure, but cooks in the same amount of time.

Sep 6, 2020 6:53 pm

This checked all the boxes: easy, fast, delicious! Served mine over rice and really enjoyed it! Thanks!

Aug 28, 2020 6:01 pm

Delicious and so easy! You just saved my sanity, less time in the kitchen! Thank you!

Aug 12, 2020 8:56 pm

This recipe was SO GOOD and SO EASY! minimal dishes required and the flavor was amazing! 10/10!

Jul 16, 2020 8:02 pm

Don’t you have to put any water into the Instant Pot? Seems like this would burn.

Jun 15, 2020 12:08 pm

My husband and I use this as our go-to chicken for taco night. We use Herdez salsa verde (medium) and the chicken has the perfect amount of heat and flavor. Super fast, easy, and yummy!

May 20, 2020 12:09 pm

This is how I make it in the slow cooker after years of boiling my own tomatillos etc. I thought I came up with this simple variation. Turns out I’m not a cooking mastermind. Well maybe I am. Lol It’s so good though! Just got my first instant pot and found your website/wanted to rate your awesome recipe. Thanks!!

Apr 13, 2020 6:26 pm

I am obsessed with this recipe :). It is so easy and quick, while producing incredible results that can be used a variety of ways. What’s not to like?! THANK YOU for sharing! It is up in the rotation again tonight for a super easy weeknight dinner of tacos, yellow rice, and black beans.

Jason W
Feb 20, 2020 7:48 pm

I make mine similar but also add in a can of fire roasted diced green chilies. The Trader Joe’s ones are excellent. This is one of those recipes that you own an instant pot for. So easy and sooo delicious. People think you slaved all day to make enchiladas and they don’t know it took all of about 10 minutes haha.

Oct 28, 2019 7:05 pm

What do you serve with this recipe? Is it for tacos, enchiladas, etc.? Looks amazing. Is this where I ask a question? Sorry, new to your site.

Sep 20, 2019 8:19 am

This was one of my first Instapot recipes I ever made (I was really intimidated by it at first) and it came out amazing. I still make it. I love it, and it’s such a great base for Mexican dishes. Thank you for sharing such an easy recipe for beginners like me!

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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