Instant Pot Salsa Chicken is an easy meal perfect for families. Each person customizes their bowl with their favorite toppings.
When my kids were young, our favorite family meals were the kinds served “bar style.”
That doesn’t mean bar food!
Although they did love chicken tenders and fries.
I mean, who doesn’t?
I’m talking about a choose your own adventure kinda meal.
For instance, fried rice.
Two of my kids loved the eggs, one didn’t.
One of my kids loved the fried onions.
Another one really liked peas.
Two of them liked red peppers.
So instead of making fried rice with all the ingredients mixed together and touching, I served seasoned rice with meat (caulirice for me).
But everything else was put in bowls on the counter and everyone got to add as much (or as little) of each item they liked.
I did the same amount of cooking, but there was zero complaining!
Which is why I started serving lots of meals that way.
These Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Quinoa Bowls are currently one of our favorite bar style meals!
This recipe is fast and easy to make, so it’s perfect on busy weeknights.
I love that the leftovers are good hot or cold!
Just throw everything on top of a bed of lettuce and you’ve got an amazing lunch.
For those of you who follow the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle like AnnMarie and I, this is an E meal.
I’ve discovered I need way more E meals now thanks to menopause. Apparently my body doesn’t burn fat the way it used to.
So this instant pot chicken recipe is on my regular meal planning rotation.
Can You Cook the Chicken and Quinoa Together?
The short answer is yes, you can cook chicken and quinoa together in the instant pot.
The chicken in this recipe has a spicy salsa flavor, and the quinoa is more mild and is flavored with cilantro and lime.
Personally I like switching up what goes into each bite.
One bite with the cilantro lime quinoa with some mango.
The next with the salsa chicken and some beans and corn.
Cooking the quinoa with the chicken would still include all the same flavors in the recipe, just all mixed all together.
If you’re in a rush or want to have fewer dirty dishes, which I can absolutely understand, go ahead and cook them together!
Be sure to check the recipe notes for how to make that modification.
Do you have to roast the corn?
Yes, you do.
Because it tastes so. much. better. when you roast it!
Plus, the corn is roasted at the same time that the chicken and quinoa are cooking so you definitely have time to roast it.
But watch out.
Once you’ve tasted roasted corn it’s really hard to go back to eating it any other way.
You’ve been warned!
Can you have avocado in an E meal for THM?
I’m so happy to report that yes, you can have avocado in a THM E meal!
Pearl does it, so it’s “sister approved.”
You just need to be careful how much avocado you use to keep the fat grams within the E meal recommendation of 5 grams added fat.
There’s no other added fat in this Instant Pot Salsa Chicken recipe so you can include up to 1/4 of an avocado on top of your bowl.
Why do you have to rinse the quinoa before cooking it?
You’ll notice that every recipe and package of quinoa tells you to rinse the quinoa before using it.
Have you ever wondered why?
Rinsing quinoa removes the outer coating on the grains called the saponin. This outer coating can make your quinoa have a bitter taste.
It’s very simple to rinse. Just put the dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and run cold water over it for a minute or so.
I’ve skipped rinsing it for this dish and not noticed much difference in the taste so you can skip it if you want.
How to Serve Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Quinoa Bowls
I like to put all the toppings in bowls and let my family put their bowls together like they’re at a salad bar.
But some days I don’t feel like making it look pretty.
You can absolutely serve the toppings straight from the Instant Pot, quinoa pot, and cutting board!
I like putting mine on a large bed of lettuce which makes it into more of a salad bowl.
The extra lettuce helps fill me up and makes it easier for me to stick to the recommended serving size.
If you have leftovers, you can store the toppings individually in the fridge. This is a great option if you plan to warm them up for a salsa chicken quinoa bowl the next day!
Or you can store the leftovers all together as a salad.
Either way you choose to do it, the leftovers are delicious!
Be sure to leave a star rating and review after you make the recipe!
This helps other people to find and enjoy it too.
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