These Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas are perfect for meal prep! Dump in 5 ingredients, then cook on high pressure for 8 minutes with a natural pressure release.
Ingredients in Instant Pot chicken fajitas
All you need to make this Tex-Mex chicken fajita dinner are a few simple ingredients. You may even have these on hand already!
- boneless skinless chicken
- bell peppers
- olive oil
- fajita seasoning
You can buy fajita seasoning from the grocery store or make your own, whichever you prefer. To make your own fajita seasoning, all you need to do is mix together an equal amount of the following spices:
- chili powder
- onion powder
- garlic powder
How to make chicken fajitas in an Instant Pot
The beauty of using the Instant Pot for fajitas is it cooks independently and quickly. Here’s how to make it step-by-step:
- Dump in the chicken and seasoning and allow it to cook on high pressure for eight minutes.
- After the meat is cooked, you’ll remove it from the Instant Pot and shred it.
- Meanwhile, saute the peppers and onions. Simply switch to the saute mode and add more olive oil. In five minutes, the veggies will be cooked.
- Add the meat back to the pot to combine with the veggies.
- When you are ready to eat, serve the fajitas with a side of tortillas, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
Simple and delicious, Instant Pot chicken fajitas are an easy Mexican dinner, made in a flash!
Pressure cooking chicken without liquid
You may be surprised that this recipe does not call for adding water to the Instant Pot. Typically, Instant Pot recipes call for at least a cup of water.
As the Instant Pot heats, the water produces steam. It’s the steam that builds the pressure inside the Instant Pot and cooks the food at such a fast pace.
The olive oil and salsa in this recipe replaces the water – in addition, chicken also releases liquid as it cooks, which will provide more than enough liquid to allow the pot to come to pressure. As a result, the chicken does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
The salsa will braise the chicken rather than boiling it, producing incredibly juicy and tender chicken fajita meat. However, if anything does burn during the cooking process, the Instant Pot will shut itself off and give an error message. In this case, allow it to cool down and clean the inner pot before attempting to use it again.
Ensuring bell peppers don’t get soggy
The perfect peppers for fajitas are cooked but still slightly crisp. To achieve this balance, cook them for a short period of time at a high temperature. Do not pressure cook the bell peppers at the same time as the chicken as they will become overcooked. Instead, when removing the chicken to shred, you will switch the Instant Pot to saute mode then cook the peppers and onions together.
Also don’t pile the peppers in the pot. You can cook them in batches if necessary. This will ensure that they cook evenly. As long as you saute the peppers and don’t pressure cook them, you will have crisp, fajita-like bell peppers.
Toppings for chicken fajitas
Chicken fajitas are the perfect dish to express your individual preference. You can top them with my suggestions or find a combination that appeals to you.
Here are a few popular chicken fajita toppings:
- Shredded cheese (cheddar and crumbled Cojita are my faves!)
- Chopped cilantro
- Salsa or pico de gallo
- Sour cream
- Guacamole or avocado slices
What type of chicken should you use?
I like to use boneless skinless chicken breast to make this chicken fajitas Instant Pot recipe.
Because we are shredding the meat, if you use anything with skin or bone, it will add a step of work for you. Also, bone-in chicken takes slightly longer to cook.
As an alternative, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe and shred the meat from there.
Meal prepping Instant Pot fajita chicken
Using an Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to batch prepare meals. It needs no supervision or stirring.
This recipe can easily be doubled (or tripled!) to prepare meals for a week.
Divide the chicken and veggies into your meal prep containers. The cooked chicken will last in the refrigerator for up to four or five days.
Can you freeze chicken fajitas?
Yes! You can freeze the shredded chicken if you will not be eating it within four days. Store it in an airtight container for up to four months.
I don’t recommend freezing cooked peppers and onions though. Upon thawing, they often lose their shape and become mushy. It’s better to take a few minutes to saute fresh peppers and onions when you are ready to eat the meal.
You can also freeze the raw chicken with fajita seasoning and salsa so all you have to do is defrost in the fridge for 24 hours then dump in your Instant Pot when ready to cook. Easy peasy!
Reheating the meal
If you freeze the cooked chicken, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. At this point, you can saute the bell peppers and onions fresh on the stove. You can even saute the chicken after the peppers and onions have been cooked in the same pan once defrosted. This will ensure the meal tastes fresh.
You can reheat the chicken in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or at 350 degrees F. in the oven for 20 minutes if serving the leftovers from the fridge.
Side dish ideas for chicken fajitas
Wondering what else to serve with Instant Pot chicken fajitas? I have plenty of ideas to have a complete meal on the table in no time.
Other Instant Pot chicken recipes
Now that you’ve mastered making Instant Pot chicken fajitas, try some of these other Instant Pot chicken recipes!
Instant Pot resources
I have more free Instant Pot resources available below! Sign up for free:
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning these chicken fajitas into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Get a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked through
- Use these Ziploc bag holders if you’re marinating the chicken then freezing it
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowlsup to 3 months
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp fajita seasoning
- 1 (500mL) container fresh salsa (or jarred salsa)
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- fresh chopped cilantro
- Corn tortillas, to serve
- Add olive oil, chicken, salsa, and fajita seasoning to Instant Pot. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 8 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 8 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally (about 10-15 minutes), then open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Remove chicken and shred. Meanwhile, switch Instant Pot to saute mode and add a bit of extra olive oil, then onions and peppers. Season with salt & pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until veggies are tender.
- Add chicken back to the peppers and onions, then stir to combine. Top with cheese and cilantro and serve in corn tortillas if desired.