Salsa Chicken Thighs with Rice

The flavor and spiciness of this super easy dish depends entirely on the salsa that you use. So use a salsa that you like it and make sure it is the right level of spiciness for you. If you’d like it even spicier, add some Jalapeño peppers to the rice with the bell peppers.

Featured In My CookbookDelicious Under Pressure Jump to Recipe (or scroll for photos...)

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

Cooking School
Pressure Cooking 101

An introduction into pressure cooking so that you can feel comfortable and confident making the recipes you find on my...View Technique

General Tips for Pressure Cooking

It is important to understand your Pressure Cooker to use it properly. Use the items below as guidance to continue...View Technique

Converting Recipes to the Pressure Cooker

Just follow a few simple rules and you'll be able to convert your traditional recipes to the pressure cooker -...View Technique

Advertisement - Continue Below

Salsa Chicken Thighs with Rice

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 15 m
  • Total Time: 35 m
  • Servings:


  • 4 to 6 large skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ red onion finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper finely diced
  • 1 cup basmati rice basmati is best, but long-grain can be substituted
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ¾ cup jarred salsa
  • ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese about 3 ounces
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Pre-heat the pressure cooker using the BROWN setting.
  2. Season the chicken thighs with the salt and chili powder. Add the oil to the cooker and sear the thighs on both sides until well browned. Remove the chicken from the cooker and set aside. Add the onion and peppers and sauté until the onion starts to become tender – about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir well to coat everything with the oil. Season the rice with salt, pour in the chicken stock and return the chicken thighs to the cooker, resting them on top of the rice. Top each chicken thigh with the salsa and lock the lid in place.
  3. Pressure cook on HIGH for 5 minutes.
  4. Release the pressure using the QUICK-RELEASE method and carefully remove the lid. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the thighs and return the lid to the cooker for another 5 minutes while the chicken rests and cools. Transfer the chicken thighs and rice to a serving platter sprinkle the cilantro on top before serving.
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below
Advertisement - Continue Below

Comments (24)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. It is super easy and fast. I use brown rice and just cook it a little longer. I make this every other week.

  2. I’d really like to make this; I have a 2-quart Cook’s Essential pressure cooker. Would this work if I only used two thighs?

  3. 5 stars
    Super easy and very flavorful. I used a homemade taco seasoning blend and boneless skinless thighs and long grain white rice. Everyone loved it. I will make this again for sure!

    1. Hi Chuck. Cook everything for 5 minutes. Then, turn the cooker off, remove the lid, add the cheese to the top of the chicken and rice and put the lid back on. Don’t turn the pressure cooker back on, but just let the cheese melt on the chicken from the residual heat. Only 5 minutes total cooking time.

  4. Been following you for years and have your books. So many recipes including this one use thighs and my family dislikes them. How can I change the time to use chicken breasts?
    Thanks so much

    1. Hi Abby,

      The timing on this recipe is really for the rice to cook. If you are using really big bone-in chicken breasts, you can increase the time to 6 minutes, but any longer than that and the rice will be over-cooked. If you are using smaller boneless chicken breasts, I would keep the 5 minute cooking time. The challenge you might encounter is that chicken breasts might be a little tougher than the thighs because of the quick-release method. Still tasty, but not quite as tender as chicken thighs.

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for this great recipe. I don’t usually like rice dishes but I had some chicken thighs to use up so I thought I would try it. I LOVE it. Will be making over and over.

  6. 5 stars
    So easy, tasty & quick. I’ll add cumin along w/chili powder and increase the salsa a tad. That’s only a personal preference. All BJC recipes are tasty.

  7. Look forward to trying this dish, but what I really wanted to tell you is how much I appreciate your including directions for the different ways a recipe can be prepared, as indicated in your “One Pot Comfort Food” cookbook. Pure brilliance! Thank you.

  8. 5 stars
    Super easy and delicious. I will make it again. I also cook for my client and I will be sure to make it for them as well. Yummy.

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe is so flavorful and simple and the rice cooks perfectly ( I used Basmati!) I own 2 of your Pressure Cooker cookbooks and your recipes never disappoint! Please keep them coming ❤️

  10. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite recipes. The Mexican style rice is the best I have ever had. This week I made it with some cut up chicken breasts and it was good also. Love it.

  11. 5 stars
    I made this recipe when you made it on QVC. I wrote it down while you were cooking it. Smelled so good! Even my picky boys loved it.

  12. I had never tried a recipe like this. I was sceptical and only had taco seasoning and not cumin and everything. I am blow away. This was FANTASTIC. I can’t wait to try the other recipes here! I feel like I’ve hit a gold mine!! Finally, scrolling pays off.

  13. 5 stars
    For Cinco de Mayo I made this today, actually this is the first thing I have ever made in my instapot for myself (I purchased the instapot to make dog food). I did fine my thighs did not brown as I expected but it was DELICIOUS and will ask it again. It was easy and fairly quick to made. Thanks.

  14. My 3 qrt instant pot told me food burn. Seems 1 cup liquid is not enough.? Is the recipe correct or should more liquid be used because of rice or should the rice be pre cooked I added more broth after I Depressurize and I still burned the recipe when I restarted.. what went wrong?

    1. Hi there. There is enough liquid in the recipe, along with the salsa that is added. Sometimes, when you add liquid to a very hot pressure cooker and don’t get the lid on quickly, or if there is steam escaping from the lid before pressure is reached and the lid seal is created, you lose the liquid necessary. My advice is to make sure the lid goes on quickly after you add the liquid and if steam starts to escape from the lid, give it a firm push down to get that seal to form right away.

  15. 5 stars
    I made this a while back and my husband can’t stop raving about it.
    I’m making it again today.
    It is great as leftovers, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *