Salsa Chicken Stew (Crockpot/Instapot)
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Whole30 Salsa Chicken Stew - Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Instant Pot or Crock Pot. Easy!

This Salsa Chicken Stew is a great easy stew that can hit the spot on a cold day. I love the flavors of this one and that most of the ingredients I already usually have on hand. I love that it is Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and naturally egg-free and nut-free. Includes crockpot and instant pot variations!

This stew only takes 10 minutes to put together. I love how short and easy the prep time is! A great one to throw into the Instant Pot before piano lessons or a Zoom call and have ready by dinner time. Or, prep it in the morning in the slow cooker and have it waiting when you get home from work!

Shredding Chicken Hack

The chicken breast cook whole in this Salsa Chicken Stew. When the soup is done, you shred the chicken and put them back into the stew. But, I was so over shredding chicken with two forks.

The solution? Using your hand mixer or standing mixer! Place cooked chicken breasts into a bowl. Insert mixer blade(s) and cover the mixer with a towel. The towel helps prevent bits of chicken from flying onto your kitchen backsplash (person experience, haha!). Then, mix on a low-medium speed until shredded. Don’t over mix, or you will have tiny chicken bits. But, otherwise it’s the easiest way to shred chicken quickly! You can see a video of how to do this on Instagram here.

Tips and Tricks

  • Adjust the heat level by adding mild, medium, or hot salsa — or your favorite Whole30-compatible hot sauce!
  • Russet Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes both work great in this recipe. Experiment to discover your favorite flavor profile.
  • Top with fresh cubed avocado and roasted pepitas to add a touch of creaminess and crunch.


I love a soup that is easy to make AND budget-friendly. And this Salsa Chicken Stew is exactly that! Because it is built around pantry staples, dried spices instead of fresh, and potatoes it is more affordable than many stews. The cost per serving for this stew is $1.61. See below for a breakdown of the cost per serving. Additionally, please note the disclaimer on the sourcing of my prices and ingredients.

Ingredients for Salsa Chicken Stew

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast 
  • Ground Cumin
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Salsa – I use a red tomato-based picante type salsa, versus a pico de Gallo. Something basic like Pace Chunky Salsa is fine or most red salsas at Trader Joe’s. I don’t recommend a green salsa for this recipe.
  • Minced Garlic
  • Potatoes – We love this recipe with sweet potatoes! The flavor of the sweet potatoes mixes really nicely with this stew. And also, if you don’t love sweet potatoes, you can also use an equal amount of peeled and diced Russet potatoes.
  • Red bell pepper – Freshly chopped or jarred both works great. I usually find the freshly chopped to be more affordable, but the jarred red pepper can be an easy pantry option.
  • Cilantro

Other Soups you May Love:


Whole30 Salsa Chicken Stew - Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Instant Pot or Crock Pot. Easy!

Salsa Chicken Stew (with InstantPot & Crockpot options)

Autumn @wholefoodfor7
A quick and easy soup that is nourishing and a family hit!
5 from 30 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 408 kcal


  • 2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or bone broth more as needed to thin soup
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 cloves minced garlic OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 lbs. potatoes, cut into 1" chunks We love orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, but can also use russet potatoes
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced OR 1 cup jarred roasted red pepper
  • 1/3 c. loosely packed fresh cilantro finely chopped


  • Trim chicken breasts and cut into strips.
  • In a small bowl, combine cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, broth, salsa, and garlic.
  • On the bottom of a 5-6 quart slow cooker or large instant pot, place chopped potatoes. Place chicken and diced red pepper on top of potatoes and pour broth mixture over chicken.
  • SLOW COOKER: Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.
    INSTANT POT: Or seal instant pot and cook on Stew for 20 minutes.
    STOVE: Bring to a boil and cover, stirring occasionally. Cook covered for 20ish minutes, until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.
  • Once done, manually release steam released if using instant pot, stir in cilantro and break up chicken as desired (we like large chunks, but shredded works too!). Serve and enjoy!


If you can tolerate beans and are not on a Whole30, this stew is delicious with a can of black beans. Rinse the beans and add to the crockpot or instant pot at the same time you add the chicken and potatoes.
Also, if not on a Whole30, this pairs great with my Paleo Cornbread Muffins!


Calories: 408kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 36gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 1100mgPotassium: 1239mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2175IUVitamin C: 66mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 3mg
Keyword budget-friendly, dairy-free, easy, egg-free, gluten-free, keto, main dish, nut-free, paleo, whole30
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Whole30 Salsa Chicken Stew - Gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, egg-free, nut-free. Instant pot or slow cooker. EASY + budget-friendly!


  1. 5 stars
    I didn’t have dinner planned tonight and saw this so I whipped it up quick and it’s a total win!! So good!!

    • I’m so happy this was an easy one to dive into and it was a win! YAY! Thank you for the review.

  2. I made this the other day and we LOVED it! Chose to do the crockpot method which was perfect – I missed the chicken and did chicken tender cuts and some chicken thighs, shredded the meat at the last half hour of cooking and it tasted so good.
    I love the idea that these meals can be so flexible with ingredients too. Thank you for a super easy and delicious quick meal!!

    • WAHOO that you found this to be an easy, flexible, and delicious recipe. So happy to hear it! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and so tasty! Will definitely be making again soon!

    • I love that you found this one easy and delicious! Definitely the goal of my recipes. Hooray that you want to make it again. Thank you so much for the review!

