A complete meal that’s made in one pot and is ready in 30 minutes, healthy, and full of flavor — this Instant Pot chicken is a weeknight lifesaver!

Overhead of small white plate with serving of chicken and quinoa, garnished with sliced green onions and tomatoes.

Admittedly, this recipe isn’t the prettiest thing in the world. However, on my reader survey, it was pretty clear what most of you wanted. More healthy recipes! More 30 minute meals! More Instant Pot recipes. Boom — this one covers all three.

You guys weren’t so much into special diet recipes and guess what? This definitely isn’t Whole30 compliant and it’s not dairy-free or vegan. It does happen to be gluten-free (which surprisingly most of you aren’t into at all), but it’s purely coincidence. How do they call it? Naturally gluten-free? That’s this recipe.

Also, I know you’re not all owners of an Instant Pot — it’s okay! There are plenty more non-Instant Pot recipes in the days to come.

Round white plate with chicken and quinoa, with Instant pot in background.

If you’re looking to purchase an Instant Pot, this is the one I have. I initially used it mostly for food prep such as boiled eggs and shredded chicken breasts but have found that it does so much more than that! I’m expanding my repertoire of Instant Pot recipes to include more dinner recipes – you all know how much I love a dinner that’s made in one pot/pan/dish!

More about this Instant Pot Chicken:

This Instant Pot chicken recipe is basically magic. You put all the ingredients into the Instant Pot and seal it and about 30 minutes later, BOOM. DINNER IS SERVED. Chicken, quinoa, vegetables, everything you need. You all know how much I love toppings, and this recipe is perfect for toppings. Cilantro, green onions, avocado, tomatoes, sour cream, whatever your heart desires.

I can’t wait to hear what you all think of this one! Make sure to come back and rate the recipe after you make it. If you do make it, snap a photo and post it on Instagram – make sure to tag me and use the hashtag #RachelCooks — I LOVE seeing what you’re making in the kitchen!

Overhead of white plate containing serving of chicken.

Want to kick this up a notch and make it a little more unique? Learn how to pickle red onions (you won’t believe how easy it is!) and sprinkle a few on top!

More healthy Instant Pot recipes


Southwestern Instant Pot Chicken and Quinoa

4.46 from 55 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 21 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
A complete meal that's made in one pot and is ready in 30 minutes, healthy, and full of flavor -- this Instant Pot chicken is a weeknight lifesaver!
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  • 8 ounces (1 cup) chicken broth
  • 1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1-2 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • In the bottom of your Instant Pot, stir together chicken broth, quinoa, beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion and one tablespoon of taco seasoning. Place chicken on top and sprinkle with remaining taco seasoning. Secure lid of Instant Pot and turn valve to seal.
  • Set Instant Pot for manual (or poultry) for 10 minutes.
  • Turn valve to “vent” to quick release pressure. Chicken should be at 165 degrees Fahrenheit or above. When pressure is released, remove lid and sprinkle cheese on top. Place cover back on for 1 minute or until cheese is melted.
  • Serve chicken immediately with quinoa mixture.


Serving: 1of 4, Calories: 752kcal, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 77g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 173mg, Sodium: 1470mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 23g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.46 from 55 votes (47 ratings without comment)

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  1. jessica says:

    Can I use slightly frozen chicken breasts? If so, should I adjust anything? 

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Yes, that should work! You’ll probably want to increase cooking time by 3-4 minutes. I haven’t tried it with slightly frozen chicken breasts, so I can’t make any promises about the results, but I’d love to hear back from you if you try it!

  2. Lori says:

    Can I try this receipe with bone-in chicken thighs? If so, how long should I cook should I cook it in the instapot?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I actually haven’t done bone-in chicken thighs in the Instant Pot yet, so I’m not sure about cooking time. I think it would be similar, though. Let me know if you try it!

  3. Tim says:

    Got the burn message with the mini as well. Maybe putting the tomatoes on top of the chicken and not stirring will keep it from burning.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m sorry, I’ve never had the burn message with the recipe. I wish I could help!

    2. Jackie says:

      I Had the burn message come on when using leftover meat for turkey chili. The amount of food in my pot was just above the max line in the pot. It just would not get up to pressure and would indicate burn. Another time I didn’t have enough liquid in the pot.

      1. Rachel Gurk says:

        Hmmm…did you have the rubber ring in correctly and the valve turned to seal? I’ve never tried this recipe with leftover turkey chili so I’m not sure how it would work.

  4. Libby Caes says:

    No problem with the tomatoes! May want to increase the quinoa for 1.5 lbs of chicken breasts. Toppings were salsa, more cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt. Used Penzey’s Chicken taco seasoning which gave a great kick.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  5. Sharlyn says:

    I also got the “burn notice”… Gave it a stir, added 2 cups liquid, and I will try it again on low pressure. Now, the quinoa is perfect; however, the chicken is not cooked through. I will try 5 more minutes on high pressure and let you know how that goes.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Strange! I’ve never had the burn notice on my IP. I hope it worked out for you!

  6. Janet Stuckrath says:

    I am just learning to use the 3 qt mini. Do I just cut the recipe in half for the smaller Instant Pot?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hi Janet – I haven’t tested it in the 3qt but I think halving the ingredients would work out great! Let me know if you try it!

  7. David says:

    This is the second time I have made this for the family, and we agree it’s a keeper! Lots of “Mmmm”s while we ate. Thank you for this terrific recipe!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment – it means so much to me!

  8. Brendan says:

    I got the burn as well, and it sucks because I was really excited to try this! I read mixing the ingredients prior to would cause a burn. I have the Lux mini, and I even put water and chicken broth into it to dilute it in hopes it wouldn’t burn, but to my dismay it didn’t work. 4 stars because this recipe is awesome!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Oh no! That’s strange, I have never had that happen. So sorry to hear that.

  9. Scott Milstein says:

    Just made for wife and self. Absolutely great recipe. Tweaked it a little. Because taco seasoning is usually salty, I used a lo-sodium variety. I also used RoTel diced tomatoes with green Chiles (2 cans for 20 total ounces). Again, a simple, flavorful dinner. 2 thumbs up. 

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Awesome! I’m so happy to hear this was a hit! Thanks for taking the time to come back leave a comment!

  10. Miko says:

    When I made it before, I almost forgot the tomatoes so threw them on top at the last minute & it was fine. Today I made it again and the only difference was I mixed the tomatoes in with the other wet ingredients & I got the dreaded overheat/burn alert. I Googled it and apparently it’s fairly common for thick tomato-based sauces to cause this. I’d suggest people add the tomatoes on top of everything at the end (and don’t stir!) to prevent this. Maybe that’s what happened to the other commenters who also got a burn alert.