Main Dishes

June 15, 2021

Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

These easy Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos ready in 60 minutes and topped with avocado, jalapenos, lime juice, cilantro, and cotija cheese. They're perfect for busy weeknight dinners or meal prep recipes.

I'm officially into my third trimester of my first pregnancy and let me tell you I'm TIRED. It's like all of a sudden a switch flipped and my body just gave up!

It's been so hard to realize that I'm not being lazy, I'm just in the final stages of growing a human being, my sweet little boy, and my body is using all my energy to help him. As a result, I've had to reluctantly adjust my expectations for work, diet, exercise, and sleep. Instead of doing 6-7 photoshoots a week and publishing 3 new recipes, I've barely averaged 3 photoshoots and 1 new recipe each week.

As you can imagine, I've been trying to create recipes that are EASY to make, like easy enough I could take a solid nap and my husband could make dinner.

My solution to my reduced work capacity and energy levels is quite a tasty one and it's todays brand new recipe: Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos!

W‍hy you'll love this recipe

Easy to make: only 10 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes of cook time for this quick dinner.

Simple ingredients: all you need is some pantry staples and a few things from the grocery store.

Great for meal prep: this recipes makes a lot of chicken, so you can use the leftovers for more tacos or a taco salad.

Amazing flavor: between the sauce, the flavorful chicken, and all the toppings, this is easily one of our favorite taco recipes!

Family friendly: this recipe is not spicy and everyone can choose their own toppings. The whole family will love it!

A platter of instant pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

Ingredients you'll need

Ok, if I could only give you one reason to make these incredible salsa verde tacos, it would be that you only need 5 main ingredients! That's it! It's only 7 ingredients total if you include cumin and olive oil. Then, you just build your tacos with your favorite tortillas and toppings. The key ingredients for easy instant pot chicken tacos are:

  • Chicken breasts: really, you could use any chicken here, but to keep these tacos lean and high protein, I use chicken breasts. Make sure to trim your meat before cooking! If you use frozen chicken breasts, you need to thaw it before cooking in the Instant Pot.
  • Salsa verde: literally translated as "green sauce" or "green salsa," salsa verde is traditionally made from tomatillos, garlic, and a few spices. It's a little bit sweet, has a dark green color, and has a thicker consistency than green enchilada sauce. I love this brand of salsa verde for these instant pot chicken tacos!
  • Vegetables: we're using yellow onion, green pepper, and garlic cloves to add a boost of flavor to the jar of salsa verde.
  • Seasonings: to keep things simple, I only included cumin, but feel free to add other seasonings like onion powder, chili powder, oregano, or black pepper.
  • Tortillas of choice: I love my low carb tortillas so I have more room for a side of black beans or cilantro lime rice, but you can use whatever you like! I think white corn tortillas or even lettuce wraps would taste great, too.

Substitutions

Feel free to use equal amounts of pre-made shredded chicken to make things even easier or use chicken thighs for more flavor and some dark meat.

Don't have green peppers? Use any bell peppers you have on hand!

If you have fresh salsa verde or your own salsa verde, those will work too! Just be sure to use two cups. You might have to add a touch of water or chicken broth, too.

If you don't have fresh garlic or don't want to mince garlic, you can use 1 tablespoon garlic powder.

My favorite toppings

  • Shredded lettuce or chopped romaine lettuce
  • Jalapeno coins or diced green chiles
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Cotija cheese or queso fresco
  • Fresh cilantro or pico de gallo
  • Slices of lime or fresh lime juice
  • Tomatillo salsa
  • Homemade crema
  • Homemade jalapeño ranch

Salsa verde chicken tacos with lettuce, limes, and cotija cheese

How to make salsa chicken tacos

Really, it's quite simple! It's basically three steps, ten minutes of work, and five ingredients for the most delicious salsa verde tacos.

Step 1: sauté the veggies

Add the olive oil to the bottom of the Instant Pot and wait for the pot to warm up.

Sauté the peppers, onions, and cumin for 7 minutes until they're fragrant.

After the timer goes off, add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes while the Instant Pot is cooling down.

Why add the garlic after, you ask? Minced garlic cooks very quickly, burns easily, and the Instant Pot "saute" mode only has one heat setting (high heat), so adding the garlic after the timer is finished gives us just the right amount of time and heat.

Step 2: cook the chicken

Now that the vegetables and aromatics are done, spread them in a single layer to cover the bottom of the pot and nestle the chicken breasts on top.

