Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken (Pressure Cooker!) •

Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken (Pressure Cooker!)


Question: What’s even better than a quick and easy gluten-free Mexican dinner?

Answer: This perfect Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken dinner an easy gluten-free dish that cooks up fast on your stove top or even faster in a pressure cooker.

Image of Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken on a plate.

Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken is not only a flavorful and satisfying dish but also a budget-friendly option for those looking to create a delicious meal without breaking the bank. Here are some reasons why this dish can be considered an inexpensive meal:

  1. Chicken Breasts:
    • Chicken breasts are generally more affordable than other cuts of meat. Buying them in bulk or on sale can further reduce the cost.
  2. Simple Ingredients:
    • The recipe calls for basic and readily available ingredients like onions, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, and spices. These ingredients are often inexpensive and can be found in most grocery stores.
  3. Pico De Gallo:
    • The Pico De Gallo, a key component of this dish, is made with fresh vegetables and herbs. Using seasonal and locally sourced produce can be cost-effective.
  4. Tequila Optional:
    • The use of tequila in the Pico Pan Sauce is optional. If you’re on a budget, you can easily substitute it with chicken broth without compromising the overall flavor of the dish.
  5. Cheese Topping:
    • Shredded cheese, while adding richness to the dish, is a cost-effective ingredient. Buying in bulk or choosing store-brand options can help keep costs down.
  6. Versatile Sides:
    • The suggested side dishes (see below), such as rice, beans, or a simple salad, are affordable options that complement the main dish without adding significant expenses.
  7. Economical Cooking Methods:
    • The use of a pressure cooker and skillet for cooking is energy-efficient and can help reduce cooking times, saving both time and money.
  8. Leftover Potential:
    • This dish is great for meal prepping, and any leftovers can be refrigerated for future meals. Utilizing leftovers helps stretch your budget and minimizes food waste.
  9. DIY Pico De Gallo:
    • Making your own Pico De Gallo is not only cost-effective but also allows you to control the quality of the ingredients.
  10. Customizable and Adaptable:
    • The recipe is versatile, allowing you to adjust ingredients based on what you have on hand or what’s on sale, making it adaptable to different budget constraints.

Overall, Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken is a fantastic option for those looking to enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal without overspending. With its simple ingredients and versatile nature, it proves that you can create a flavorful dish on a budget.

How to Make Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken


For Chicken Breasts:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon of GF pepper
  • 1 teaspoon GF garlic salt

For pico De Gallo mix:

  • 1/2 cup of onions
  • 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of diced jalapeño
  • 1 tbs chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice

*Reserve ½ of the pico de gallo to add to the Pico Pan Sauce

For pico Pan Sauce:

  • 1 ounce of gluten-free tequila
  • Remaining ½ of the pico de gallo made in the previous step


  • Place chicken in your pressure cooker and add half a cup of water.
  • Top the chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon of garlic salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Add a quarter of the pico mixture on top of the chicken that’s sitting in the pressure cooker and cook on the poultry setting for 9 minutes.

*Cooking times may vary depending upon which make/model of pressure cooker you use. Adjust cooking times accordingly.

  • While the chicken is cooking, add half of the remaining pico mixture to a skillet.
  • Then add 1 oz of tequila – any brand of choice – and sauté on low for 5 mins.

*Avoiding alcohol? Substitute 1 ounce of chicken broth for the tequila in this recipe.

  • When the chicken is done, top with the remaining pico mixture and your desired amount of shredded cheese.

Tips to Make Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken Gluten Free

This is an easy and delicious meal to prepare. Here are some tips to ensure it is gluten-free:

  1. Choose Gluten-Free Chicken:
    • Select raw chicken that is gluten-free. Avoid selecting chicken that has been injected with seasonings, broths, brines or other preservative solutions that may contain hidden sources of gluten. Many brands offer gluten-free versions of poultry and other meat.
  2. Check Chicken Seasonings:
    • Ensure that the garlic salt and pepper used to season the chicken are certified gluten-free or are at the very least labeled gluten-free. Some seasoning blends may contain hidden gluten, so it’s important to read labels carefully.
  3. Select Gluten-Free Chicken Broth or Tequila:
    • If you choose to use tequila in the Pico Pan Sauce, make sure it’s gluten-free. Alternatively, you can use gluten-free chicken broth as a substitution.
  4. Verify Cheese Ingredients:
    • When selecting shredded cheese for the topping, check the label to confirm that it’s gluten-free. Some pre-shredded cheeses may contain additives that include gluten.
  5. Use Certified Gluten-Free Pico Ingredients:
    • Confirm that all components of the Pico De Gallo, including onions, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeño, green onion, garlic, and lime juice, are gluten-free. Fresh, whole ingredients are usually safe, but it’s always good to double-check that they have not been cross-contaminated. Pre-cut fresh ingredients sold at stores can be cross-contaminated and unsafe to consume.
  6. Check for Cross-Contamination:
    • Be mindful of cross-contamination during the cooking process. Use separate utensils, cutting boards, and kitchen tools for gluten-free ingredients to avoid any traces of gluten.
  7. Gluten-Free Tortilla Chips or Sides:
    • If you plan to serve the dish with tortilla chips or other sides, make sure they are gluten-free. There are many gluten-free tortilla chip options available in most grocery stores.
  8. Read Labels:
    • Always read product labels to check for any hidden sources of gluten. Gluten can sometimes be present in unexpected places, such as sauces and seasonings you might use on your side dishes.
  9. Use Gluten-Free Cooking Methods:
    • Ensure that your cooking methods, including the pressure cooker and skillet, are free from gluten contamination. If using a non-stick skillet, make sure it’s in good condition to avoid any potential issues.
  10. Double-Check Gluten-Free Substitutes:
    • If you choose to substitute any ingredients, such as using gluten-free tequila or a gluten-free alternative for a particular component, ensure that the substitute is truly gluten-free.

