Tender, shredded salsa chicken cooked with black beans, and corn. This recipe takes 5 minutes to prep with options to cook in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker!
While it seems the rest of the country is enjoying warmer temperatures these days, we in Minnesota have been holding steady the in 30s and 40s, patiently waiting for a taste of spring. I see a light at the end of the tunnel come Thursday, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. An April snowstorm isn’t completely out of the question.
So what’s a girl to cook during this in-between season? Truth be told, I’m not completely ready to break out the fresh berries and go crazy with all the lovely spring dishes just yet. With a chill still in the air, I’m continuing to operate in comfort food mode. And since our weeknights have been crazier than ever lately, I’ve been turning to my Instant Pot and slow cooker to make life a little easier!
The Instant Crock Series
Today, I’m kicking off a 4-recipe series that I’m calling The Instant Crock series. Over the next month or so, I’ll be sharing 4 healthy, easy, and comforting recipes that can be made in both the Instant Pot and Crock Pot/slow cooker!
I’m starting off the series with a recipe so simple and delicious, you’ll want to make it every week! I’ve actually been making this saucy shredded chicken recipe since my husband and I were newlyweds nearly 10 years ago. It started as a slow cooker recipe, but now that I’m an avid Instant Pot user, I’ve found myself using this method the most.
Either way, this Easy Salsa Chicken has amazing flavor and it requires about 5 minutes of prep time and 4 ingredients:
- Chicken breasts
- A can of black beans
- Frozen (or fresh) corn
- A jar of your favorite salsa
The chicken acquires all of its flavor from the salsa, which is why I suggest using your favorite kind. Over the years I’ve used standard Pace salsa, salsa verde, and fruity salsa and all versions have yielded tender, shredded chicken with amazing flavor. Cooking right along with the chicken are black beans, which give this dish some heartiness and corn for a pop of sweetness. Together with the salsa, this chicken dish is filling enough to eat on its own (with tortilla chips for scooping obviously). But you can also make so many different healthy meals with it. More on that later. To cook the chicken, simply add everything to the Instant Pot or slow cooker and let the the appliances work their magic.
Easy Salsa Chicken in the Instant Pot
If using the Instant pot, I’ve found 20 minutes on the manual setting with high pressure to be the perfect cooking time. Of course, if you find that your chicken isn’t quite tender enough to shred at the end of the 20 minutes, you can always set the timer for another 5 minutes on the manual setting. It’s up to you whether you’d like to use the quick release or natural release method to let the steam out. I tend to use natural release only because I don’t always hear the beep of the Instant Pot, letting me know it’s done cooking. Once cooking is finished, remove the chicken from the slow cooker to shred. Then, return to the slow cooker and stir it in with the rest of the ingredients.
A Note about the Instant Pot Burn Message
I’ve been reading a lot about the frustrating burn warning that some Instant Pots are giving when food reaches a certain temperature. If you own a newer Instant Pot, you most likely know what I’m talking about. I’ve never received this warning with my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo that I purchased a couple years ago, but here are a couple tips that may help you avoid and troubleshoot the burn warning:
- Before cooking, add 1 cup of chicken broth to the pot first. Then, add in the rest of the ingredients. I’ve read that sometimes up to 3 cups of additional liquid is required, but I’d start with 1 cup first.
- Pour the salsa in last. I’ve read that tomato-based sauces can often burn the bottom of the pan.
- Read this super helpful and comprehensive post all about the burn message.
Easy Salsa Chicken in the Slow Cooker
If using the slow cooker, the cooking times for this Easy Salsa Chicken are fairly standard. If cooking on high, I’d suggest 4-6 hours. If cooking on low, I’d suggest 8 hours. Temperature settings may vary, so cooking times could be more or less than what I’ve suggested. Once cooking is finished, remove the chicken from the slow cooker to shred. Then, return to the slow cooker and stir in with the rest of the ingredients.
Easy Salsa Chicken Meal Ideas
I’ve saved the best part for last! This Easy Salsa Chicken is so incredibly versatile because it can be used in practically any Mexican-inspired meal you’re craving. Tacos, nachos, burrito bowls…the possibilities are endless. When styling the photos for this post, I made quinoa bowls by simply combing the salsa chicken, quinoa, and my favorite taco fixings. If you’d like even more ideas on how to make a meal out of this Easy Salsa Chicken, I invite you to join me over on my Facebook page this week. Starting today, I’ll be sharing one video per day showing a quick and easy meal idea that uses the Easy Salsa Chicken. Come on over to Facebook to join in on the fun!
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase via the links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I appreciate your support!Print
Easy Salsa Chicken
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Tender, shredded chicken with black beans, and corn. This recipe takes 5 minutes to prep with options to cook in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker!
- 20 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
- 1 large jar (24 ounces) of your favorite salsa
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
- 2 cups frozen corn
- Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot or slow cooker.
- For the Instant Pot: Cook on the high pressure manual setting for 20 minutes. If chicken does not easily shred, cook for another 5 minutes on the high pressure manual setting. See notes for tips on the “burn” warning.
- For the slow cooker: Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and shred. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and stir to combine with the other ingredients.
If your Instant Pot usually gives burn warnings when making dishes like this, there may not be enough liquid in the pot to bring it to pressure. Before cooking, add 1 cup of chicken broth to the pot first. Then, add in the rest of the ingredients. I’ve read that sometimes up to 3 cups of additional liquid is required, but I’d start with 1 cup first.
Another tip to avoid the burn message? Pour the salsa in last. I’ve read that tomato-based sauces can often burn the bottom of the pan.
Approximately how many chicken breasts did you use in the easy salsa chicken recipe?
I believe I used 3 or 4 –basically however many came in the 20 ounce package from the grocery store.
Pat Cody says
Do you drain the beans?
I apologize for the late reply, Pat. Yes, drain the beans.