by Olena

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

by Olena

4.9 from 10 reviews

EPIC Instant Pot Chicken Thighs that are juicy, tender, flavorful and ready in 30 minutes. Not to mention it is 5 ingredient chicken recipe!

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

Pressure Cooker Chicken Thighs

These Instant Pot chicken thighs is a version of my baked chicken thighs. It is such an easy recipe with simple ingredients, you can pull it off on a busy weeknight.

I am not a fan of “boiled” chicken. And it is not easy to make chicken thighs in a healthy sauce. I was looking for more of a baked chicken thighs recipe in Instant Pot though. And here it is.

instant pot chicken thighs served with rice on blue plate

Ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

  • Chicken thighs: You can use skinless bone in or boneless, fresh of frozen. Please keep reading for difference in cooking.
  • Oil: Any oil you use for sauteing. I used olive oil.
  • Garlic, salt and pepper are very simple spices but flavorful. And fresh herbs at the end, if you wish.

chicken thighs in marinade in glass bowl and towel nearby

How to Cook Chicken Thighs in Instant Pot

  • Season chicken thighs by combining meat, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir with tongs. While Instant Pot will be preheating on Saute, meat will have a chance to marinate. Olive oil will help chicken not to stick to the pot.
  • Brown chicken by first preheating your electric pressure cooker on Saute. Takes 4-5 minutes until display says Hot. Be patient, it is important for well seared chicken. Add thighs with top side down in a tight single layer and cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes. It lets thighs get nice browned top.

how to cook chicken thighs in instant pot step by stephow to cook chicken thighs in instant pot step by step how to cook chicken thighs in instant pot step by stephow to cook chicken thighs in instant pot step by step

  • Remove chicken using flat and sturdy spatula. Lift chicken almost scraping from the bottom and transfer to a plate. Meat tends to stick to stainless steel pot. You just have to brown one side. Repeat with remaining thighs.
  • Deglaze the pot by adding 1 cup water and scraping the browned bits off the bottom and mixing with water. Then press Cancel and add trivet.
  • Cooking: Fresh boneless chicken – 5 minutes, bone in – 8 minutes. Release pressure using Quick Release.

how to cook chicken thighs in instant pot step by stephow to cook chicken thighs in instant pot step by step how to cook chicken thighs in instant pot step by stephow to cook chicken thighs in instant pot step by step

Are you new to Instant Pot? Check out my Instant Pot guide. Don’t have one yet? See which one I recommend to buy based on your lifestyle and family size.

Tips for Browning Chicken Thighs

Saute function on Instant Pot is not totally the same like on stove. So, a few tips:

  • Skinless thighs: I highly recommend to use skinless thighs – skin really sticks, then peels off resulting in pale thighs and lots of fat.
  • Sticky skin: Meat does stick to the stainless steel Instant Pot’s inner pot – “scrape off” browned meat with a spatula hard. browning chicken thighs in instant pot and flipping with spatula
  • Brown just one side: It is enough because it takes a while.
  • Venting: Place Instant Pot under the hood fan to help extract cooking fumes – if you have a plug on the stove it helps (don’t turn on the stove though. :))
  • Deglaze the pot after browning to avoid Burn.

instant pot chicken thighs garnished with dill

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs

  • Skip the browning step. We can’t brown frozen meat. So, if you are OK with non-browned chicken thighs then you can cook them this way:
  • Make sure chicken thighs are separated. Otherwise, meat won’t get cooked through.
  • Rinse it. I would recommend to rinse meat under cold water to remove the frost and help seasonings stick better.
  • Season. Coat them in oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl tossing with tongs.
  • Cook. In Instant Pot, add 1 cup water, trivet, thighs and pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes – bone in or boneless.
  • Optional broiling: Brown after under the oven’s broiler in the baking dish, if you wish.

instant pot chicken thighs served over rice

How to Serve, Store and Make Ahead

  • Sauce: There will be a lot flavorful juices at the bottom of the pot. That is basically the sauce for your chicken thighs.
  • Side dish: I usually cook brown rice, quinoa or mashed potatoes and serve with lots of sauce over it and chicken thighs. That is one of the reasons I cook skinless thighs because otherwise it is just too much saturated fat in that sauce.
  • Veggies: For the side, you can roast some veggies since your oven will be free – like cauliflower, asparagus or brussels sprouts. Or make a quick salad like cucumber and tomato salad or lettuce salad.

Storing: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Freeze with juices for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

Make ahead: You can let chicken marinate for up to 2 days in the fridge.

Enjoy and be healthy!

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips?

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs garnished with dill

Print

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs {5 Ingredients}

instant pot chicken thighs

4.9 from 10 reviews

EPIC Instant Pot Chicken Thighs that are juicy, tender, flavorful and ready in 30 minutes. Not to mention it is 5 ingredient chicken recipe!

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add chicken thighs, olive oil, grated garlic, salt, pepper and stir with tongs.
  2. On any size Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot (takes 4-5 minutes). During this time chicken will have a chance to marinate.
  3. Add thighs with top side down in a tight single layer and cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes. It lets thighs get nice browned top.
  4. Using flat and sturdy spatula, lift chicken almost scraping from the bottom and transfer to a plate. Meat tends to stick to stainless steel pot. You just have to brown one side. Repeat with remaining thighs.
  5. Add water and deglaze the bottom to avoid Burn.
  6. Add trivet and place chicken thighs in layers with browned sides up.
  7. Close the lid and turn pressure release valve to Sealing. Pressure cook on High pressure boneless thighs for 5 mins and bone-in for 8 minutes.
  8. Wait for 5 minutes and release remaining pressure using Quick Release method.
  9. Sprinkle chicken with fresh dill or parsley and serve warm with brown rice, quinoa, potatoes or salad.

Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Make Ahead: You can let chicken marinate for up to 2 days in the fridge.

Notes

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs

To cook frozen bone in or boneless chicken thighs, you have to skip the browning step. We can’t brown frozen meat. So, if you are OK with non-browned chicken thighs then you can cook them this way:

  • Make sure chicken thighs are separated.
  • Coat them in oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl tossing with tongs. I would recommend to rinse meat under cold water to remove the frost and help seasonings stick better.
  • In Instant Pot, add 1 cup water and trivet.
  • Add chicken thighs on top and pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes – bone in or boneless.
  • Brown after under the oven’s broiler in the baking dish, if you wish.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

22 comments on “Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

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  1. Very tasty and so easy in the instant pot. I made a lovely sauce with the juices adding some cornflour and parsley. Thank you So much Olena.

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