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Instant Pot Fiesta Chicken

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Instant Pot Fiesta Chicken is a vibrant dish that is a go-to in my kitchen whenever I crave a burst of flavor and a hint of spice. Picture tender chicken infused with zesty Mexican-inspired spices, paired perfectly with colorful bell peppers, sweet corn, and creamy beans. The best part? It all comes together effortlessly in the Instant Pot, making it a lifesaver on busy weeknights or when hosting last-minute gatherings. Get ready to treat your taste buds to a fiesta of flavors with this Instant Pot Fiesta Chicken recipe! Let’s dive in and create some culinary magic together.

Instant Pot Fiesta Chicken

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • Bursting with Flavor: Fiesta Chicken is packed with bold and vibrant flavors from a mix of Mexican-inspired spices, including cumin, chili powder, and paprika, creating a mouthwatering taste sensation.
  • Colorful and Vibrant: With a variety of colorful ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, corn, and beans, Fiesta Chicken adds a pop of brightness to your plate, making it visually appealing and appetizing.
  • Versatile: Fiesta Chicken is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. Serve it over rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice, stuff it into tacos or burritos, or enjoy it as a standalone dish with a side of avocado or sour cream.
  • Easy to Make: This dish is a breeze to whip up, especially when made in the Instant Pot. Simply toss all the ingredients into the pot, set it, and let it do its magic. It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you need a quick and effortless meal.
  • Family-Friendly: Fiesta Chicken is a hit with both kids and adults alike. Its mild yet flavorful taste makes it appealing to even the pickiest of eaters, making it a family favorite.
  • Healthy and Nutritious: Packed with lean protein from the chicken, fiber from the beans and vegetables, and plenty of vitamins and minerals, Fiesta Chicken is not only delicious but also nutritious and satisfying.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep: Whip up a big batch of Fiesta Chicken and enjoy it throughout the week. It reheats well and tastes even better the next day, making it ideal for meal prep and busy schedules.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: Whether you’re hosting a casual dinner party or a potluck, Fiesta Chicken is sure to impress your guests. Its festive flavors and colorful presentation make it a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.
  • Budget-Friendly: Made with simple and affordable ingredients, Fiesta Chicken is a budget-friendly meal option that doesn’t skimp on flavor or satisfaction.
  • Leftover Magic: Transform any leftovers into delicious meals like quesadillas, enchiladas, or salads, ensuring that every bite of Fiesta Chicken is enjoyed to the fullest.
Fiesta Chicken on a spoon

Fiesta Chicken Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 16 oz can of black beans, drained
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 16 oz can of corn, drained
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with chilies
  • 4 oz can of jalapenos (optional)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 16 oz Colby jack cheese

Fiesta Chicken Recipe

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Add 2 cups of rice and water to the Instant Pot.
  2. Pour both packets of seasoning over the rice.
  3. Layer chicken, corn, Rotel, black beans, jalapenos, and peppers on top of the rice. Do not stir.
  4. Close the Instant Pot lid and set it to manual LOW PRESSURE for 12 minutes.
  5. Once the cooking time is complete, perform a quick release of pressure.
  6. Carefully open the lid and stir in the cheese until it’s melted and well combined with the other ingredients.
  7. Serve your delicious Fiesta Chicken and Rice hot, garnished with your favorite toppings if desired. Enjoy your meal!

Stove Top Directions:

  1. In a large skillet or pot, cook the chicken breast chunks over medium heat until they are no longer pink in the center.
  2. Add the drained black beans, chopped bell pepper, drained corn, Rotel tomatoes with chilies, and jalapenos (if using) to the skillet or pot. Stir well to combine.
  3. Sprinkle the taco seasoning and ranch seasoning over the mixture in the skillet or pot. Stir again to evenly distribute the seasonings.
  4. Add the uncooked rice and water to the skillet or pot. Stir once more to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Cover the skillet or pot with a lid and let the mixture simmer over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and tender.
  6. While the mixture is simmering, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  7. Once the rice is cooked, transfer the mixture to a large baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle the Colby jack cheese evenly over the top of the mixture in the baking dish.
  9. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  10. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  11. Serve the cheesy chicken and rice skillet hot, garnished with your favorite toppings such as chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sour cream, or salsa. Enjoy!
Fiesta Chicken in a serving bowl

