That Zest Life

Instant Pot Chicken Salsa Verde

Welcome to my first ever blog post! I’m pretty stinking excited to be sharing food with you, finally. I’ve always enjoyed photography, eating, and in the past few years, cooking, so I’m excited to have a place to share. One of the reasons that I started the blog is that I was hearing from my friends that they have no idea how to make recipes they find. That didn’t really make sense to me. I thought “if you can read, you can cook!” After fielding many questions as people worked through recipes it became clear to me that people don’t know what to change to make them really great. We all have different tastes and likes and with practice you learn what to change to make a dish that you love.

salsa verde chicken and rice

Case in point is this recipe! I don’t actually historically like salsa verde. It tends to be watery and soupy, in my opinion. Plus it tends to be made in a slow cooker and those meld all the flavors into one which I find a bit boring. But when I saw a picture of a beautiful bowl of chicken salsa verde on NYTCooking by Sarah Digregorio I knew I had to try it out with my own flair.

The number one most important part of making a delicious salsa verde is loving the salsa that you use as the base. Don’t use one that you feel just ok about, because then you’re going to feel just ok about your final dish. When I first discovered Trader Joe’s Green Dragon Hot Sauce I put it on everything for a week. I loved how different and wonderful it tastes with so much flavor. That’s how you want to feel about the salsa you use. I love the dragon hot sauce so I absolutely loved the flavor of my dish.

I wanted more chunk to my salsa verde so I added a lot of vegetables like corn and onion. If you like a more soupy version, reduce the amount of onion, pepper and corn. Or feel free to add vegetables you like better! Anything you’d find in a Mexican restaurant would make sense here. I also charred my vegetables before pressure cooking them because I like the flavor that comes from getting that maillard reaction on the vegetables. There is a distinctive flavor that comes with browned food that adds more dimension. My recommendation is to brown whichever veggies you chose.

salsa verde chicken keto

I also always add way more spices than the recipe calls for. I recently walked my mom through cooking my spaghetti sauce and she kept saying “More? MORE? Omg Megan”. But you know what, she raved about the depth of flavor. Don’t be afraid to go a little ham with your spices, too. If there is a particular Latin spice that you love that I didn’t use, don’t be afraid to try it out. I didn’t use chili powder or anything red because I wanted a green salsa verde.

You’ll find in my pictures that the two dishes look really different. Fear not! They’re the same salsa verde with a few changes for me and my boyfriend, Adam. For mine dish on the left (below) I used cauliflower rice and fried up some jalapenos to top off my plate since Adam doesn’t like spicy food and I wanted more heat. His plate on the right is simply rice and sans jalapeños. Easy adjustments you can make if you and your loved one have different opinions on what spicy is.

salsa verde chicken bowls

I can’t wait for you to try this and see what changes you have made to make this yours! Let me know what you think and tag me in your pictures @thatzestlife! You may be the source of my next inspiration.

If you like this, use the leftovers to make Chicken Chilaquiles! Super simple and extra delicious.

*As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

chicken salsa verde slow cooker
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5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken

If you love chips and salsa, then you will love chicken salsa verde. The instant pot makes this an easy weeknight meal that the whole family will enjoy.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: instant pot chicken verde serious eats, instant pot salsa verde recipe, keto green chili chicken instant pot, salsa verde chicken bowls, salsa verde chicken instant pot skinnytaste, salsa verde chicken keto, salsa verde grilled chicken, trader joes salsa verde chicken instant pot
Servings: 4 servings


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (seeds removed if you don't like things too spicy)
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced
  • 18 oz favorite green salsa (I love Trader Joe's green dragon hot sauce)
  • 2 cups frozen corn (I used roasted frozen corn)
  • ½ cup hatch green chiles, diced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground onion powder
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped (white and green part)


  • In a skillet over high heat, add 1 tbsp oil and roast onions, green peppers, and jalapenos until starting to brown. Add onion, garlic, and cumin powders and stir to combine, until fragrant.
  • Add chicken, salsa, frozen corn, green chiles, and onion spice mixture to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine. Set Instant Pot to Manual and let come to pressure for 8 minutes then allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes then release remaining pressure. If sauce is too thin, remove chicken and allow the salsa verde to simmer until reduced. Return chicken.
  • Serve over rice or chips or cauliflower rice and top with lime, cilantro, and green onions.


You can saute you veggies in the Instant Pot using the “saute” function. I don’t prefer that method because I like having control over the heat and getting a really good blister on my vegetables. If you want a 1 pot wonder, go for it all!

10 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chicken Salsa Verde

  1. 5 stars
    I made this tonight with only a few changes, and it was absolutely delicious! Honestly one of the best burrito bowls I’ve made. The spices are well balanced and compliment the other flavors in the dish. Thank you for posting!

  2. I’m buying the ingredients to try this ASAP and use the leftovers to make your breakfast! Can’t wait! The pictures look amazing.

  3. 5 stars
    Made it tonight and it was delicious! Had an instant pot fail, it wouldn’t seal, so I cooked it on the stove. I made the recipe as written except I didn’t have a green pepper, only an orange one. My chicken was frozen so I cooked it a bit longer. I also added diced avocado before serving. The green chile I used was hot so the dish had a good bit of spice. Perfect weeknight meal because with wasn’t hard to do! Will definitely make it again!!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Cooking from frozen makes it even more simple to make on a weeknight and it just goes to show you that you can make this without an instant pot in a flash! Thanks for making it!

  4. 5 stars
    Love, love, love this! Although my husband and I have differing opinions on how spicy to make it. It was really delicious.

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! I hear you on having to adjust for different spice levels. I usually saute jalapenos to top mine off with and leave out the jalapenos in the dish to account for those crazy people who don’t like it spicy!

  5. 5 stars
    I am a very inexperienced cook, but this recipe was simple and easy to follow. It cooked up in no time at all and was so easy to just throw in the instant pot and let it go! The meal turned out great and tasted amazing! Saved the extra as meal prep for my lunches throughout the week. 10/10 would recommend!

    1. It’s a great dish for those just starting out cooking! It makes me happy that you were able to follow it and enjoyed it!

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