5-Ingredient Pepperoncini Chicken
Pepperoncini chicken is sure to become a weeknight staple for you too when you hear how easy it is to make! Just toss everything into the instant pot and let it cook up for you! Then, use the chicken in tacos, as sandwiches, or as chicken burrito bowls!
Pepperoncini chicken is the easiest chicken recipe you’ll ever make without putting much effort.
It’s garlicky, tangy, and bursting with flavor. But I also love the fact that it doesn’t require any prep work. If you keep a jar of minced garlic in the refrigerator, you can even prep this recipe without getting out the garlic press or cutting board. Side note: for whatever reason, I hate washing cutting boards.
Pepperoncini chicken is like the chicken version of a Mississippi roast. It’s a cross between my chicken carnitas and my beef tips with mushroom gravy. It’s a little of this and a little of that, but essentially, it’s a hint of butter, ranch seasoning, pepperoncini peppers, and a bit of garlic. You wouldn’t believe the impact these ingredients have when you combine them!
What are pepperoncini peppers?
Pepperoncini peppers are available in most grocery stores in the pickled vegetable section. They are similar to banana peppers and have that same mild-tangy flavor.
What ingredients do you need to make pepperoncini chicken?
- Chicken: the good thing about this recipe if that you can use any kind of boneless chicken you like. Tenders, breasts, and thighs all work beautifully here. So feel free to use whatever type of meat you prefer.
- Ranch seasoning: adds a delicious herby taste to this recipe. You can use either use store-bought seasoning or make your own!
- Butter: Just a tablespoon to help balance some of the flavors in the recipe. I’ve tried making the recipe without it, but that hint of butter just makes this recipe so much better!
- Pepperoncini peppers: We’ll use the peppers in this recipe, but don’t toss out the liquid! We’ll use a cup of that too 😉
- Minced garlic: you can use fresh minced garlic or the stuff that comes in a jar. And if you don’t want to dirty a cutting board, just use a garlic press! Garlic, ranch seasoning, and pepperoncini were meant to be together!
How to make the easiest pepperoncini chicken recipe:
You really won’t believe how easy this is!
- Let’s prep. Melt the butter in the instant pot on the saute setting. When it melts, turn off the instant pot. Season both sides of the chicken with ranch seasoning and add it to the instant pot along with the minced garlic, and drained pepperoncini peppers. Pour in a cup of the reserved pepper liquid.
- Let it pressure cook. Cover the instant pot and allow the chicken to cook on high pressure. Then, do a natural pressure release so the chicken has a chance to hang out in the juices and get even more flavorful! Shred the chicken using two forks or with a pair of meat claws.
- Make sauce. If you plan on serving the chicken over rice, I suggest using the pan juices to make a sauce. All you need to do is remove ¼ cup of the juices, whisk in a teaspoon of corn starch and add it back to the instant pot when the liquid comes back to a boil on the saute setting. Stir until the sauce gets thick and bubbly. You can thicken it further with another teaspoon of cornstarch in water if you want it even thicker! Serve the chicken with the thickened sauce drizzled on top if you’d like!
Is the chicken spicy? If not, is there a way to make it spicy?
Pepperoncini chicken is very mild! The peppers are pickled and it’s even milder than a tamed jalapeño!
If you’d like to add a kick, I suggest adding in a ¼-½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes. A minced Serrano or jalapeño would be even more delicious!
How to make the most incredible pepperoncini chicken tacos!
- Prep the chicken. Once you’ve shredded the chicken, I like to let it hang out in the cooking liquif for 5 minutes. This allows the chicken to soak up more of that delicious flavor! Then, remove the chicken using a pair of tongs, so that most of the liquid drips back into the instant pot. And lay the shredded chicken out onto a baking sheet in a single layer. We’re going to use the same technique I’ve used in my chicken carnitas and Vietnamese crispy chicken to make this chicken even more flavorful!
- Broil the chicken. Spray the chicken with cooking spray so that the edges crisp up. And place the baking sheet in the oven for 8-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn! You’ll want to toss the chicken with tongs during the halfway point.
- Make tacos! Then, place the chicken on warmed tortillas, top with sliced avocados, shredded cheese, minced red onions, and a drizzle of sour cream! You could also thicken the leftover sauce and add it to the tacos, however I find I don’t really need it with all the other flavors!
If you like this recipe, you might also like these instant pot favorites!
- Ridiculously Tender Beef Tips with Mushroom Gravy
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Korean Beef Bowls
- Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Irresistible Beef Stew
- Cajun Butternut Squash Soup
- Homemade Pressure Cooker Shawarma
P.S Double points if you make the tacos! They are seriously so so good!
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning
- 2 ½-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (tenders, breasts, thighs)
- 1 (16-ounce) jar shredded pepperoncini peppers (reserve 1 cup of liquid)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
- PRESSURE COOK: Melt the butter in the instant pot on the saute setting. When melted, turn off the instant pot. Season both sides of the chicken breast with the ranch seasoning and place it in the instant pot. Add the minced garlic, and drained pepperoncini peppers. Pour 1 cup of the pepperoncini liquid into the pot. Cover the instant pot and let pressure cook on the high setting for 10-15 minutes (this depends on the size of chicken breasts; 1 pound breast(s) should take 10 mins.) Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes.
- SHRED THE CHICKEN: Remove the lid and shred the chicken using two forks. If you plan on using it for bowls, I suggest removing ¼ cup of the liquid, whisking the cornstarch in the liquid, and adding it back to the chicken on the saute setting so the sauce thickens. Delicious in rice bowls! If you plan on making the chicken tacos, don’t thicken the sauce until after the chicken is in the oven, if you're planning on using the sauce, I don't use it for tacos!
- FOR TACOS (OPTIONAL): Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat on the broil setting. I like to shred the chicken using two forks and allow the shredded chicken to sit and soak in the sauce for 5 minutes, covered. Then, remove the chicken using tongs or a slotted spoon and spread it out into a single layer. Spray with cooking spray. Broil the chicken for 8-10 minutes, stopping halfway to toss the chicken. Place the crispy chicken on warmed tortillas top with sliced avocados, shredded cheese, minced red onions, and a drizzle of sour cream! I find I don't need the thickened sauce, but the option is there if you’d like to use it on the tacos!
update 1/9/21: Based on reader feedback, the cooking time for the recipe has been changed.