Tips & Tricks

  • Layering Ingredients: To ensure even cooking and prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom, it’s important to layer the ingredients as instructed. Start with the rice and water, then add the seasoning, followed by the chicken and other ingredients. Avoid stirring before cooking.
  • Adjust Seasonings: Feel free to adjust the amount of seasoning packets used based on your taste preferences. You can add more or less seasoning to suit your desired level of flavor.
  • Customize Ingredients: Fiesta Chicken and Rice is highly customizable. You can add or substitute ingredients based on your preferences. Consider adding bell peppers, onions, or different types of beans for added flavor and texture.
  • Quick Release Method: After the cooking time is complete, use the quick release method to release the pressure from the Instant Pot. This helps prevent overcooking and ensures the rice and chicken remain tender.
  • Cheese Melting: Stir in the cheese while the dish is still hot to ensure it melts evenly and creates a creamy texture throughout the dish. You can also sprinkle extra cheese on top for added flavor.
  • Garnish Options: Serve the Fiesta Chicken and Rice with your favorite garnishes such as chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream, or salsa for added flavor and freshness.
  • Double-check Pressure: Before opening the Instant Pot lid, make sure that the pressure valve has dropped completely, indicating that all pressure has been released. This helps prevent any accidents and ensures safe handling.
  • Storage and Reheating: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of water to prevent drying out.
  • Meal Prep: Fiesta Chicken and Rice is great for meal prep. Cook a larger batch and portion it into individual containers for easy grab-and-go meals throughout the week.
  • Experiment and Have Fun: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and seasoning combinations to make this dish your own. Have fun and enjoy the delicious flavors of Fiesta Chicken and Rice!

FAQs about Fiesta Chicken

Yes, you can substitute brown rice for white rice in this recipe. Keep in mind that brown rice typically requires a longer cooking time, so you may need to adjust the cooking settings accordingly.

Yes, you can use frozen chicken breasts in this recipe.You do not need to increase the time it will take longer to come to pressure. Once rice dish is done remove chicken and shred then stir into the fiesta mixture.

Absolutely! You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. To make it vegan, omit the cheese or use a dairy-free alternative, and ensure that the seasoning packets are vegan-friendly.

Layering the ingredients as instructed in the recipe helps prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. Avoid stirring before cooking, and ensure that there is enough liquid in the pot to fully cook the rice.

Yes, you can freeze any leftovers for later enjoyment. Allow the dish to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Yes, you can easily double the ingredients to make a larger batch of Fiesta Chicken and Rice. Make sure that the Instant Pot is not filled beyond its maximum capacity and use the same cooking time.

Fiesta Chicken on a spoon

Instant Pot Fiesta Chicken

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

Instant Pot Fiesta Chicken is a vibrant dish that is a go-to in my kitchen whenever I crave a burst of flavor and a hint of spice. Picture tender chicken infused with zesty Mexican-inspired spices, paired perfectly with colorful bell peppers, sweet corn, and creamy beans. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 16 oz can of black beans, drained
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 16 oz can of corn, drained
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with chilies
  • 4 oz can of jalapenos (optional)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 16 oz Colby jack cheese

Instructions

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Add 2 cups of rice and water to the Instant Pot.
  2. Pour both packets of seasoning over the rice.
  3. Layer chicken, corn, Rotel, black beans, jalapenos, and peppers on top of the rice. Do not stir.
  4. Close the Instant Pot lid and set it to manual LOW PRESSURE for 12 minutes.
  5. Once the cooking time is complete, perform a quick release of pressure.
  6. Carefully open the lid and stir in the cheese until it’s melted and well combined with the other ingredients.
  7. Serve your delicious Fiesta Chicken and Rice hot, garnished with your favorite toppings if desired. Enjoy your meal!

Stove Top Directions:

  1. In a large skillet or pot, cook the chicken breast chunks over medium heat until they are no longer pink in the center.
  2. Add the drained black beans, chopped bell pepper, drained corn, Rotel tomatoes with chilies, and jalapenos (if using) to the skillet or pot. Stir well to combine.
  3. Sprinkle the taco seasoning and ranch seasoning over the mixture in the skillet or pot. Stir again to evenly distribute the seasonings.
  4. Add the uncooked rice and water to the skillet or pot. Stir once more to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Cover the skillet or pot with a lid and let the mixture simmer over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and tender.
  6. While the mixture is simmering, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  7. Once the rice is cooked, transfer the mixture to a large baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle the Colby jack cheese evenly over the top of the mixture in the baking dish.
  9. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  10. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  11. Serve the cheesy chicken and rice skillet hot, garnished with your favorite toppings such as chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sour cream, or salsa. Enjoy!

Notes

Directions to Freeze for a Freezer Meal:

  1. Use a gallon-size freezer bag
  2. Add Chicken, tomatoes, beans, corn, seasonings, and peppers to the bag.
  3. Freeze for up to 6 months

To cook From Frozen:

  1. Remove from the freezer bag and place in the instant pot with 1 cup of water.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes with a natural release.
  3. You can serve it with pre-frozen Rice
  4. Or you can add 2 cups of uncooked rice to the pot
  5. Cook on LOW Pressure for 12 minutes
  6. Do a quick release.
  7. Stir in cheese.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 535Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 1331mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g

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62 Comments

  1. This recipe sounds really good but the Sodium is very high. I am on a low sodium eating program due to chronic kidney disease so is there something else I can do to lower the sodium ?

