The Instant Pot recipe I make again and again

So simple and so good.

Hi there,

How’s it hanging in your kitchen? It’s suddenly puffer jacket weather so I’m in full-on cozy soup and stew mode. We had this for dinner with friends last night, I’m planning on making some chili later in the week, and for dinner tonight, I’m serve spaghetti squash under a store-bought-sauce assisted bolognese situation that’s simmering away on my stove at this very moment.

I’m also really looking forward to all the cozy menus we have planned for our upcoming meal prep classes! Did you hear? Abigail and I are hosting 4 delicious virtual meal prep classes starting in January of 2022. They’re delicious, vegetarian and GF friendly, and all classes come with an on demand replay option, so if you can’t make it live, you can cook with us whenever works for you. We always pack so much into our classes, including lots of meal prep tips and tricks, so if that’s your bag, we’d be thrilled if you joined us. Purchase the package of all 4 for major cost savings—just $25/class. Or sign up for just one for $35. We’re so excited to cook with you and to give you a little taste, here’s what we’re whipping up in January’s class:

  • Coconut Rice Porridge with Peach Preserves

  • White Bean Tomato Soup

  • Spinach Ricotta Baked Pasta

  • Kale Brussels Sprout Salad with Dijon Parmesan Dressing

  • Make Ahead Garlic Bread

Sign up for meal prep class!

Ahhh, so cozy! Sign up here. The chilly temps also have me whipping out a couple kitchen appliances that have been gathering dust for the past few months: my induction burner is ready for hot pot galore, and my Instant Pot is raring and ready to go. I feel like it may come as a surprise to you that I’m an Instant Pot gal. After all, I’m a noted air fryer skeptic, and am notoriously frugal when it comes to kitchen counter space—we don’t even own a toaster!


Do I think you need an Instant Pot or electronic pressure cooker equivalent?

No! Absolutely not. But I have a feeling you may already have one. Or if you don’t, whether or not we like it, ‘tis the season for gifting and deals, deals, deals, so maybe you’ll acquire one in the next couple months. This isn’t a pitch for purchasing one, so much as a suggestion that you give today’s recipe a try if you already have one because it truly is the single dish that keeps me coming back to the ol’ pressure cooker (but I’m also giving stovetop instructions because, again, this is not a pitch.) The recipe in question: shredded salsa chicken! It’s one of the only recipes I’ve made with my presser cooker that’s elicited the “I can’t believe how quickly that came together” magic the Instant Pot marketing materials effusively and repeatedly promise, but honestly, seldom deliver on. This recipe is different, though. It cuts cooking time down from over an hour to just around 25 minutes (including the time it takes for the pot to get up to pressure). It also takes no forethought on your part, is obviously tasty, and unsurprisingly, it features a store-bought sauce!

I should also say, this is not so much a recipe as it is a method. You know that’s how I roll in the kitchen! So, without further ado….

Here’s my non-recipe recipe for pressure cooker salsa chicken:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a 16oz. jar salsa of your choosing (about 3/4 cups)

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, breasts, or a combo of both (I like to do 1lb of each)

  • 1 heavy glug balsamic vinegar (maybe about 1 TBSP)

  • Sea salt to taste (usually around 1/2 tsp for me)

Procedure

  1. Pour about half the salsa you plan to use into the bottom of the pressure cooker basin, being sure to fully coat the bottom of the pot in a thin layer. Add the chicken on top of the salsa, then sprinkle with sea salt.

  2. Add the remaining salsa on top and pour in your glug of vinegar.

  3. Seal the lid of your pressure cooker and program it to cook for 20 minutes under high pressure. Be sure the vent is sealed as well. Then walk away and enjoy your life (or prep the rest of dinner) in the 25-ish minutes the chicken cooks.

  4. Once the pressure cooker chimes, manually release the pressure by opening the vent fan. Open the pot and use tongs to transfer the chicken to a large bowl, leaving the majority of the cooking liquid behind in the pot.

  5. Use two forks to shred the chicken to your liking, then pour the cooking liquid over the shredded chicken and stir to combine. Serve various ways (I’ve noted some below) and enjoy!

Stove Top Instructions

  1. You’ll need a little more moisture for this method, so use the entire jar of salsa. Pour half your jar into the bottom of a large heavy bottomed pot, followed by the chicken, then sprinkle with salt and cover with the remaining salsa and a glug of vinegar.

  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook over very low heat for 90 minutes (this is why the pressure cooker is amazing for this recipe—Less than 1/4 the time), flipping the chicken halfway through cooking time. Once done, use two forks to shred. That’s it!

Ways to enjoy this dish

  1. In tacos as pictured above! With whatever toppings you choose.

  2. In a quesadilla—again, choose your own adventure for additional add ins :)

  3. As a topping for a chopped or standard taco salad.

  4. In a burrito.

  5. Mix with cooked rice and some additional salsa, maybe some sour cream, a little hot sauce, and whatever else suits your fancy. Then top with shredded cheese, and bake at 350 until warmed through and melty and you’ve got yourself a casserole!

  6. Serve over creamy polenta. I love it this way.

  7. I won’t go on—you get it, the possibilities are endless!


Okay, that’s it from me this week so I’ll keep the sign off short and sweet. I hope you have a lovely, well-fed week ahead! And don’t forget, if you wanna join us for meal prep class and a tastier 2022…

Sign up for meal prep class!

With love and a tip of my chef’s hat,

Erica

Want more? I’m so flattered! You can also follow me on Instagram, pop over to my YouTube channel, or check out my blog where you can find my tips-laden e-book collection.

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