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Salsa Verde Chicken

This Salsa Verde Chicken couldn't be easier to make -- throw everything into a pressure cooker and let it do the work! The result? Succulently tender chicken bathed in a deliciously seasoned salsa verde sauce with savory black beans, crisp corn, and melty Cheddar. Serve the chicken over rice with your favorite toppings -- we love sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and lots of fresh lime!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Healthy, Mexican
Keyword salsa verde chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 395kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $9.12


  • 1 jar (16 oz.) Salsa Verde (Note 1)
  • 1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (Note 2)
  • 2 teaspoons each: ground cumin, chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1-1/2 cups (5 oz.) freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese (Note 3)
  • Serve over Ready Rice with sour cream (light/fat-free is great), fresh lime, fresh cilantro, ripe avocado (Note 4)


  • INSTANT POT: Pour the entire jar (2 cups) of salsa verde into the base of the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Nestle the chicken thighs right on top of the salsa verde in one even layer. Sprinkle seasonings evenly on top of the chicken thighs and salsa. Season to taste with salt and pepper-- I add 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, but add to taste. Cover the pressure cooker and seal. Place venting valve to "sealed."
  • COOK: Select the "manual" or "pressure cook" function and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. (Keep in mind that pressure needs to build inside the pot, so the timer won't start counting down for a few minutes.) Once cook time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes (don't do anything or release the valve). Once 5 minutes is up, carefully hit the release button to let out the remaining pressure and steam. (Keep your hands and face away from the venting steam -- don't let it burn you!)
  • SHRED CHICKEN: Use tongs to pull the chicken out of the pressure cooker and onto a cutting board. Before shredding the chicken, add the frozen corn and drained black beans to the pot. Give everything a good stir and then cover to keep it all warm and thaw the corn. Back to the chicken: use two forks to shred it and discard any pieces of fat or gristle. Return the fully shredded chicken to the pot and gently stir it through. Turn the control to "Saute" to warm things through again for 1 minute. After that, turn it off and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let melt for a few minutes before gently stirring through. Don't stir too much or it will make the chicken stringy!
  • SERVE: Use tongs to remove the chicken onto prepared rice. Top bowls with lots of sour cream, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro, and a diced ripe avocado as desired. Enjoy promptly!



Note 1: Salsa verde: Use a salsa verde you know you enjoy. You can make this meal very mild or quite spicy, depending on the salsa verde used. For mild chicken, use a mild salsa verde sauce (one you know is mild, or taste it first to ensure mildness). We use Herdez® Mild Salsa Verde in this recipe.
Note 2: Chicken: No need to trim the fat off the thighs-- we want the fat for cooking and it comes off easily after it is cooked! We did test this recipe with chicken breasts and didn't enjoy it nearly as much.
Note 3: Cheese: This recipe is aimed at being simple, but the one thing we highly recommend is grating your own cheese. This ensures a nice and even melt. Pre-grated cheese contains preservatives that keep the shreds from clumping together in the bag, but they also keep the cheese from melting smoothly in this recipe. Use your favorite cheese or a blend of a few. We love sharp Cheddar cheese best, but some other favorites are pepper-Jack cheese or Monterey Jack cheese.
Note 4: Ready Rice® or microwaveable packaged rice. For a quick rice base, use Cilantro-Lime Ready Rice which is already cooked and just needs to be heated to warm it through. Follow directions to heat through in the microwave. As far as other toppings go, we highly recommend some kind of creamy addition to cool the heat of the salsa verde and bring everything together -- either a diced ripe avocado or sour cream (or both!).


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.3g | Protein: 36.1g | Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 139.2mg | Sodium: 1053.6mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5.2g