Pour the salsa verde over the chicken and spoon the sauce over the chicken to make sure every inch is saturated with the sauce. (The chicken doesn't have to be completely immersed, just wet.)

Cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes, naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.

Step 3: serve the tacos

Shred your delicious chicken on a cutting board, then mix it back in with the salsa verde.

Serve with your favorite tortillas and taco toppings! For this recipe, I used avocados, jalapenos, limes, cilantro, cotija cheese, and a drizzle of this tasty Mexican ranch dressing.


What to serve with salsa verde tacos

A plate of salsa verde chicken

Tips for the best Instant Pot chicken tacos

  1. Dice your veggies small: the smaller they are, the easier they saute and the better they blend in with the salsa verde.
  2. Have all the ingredients ready: you really can have the most amazing instant pot chicken tacos in 45 minutes, start to finish. The key is having all the ingredients ready to add when you need them!
  3. Be patient with pressure release: I know it's so tempting to hear the Instant Pot go off and immediately switch the valve from "seal" to "vent," but it actually doesn't save you any time. In fact, it just makes a bigger mess from all the excess water! I actually timed manual release right after the timer and it took just over 10 minutes to vent all the steam, so just wait until the display reads "L:10" and you'll be much happier.
  4. Shred chicken with a mixer: I love this hack! Whenever I have to shred lots of chicken, I always throw it in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment and let the mixer do all the work. It's worth the extra dishes in my opinion! You can also use a hand mixer.
  5. Toast your tortillas: a little char on the edges really enhances the flavor and texture of a standard flour tortilla, so skip the microwave and go straight to the stove!
  6. Use ALL the sauce: after you mix the chicken back in, it'll absorb a good amount of the salsa verde, but there will still be some leftover. USE IT! Besides, the nutrition facts assume you've used all the sauce, anyway, so there's no extra calories involved!

More easy Mexican recipes

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Easy 30 Minute Beef Sheet Pan Quesadillas

Sweet Chili Lime Pulled Pork Tacos with Peach Mango Salsa

Incredible Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

‍Southwestern Cobb Salad

Huevos Rancheros Enchiladas

Chorizo Sausage Breakfast Tacos

Air Fryer Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

A salsa verde chicken taco with avocado, lime, and cotija cheese

I can't wait to hear how your family loves these Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos! They're so easy to make and so easy to customize!

Be sure to leave a star rating and review below the recipe card after you try this recipe. It helps other readers, myself, and Google know how you liked it!

Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

These easy Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos ready in 60 minutes and topped with avocado, jalapenos, lime juice, cilantro, and cotija cheese. They're perfect for busy weeknight dinners or meal prep recipes.

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

10

min

cook:

40

min

total:

50

min

servings:

10

Ingredients

For the Salsa Verde Chicken

  • 1½ lbs. chicken breasts, roughly chopped*
  • 16 oz. salsa verde
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

For the Tacos

  • 10 flour tortillas  (taco size)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced into coins
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • ⅔ C cotija cheese crumbles
  • ⅓ C chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a large glass measuring cup, measure 1½ cups salsa verde. Set aside.
  2. Set the Instant Pot to "saute" mode for 7 minutes and heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute the onion, green pepper, and cumin until the timer runs out, then add in the minced garlic and continue to saute while the Instant Pot cools down, about 3 minutes.
  3. Nestle the chicken breasts on top of the sauteed vegetables and pour the salsa verde over the chicken. Spoon the salsa verde over the chicken to make sure all parts of the chicken are covered in sauce. Close the Instant Pot and make sure the lid is set to "seal." Cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. Allow 10 minutes of natural release (wait for the display to read "L:10"), then manually release any remaining pressure.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, prepare your toppings.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred. Mix back in with the salsa verde and vegetables and keep warm until ready to serve.
  6. Spoon ½ cup of salsa verde chicken into a tortilla and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

*Cut each chicken breast into two or three pieces (about 4-6 oz. each) to ensure all the chicken cooks evenly in the Instant Pot.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate 1/2 cup of the prepared Salsa Verde Chicken, not including tortillas or any toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cup chicken / Calories: 100 / Fat: 2.9g / Saturated Fat: 0.5g / Sodium: 444mg / Carbohydrates: 4.4g / Fiber: 0.5g / Sugar: 2.4g / Protein: 14.8g