This Instant Pot Salsa Chicken with brown rice might be the EASIEST dinner ever! Basically hands-free, this 3-ingredient one-pot meal comes together in less than an hour, and the Instant Pot does most of the work for you! All you need is frozen chicken thighs, salsa, and brown rice!!! Frozen chicken and brown rice cook perfectly in an Instant Pot.
Yes, you don’t even need to thaw the chicken for this salsa chicken recipe! Crazy, right?
HOW TO COOK SALSA CHICKEN IN THE INSTANT POT?
Ready for the Instant Pot to do all the hard work? This appliance is a real lifesaver and saves SO much time! If you are new to an Instant Pot, then start with my Instant Pot beginner’s guide!
- Step 1. Rinse the rice, place it in an oven-safe bowl with water and stir in olive oil and salt.
- Step 2. Place the frozen chicken in the inner pot of Instant Pot and pour the salsa over it.
- Step 3. Put your trivet over the chicken and place the bowl of rice on top.
- Step 4. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook/Manual setting for 25 minutes on high.
- Step 5. Once times up allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, and then carefully turn the valve to venting. Only open once the pin has dropped. Then fluff the rice with a fork and shred the chicken.
TIP: Use two forks, one in each hand and pull the meat apart. When cooking lots of chicken, I like to use my mixer to shred the chicken!
You’re ready to serve!
CAN YOU USE FROZEN CHICKEN IN AN INSTANT POT?
Your Instant Pot is made to make your life easier. It’s definitely safe to take frozen chicken and cook them in an Instant Pot and it can be done in as little as 40 minutes.
Keep in mind, it’ll take a little bit longer to come to pressure. By the way, here is my guide for how to cook frozen chicken breasts and it’ll help you with weekly meal prep!
WHY USE BROWN RICE FOR THE INSTANT POT SALSA CHICKEN?
Frozen chicken works beautifully in this Instant Pot salsa chicken recipe because brown rice needs a longer cooking time.
And because brown rice is cooked using the pot-in-pot method, it takes slightly longer than if you would cook it in the inner pot directly. But after 25 minutes of cooking, brown rice comes out perfectly cooked with a nice chew.
WHAT ELSE CAN I SERVE THE SALSA CHICKEN WITH?
You can serve salsa chicken over brown rice just like this, or repurpose the leftovers in tacos, or burrito. Honestly, though, you won’t have much leftover from this recipe. You can totally double the recipe too!
Also, if you’re in the mood for a complete Mexican meal, serve with Instant Pot refried beans, which can be made ahead.
Instant Pot Salsa Chicken and Brown Rice
- 1 cup brown rice Note 1
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 lb frozen chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- 1 cup chunky salsa Note 2
- Rinse the rice in a colander, drain well and place it in an oven-safe bowl. (Make sure the bowl is big enough for rice to expand.)
- Add 1 cup of water and stir in olive oil and salt.
- Place the frozen chicken in inner pot of Instant Pot.
- Pour salsa over the chicken.
- Put a trivet over the chicken and salsa and place the bowl with rice on top.
- Close the lid and make sure the valve is set to “sealing”.
- Set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook/Manual for 25 minutes on high. (NOTE: It took 15 minutes for my IP to come to pressure.)
- Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, and then carefully turn the valve to venting. Once the pin drops, carefully open the lid.
- Using silicone mitts, carefully take the bowl with rice out. Fluff it with a fork.
- Using kitchen tongs and a fork, shred the chicken, and serve over rice.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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This post was originally published on March 1, 2019, and last updated on February 6, 2020.