Imagine a vibrant and quick-to-make Instant Pot® Chicken Salad that's bursting with delightful flavors. Tender chicken, juicy strawberries, crumbled feta, and crunchy pecans come together effortlessly in this refreshing dish.
The Instant Pot® streamlines the cooking process, ensuring that the chicken is perfectly cooked and ready to be mixed with the other fresh ingredients. The combination of sweet and savory, along with the satisfying crunch of pecans, creates a salad that's not only delicious but also a breeze to prepare. It's a delightful way to enjoy a wholesome and flavorful meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.
The beauty of using the Instant Pot® ensures that you can enjoy this wholesome dish without the lengthy cooking time
Whether you're looking for a light lunch or a quick dinner option, this Instant Pot® Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Feta, and Pecans has you covered. The succulent chicken provides a protein-packed base, while the sweetness of the strawberries and the creaminess of the feta add layers of taste that dance on your palate. Tossed with a vinaigrette or your favorite dressing, this salad transforms into a satisfying and well-balanced meal. The beauty of using the Instant Pot® ensures that you can enjoy this wholesome dish without the lengthy cooking time. With each forkful, savor the harmony of textures and flavors that make this chicken salad a delightful choice for any occasion.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
- The beauty of using the Instant Pot® ensures that you can enjoy this wholesome dish without the lengthy cooking time
- Ingredients needed to make Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
- How to make the Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
- Variations on the Instant Pot® Chicken Salad recipe
- Equipment used in making Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
- Storage for the Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
- Top tips to know when making Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
Ingredients needed to make Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ t. garlic powder
Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
½ c. chicken broth or water
5 c. mixed salad greens
½ pint fresh strawberries, sliced
2 oz. Feta cheese cut into bite-sized pieces
3 oz. pecan halves
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
½ T. fresh lemon juice
¼ t. garlic powder
Pinch sea salt
Optional: 1 t. honey
How to make the Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
- Add olive oil to Instant Pot® and select the Sauté function. Set to high and once the display reads “hot,” add chicken breasts. Season chicken on both sides with the garlic powder, plus salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Sear chicken breasts on each side until golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from Instant Pot® and set aside. Add chicken broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot by gently scraping with a rubber spatula.
- Add the metal trivet that comes with the Instant Pot® and place the chicken breasts on top. Add the lid and set the pressure valve to “sealing.” Select the “Manual” cooking option on the high setting and set cook time to 8 minutes. When done cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release for any remaining pressure.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Cover tightly and shake until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Set aside.
- Remove chicken from Instant Pot® and let rest for a few minutes, then shred with two forks. Reserve cooking liquid from the pot to use in other recipes or freeze for later use.
Arrange mixed salad greens on a platter and top with the shredded chicken, sliced strawberries, Feta cheese, and pecans. Drizzle the balsamic dressing on top and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Variations on the Instant Pot® Chicken Salad recipe
- Citrus Zest Twist: Enhance the flavor by adding a burst of citrus zest, such as orange or lemon, to the vinaigrette for a refreshing kick.
- Balsamic Glaze Delight: Drizzle a balsamic glaze over the salad for a sweet and tangy upgrade that complements the strawberries and feta.
- Mango Tango Fusion: Swap strawberries for diced mango to bring a tropical flair, adding a touch of cilantro for a burst of freshness.
- Goat Cheese Elegance: Substitute feta with crumbled goat cheese for a creamy and tangy alternative that pairs wonderfully with chicken.
- Candied Pecan Crunch: Elevate the pecans by candying them in a mix of sugar and cinnamon, creating a sweet and crunchy topping.
- Avocado Bliss Edition: Introduce creamy avocado slices for a buttery texture that complements the chicken and strawberries.
- Spicy Sriracha Kick: Add a dash of Sriracha to the dressing for a spicy twist, balancing the heat with the sweetness of strawberries.
- Mediterranean Medley: Incorporate diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and black olives for a Mediterranean-inspired variation with a burst of freshness.
- Honey Mustard Harmony: Create a honey mustard dressing for a sweet and tangy profile that enhances the overall flavor combination.
- Arugula and Walnut Wonder: Mix in fresh arugula and toasted walnuts for a peppery bite and nutty crunch, adding layers of complexity to the salad.
Equipment used in making Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
Storage for the Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
The 'Instant Pot® Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Feta, & Pecans' can typically be stored in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days. However, for the best quality and freshness, it's recommended to consume it within the first day. As with any salad containing fresh ingredients, the texture and flavor may change over time, and prolonged storage can lead to sogginess. If you plan to make it ahead, consider keeping the dressing separate until serving to maintain the salad's crispiness. Additionally, if you notice any signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or changes in color, it's advisable to discard the salad to ensure food safety.
Top tips to know when making Instant Pot® Chicken Salad
- Perfectly Cooked Chicken: Use the Instant Pot® to cook chicken breasts on high pressure for 8-10 minutes, ensuring they are fully cooked yet tender.
- Strawberry Selection: Opt for ripe strawberries for sweetness, and slice them just before serving to keep them fresh and juicy.
- Balance Dressing Flavors: When making the vinaigrette, balance the acidity with a touch of sweetness, such as honey or maple syrup.
- Feta Crumbles Technique: Crumble the feta just before adding it to the salad to preserve its creamy texture and prevent it from becoming too dry.
- Pecan Perfection: Toast pecans in a dry skillet or oven for a few minutes to enhance their nutty flavor and provide a satisfying crunch.
- Mix Just Before Serving: Toss the salad with dressing and toppings just before serving to maintain optimal texture and prevent sogginess.
- Citrus Zest Trick: Add a pop of citrus zest to the vinaigrette to brighten the flavors without overwhelming the dish.
- Mango Timing: If opting for a Mango Tango variation, dice and add mango just before serving to maintain its freshness and prevent it from becoming mushy.
- Goat Cheese Creaminess: If using goat cheese, crumble it into the salad gently to retain its creamy texture.
- Customize with Greens: Feel free to serve the chicken salad on a bed of your favorite greens like spinach or arugula for an extra boost of nutrients and flavor.
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