  4. 5 stars
    Outstanding! Even non soup lovers liked it! My favorite Mexican style soup I’ve ever had; will be on repeat! I used frozen sweet potato chunks and left the chicken breasts whole in the Instant Pot and shredded after. The potatoes mushed a little, but made it super thick and creamy! Thanks for this delicious winner!

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious! My house smelled amazing and the whole family enjoyed.

  6. 5 stars
    Easy & Delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    Love it ! So easy to make and wish I would have read the cornbread comment because it definitely would have been amazing with cornbread !!!

  8. This soup is SOOO good, and SUPER easy! I didn’t know what to make for dinner (I was supposed to have something in the crockpot) so last minute (4:30pm) I threw this together -yay for frozen tenderloins and sweet potatoes) – I also added cauli rice, didn’t have any peppers, topped with df sour cream and avo, it’s perfection! Needless to say it’s easy to adapt and you can do it stove top in 30 mins! No surprise, Autumn’s recipes never disappoint!

    • 5 stars
      This is absolutely delicious!

  9. 5 stars
    I love this salsa Chicken stew. It’s delicious, easy to make, and reheats well. I can not wait to make it again. Thank you for sharing!!

  10. 5 stars
    Doing a postpartum Whole30 and this recipe is a must have! Plenty of good wholesome nutrients for nursing. Love it for meal planning. Freezes great too!

    • It makes me so happy that this is nourishing you while you are nursing. Hooray and thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    Delicious and so filling! Do you think I could double the batch and freeze half?

    • Absolutely! All of my soups freeze great. Glad you enjoyed and thank you! 💛

  12. Any idea on what setting i should use on my ninja foodie deluxe? It has a pressure cook setting. Usually I use that in place of most instant pot recipes but I’m not familiar with stew setting on the instant pot

    • Good question! I’m not familiar with using that model. However, as it’s also a pressure cooker I’d just use the same time of 25 minutes. Soups are a little more forgiving on time. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  13. 5 stars
    This stew is delish, filling, and simple to make! It will definitely be added to my regular W30 rotation. Very grateful that instant Pot instructions were provided, thank you!

  14. 5 stars
    This was so good! I changed the second time I made it and added Salsa Verde and lentils. Loved that too. Have you added cauli-rice like in your taco soup? I’m thinking of trying it for the extra veggies.

    • Ooo, that’s a great call! I haven’t added caulirice to this one, but I think it would be delicious. Thank you!

  15. 5 stars
    Easy, delicious and husband approved!!

  16. 5 stars
    This was amazing! I used yellow potatoes and it turned out delicious. Such an easy and healthy crockpot meal!

    • YAY for this one being easy and delicious! Thank you!

    • Can salsa verde be used instead of regular salsa?!

      • I haven’t tried it, but I bet it would still be delicious – yes!

  17. 5 stars
    Family favorite! We can’t just stop at one bowl either. It’s simple to make and the instant pot makes it quicker. Quick meal after work.

    • Agreed, this is one I can still find the energy to make after work and the family loves it. Thank you!

  18. So delicious and easy. Perfect for a winter day.

    • I’m so happy this was an easy and delicious win. Thank you!

  19. 5 stars
    Making this for the 2nd time tonight. My family and I love it!! Actually every recipe I’ve made of yours has been a huge hit! Thank you for sharing such deliciousness!!

    • Why thank you, I love that you have enjoyed my recipes! Happy this was worth coming back to a 2nd time!

      • 5 stars
        This was so so good!!! There’s many ways to customize it as well like I think I would have really enjoyed it with a bit of sour cream and cheese on top but it was delicious as reccomended. We made it in the instant pot and added the black beans. Will definitely make this again!

        • I’m so happy you loved it and agreed there is so much flexibility to it, thank you!

  20. 5 stars
    Just made tonight & enjoyed. Will definitely make again, very tasty.

    • I’m so happy it was enjoyed. Thank you!

  21. 5 stars
    Great flavor and so easy! Used white sweet potatoes, but will probably use russets next time (was a tad sweeter than I would have liked). Thanks for the quick weeknight meal.

    • So happy you enjoyed it, thank you!

  22. 5 stars
    Delicious and simple to prepare! A big hit with my whole family. Thanks!

  23. 5 stars
    Easy to pop in the slow cooker before work and quite tasty! My family will be enjoying this in our regular rotation now. Thanks!

    • Wonderful! I’m happy this was an easy win for you, thank you!

  24. 5 stars
    First thing I made in my Instant Pot. I did not have chunky salsa so I added a can of diced tomatoes. My husband and I both loved this recipe. It will be a go to, for sure.

    • Way to break in that Instant Pot! I’m so happy it was a keeper, thank you!

  25. 5 stars
    This was so good, I didn’t want my bowl to be empty! Such great flavor and texture (I did chunks as well)! This will definitely be a repeat recipe for me!

    • Yay! I’m so happy this one was a keeper, thank you!

  26. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday for dinner this week. So good I added green chiles for extra spice!

  27. 5 stars
    I made this for my family over the holiday break. It was a hit all around, especially with my three year-old! I made it with the IP method and it was perfect.

    • I love that it was a hit all around, especially with your little. Thank you!

  28. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. It’s easy and the family all enjoyed it!

    • Love an easy family win, so happy to hear it!

    • 5 stars
      Made this last week. It was so good. Everyone in the family loved it.

  29. 5 stars
    Delicious. Cooked it on my stove ,added more veggies and didn’t have any cilantro. Will definitely make again. So easy to make.

    • 5 stars
      One of my favorites!

  30. 5 stars
    Excellent yummy. Soooo good.


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