These Chicken Burrito Bowls come together in just about 30 minutes, for a fast and easy weeknight dinner. Instead of using rice, I make these bowls with cauliflower “rice”, which is a low-carb alternative that is easy to prepare in the Instant Pot. No food processor necessary!
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What I love about these healthy chicken burrito bowls is that they are properly combined for better digestion and can be cooked all in one pot, at the same time. (Using the pot-in-pot cooking method.)
Normally, vegetables cook VERY fast in the Instant Pot– usually in just a 0-1 minute pressure cooking cycle– however, with more use I have learned that you can slow down their cooking time by placing them in a glass or ceramic bowl on top of a 2.5 inch trivet. (I bought this trivet set for my Instant Pot.)
In this recipe, the chicken is cooked with salsa and seasonings in the bottom of the pot, while fresh cauliflower florets are placed in a bowl on top of the trivet.
In just about 20 minutes, both items are cooked to perfection. The chicken is easily shred-able, and the cauliflower is tender enough to be mashed into a rice-like texture– without being too mushy.
When you top the cauliflower “rice” with the flavorful chicken and your favorite toppings, like lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado, you’ll have a Chipotle-style burrito bowl, but with more nutrients packed into every bite. (If you’re not following a Paleo or Whole30 diet, feel free to add shredded cheese or black beans to your bowls, too.)
Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls
- 1 cup prepared salsa
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 head cauliflower , cut into florets (about 10 ounces)
- shredded lettuce
- chopped tomatoes
- green onions
- shredded cheese
- black beans
- Pour the salsa into the bottom of the Instant Pot and place the chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, plus salt and pepper over the top, but do not stir.
- Place a 2.5-inch trivet over the chicken, then put an oven-safe bowl that is 7-inches in diameter on top of that. (I use 4-cup porcelain salad bowls from West Elm or a round glass storage container.) Pour the cauliflower florets into the bowl.
- Secure the lid to the Instant Pot the move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select Manual or Pressure Cook (the button varies by model) to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before moving the steam release valve to Venting. (The screen will read LO:10 when the pressure has released for 10 minutes.) When the floating valve drops, to signal that the pressure has been released, you can safely remove the lid.
- Use oven mitts to remove the bowl of cooked cauliflower and the trivet, then use tongs to transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board to rest for a few minutes. Use a potato masher to break up the cooked cauliflower into rice-like pieces. (You may want to pour the cauliflower into a larger bowl for easier mashing.) It doesn't have to be perfect-- this is a "rustic" style cauliflower rice. Season the rice to taste with a little salt and pepper.
- Use two forks to shred the chicken on the cutting board, then transfer it back to the salsa in the Instant Pot and give it a stir to coat well. To serve the bowls, place some of the cauliflower "rice" in a bowl, top with some of the shredded chicken and salsa mixture, and other toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, and avocado.
- Leftovers can be stored in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. The leftover chicken makes a great salad topper, too!
Per Serving (excluding extra toppings): Calories: 167, Fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 8g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 26g
Other Helpful Instant Pot Tutorials:
- How to Cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot
- Perfect Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- Instant Pot Black Beans from Scratch
- Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
- How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Salmon & Broccoli
- Pot-in-Pot Cooking in the Instant Pot
- My Must-Have Instant Pot Accessories
Reader Feedback: Do you have a favorite low-carb meal? My family loves Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein, Chicken & Vegetable Soup, Vegetable Fried Rice, and my world-famous Cauliflower Pizza Crust! (Or try this Pizza Stir-Fry for an almost effortless alternative, with all the flavor!)
Questions and Reviews
My chicken cooked this way was so delicious! The thing I like most is we can mix it with many ingredients to have hearty and juicy dishes. Even I haven’t tried the cauliflower “rice” but I guess It must be tasty, going to give it a try next month.
– Natalie Ellis
I have the 3qt and don’t think I can do the combo cooking. Do you have adjustments for this recipe without the cauliflower add in? Thank you in advance.
The cooking time will be the same, with or without the cauliflower. Hope you enjoy it!
This recipe is so easy to make and so yummy!!
This is a fabulous meal prep recipe. I added 2 tablespoons canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce to the salsa before the cooking process. It really gave it a great flavor. Cooking the chicken and cauliflower at the same time was brilliant and cooked up perfectly. I added some fresh lime juice to the cauliflower when mashing and it was delicious. I love to add fresh chopped spinach on top with avacado and a bit more salsa! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Super easy and husband really enjoyed!!
I was nervous about this one, worried the salsa would cause a burn notice, but it was great. I added a can of black beans and 1 cup of frozen corn (as I was making burrito bowls for dinner). It was delicious, my company loved it also
Very delicious! My family loved it, except that I used spicy salsa…. ooopppsss!
Can you do this with frozen chicken?
Is 4 minutes enough time to cook a large breast of chicken (possibly frozen)? I’m worried about getting a burn notice/warning.
If I don’t cook the cauliflower, do I still cook for 4 minutes on manual?
If you’re worried about a burn notice, you can always place the chicken on a trivet so it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. (Just add water or broth below it so the pot will pressurize.) Frozen chicken can take up to 20 minutes to cook depending on how thick the breast is, so I usually do 15-20 minutes at high pressure when working with large frozen chicken.
Which type of salsa is best?? Store bought pre-made or should I make fresh salsa??
I use store-bought most of the time, but I think freshly made would work, too!
My first official instant pot recipe and it was the easiest meal I think I ever made. It was also delicious! Wow! I followed everything to a T and found it was fast, flavorful and filling while also feeling extremely healthy. I added some spicy black beans (lots of great recipes out there), cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion and yellow pepper, and a splash of hot sauce. It was such a great dinner and I’m looking forward to enjoying this for lunch. Next time I’m going to add some chopped fresh jalapeños to the salsa for an added kick.
Thank you for sharing!!
This recipe is a go to for me. My husband and I have the bowls with cauliflower, and my children use wraps to make chicken tacos.
Just made this last night! So simple and it was delicious with plenty of leftovers for the 2 of us. Added extra salsa after cooking! I have loved and appreciated your recipes for years and this is another win! Thank you!