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A white bowl of diced chicken and onions with chili lime seasoning with a red cloth napkin and a bottle of Tajin seasoning on a gray wooden background.
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5 from 3 votes

The Best Quick and Easy Chili Lime Chicken in an Instant Pot

Chili Lime Chicken is moist, tender, and bursting with flavor. It is savory and sweet with a little bit of heat. It is perfect for salads, burritos, tacos, pasta, and more.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Resting Time (Natural Pressure Release)5 mins
Total Time32 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: chili lime chicken recipe, easy mexican chicken recipe, instant pot chicken recipe, paleo chicken recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 371kcal
Cost: $8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Clean up your chicken by trimming off extra fat and gristle, then slice in half horizontally.
  • Completely coat both sides of each breast with Tajin seasoning and a pinch of salt.
  • Let the chicken sit in the fridge for 15 - 20 minutes or begin cooking immediately.
  • Set your Instant Pot to the saute setting and let it heat for a minute or two. It will heat up very quickly.
  • Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and then lay your chicken breasts down in the Instant Pot.
  • Sear the chicken for 2 - 3 minutes and then flip it over. You want to sear the chicken on each side to keep in the moisture and get a crispy crust on the outside. (Your chicken will not be fully cooked and that is okay!)
  • Once both sides of all of your chicken breasts are seared, add your onions and turn off the Instant Pot. If you have a lot of chicken to cook, you can sear it in batches and then return it all to the Instant Pot to cook.
  • Put the lid on your Instant Pot and close the vent. Press the "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" button and set your Instant Pot to high pressure for 7 minutes. If your chicken breasts are on the thicker side or you are using a lot of chicken, increase the cooking time for up to 15 minutes.
  • When cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally (which should take 5 - 10 minutes) and then open the vent. Wait until the pin drops and then remove the lid and take out your chicken.
  • Shred or dice the chicken and return it to cooking liquid.
  • Eat the chicken immediately or store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator once it has cooled down.

Video

Notes

I have gotten some feedback from readers, so I wanted to add a few notes:
If you are worried about getting a “burn” notice when cooking chicken, you can “deglaze” the bottom of your pot with 1/2 - 1 cup of chicken broth after searing your chicken, then cook the chicken on the trivet in your Instant Pot. If you cook it directly in the liquid, it will be really juicy, but can come out kind of bland.
I don’t ever use liquid when cooking chicken - I have always thought that the extra liquid sucked the flavor out of the chicken. My Instant Pot is a 6 quart DUO from 2012. I don’t know if that has anything to do with my results, but I never ever get a burn notice - not once. I’ve cooked chicken this way 2 - 3 times a week since 2012 and have not ever had an issue. *shrug*  Since it seems to happen a lot to others, I’m going to recommend that you add liquid and cook on a trivet if you have ever experienced that.
The other issue that has been brought to my attention is the long cooking time. Yep, it cooks for a pretty long time. BUT, this makes the chicken fall-apart tender and loaded with flavor. This isn't like an oven where the chicken will get dry when cooked for a long time - it just gets softer and juicier. We love to eat it this way, but if you don’t, you can certainly reduce the cooking time.
Tips
  • Before cooking, slice your chicken horizontally into thin slices. You can do this by placing your palm on the chicken and slicing all the way through as if you were cutting a bagel or a roll. You could also buy chicken filets or cutlets that are already thinly sliced. 
  • If you don't want to cut your chicken in half, follow the same cooking steps but set your Instant Pot for 14 or 15 minutes. Yep, it is a long time. But that chicken will be so tender and delicious.
Storage
  • Once cooled, store your cooked chicken in an air-tight container for up to a week. To enjoy later, you can also freeze the cooked chicken for up to 6 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1shredded breast | Calories: 371kcal | Protein: 41g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 435mg | Vitamin A: 164IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg