I’m continuing to love my Instant Pot Electric pressure cooker, and as requested, I have another recipe for you–Pressure Cooker Chili-Lime Chicken! If you don’t have a pressure cooker- don’t turn away, this is still a great recipe that you could use with any other cooking method so stick with me.
boneless skinless chicken breasts
The first few times I cooked boneless, skinless chicken in my pressure cooker, I was disappointed. It always had a funny texture; kind of dry and mealy- similar to when you overcook it in a slowcooker. After several trial and error experiences, I finally figured out I was cooking it waaaaay too long. For me, the magic number has been 6. Six minutes under high pressure and I get perfectly cooked, juicy, flavorful chicken that my family loves. I also discovered that I didn’t need lots of extra moisture, like broth. When extra liquid was added, it simply diluted the flavors and turned quite soupy. To remedy this, I put this chicken in without any additional fat; simply a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a handful of seasonings. It results in the perfect amount of flavor-packed juices to toss the chicken in.
Although I make this a lot for dinners, I also love to make it simply to keep in my fridge for quick meals during the week. I posted this pic on our health and fitness Instagram account, @ourbestbites_fitclub and I’m probably going to eat it again every day this week because it was so good! If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can still use this same rub and just toss your chicken on the grill or under the broiler. It’s very similar to this Grilled Taco Chicken that we love.
This recipe was born and stays a go-to week night recipe for me because these are things I always have on hand.
If I don’t happen to have fresh limes around, I always have a big shaker jar of TrueLime (seriously one of my FAVORITE pantry ingredients. It’s granulated fresh lime and works brilliantly in just about everything.)
how to make it
I just toss boneless, skinless chicken breasts into my pressure cooker and squeeze a lime over it, then add chili powder, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper, and some fresh minced garlic. You could even use garlic powder if you didn’t have fresh garlic on hand. I also add just a bit of liquid smoke which gives it the perfect hint of smoky flavor. I use my hands to just toss everything around and make sure it’s well coated.
I generally use chicken breasts that are a little over than an inch thick at most. I would say if they’re any thicker than that I’d probably just cut them in half to make sure they get cooked through.
I have an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker, if you want to read more info about it, I’ve written about it, here!
You could probably do an immediate steam release, especially since you’re going to shred the chicken anyway (immediate release tends to break food up a bit sometimes) but I generally let it sit for just a few minutes as I’m prepping dinner and then release. Your chicken should look nice and plump and juicy. I always pop an instant-read thermometer in there just to make sure everything is to temperature. It should be at least 165 degrees.
Take the chicken out and shred it with two forks and pop it back in the pan and toss it with the juices.
You’re left with really flavorful chicken, perfect for salads, tacos, burritos, you name it.
It’s great to keep in the fridge to pull out for quick meals throughout the week.
I love to have it on hand for meals while my kids are at school and I need a quick, healthy, filling lunch. It’s so easy to toss in a wrap, or in a bowl with leftover quinoa or rice and some veggies.
Try it out and let me know what you think!
Looking for more pressure cooker recipes? Try these!
Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs
Pressure Cooker Brazilian Black Beans
8 Must-Have Pressure Cooker Recipes (including this one!)
Pressure Cooker Chili-Lime Chicken
Quick and easy chicken with Latin flavors that works great for meal prep, tacos, salads, and more.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 medium (or large) sized limes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (use a little less is substituting table salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- If chicken breasts are more than 1-inch thick, cut in half. Place chicken in pressure cooker pot. Squeeze in the juice of both limes. Sprinkle all seasonings and liquid smoke over chicken and add garlic. Use clean hands to rub spice mixture all over all sides of chicken.
- Secure lid on pot and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. When finished let rest for 5 minutes and then release steam. (Or if you’re short on time, just do immediate steam release). Check temperature of chicken with an instant-read thermometer and make sure internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.
- Shred chicken and return to pot and toss in juices. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- If using frozen chicken breasts, I usually do 12 minutes high pressure. If using “thin cut” frozen (I buy them in bags at Costco) they cook in 6 minutes!
This post contains affiliate links, you can read more about them here.
hi! should the chicken breasts be in a single layer? should I avoid placing them on top of each other? thanks!
It’s not a huge deal if they overlap 🙂
Oh my word. I made this for dinner tonight and it is amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing a wonderful recipe for chicken.
I saw this post a few months ago and saved an Instapot to my wish list. Got it when it went on sale on Prime Day. So far I have made yogurt, chicken broth, rice, quinoa, Barbacoa and this chicken twice. The first time I had to slice it, it didn’t shred. Today it shredded and it is so good!
I am trying to lose 30 pds after baby #3 and am starting my 2nd round of 21 day fix. This is perfect for the fix. I will be making a batch every week. Thank you!
Great recipe!! I followed your cooking time and it was perfect. I still can’t get over this pot. Tasty chicken for enchiladas cooked, shredded and ready to go within 40 minutes from start to finish. I had the True Lime and used 1/4 cup of water but probably could have used way less to hold on to more of the seasoning. Thanks for posting your recipe!
When you say let it rest for 5 minutes, do you mean you hit cancel
And leave it for 5. Or do you let the keep warm program run?
My pressure cooker just automatically stops cooking and rests, so that’s what I mean. You could certainly turn it off as well, either way works.
Just to clarify, when the cook time is up in an Instant Pot, the heating element shuts off until pressure is released, then kicks in again to keep things warm. If the heating element stayed on, it would take much longer to release pressure, overcooking the food.
When you say to cut the chicken breasts in half if thicker than 1″, do you mean cut them horizontally to make cutlets or vertically to make two halves the same thickness? Thanks! This recipe sounds so delicious!
Yep, horizontally to make cutlets.
Made this tonight in the instant pot and it was a hit! Used frozen breasts (4 big ones) for 10 minutes. Added onion and cilantro on tortillas and everyone loved it. Thank you!
Did you place your chicken on the bottom of the pan or use the trivet?
I have no clue where my trivet is so I just dump everything in there 🙂
I love the idea of this but don’t have a pressure cooker. Would you recommend cooking in a crock pot, as mentioned in a comment above? Or do you think another way would work better?
Yep, you could definitely pop it in a slow cooker. Probably low for a couple hours or so? You’ll want to cook it until it reaches 165 degrees.
My pressure cooker instructions state that I need to have at least an inch of liquid in the bottom of my pan when cooking. is a Hot Pot different in some way? Without liquid, I don’t there would be enough steam to build up pressure and have the valve automatically shut and start the cooking time.
This works perfectly in my pot, and there is enough moisture (the chicken releases tons more) but all pots are different. If you need a little more for your pot, I would just add a little more lime juice and chicken broth until you have enough. Hope that helps!
have a new electric pressure cooker and tried this recipe. It was so very good!
I would recommend it to anyone. The chicken was tender, juicy, and flavorful.
Thank you so much for this recipe! My family loves it and requested that I make a batch each week to keep in the fridge for salads, wraps, etc. Love the pressure cooker recipes. Thanks for keeping them coming 🙂
I just tried this and my chicken was so tuff. I’m not happy at all with instant pot purchase
Pressure cooking is a different style and sometimes it takes a few tries to figure it out so it’s just right. The first batch of chicken I made was HORRIBLE haha. If this turned out tough for you, simply adjust and try again. You may have had smaller pieces and therefor needed less time. I would knock the time down a little and go from there. Once you get it right, it’s perfection!
This is incredibly good! Loving my Instant Pot, and would love to see more recipes as easy and delicious as this one.
Love pressure cooker recipes. Thank you!
Is it 6 minutes from the time it starts steaming, or from when you put it on the stove?
6 minutes cooking time under pressure.
This was SO delicious. Thank you!
I am excited to get a pressure cooker, so please keep the recipes coming!
True Lime Shaker, Lime, Garlic and Cilantro, 2.29 Ounce https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VWF61AU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_UqF-wbVK3GF8Y
Have you tried this variation of True Lime?? It’s my new favorite!
I’ve SEEN that online but never tried it! I’ll have to grab some!
This is in my instant pot right now – I am so excited! Have you ever tried doubling the recipe? I’m wondering how that would change the cook time..
I haven’t, so if you try it let me know, haha!
According to the manual, or the cookbook, I can’t remember which but just read it today, doubling the recipe doesn’t ever change the cooking time.
Correct! Doubling instant pot recipes does not change cook times. Larger quantity of ingredients just takes longer to come to pressure.
Recipe looks great, will definitely try it. But I’m finding myself very drawn to the dishes and bowls in the photos. Did I miss a post about them at some point? They are beautiful. Any information you can share?
I actually bought those on vacation in Mexico! I love bringing home dishes and kitchenware from my travels because they’re souvenirs that actually get used 🙂
Sara I love your posts! I bought the pressure cooker and am excited to try this. When you post, I can easily “Pin” it to my Pinterest board. When Kate posts, I can not. I have to copy and paste the URL. Just FYI. You probably know that, but just in case…it’s so much easier when you ad the “Pin” option.
I just went to the link and ordered a jar of the True Lime and True Lemon! I’m so excited to get it. My family is ADDICTED to citrus, and the bottled liquid lemon juice just doesn’t cut it. Also, I’m so so glad you’re doing these InstaPot recipes. I got mine for Christmas and I feel like a new mom (with way more time to spend with the kids after work since I’m not spending as much time prepping meals!). Keep them coming!
Have you ever put the chicken in frozen? Curious to know if you would add a couple extra minutes for frozen…
I was actually just coming back to add a note about frozen. I didn’t include it in the recipe because I wanted to test it more than once before leaving instructions. With frozen, you’ll need more cooking time- about 15 minutes should do it, for normal/thinner pieces of chicken. If the chicken breasts are enormous, you’d need closer to 30. I also add about 1/4-1/2 cup liquid since the moisture is trapped in the frozen chicken and you need some liquid to create steam. Chicken broth, salsa, even water are options, but it does dilute the flavor a little so I like to use something like broth to add flavor back in.
I’ve never done chicken in my pressure cooker because I was worried about how it would turn out, but I love the idea of chicken in 6 minutes! Thanks for great instructions and a recipe that sounds delicious and versatile!
Looks so great! I love TrueLime! If you use the TrueLime, do you add some water? I understood that a pressure cooker needs some liquid to work, but maybe the chicken is “wet” enough?
Exactly- the pressure cooker does need liquid to create steam, but I’ve found that chicken breasts (plus the lime juice) provide enough moisture without turning it into soup! If you use True Lime, I’d add a little water or broth (just use the proportions on the container for the fresh juice equivalent).
This flavor profile looks right up my alley! Like you, I LOVE TrueLime, although I’m wondering where you buy your giant bottle. I get the 2.85 oz bottles on Amazon that you linked to, but if I’m seeing it right, your bottle is 10 oz! That’s awesome!
I like a sprinkle of TrueLime in my water to jazz it up. I use mine all the time in recipes as well. I’m excited to make this chicken!
I didn’t realize I had grabbed the link for the smaller bottle- here’s the updated link for the big one!
I love love love chili lime chicken! We’re going to have to try this recipe asap!
This looks so yummy. Could you do this in a crockpot? If so, how long would it need to cook? Something new to try. Yay!
You could definitely throw it in the crock pot, but I would cook it on low and it shouldn’t take too long to cook, you’d have to just check the temp to see when it was done!
Please keep the Instant Pot Recipes coming! This looks awesome and I will be trying it this week.