In the Instant Pot world, this creamy salsa chicken is just about as easy as you can get. That’s saying a lot because pressure cooking is pretty easy, am I right?
Right now, without any fanfare I will give you the no-brainer version of this recipe. Right now. You ready? Pour salsa in the pot. Put chicken thighs over it. Pour Mexican sour cream, crema, over it. Pressure 10 minutes.
Now, the below recipe is a teeny tiny bit more involved, but dudes, not by much. The above no-brainer version? I have done this at least a dozen times and it’s damn good. You just cannot, CANNOT beat the quickness, the ease and the simplicity of this.
The recipe below basically has some veggies thrown in and the option to saute. Big freakin’ deal. It does give a deeper flavor profile, but it’s not a deal breaker.
I love creamy salsa chicken with warm tortillas. My wife eats it over rice. But you can shred the chicken and slap it in tacos or burritos.
Now, before we get it on, the sour cream issue: If you can find the Mexican sour cream with the green cap, use it. USE. IT. The creaminess of this is ridiculous. If you cannot find it, by all means, use regular sour cream. I’ll put a picture at the bottom of the post so you can see what it looks like. I find it everywhere, even Wal-Mart.
Speaking of Wal-Mart, call me crazy, but if I’m not putting my homemade salsa in this, I’m putting the Wal-Mart brand roasted tomato and chipotle salsa or the green one they make. Those are good man. You can use Pace or something like that, but try to choose a salsa that has a real depth of flavor.
Creamy Salsa Chicken – Instant Pot
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, trimmed
- 1 16 ounce jar salsa, Salsa Roja is my preference
- 12 ounces Mexican crema, or sour cream find in the dairy section
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, chopped, seeds removed leave the seeds in if you want heat
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- chopped cilantro
- cotija cheese, optional, garnish
- tortillas or rice for serving
- oil for browning/sauteing
This part is totally optional. Yes, it does add more flavor, but it's not necessary. I have just thrown all of the ingredients in the pot and it was delicious. If you're not gonna brown, skip down to the cook time.
Set the pressure cooker to saute. When the pot is hot, add oil in the bottom. If you want to brown the thighs, this is the time. Brown in batches and remove to a plate. Add the bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno. Saute for about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for another 1-2 minutes. Hit cancel or turn the pot off.
Whether you've decided to brown or not:
Add the jar of salsa and the cumin. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove brown bits if you have any. Place the chicken thighs in the salsa.
With the salsa I use, there is no need for more liquid. I have never had a problem. BUT, if you are using a really thick salsa, you may need to add 1/8 -1/4 cup of liquid to it. Use your best judgement, but I have never added liquid to this. I'm just telling you to be aware.
Pour 12 ounces of crema (or all 15 if you're feeling frisky) on top of the chicken salsa mixture. DO NOT STIR. JUST POUR IT ON TOP. ***If you're using sour cream, do not add now!!!***
Pressure on high for 10 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally.
Carefully open the lid and stir. If you didn't use crema and are using sour cream, stir it in now. Garnish with the crumbled cotija cheese and chopped cilantro.
Serve with warm tortillas, shred to put in tacos, or eat over rice.
If you want to cook rice with this, here’s how it’s done:
In an oven safe vessel, place 1:1 ratio of jasmine rice to water. Add salt. Add a pat of butter for extra goodness. Place a trivet over the chicken. Place the pot of rice on the trivet. Cook as above. When you open the pot up, remove the pot of rice and fluff with a fork.