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Instant Pot Queso Chicken (Keto, Low Carb)

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This Instant Pot Queso Chicken is crazy easy to make and so yummy! Even better, if you’re trying to watch your carbs or are following a keto diet, you can enjoy this dish guilt-free.

queso chicken on a white plate on a red and white polka dot linen with title text reading Instant Pot Low-Carb Queso Chicken

When I say this meal is easy, I mean it! It’s a dump-and-push-start Instant Pot recipe with very little hands-on time since the pressure cooker does most of the work.

If you’re looking for a delicious, low-carb or keto meal that even the kids will gobble up, you’re going to love this Instant Pot Queso Chicken! You might also like some of these other Chicken Tenderloin Recipes.

queso chicken on a white plate on a red and white polka dot linen


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How to Make Instant Pot Queso Chicken

This Instant Pot Queso Chicken is one you can whip up any night of the week since you likely have most of the ingredients on hand already.

Ingredients to Make Instant Pot Queso Chicken

To make this dish using your Instant Pot you only need a few basic ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 1 10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup of broth
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

If you don’t have chicken tenderloins, you can use breasts, just slice them into strips to make sure they cook through completely.

For the Rotel tomatoes, you can control the spiciness of the dish by choosing the version that fits your heat tolerance. Original is a nice balance between mild and hot if you want something with just a little heat.

If you’re following a keto diet, use bone broth. Otherwise, chicken broth is fine.

Instructions for Making Instant Pot Queso Chicken

This recipe is pretty straightforward. No dicing, marinating, or sauteing. Really, the only thing you need to pay attention to is layering the ingredients properly to prevent a burn error and so things cook evenly.

First, lay the chicken tenderloins in the bottom of the inner liner of your Instant Pot.

raw chicken cut in strips in an instant pot

Then, sprinkle the taco seasoning over the chicken.

a measuring spoon of taco seasoning over an instant pot if chicken

Next, pour in the broth.

a hand holding a measuring cup of broth over and instant pot with chicken

Add the Rotel diced tomatoes, making an effort to spread them evenly over the chicken.

a hand holding a can of diced tomatoes over and instant pot with chicken and sauce in it

Now, we just need to set the cream cheese on top. The inside of your pot should look like this:

an instant pot filled with chicken, diced tomatoes, and liquid topped with a block of cream cheese

Now, it’s time to pressure cook this meal! Secure the lid of your Instant Pot and make sure the valve is turned to Sealing. Press “Manual” and set the time for 15 minutes.

When the cook time ends and the timer beeps, allow for a 10 minute natural release (i.e. wait 10 minutes before turning the valve to Venting to release the pressure). Once the pressure has fully released, remove the lid.

Stir to combine the chicken and sauce. Make sure the cream cheese is completely incorporated.

a wooden spoon in an instant pot full of queso chicken

We’re almost done! We just need to add the Monterey Jack cheese to make this dish extra cheesy and creamy.

a hand holding a measuring cup of shredded cheese over queso chicken in an instant pot

Stir the cheese into the dish until it’s fully melted.

If you’re watching your carbs, you can spoon your Instant Pot Queso Chicken over cauliflower rice. You can also use it as a filling in these Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos and use low carb tortillas.

queso chicken on a white plate on a red and white polka dot linen with 2 oranges in the background

Not concerned about carbs? Serve it over regular rice or with tortilla chips (my kids’ favorite version).

Pair it with a side salad to round out the meal.

Prefer to print out the recipe? Here’s the recipe card with exact measurements and step-by-step instructions.


