Mexican inspired shredded chicken with salsa verde made in the pressure cooker or crockpot is a delicious and easy recipe for busy weeknights. Flavorful, juicy chicken breasts pulled apart in a flavorful Mexican inspired sauce is perfect for burritos, tacos, nachos and salads.
Welcome to your new favorite easy chicken breast recipe! This instant pot chicken breasts recipe is my favorite for nights when I just don’t feel like cooking. I never get sick of Mexican food and this shredded chicken is perfect for stuffing in burritos and tacos or topping nachos and Mexican chicken salads. It’s also faster than ordering and picking up Chipotle!
I usually end up doubling and making a big batch of this recipe to have on hand for quick meals. Not only is it easy to make but it freezes like a dream, making it a great way to stock up for meal prep. Guaranteed this will quickly become one of your favorite Instant Pot go-to recipes.
Also check out this recipe for Chicken Tinga Tacos!
Ingredients and Substitutions
All you need is a few simple ingredients to make this recipe:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – I use boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but boneless skinless chicken thighs will work too. I get organic chicken breasts from Butcher Box and keep my freezer stocked. It saves so much time, money, stress and encourages healthier eating when you always have quick, easy and delicious options at home!
- Salsa verde – about two cups or a 16 ounce jar of salsa. Salsa verde heat levels vary widely so be sure to check the label. 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 cloves – I use fresh minced garlic for this recipe but if you don’t feel like dealing with mincing garlic, swap in a half teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Seasonings – a little bit of chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt. You could also swap in a few teaspoons of taco seasoning.
- 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 you’re not a fan of cilantro, toss in some thinly sliced scallions.
- Grains or tortillas and toppings – serve it on tortillas or lettuce wraps with avocado slices and some crumbled queso fresco. Add it to burrito bowls with cilantro lime rice and black beans. Add it to a pile of cheesy tortilla chips, make a delicious taco salad – it’s your world!
How to make pressure cooker pulled chicken
Making the best shredded chicken is super easy in the Instant Pot. If you don’t have an electric pressure cooker, you can easily do this your slow cooker.
- 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 high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to natural release for 10 minutes. Carefully release the remaining pressure and open the lid away from your face.
- Use two forks to coarsely shred chicken directly in the cooking liquid, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve. If you made a big batch and you can’t get in there with forks, use a slotted spoon or pair of tongs to transfer the cooked chicken to a large bowl and use a hand mixer shred the chicken and add the shredded meat back to the sauce. You can also do this your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- While the chicken cooks, heat up some tortillas and get your toppings ready to make chicken tacos, burritos, nachos or a bowl.
For the slow cooker, add all of the ingredients to the pot and cook the chicken on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until it’s cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.
Yes. Follow the same instructions and cook the chicken on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
The best part about this recipe is that you can absolutely use frozen chicken and you don’t even have to thaw it first! Just increase the cook time to 12 minutes. The Instant Pot will take a little longer to come to pressure when using frozen chicken, but you will get the same tender, juicy, perfectly cooked results.
Cooked chicken will stay good for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Yes. Add it to a freezer bags and push all of the air out and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to do this in individual portions for quick and easy meal prep. To thaw, place it in the refrigerator overnight or submerge the tightly sealed bag in cold water.
You can reheat in the microwave or stovetop. The salsa verde sauce keeps it super moist and prevents the shredded chicken from drying out.
More easy Instant Pot recipes you will love
Easy Instant Pot Salsa Verde Mexican Pulled Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast 1.5 to 2 pounds
- 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 10 minutes.
- Allow to natural release for at least 10 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.