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!
5-Ingredient Pepperoncini Chicken
Pepperoncini chicken is sure to become a weeknight staple for you to 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!
- 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.
Slow Cooker: To make this in the slow cooker, you'll want to sear the chicken and add it to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Check around the 5 (or 3 if you cooked it on high) mark to see if the chicken is done. Shred the chicken and let it soak in the sauce for the last 1-2 hours. Serve as is, or crisp under the broiler.
How could you do this recipe if you don’t have an insta pot?
Hi Sue! This recipe also works in a slow cooker. I would cook it on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours! I would check around 5 (or 3 on high) to see if it’s done. Hope that helps 🙂
I definitely will try this -especially since I have one of those pots.
So glad to hear you plan on giving the chicken a try, Joellen! 🙂
can i make this in a crock pot?
Yes! Someone else also had that question, I’ve written directions below for how to make in the slow cooker 🙂
I had a 2-1/2 lb family pack of organic chicken thighs in search of a recipe and boy oh boy was I excited to find this one. IT IS DELICIOUS. Initially I was worried that my very spicy pepperoncini were going to overwhelm the dish, but the cooking knocked their heat down to a truly pleasant level. My 81-yo dad praised the burrito bowl I made for his lunch, and I know it was chicken that wowed him. Thank you so much for posting this recipe — I will be eagerly making this again!!
Hi Heather! I am so so happy to hear you tried and enjoyed this recipe so much! After cooking, the pepperoncini does become milder for sure. Appreciate you taking the time to circle back and leave a review 🙂
Great weeknight meal! Simple to put together after work. We ended up skipping the broiler because it was so delicious after putting the shredded chicken back in the broth. Perfect on HEB butter tortillas. We added sliced fresh serrano pepper on top for some heat. Thank you
Hi Jill! Those butter tortillas are my go to as well + love that you added Serranos for some heat! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment 🙂
I usually don’t trust simple and fast recipes because I presume they will lack flavor but I loved the simplicity and flavor delivered here. Made the ranch seasoning from scratch following another recipe, used thighs, added some freshly chopped garlic and onion and about 1/3 c chicken broth to avoid triggering the ‘burnt food’ on my instant pot. Tried both broiled in the oven and not broiled. Served on tortillas with avo, chopped red onion and shredded white cheddar. Thanks for the recipe, will add into our regular rotation
I made this as directed for the instant pot with 2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breast and the chicken was around 110-130 F depending on the piece when I checked it (10 min on high pressure with a 5 min natural release). The instant pot guide says 6-8 min per lb so I put it back in for another 10. At that point, the chicken was just done. I shredded it and used for tacos as suggested. Overall, the recipe flavor was great but the given time was way off.
Hi Zach! Thanks for your feedback. Did you happen to do a natural pressure release? I wonder if it’s something like that that may have caused the chicken to not cook all the way through.
Would it be okay to use frozen chicken breast? Would the time change?
Hi Crystal! Frozen chicken breasts will definitely change the cooking time. I’m not sure how long it’ll take if the chicken is frozen. My suggestion would be to check the pressure cooker manual and adjusting the time as suggested in the manual!
Another winner! I ended up adding more of the pepperoncinis and liquid (I was worried it might end up dry). It probably wound have been fine, but that gave me enough fluid to whip up a sauce for my tacos.
I don’t own an instapot, so I used my slow cooker. For others like me, I put the boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the cooker while still frozen, and cooked on low for 5 hours.
For my tacos, I used your recommended diced red onion, sliced avocado and chopped cilantro. I added grated cotijo cheese, shredded lettuce and a drizzle I made up (sour cream, a single serve container of prepared guacamole, juice from the chicken, a dash of cayenne and a pinch of red pepper flakes). Hubby was happy with a new “taco Tuesday”!
PS: There are only two of us, so the three chicken breasts was plenty for saving, freezing and having another delightful dinner…or two.
what would be a conversion to use a slow cooker vs instapot? Therese
I like to add a brick of cream cheese at the end to thicken the sauce and serve it on Hawaiian Rolls! So good!
I loved the flavor and the simple ingredients. I made this in my dutch oven in the oven and it came out great. We ate it over rice and instead of putting the left overs in tacos tomorrow we are going to put them into some enchiladas and I can’t wait.
I browned the chicken in the dutch oven on the stove, then added all the ingredients like the recipe and put it in a 325 degree oven for an hour, shredded the chicken and thickened the sauce, then back in the oven for 30 min. I did add a little more liquid after shredding the chicken.
Thanks for all the great recipes.