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📋 Recipe

close up of Instant Pot Queso Chicken on square plate with polka dot napkin with text reading Instant Pot Low Carb Queso Chicken

Instant Pot Queso Chicken (Keto, Low Carb)

Corinne Schmitt
This keto and low carb friendly recipe is delicious.
4.81 from 109 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Natural Release 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 5
Calories 413 kcal


  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup broth
  • 1 ½ cups Monterey Jack cheese shredded


  • Place the chicken tenderloins in a single layer in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning over the chicken. Then, sprinkle with salt and pepper, 
  • Pour broth over the chicken (use bone broth for keto, otherwise chicken broth is okay).
  • Pour a can of Rotel tomatoes evenly over the top of the chicken.
  • Place cream cheese on top of the chicken.
  • Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and set valve to Sealing.
  • Set the Instant Pot to manual for 15 minutes. When the cook time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before turning the valve to venting to quick release the remaining pressure.
  • Remove the lid and stir the ingredients to fully incorporate the cream cheese.
  • Add the Monterey Jack cheese, and stir to combine. Continue stirring until cheese has fully melted.
  • Serve over cauliflower rice for a low-carb or keto meal alongside a salad. For a kid-friendly meal, serve over rice or with tortilla chips.



One reader recommended an alternate cook time for those who are concerned about overcooked chicken. Instead of setting the time for 15 minutes, she set hers to 3 minutes and then waited 6 minutes after the cook time ends before releasing the remaining pressure and had great results. I still recommend 15 minutes at high pressure since I dread undercooked poultry, but wanted to share her results for those who worry about overcooked chicken.


Calories: 413kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 48gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 601mgPotassium: 730mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 720IUVitamin C: 2.4mgCalcium: 284mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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More Instant Pot Mexican Recipes

Are you a fan of Mexican food? It’s my favorite! Check out these other Instant Pot Mexican recipes:

Pin this recipe so you can easily find it later:

queso chicken on a white plate on a red and white polka dot linen with title text reading Instant Pot Queso Chicken Keto & Low-Carb!

65 thoughts on “Instant Pot Queso Chicken (Keto, Low Carb)”

  1. I’ve made this chicken before and love it. I was wanting to make it for a large family and was wondering if any of the cooking time needed to be changed if I doubled the recipe.

    • I’m so glad you love the recipe. Thanks for commenting and letting me know. Yes, you can double the recipe, just make sure the size of your Instant Pot will accommodate it. Also, the cook time will remain the same but it might take longer to come to pressure.

  2. Can this be cooked in a Wolfgang Puck pressure cooker? I’ve read instapot and pressure cookers are similar, but a little different.

    • Hey Lauren, I haven’t used a Wolfgang Puck pressure cooker but if it’s a standard electric pressure cooker, it should work just fine for this since in this recipe we only use the pressure cooking function.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times. So good. Question: do leftovers it freeze well?

    • Yes, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When you want to use the frozen leftovers, jut thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.

  4. How would you adjust the time if you use frozen chicken tenderloins?

    • I couldn’t find an answer specifically for tenderloins, but it should be the same as chicken breasts. So, here’s the answer I found: Pressure cook on high for 8-10 minutes for fresh chicken breast, or 10-12 minutes for frozen chicken (depending on the thickness of the breasts). Cook time stays the same no matter how much chicken you add to the pot; the pot will just take longer to come to pressure. https://www.wellplated.com/instant-pot-chicken/

  5. This looks really good! how would the cook time change if boneless chicken thighs were used? I have not used my instant pot yet, but would like to try it. Thanking you in advance for your reply.

    • When I looked it up, it says to increase the time by 2 minutes when using thighs instead.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this tonight! It was amazing! Everyone loved it. Thank you for sharing it.

    • I’m glad everyone loved the chicken. Thanks for commenting.

  7. 5 stars
    This was really delicious. I used a from-scratch taco seasoning from Gimme Some Oven and used Neufchatel cheese to lighten it up just a bit. I didn’t have monterey jack, so i used queso cheese and it was still delicious. and… i didn’t have rotel on hand, so i swapped it with diced green chiles and it still worked! thank you!

    • I’m glad you found a way to make the recipe work with the ingredients you had on hand. Thanks for commenting.

  8. 4 stars
    I loved the flavor of this recipe and the ease of preparationm, however the serving came out a little watery. The only thing I would do differently in the future is to drain off about half of the juice from the can of Rotel. I suspect that would solve the issue. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • I’m glad you liked the recipe. That’s a great tip about trying it with less of the juice from the can of Rotel.