By following these tips and being vigilant about ingredient choices, you can easily create a delicious and safe gluten-free chicken dinner that everyone can enjoy.

What to Serve with Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken

While this is a flavorful dish that stands well on its own, it is also a versatile main course that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some suggestions to complement and enhance the overall dining experience:

  1. Cilantro Lime Rice:
    • Prepare a fluffy batch of cilantro lime rice to absorb the savory flavors of the chicken and add a refreshing citrusy element.
  2. Mexican Street Corn (Elote):
    • Grilled corn on the cob slathered with a creamy mixture of mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime juice. The smokiness of the corn complements the dish perfectly.
  3. Avocado Salad:
    • Create a simple avocado salad with diced avocados, cherry tomatoes, red onions, jalapeños, and a drizzle of lime juice. The creaminess of the avocado balances the dish’s bold flavors.
  4. Black Bean Salad:
    • Combine black beans, corn, diced bell peppers, red onions, and cilantro for a refreshing and protein-rich side dish.
  5. Tortilla Chips and Salsa:
    • Serve crispy gluten-free tortilla chips with a side of your favorite salsa for a crunchy and satisfying accompaniment.
  6. Guacamole:
    • Mash ripe avocados and mix them with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeños, lime juice, and a sprinkle of garlic salt and cumin for a classic guacamole that adds richness to the meal.
  7. Mexican Quinoa:
    • Prepare quinoa with Mexican-inspired flavors, incorporating ingredients like black beans, corn, tomatoes, and a hint of cumin.
  8. Grilled Vegetables:
    • Fire up the grill for a medley of grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and onions. The smoky char adds depth to the meal.
  9. Mexican Slaw:
    • Toss shredded cabbage, carrots, and red onions with a lime vinaigrette for a crisp and tangy slaw that cuts through the richness of the chicken.
  10. Fresh Fruit Salsa:
    • Dice a mix of tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, and kiwi, and toss them with lime juice and mint for a refreshing fruit salsa.

Feel free to mix and match these side dishes based on your preferences and create a vibrant and satisfying spread to accompany your gluten-free chicken dinner. Whether you prefer a light salad or heartier grains, these options will enhance the overall dining experience.


If you enjoyed this Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken, then you’ll love some of our other favorite Gluten-Free recipes!

15 Minute Chicken Street Tacos

Utterly Deadly Gluten-Free Southern Pecan Pie

Savory Garlic Butter Chicken with Caramelized Onions

Image of Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken on a plate.

Cheesy Pico Tequila Chicken (Pressure Cooker!)

no profileJamie F.
Delicious chicken breasts topped with cheese and a tequila spiked pico de gallo – all made in just about 20 minutes.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 2 people
Calories 412 kcal


  • 1 Pressure cooker


Chicken Breasts

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp GF pepper
  • 1 tsp GF garlic salt
  • ½ cup water

Pico de Gallo – Divided in Two Parts

  • ½ cup diced white onions
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup diced jalapeño
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice

Pico Pan Sauce

  • 1 oz GF tequila *Optional substitute: chicken broth
  • remaining pico de gallo mix


  • ½ cup shredded GF cheese


Pico de Gallo

  • Dice ½ cup of onions, ½ cup of tomatoes, and ¼ cup of jalapeños.
  • Chop ¼ cup of cilantro and 1 Tbsp green onions.
  • Mince 1 tsp of garlic and squeeze 1 Tbsp of lime juice.
  • Add the fresh ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Divide the pico de gallo mix into two parts.

Chicken Breasts

  • Place chicken in the pressure cooker and add a ½ cup of water.
  • Top chicken with garlic salt and pepper.
  • Place half of the pico de gallo mix on top of the chicken breasts.
  • Cook on poultry setting for 9 mins.

Pico Pan Sauce

  • While the chicken is cooking, add the pico de gallo mix and 1 oz of your choice of gluten-free tequila to a skillet.
  • Sauté the pico de gallo mix and tequila on low for 5 mins.


  • When the chicken is done, top with the Pico Pan Sauce mix and add the desired amount of shredded gluten-free cheese.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 412kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 56gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 3939mgPotassium: 1104mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 624IUVitamin B1: 1mgVitamin B2: 1mgVitamin B3: 24mgVitamin B5: 3mgVitamin B6: 2mgVitamin B12: 1µgVitamin C: 28mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 19µgCalcium: 197mgCopper: 1mgFolate: 31µgIron: 2mgManganese: 1mgMagnesium: 81mgPhosphorus: 607mgSelenium: 78µgZinc: 2mgAlcohol: 5gCholine: 179mgNet Carbohydrates: 7g
Keyword Easy, Pressure Cooker, Quick
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Jamie with ZERO For Life

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My name is Jamie. My family and I know first hand what it's like to live with celiac disease and food allergies. Helping people like us with similar challenges take charge of their health and happiness is my undying passion. My focus is on providing you with both accurate health information that’s grounded in science and practical tools to help you successfully live a completely gluten free and/or allergen free lifestyle.

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