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

Recipe

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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Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

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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91 Comments

  1. Benita says:

    my poultry setting sets for 15 will this make it over cooked?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hi, yes, we suggest using manual setting rather than poultry, and setting for 10 minutes as the recipe indicates.

  2. Joanne says:

    I made this tonight and had a problem I’ve never had with my Instant Pot.  I have the 3 quart Mini.  It started counting down the time, but the pin never went up.  When I opened it, it was boiling, but the quinoa and chicken weren’t done.  I added a couple of minutes and closed it up again.  The pin still didn’t go up.  When the chicken and quinoa were finally done, there was stuff burned to the bottom.  I didn’t get the burn notice.  Other than the burnt stuff on the bottom, it tasted very good.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Was the valve turned to vent instead of seal? Did you check to make sure the rubber ring was put in correctly? That’s the only time I’ve had problems like that, so I’m guessing that’s probably what happened to you.

  3. Martha says:

    I plan on making it. Most IP quinoa recipes are for 1 min. I realize this is longer because of the chicken, but is the quinoa, I don’t know, mushy since it is cooked for so long?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      It turns out fine for me! It’s more of a stew anyways with the tomatoes, etc. So the quinoa is less rice-like and more so part of the stew mixture, if that makes sense.

  4. Sarah Turner Williams says:

    Delicious! Came out perfect. I used pinto instead of black beans. I also didn’t rinse the quinoa (shh!) and it was yummy.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked it! Your secret is safe with me. ;)

  5. Pollyana says:

    Can this be frozen for meal prep? If so, for how long? 

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I haven’t tried freezing this, but I think it would keep well frozen for up to 2 months.

  6. Mary Beth says:

    A delicious staple! I used a can of rotel instead of tomatoes, omitted the onion, and used chicken thighs instead of breasts. Cooked for 8min, let it sit for about 3min, then released the pressure. It turned out great! The chicken was cooked and not dry/tough.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment with your modifications!

    2. Mama V says:

      I have made this half a dozen times and in theory it’s very easy! However, each time I make it, I get the burn message! I only had to scrape the bottom of my instant pot duo 2 times (after burn messages ) before everything was cooked because I used thawed chicken tenders. I wish I could do this as easy as the directions state.

      1. Rachel Gurk says:

        Weird! I have never gotten the burn message. Maybe try slightly increasing the liquid?

  7. Beth Dongilli says:

    I made this Southwestern Instant Pot Chicken and Quinoa last night for dinner. It was DELICIOUS!! Oh my goodness, my husband and I both loved it! So easy to make. Thank you Rachel for SO MANY wonderful recipes! So happy I found your website!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Oh I’m so glad to hear you guys both liked this recipe! Thank you so much for the kind words and for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! It made my day! :)

  8. Margie J says:

    Great Recipe! I used a can of Rotel Tomatoes as I had no fresh peppers. I also cut my huge chicken breast into chunks. The chicken was quite juicy, so smaller pieces didn’t cause it to overcook. **I made this in my Ninja Foodi on the pressure cook setting. We will have this again!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad to hear that you liked this recipe! Using Rotel is genius! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  9. Tom Woodhouse says:

    Love this. So delicious! It’s also the first time I’ve enjoyed quinoa. I do have a question though. The chicken came out very tough. This was my maiden voyage using my instant pot. Are there any recommendations to help make the chicken more tender? Thanks. 

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      You could reduce the cooking time slightly if you have smaller chicken breasts. Or you could dice it before adding it to the instant pot so it’s in bite sized pieces. Hope that helps!

      1. Thomas John Woodhouse says:

        Thanks! I am making again today fo a second time and will decrease the cooking time.

        1. Rachel Gurk says:

          :) I hope it works out well!

  10. Warren says:

    Can ground chicken be used in lieu of chicken breasts

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      That should work just great!