  9. Hello,
    I need some help! My insta pot broke when I went to make this. So the next day I threw it in my crock pot! All good until my family didn’t come home on time to eat. And I overcooked it.. 😕 it now was shredded chicken which was on the dry side without sauce. I also had a bright idea (since we aren’t keto) to stir in bow tie pasta.. overall taste was very good! I just need some kind of sauce to help it along! I have a ton left over since I doubled the recipe.. any ideas on a sauce I could make?
    Help!! Lol TYIA

  10. You say “Amount per serving” but you don’t say what a serving is. How does the nutrition facts help if you don’t have the serving size?

    • The nutrition calculation is based on 5 servings, which is stated in the recipe card. So one serving is 1/5 of the total recipe. Hope this helps.

      • Ooohhhhhhh. I didn’t see it about the ingredients 🤦🏻‍♂️ I’m sorry 😬😅

  11. 5 stars
    Loved the recipe! Some of my friends who do not have an instant pot were wondering how to make it. Any suggestions on cook time and instructions for that?

    • They could make it in a slow cooker instead! Add everything but the broth to a slow cooker and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 6 to 8 hours. If they want it faster, it can be done on a stovetop bby sauteing the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side. Add all the other ingredients except the broth to a saucepan and stir over low heat until creamy. Pour over the chicken.

  12. 5 stars
    Made this last night in my new Emeril multi cooker. Since I don’t know how to use the custom setting yet, I used the poultry setting which only allowed for 10 or 20 minutes, so I choose 10. It was perfect.
    The only place I was a bit confused was with the (not Rotel) 10 oz can of organic tomatoes with green chili. It seemed to have too much liquid so I drained about half of the liquid. I did not get a burn notice. Made brown cilantro lime rice as a side.
    Great dinner!

  13. I’m following the Keto diet and entered this recipe into Carb Manager and it shows 5 Carbs per serving. I thought that 1 carb seemed really low.

  14. I turned this into a soup tonight by shredding the chicken and adding a little more chicken broth and a splash of heavy whipping cream. Served it with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream. My 7 yr old daughter liked it.

  15. If I have frozen chicken breast I would I adjust the recipe ?

      • You actually won’t need to adjust the recipe. The pot will take longer to come to pressure with frozen breasts and thus, take longer to cook overall, but you won’t need to adjust the cook time. The sauce MAY be a little runnier because frozen chicken breasts release liquid as they cook. To avoid this, you could reduce the liquid slightly (no more than 1/8 of a cup).

  16. I tried this recipe tonight and I got the dreaded food burn error. I followed the directions perfectly. And as I was doing it I was thinking there’s really not enough liquid in here and I guess I was right. Anybody else have that issue with this meal. I used fresh boneless breast cut them into tenders. I did strain the can of tomatoes I don’t know if that was an issue . It was fully cooked and still tasted amazing but it was extra dry because of the burn error. Any ideas

    • I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I would guess that if you don’t use the liquid from the rotel that you would need to up the chicken broth amount so that you have enough liquid in the pot. Going yuko try this recipe this week.

    • 5 stars
      I too got the burn notice, and I think it’s because I swapped Rotel with diced green chiles which probably had less water content. I’d say you should either up the broth, or, I wonder if placing the chicken on a trivet might do the trick so the broth coats the bottom…

  17. 5 stars
    I made this last night, it was really delicious and flavorful. It was a little more runny than I thought it looked in the picture. I think this is because the frozen chicken breast even though were thawed out still had water on them. I wonder if reducing the amount of broth would help or maybe adding more cheese. The cheese dissolves into the dish, so delicious. Thank you for sharing this!

    • I thought the same thing and reduced the broth to 1/4 cup and increased the chicken to 2 1/2 lbs as that’s the size of the bags I buy. I don’t even thaw the chicken, just throw it all in the Insta Pot frozen.

  18. This was so easy and delicious and i had all the ingredients thank you for posting!

  19. 5 stars
    Your Instant Pot Queso Chicken looks fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and hope you are have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  20. 5 stars
    Corrine – thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday! Instant Pot recipe for chicken is great.

  21. Im always looking for the next great IP recipe! Sounds yum and perfect for a bowl. Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday this week!


  22. 5 stars
    Very good! I just made this and it was so yummy!
    The sauce ingredients hadn’t really mixed after 15 minutes so I put it on for another 10. It was perfect. We are in Denver and I don’t know if the altitude is an issue?
    We had it over tortilla chips-

  23. Looks so easy and yummy! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party – have a wonderful weekend.

  24. 5 stars
    This is perfection! All of my family’s favorite flavors in the Instant Pot!

  25. Hi,

    I’m new to this and I don’t own an instant pot. Could this recipe be cooked in a regular Crock-Pot (slow cooker)?
    Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon and have a good day.

  26. 5 stars
    What a delicious and easy recipe! I’ll be making this again and again!

  27. I have found that setting instant pot on saute adding a couple pats of butter and searing chicken helps ensure it is done and heats up the pot for a shorter warm up.

  28. 5 stars
    What a wonderful recipe! I use my Instant Pot so often, that it’s becoming difficult to find enticing new dishes to make. I made a few changes to suit my tastes. Fresh tomatoes and serrano peppers (I like it spicy).

    Also, I do everything I can to avoid over-cooking white chicken meat, so I adjusted the cooking time to 3 minutes high pressure and 6 minutes natural release and it came out perfectly in my opinion. Plus my 19 month old couldn’t have enough of it with cauliflower rice.

    And the sauce is great for dipping tortilla chips in. Thanks again for this easy and delicious recipe

    • Hi Jaime, thanks for all the great suggestions! I’m totally trying it with fresh tomatoes and serrano peppers next time (I like it spicy too). I’m going to add a note to the recipe card with your cook time since you had a good result in case others want to try it that way. I think I have a tendency to lean towards overcooked because I have a ridiculous fear of undercooked poultry.

      • Completely understandable! Salmonella is no joke I hear. However even with the lower cooking time, it was still fork-tender. And I’d never heard of cauliflower rice before reading your post. So thanks for that, too. I got major kudo points with my wife and daughter!

    • I totally agree with reducing the amount of time the chicken is cooked. I cooked this recipe as stated, but I will reduce the cooking time drastically from now on. This long cooking time is only for people who haven’t ever eaten juicy chicken and are just used to tough, overcooked chicken. I was thinking, “Whole, uncut chicken breasts cook for 5 minutes in the IP. Why are we cooking skinny little strips for 3 times as long??”

      • Thank you for letting us know that you also prefer a lesser cooking time. I did put a note in the recipe about that, as I stated in my reply to Jaime. Thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy the recipe more the next time you cook it using the adjusted cooking time.

  29. Do you know if the calories come down if the chicken is omitted??

    • Yes, the chicken accounts for 207 calories in each serving so you’ll reduce the calories dramatically if you omit it.

  30. How long would you have to cook this recipe for iin a slow cooker for and at what setting? Thanks.

    • 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 on low. The shorter times being when the dish would be cooked through enough to eat, the longer times indicating how long you could leave it in the slow cooker before it is overcooked.

    • 1 I don’t have an instapot, can I use a Crock-Pot if so how?

  31. 4 stars
    Can’t wait to try this recipe! Can I use another type of cheese?
    Thank you!

      • 4 stars
        Sorry, I should have clarified. Can I use something other than cream cheese?

        • Oh! LOL. Well, that is a very different question. You could use ricotta instead. If you want, you could also sub in plain yogurt, but I would add that AFTER you pressure cook.

  32. What is an instapot? Could this recipe be cooked in the slow cooker if I don’t have an instapot? I have a small kitchen and not much room to store a lot of stuff.

    • Hi Michelle, Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. You can absolutely make this in a slow cooker. Just omit the broth because the slow cooker will generate condensation and doesn’t need liquid to come to pressure like the Instant Pot does.

4.81 from 109 votes (91 ratings without comment)

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