This Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken dish is quick and easy to make using fresh or frozen breasts or thighs. The chicken is cooked in the Instant Pot with salsa verde, making it tender and juicy. Serve this over rice or tortillas for a delicious meal.
Instant pot salsa verde chicken is an incredibly flavorful and tender chicken dish. Make this salsa chicken with a few simple ingredients, like Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde, boneless chicken breasts and thighs, and spices. Turn it into creamy chicken chile Verde just by adding sour cream at the end. The pressure cooker makes this an easy weeknight favorite chicken recipe.
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Uses for Salsa Verde
Salsa verde is an amazing sauce that can be used in so many dishes. Home cooks can make salsa right homemade or buy it premade. Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde is my favorite!
Look for the jar that says Trader Joe’s Hatch Valley Valley Salsa – it’s made from green chile peppers. Another reliable brand, and a close second favorite, is the Heredez Salsa Verde.
Salsa is an important ingredient in this chicken chile Verde instant pot dish. The flavors of the onions, garlic, tomatillos, and lime juice all come together with the chicken breasts and thighs to create culinary magic.
What’s the difference between Chicken Salsa Verde and Chicken Chile Verde
These are two similar-sounding dishes that actually taste quite different. They are both amazing in their own right, but it’s worth clearing up how they’re different.
Chicken Salsa Verde is a lighter dish made with tomatillos, onions, garlic, spices, and chicken.
Chicken Chile Verde has more of a deep Chile flavor. Most recipes use poblano peppers, jalapeños, Anaheim chiles, tomatillos, onions, and garlic.
Traditionally Chile Verde is made with diced pork, but you’ll see recipes with chicken thighs instead of pork. It’s a heartier dish that’s akin to a stew with shredded chicken.
Both Chicken Salsa Verde and Chicken Chile Verde can be made in the Instant Pot, Crock pot, or on the stove.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
What do you need to make this instant pot chicken salsa verde? Here are the ingredient notes and some substitutions.
- Cooking oil – This can be canola or olive oil.
- Chicken – We used boneless chicken breasts and thighs. Or feel free to use other cuts of chicken. However, chicken thighs tend to be the most flavorful and juicy.
- Salsa Verde – I like Trader Joe’s Hatch Valley Salsa. You can also use Herdez Salsa Verde.
- Spices – We used ground cumin, dried, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You can also add some smoked paprika, chili powder, or red pepper flakes for added heat.
- (Optional) Sour cream – If you’d like to make this a creamy salsa verde chicken, you can add a little sour cream to the sauce.
Kitchen Tools Needed
How to Make This Instant Pot Chicken
Here are the instructions on how to make this chicken Chile Verde instant pot meal. It’s only 10 minutes of cook time and 10 minutes to release the steam.
- Add a little oil to your pressure cooker pan to prevent sticking or getting a burn notice. It also cuts down on the amount of time for the pot to come to pressure, and pressure cooks faster. Add chicken to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Pour the Trader Joe’s green salsa and spices over the chicken.
- Close the lid and turn the sealing lever to seal if needed. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes cook time (12 minutes for frozen). Then allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before performing a quick release to release the pressure.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and shred with two forks. Stir in sour cream for creamy salsa verde chicken, and use an immersion blender to create a creamy salsa verde sauce.
Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken
If you want to make this into a creamy version of salsa verde chicken, add a 1/2 cup of sour cream or softened cream cheese after cooking. Then use an immersion blender or pour the sauce into a blender and mix.
If you pour it into a blender, use caution when removing the lid because of the hot liquid.
How to Shred Chicken in Mixer or by Hand
Shredding chicken in mixer
Did you know you can shred your chicken using a mixer? Here’s how:
Shredding chicken by hand
Another great way to shred chicken (and the most classic way) is to use two forks and a mixing bowl.
Before shredding the chicken by hand, place them in a large bowl and cut the chicken breasts in half.
Hand shred with two forks by placing them in the middle of the chicken pieces and pull each fork in opposite directions.
Serving Suggestions for Instant Pot Chicken Verde
Now that you have this super yummy salsa verde chicken, how are you going to eat it? One of the best ways is right out of the pot and in a bowl.
Sprinkle the top with some crunchy pepitas, fresh cilantro, minced green onion, or a dollop of sour cream.
One of my favorite ways is to add the shredded chicken to corn tortillas and make chicken tacos. Or make burrito bowls with the shredded chicken, beans, rice, cheese, and top with salsa, sour cream, and tortilla chips.
Craving for Another Chicken Recipes?
If you are craving some chicken recipes, Instant Pot Chicken Tenders is another perfect meal for you. Want creamy and melt-in-your-mouth goodness? Instant Pot Chicken Thighs and Potatoes is also a great recipe to try.
Freezing and Reheating Salsa Chicken
After you make the salsa chicken, you may have some leftovers. There are a couple of things you can do to keep it fresh and serve it later.
Store it in an air-tight container and in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat from the fridge, remove the container’s lid and place it sideways on the bowl so it lets a little air escape. Then heat it in 30-second increments until the temperature reaches 165º F.
To freeze the instant pot salsa verde chicken, put it in a freezer bag or air-tight container, label it with its name and date. Freeze it for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to eat it, let it completely thaw in the fridge or use the defrost function on your microwave to thaw.
When you’re ready to serve it, heat it up in the microwave the same as above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Salsa verde is tangy from the tomatillos, and since they are cooked with onions and garlic, the flavors all come together to make a delicious sauce.
No, salsa verde is made by cooking tomatillos, onions, and garlic while chimichurri is made by blending fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, and oregano with vinegar, oil, and other spices.
Regular red salsa is made with tomatoes and is not cooked. Salsa verde is made with green tomatillos and chiles and is cooked.
Instant Pot Chicken Salsa Verde Recipe
Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen chicken)
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs (fresh or frozen chicken)
- 1 jar (12 ounce) Salsa Verde (I like Trader Joe's or Hatch Valley brands)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and black pepper
Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken (optional)
- ½ cup sour cream
- Add a little oil to your Instant Pot pan to prevent sticking or getting a burn notice. Add chicken to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Pour salsa and spices over the chicken.
- Close the lid and turn the sealing lever to seal, if needed. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (12 minutes for frozen), then allow pressure to naturally release for at 10 minutes before performing a quick release.
- Remove chicken from pot and shred (see notes below) or serve as boneless chicken breasts and thighs. Stir in sour cream for Creamy Salsa Verde chicken, and use an imersion blender to create a creamy salsa verde sauce. Serve over rice with tortillas, over tortilla chips and top with cheese to make nachos, make chicken tacos or burritos.Keep leftovers to use in another recipe like Chicken Enchiladas or Green Goddess Cobb Salad.