Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad

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Instant Pot Chicken Taco Salad is a quick and easy pressure cooker chicken recipe, perfect for meal prep. Homemade cilantro lime dressing really makes this a salad you’ll want to make again and again. 

Pressure Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad shot at a 45 degree angle, with lime slices, dressing, avocado, and chips in the background and a red fork on the side.

One of my daughter’s favorite dinners is Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad, a pressure cooker recipe based on my old Chicken Taco Wedges.

It’s a Cafe Rio style salad loaded with Cilantro Lime Rice, beans, tomatoes, avocado, and chips, and drizzled with a flavorful Cilantro Lime dressing. 

Update: My daughter makes this easy Chicken Taco Salad recipe in big batches to feed her family all the time. So we’ve updated the post with a new how-to video and photos to make the recipe even easier!

Pinterest image promoting Instant Pot chicken Taco Salad in a black text box, overlaid on a overhead shot of salad, drizzled with dressing, cheese, dicied tomatoes, lime wedges on a bed of lettuce

Making Chicken Taco Salad in an Instant Pot

This Chicken Taco Salad recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

To keep this recipe simple and quick, I like to dice the chicken breasts before cooking. That way, it only needs to cook for 2 minutes at high pressure. The chicken will release liquid as it cooks, so the only other liquid you need to add comes from canned tomatoes and chiles. 

💡 Tip: You can also cook whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts and dice them after cooking. To do so, use a 6 minute cook time at high pressure, followed by a quick pressure release. 

cooking diced chicken breast in an Instant pot with a wooden spoon for taco salad

How to Serve Chicken Taco Salad

I almost always turn the zesty chicken into a complete meal by serving it with Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice. If I’m making both on the same day, I’ll make the rice first in the Instant Pot, then transfer it to a bowl and cover it tightly so it stays warm while I cook the chicken. 

If you’d rather, you can also serve the salad with plain white rice or brown rice or omit the grains entirely.

Add a drizzle of Cilantro Lime Dressing, and you have a satisfying chicken salad recipe to enjoy all week long. 

glass jar of green cilantro lime dressing with a lime wedge

Cilantro Lime Dressing

This salad dressing is full of bright, refreshing flavor and pairs well with all kinds of proteins, grains, and greens. 

The dressing needs to chill for several hours to help the flavors blend and the dressing thicken up. I like to make it the day before (when I remember).

The dressing stays fresh for up to one week in the fridge! So make a big batch on Sunday and enjoy savory, cumin-spiced meals all week long. 

Pressure Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad is a quick and easy pressure cooker chicken recipe, perfect for the warmer days ahead.

Freezing Chicken Taco Salad

This is not only a great meal prep recipe, it also freezes well! 

I typically make a big batch of chicken and a second large batch of cilantro lime rice in the pressure cooker. Then I freeze both in separate containers to grab for quick weeknight dinners or lunch to take on the go. 

chicken taco salad with rice, dressing and chicken bites in front of an instant pot pressure cooker

More Easy Pressure Cooker Mexican Dinners

If you love this recipe, try these other Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Mexican Recipes next:


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a 45degree shot of chicken taco salad with cilantro lime dressing, diced tomatoes, lime wedges, on a bed of lettuce with tortilla strips, additional dressing, and more lime garnishes on the side
Yield: 6 Servings

Instant Pot Chicken Taco Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours 18 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes

Instant Pot Chicken Taco Salad with zesty Cilantro Lime Dressing is the pressure cooker chicken meal prep recipe you need. Tender chicken and black beans flavored with cumin, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro.

Ingredients

CILANTRO LIME DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I sub milk if it’s all I have on hand)
  • 1/3 cup jarred chunky salsa verde
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

CHICKEN

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 large chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel Original or Mild)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves

FOR SERVING

  • Prepared cilantro lime rice
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced fresh tomatoes
  • shredded cheese
  • Diced avocado,
  • tortilla chips, optional

Instructions

Prepare the Cilantro Lime Dressing: 

  1. In a blender jar, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, salsa, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until well combined. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Make the Chicken Taco Salad: 

  1. Select Sauté on your pressure cooker and when the pot is hot, add the oil and onion. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the chicken and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, cumin, and black pepper. Lock the lid in place. Select high pressure and 2 minutes cook time.
  2. When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Select Sauté and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the black beans and cilantro.
  3. Serve over lettuce, topped with chicken, cilantro lime rice, cheese, avocado, crushed tortilla chips, and cilantro lime dressing.

Notes

*The dressing will thicken and the flavors will blend better with the full chill time. However, you can shorten or skip the chill time if you're in a hurry.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 479Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 1412mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 32g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

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