    1. @Myrna Vick, I try to do lower sodium. For this recipe I would get no-salt-added Ro-tel (a favorite of ours!) and no-salt-added black beans. Lower sodium taco seasoning . . . I think McCormick has one with 30% less sodium. I haven’t noticed lower sodium ranch packets. For that I’d either use half the ranch seasoning, or make my own.

      Don’t know if this would lower the sodium enough for your diet, but it’d be an improvement!

  2. Is the time the same for brown rice? Usually brown rice takes longer to cook. Also, did you drain the corn and Rotel?

  3. Quick question about this recipe (IP fiesta chicken) when you say pepper, do you mean bell pepper? Also do I drain the corn, beans, and Rotel?

    1. You can use any peppers I used a red and yellow yes drain the corn no on rotel

  4. For the fiesta chicken (under 30 days of freezer meals) When you take out of the freezer it said 12 high, but says add 2 cups rice then low 12. So is it high, natural release, then add the rice and do an additional 12 but on low?

      1. So you do both high pressure for 12 min and natural release. And THEN add rice and do 12 min on low pressure with quick release?

  5. The recipe says 2 cups of water but the from frozen directions only says 1. Do I put another cup of water in with the rice? Thank you!

  6. Hi,

    Tried the recipe and we loved it but it’s a lot of food! If I halve the recipe, is it still the same cook time?

  7. Is there something I can sub in for the Rotel my sil hates tomatoes. Broth? Maybe tomato sauce or tomaro soup

  8. Hi there.
    Looking forward to trying this recipe, but first what type of rice are you using?
    Thank you for this great post!

  9. I just got an Instant Pot and this was my first meal ever in it. AMAZING!!!!! Everyone loved it!

  10. This was a wonderful recipe. How would it work if I halved the rice? Would I still halve the water?

  11. If we add the rice, and it’s uncooked, do we not need to add more water? I’m talking about when you do it from frozen. I would think we’d need more water if we’re adding uncooked rice.

  12. Any chance you could update your directions to account for the comments below? I missed the answer about draining the corn and I dumped the whole thing in there.

  13. This recipe is delicious and always a hit, but can you tell me how to prevent getting the “burn food” notice? I can never just let it cook for the required time. What do you recommend? Thanks!

  14. So good! I topped mine with salsa, avocado, and sour cream. I saw many had an issue with the burn warning that’s because the rice should be added last and then pushed down so that the liquid covers it. I do this with all my recipes that include rice. I added a little extra water to make sure it would be ok. Worked like a charm!

  15. I tried this tonight. I thought it was really good. I might try to add more chicken next time. Also, you will need to add time if it is frozen. At 20 minutes, it was still raw. I decided to use saute to boil it for a few minutes to finish cooking the chicken. I shredded the chicken when it was cooked.

  16. I want to make this. But I see many people have asked whether, when making from frozen, do you need to add more water before cooking the rice. I do not see a response. Please advise if more water should be added between cooking the chicken with accoutrements and cooking the rice. Thank you.

  17. On two different occasions my daughter and I made this recipe. Both times we had trouble the Insta Pot working correctly – two different Insta Pots. Using low pressure seemed to be the issue. She felt the content was too much .. Any suggestions?

  18. This is such a great idea. I have plans to do this for my elderly family. I have one question. If I were to be dropping all these recipes in crockpot instead, would you make any adjustments?

  19. I was excited to make this, but as soon as I turned the instant pot on it hadn’t even built pressure yet and it shows food burned and the rice is fully stuck to the bottom. What a waste.

  20. Amazing flavor! Bummer the rice didn’t cook all the way. I think maybe if you did high pressure for 3 minutes then a NP release for 10 it might have absorbed and cooked.

  21. I made exactly from the directions however my instant pot started alerting me that food was burn and it did. The rice didn’t get cooked all the way as my rice cooker would . What could you suggest? I was thinking maybe putting in the rice last instead first in your direction? It had a great though.

  22. Have you come up with a solution for the burn notice? I really want to try this again as it smelled so good the first time

    1. @Adventures of a Nurse, We had the same “burn” issue – we thought about trying to finish it in the oven because we don’t want to waste the ingredients.

      You are saying we should only use 1 cup of rice, correct? we’ll try it again – it smelled delicious.

      Thank you!

  23. I made the following modifications to fit my family’s dietary needs and it worked well. 1) Halved the rice and used brown rice; used 1 cup of brown rice with 1.5 cups of water, and cooked for 15 minutes. 2) To avoid the peppers being totally disintegrated, I added a bag of frozen peppers right before the cheese and sauteed for 2-3 minutes. 3) Used low sodium taco and ranch seasoning mixes.

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