This Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken is a total game changer for any Mexican dish!! A delicious roasted tomatillo sauce is tossed into your Instant Pot (or slow cooker), to make the yummiest shredded and flavorful chicken. Put inside a taco, in a salad, or on a bed of rice for a versatile meal!
Coming at ya this Saturday with yet another way to enjoy your beloved Mexican food: the Salsa Verde way.
I love all foods green. In fact, I cannot think of a single green food that I don’t like. My love for Salsa Verde runs deep. It contains all my favorite green foods in one single sauce. It’s also one of my very first Mexican dishes I fell in love with as a kid.
What is salsa verde?
It wasn’t until I was an adult did I realize how salsa verde was actually made: tomatillos. You see, I used to hate tomatoes when I was little. Although I was a fan of salsa, I was convinced that green salsa was far superior because it didn’t have tomatoes. I would consume salsa verde by the spoonful, on top of my tortilla chips, smothered all over my burritos and nachos. I’ve always loved that stuff.
So what are tomatillos exactly? They are tomatoes, they are another fruit from the same family, and have a different taste than tomatoes and even green tomatoes. You can tell the difference because they contain a paper-like husk, and they make the most delicious peppery salsa!
Now as a grown woman who still has a Mexican food obsession, salsa verde chicken is a recipe I make often. It makes such a great Taco Tuesday meal, or as a filling in enchiladas. I often use a jar of salsa verde from Trader Joe’s; it’s delicious!
As delicious as it is, nothing compares to a homemade salsa verde sauce. It has this smoky, fresh, acidic, and tangy flavor that I LOVE!!! For this version of Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken, the homemade salsa verde sauce starts off with roasted veggies in the oven. You will want a nice blistering effect on the tomatillos.
Blend up with some lime juice, cilantro, and onion for the most incredible sauce!
Variations to Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken:
Can this be made in the slow cooker? Yes, absolutely! This easy dinner can also be made in the Slow Cooker, cooking on low for 4 hours.
What if I want to use jarred salsa verde and hit the easy button? You can definitely do that too. I would recommend 2 cups, but also blend it with an additional 1/3 cup fresh cilantro. Often the jarred stuff has very little cilantro, or none at all.
Serving Salsa Verde Chicken:
Salsa verde chicken is best enjoyed for taco nights, or in a bowl full of everything you love. What do I mean by that? I love to layer mine with Cauliflower Rice (my Cilantro Lime or Spanish Cauliflower Rice are perfect) or over a bed of greens. I then top with avocado or guacamole, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and even jalapeños. Load it up to make it the best!!
Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- 1.5 lbs tomatillos husks removed
- 1 large poblano pepper de-seeded and sliced in half
- 2 jalapeno peppers de-seeded and sliced in half
- 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- 2/3 cup diced white onion
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 lime juice of
- 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
For the Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken thighs* or breast
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
Begin by making your tomatillo salsa verde. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Slice the tomatillos in half and place cut side down on your baking sheet. Place the peppers cut side down on the same sheet. Lightly brush with oil, and place in the oven. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops of the veggies are blistered (see photo in post). Remove from the oven.
Place roasted veggies, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime and sea salt in a blender. Pulse and blend for until smooth (don't over pulse).
Now place the chicken in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Pour the salsa verde on top. Add chicken broth, and cumin. Secure the lid on your Instant Pot, ensuring the valve is turned to the sealed position. Select manual (or pressure for different models), and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
Use a quick release and release all steam before opening the lid of your IP. Shred the chicken with a fork and serve, adding additional salt to taste.
For the slow cooker, place chicken on the bottom of your slow cooker and top with salsa verde. You do not need the chicken broth. Add in some cumin. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until the chicken is fork tender.
Ensure any visible fat is removed from the chicken thighs.