Instant Pot Mexican Inspired Healthy Crack Chicken

Instant Pot Mexican Inspired Healthy Crack Chicken in a bowl

5 from 14 reviews

A healthier Mexican inspired version of the very popular “Crack Chicken”, this Instant Pot Crack Chicken is as versatile as it is addictive.


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs (if breasts are especially large, cut them in half horizontally.  I feel like they cook up more tender this way)
  • 1/2 cup salsa (if it’s a very thick salsa, add 1/4 cup water to the pot as well)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese or whipped cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • cilantro to garnish
  • optional toppings: pico de Gallo or salsa, guacamole, sour cream or plain yogurt, taco shells or flour tortillas


  1. Place chicken breasts in the pressure cooker pot in a single layer across the bottom, as much as possible.
  2. Add salsa, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position.  Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes.
  4. While chicken is cooking, prepare pico de gallo and guacamole if using homemade.
  5. When pressure cooking is complete, use a natural release.
  6. Remove the chicken to a plate and shred with two forks or place it in a food processor and pulse a few times for a smaller dice, being careful not to overprocess it to the point that it turns to mush.
  7. Add cream cheese and pepper jack cheese to the pot.  Select saute to melt the cheese and whisk until smooth.  Stir in the black beans and shredded chicken.
  8. Use the chicken for quesadillas, taquitos, hard shell tacos, soft taco wraps, taco salad, etc.  Serve with pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, or any other favorite Mexican style toppings.

Freezer Instructions

  1. Place a freezer safe ziplock inside the pressure cooker pot.  Arrange the chicken in a single layer with the other ingredients in step 1.  Seal the bag and freeze inside pressure cooker pot until solid, then remove the bag from the pot and return to the freezer until ready to use.
  2. When ready to cook, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the pressure cooker pot.  Remove chicken and other ingredients from ziplock and place inside the pot.
  3. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes then proceed with the remaining directions above.


  • The cooked, shredded chicken freezes and thaws really well
  • Black beans can be omitted for an even more versatile dish
  • Whipped Cream Cheese can be found in a tub next to the other cream cheese packages
  • Litehouse Guacamole Blend can be ordered online or maybe found in your local grocery store produce section

Keywords: Mexican food, instant pot crack chicken, healthy crack chicken