Main Dishes

June 15, 2021

Easy 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 E-A-S-Y 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!

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! You can use fresh or frozen meat here too, but if you use frozen chicken, you need to thaw it before cooking in the Instant Pot.
  • Salsa verde: literally translated as "green sauce," salsa verde is traditionally made from tomatillos, garlic, and a few spices. It's a little bit sweet and has a thicker consistency than green enchilada sauce. I love this brand of salsa verde for these instant pot chicken tacos!
  • Veggies and aromatics: we're using diced onion, green pepper, and minced garlic to add a boost of flavor to the salsa verde. Sauteing them will not only take your sauce from a 5 to an 11, it will make your kitchen smell amazing!

Then, of course, you need all the toppings. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Jalapeno coins
  • Sliced avocado
  • Cotija cheese
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Homemade crema (grab the recipe here)
  • Homemade jalapeno ranch (grab the recipe here)

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

How to make salsa verde 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.

Start by sauteing the vegetables in the Instant Pot. After the timer goes off, mix in the garlic and saute 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.

Now that the vegetables and aromatics are done, spread them in an even layer to cover the bottom of the pot (image 1) and nestle the chicken breasts on top. Pour the salsa verde over the chicken and spoon the sauce over the chicken (image 2) 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 manually release the remaining pressure.

Shred your delicious chicken then toss it back in the salsa verde (image 3). Serve with your favorite tortillas and toppings! For this recipe, I used avocados, jalapenos, limes, cilantro, cotija cheese, and a drizzle of this tasty Mexican ranch dressing.

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 the 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.

A plate of salsa verde chicken

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. Enjoy as a salad: looking for a gluten-free or low-carb option? Skip the tortillas and toss the salsa verde chicken in some fresh lettuce with all the toppings for an easy salad (pictured below)!

More easy Mexican recipes

Easy 30 Minute Beef Sheet Pan Quesadillas

Instant Pot Sweet Chili Lime Pulled Pork Tacos with a Peach Mango Salsa

Healthy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Sweet Citrus and Quinoa Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Incredible Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

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 after you try my recipe. It helps other readers, myself, and Google know how you liked it and what type of recipes you'd like to see in the future!

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Easy 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