Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice

Need an easy dinner? Try this Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice. It’s one pot, simple flavors and a quick weeknight dinner your family will love.

It’s easy to use your Instant Pot for hard boiled eggs and oatmeal. The basic things are some of our favorites! But if you’re really looking to make the most of your pressure cooker, it’s time to try dinner, and this Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice is the perfect place to start.

I’m always looking for recipes that the whole family loves. I was surprised at how much the kids liked this one. They devoured it so quickly that there was hardly any leftover for my husband and me.

salsa verde chicken and rice on a plate

This makes me like the Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice too, since I want something that will bring smiles all around.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • easy one pot meal
  • ready in 30 minutes
  • uses pantry staples
  • adaptable to what your family loves!

Is the Instant Pot the same thing as a pressure cooker?

The Instant Pot and a pressure cooker are similar. A pressure cooker is generally a stovetop appliance that pressure cooks or cans. This is a very manual appliance that only does one function. Pressure cookers can be any brand.

The Instant Pot, however, is its own brand. It is a more modern kitchen appliance that does many things. I can be slow cooker, rice maker, pressure cooker and yogurt maker. It’s so many things in one. It is self contained and sits on your countertop. No stove needed! This makes it great for camping and eating on the go.

We have 2 Instant Pots in our house…a 6 quart and an 8 quart. And we use both!

ingredients for salsa verde chicken and rice

Are chicken thighs better than chicken breasts?

This easy chicken recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs remain moist and juicy, while chicken breasts can get a bit dry and stringy.

Can you use chicken breasts? Yes. But just know that they might end up drier. We like chicken thighs best.

How to Make Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice

To start this recipe, you’ll season the chicken and saute it in the Instant Pot. Then you’ll add in the rice.

We used white long grain rice. Here’s a hint if you don’t want your rice to stick together: allow it to sit in water for 20 minutes and then drain it and rinse the rice. This will get some of the starch off the rice which will help it not clump.

If you don’t have time to let the rice soak, at the very least, rinse and drain the rice.

Next it is time to add in the salsa verde. We recommend our homemade salsa verde. It’s amazing. But you can buy store bought in a pinch!

The rice to liquid ratio is always 1:2. Some store-bought salsa verde are thicker, while some are more liquid-y. Therefore, we need to adjust the chicken stock accordingly. For 1.5 cups of rice, we need 3 cups of liquid.

**Pro Tip: If you have leftover salsa verde, make these chicken tacos or chicken quesadillas. It’s a fun lunch or snack!**

instant pot salsa verde chicken and rice on a wooden spoon

What does Natural Release mean?

You’ll notice that after the pressure cooker cooks for 10 minutes, it calls for a “natural release”. So what does this mean? It means you don’t manually switch the valve to release the pressure right away. Allow the pressure cooker to sit and naturally depressurize for 10 minutes. Then flip the valve to release any remaining pressure. This just helps finish the rice and tenderize the chicken.

chicken and rice on a plate with a fork

What to Serve with Chicken and Rice

This is really a one-pot meal, but if you”d like, serve it up with a side of tortilla chips, fresh pico de gallo, guacamole and a side salad. It would even be good with roasted potatoes.

close up of salsa verde chicken and rice
close up of salsa verde chicken and rice

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice

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Need an easy dinner? Try this Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice. It's one pot, simple flavors and a quick weeknight dinner your family will love!
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Natural Release 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • cup long grain rice (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl mix together the garlic powder, cumin powder, paprika, salt and pepper
  • Chop the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces and liberally season the chicken pieces with the prepared seasoning. Toss it well to ensure all the pieces are well coated.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on the ‘Sauté’ mode. Add the olive oil and let it heat up for a minute.
  • Add the chicken pieces and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Keep stirring the pieces to get an even browning.
  • Add the drained rice and mix it well.
  • In a large measuring cup, add a cup of salsa verde. Keep adding the chicken stock to the measuring cup, till the liquid measures up to 3 cups.
  • Add the salsa verde-chicken stock mix to the instant pot.
  • Turn off “Sauté” mode. Put the lid on, making sure that the pressure valve is in the “Sealing” position.
  • Select the “Pressure Cook” mode. Adjust the time, with the “- / +” to 10 minutes.
  • When Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release the natural way for 10 minutes and then using a thick tea towel, turn the pressure valve to “Venting” position to do the quick release.
  • Use a fork to fluff up the rice.
  • Sprinkle a handful of cilantro for a fresh flavor and serve immediately.

Notes

The rice to liquid ratio is always 1:2. Some store-bought salsa verde are thicker, while some are more liquid-y. Hence, we need to adjust the chicken stock accordingly. For 1.5 cups of rice, we need 3 cups of liquid.
Chicken thighs works best for this recipe. They remain moist and juicy, while chicken breasts can get a bit dry and stringy.
The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 6, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the recipe. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 456mg | Potassium: 418mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 350
Keyword instant pot recipe, mexican cuisine, mexican recipes, rice casserole

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About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Comments

  1. I’ve made this multiple times with both breasts and thighs and we love it both ways. However I always end up with some of the (white basmati) rice burnt at the bottom of the IP. Any suggestions for preventing this would be appreciated. And eliminate rice “wastage”. (I have a separate rice cooker I use for all other rice dishes.)
    Thanks!

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