This Mexican style salsa verde shredded chicken is packed with flavor and comes together with just a few simple ingredients in the Instant Pot. Juicy, tender pulled chicken breasts, perfect for tacos, burritos, bowls, nachos and salads. A quick and super easy IP chicken recipe that everyone will love!
This post was first published in June 2020. It has been updated most recently as of September 2021 with new photos and updated recipe notes.
Sometimes we all just need an easy Instant Pot chicken recipe. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner that’s mostly hands off, requires minimal effort and can be customized for everyone’s tastes.
This is my go-to recipe for nights when I just don’t feel like cooking. Making these shredded chicken breasts in the Instant Pot for tacos or a burrito bowl is actually faster than going to Chipotle!
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Ingredients and Substitutions
All you need is a few simple ingredients to make this recipe:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – having a stocked freezer is saves money and encourages healthier eating as you always have food at home! I love getting my proteins from Butcher Box. Everything comes packed in perfect portions so you can just thaw what you need at any given time. I use boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but boneless skinless thighs will work too.
- Salsa verde – a 16oz jar or about 2 cups of your favorite green salsa. Salsa verde varies widely in heat levels so be sure to check. I always keep a couple of jars of Herdez or Frontera medium salsa verde in my pantry to make this recipe. I like a little bit of kick!
- Garlic – I use fresh minced garlic for this recipe but if you don’t feel like dealing with it, swap in a half teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Seasonings – a little bit of chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt.
- Lime – fresh lime juice makes it pop. If you don’t have one on hand, leave it out. It will still be delicious!
- Fresh cilantro – adds some freshness to the juicy, tender shredded chicken. If cilantro tastes like soap to you, green onions work too.
- Grains or tortillas and toppings – my favorite thing about this recipe is how many different ways you can enjoy it. You can make tacos, burrito bowls, nachos, taco salads or quesadillas. My favorite way to eat it is with rice, black beans, avocado and maybe a sprinkling of queso fresco. Simple, quick and delicious!
How to make shredded or pulled chicken in the Instant Pot
Making pulled or shredded chicken in the Instant Pot could not be easier. In just a few simple steps, you’ll have dinner on the table in no time!
- Make sure the stainless steel insert is in the Instant Pot.
- Add the chicken, sprinkle with seasonings and garlic. Pour over green salsa and squeeze in lime.
- Make sure the sealing ring is in place and close the lid. Cook on manual pressure for 15 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to natural release for at least 5 minutes. Carefully release the remaining pressure and open the lid away from your face.
- Use two forks to coarsely shred the chicken directly in the sauce, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve.
Can I use a slow cooker to make this recipe?
Don’t have an Instant Pot? You can most definitely do this in your crockpot. Follow the same instructions and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
I do really recommend that you get yourself that Instant Pot. I hardly use my slow cooker anymore. Seriously, life changing!
Can I cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot
One of the best things about the Instant Pot is that you can cook your chicken breasts directly from the freezer! If you’re like me and you often don’t plan ahead, this is a lifesaver!
You simply follow the same instructions and increase the cooking time by 3 minutes. The Instant Pot will take a little bit longer to come to pressure using frozen chicken, but you will get the same, juicy, tender, perfectly cooked results!
Tips for storing and freezing
Cooked chicken keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. It’s great for meal prep!
This recipe also freezes well. Make sure the chicken is completely cooled before packing in freezer bags. I like to do this in individual portions. Freeze for up to three months.
More easy Instant Pot recipes
- 1.5 - 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 16 oz jar or 2 cups of your favorite green salsa
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Grains or tortillas and toppings for serving
- Place the stainless steel insert into the base of the Instant Pot.
- Add raw boneless skinless chicken breasts to the pot.
- Sprinkle over chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic and salt.
- Pour salsa over chicken and squeeze in lime juice.
- Set to manual pressure for 15 minutes.
- Allow to natural release for at least 5 minutes.
- Carefully release remaining pressure and open the lid away from your face.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken breasts directly in the pot, mixing with the sauce.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm over grains or in tortillas with your favorite toppings.
½ teaspoon of garlic powder may be substituted for fresh garlic.
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