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

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

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. Give your Instant Pot a quick rinse then steam vegetables!

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
instant pot chicken thighs

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

EPIC Instant Pot Chicken Thighs that are juicy, tender, flavorful and ready in 30 minutes. Not to mention it is 5 ingredient chicken recipe!
4.80 from 15 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 373
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, add chicken thighs, olive oil, grated garlic, salt, pepper and stir with tongs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add water and deglaze the bottom to avoid Burn.
  • Add trivet and place chicken thighs in layers with browned sides up.
  • 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.
  • Wait for 5 minutes and release remaining pressure using Quick Release method.
  • Sprinkle chicken with fresh dill or parsley and serve warm with brown rice, quinoa, potatoes or salad.

Video

Notes

  • 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.
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.
See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

Nutrition

Serving: 2thighs | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 409mg | Sugar: 1g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My family and I loved this recipe.

    I used frozen skin on bone in and followed the tips given.
    Using an 8 quart IP and cooked 6 thighs there was some over lap but it turned out ok. I grilled them for 5 min a side at 550 F to crisp them up. The juice left over was so tasty, I added 1 TBSP corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup water to thicken it up a bit, Could have added more and next time I will do 1.5-2 TBSP.

    thanks for another simple and delicous recipes!

  2. 4 stars
    This is an interesting dish & needs some adjustment. I thought the ingredients would seriously lack flavor so I browned the chic. on both sides & added some greek seasoning I had put together previously, plus a little red pepper flakes. This IP recipe resulted in the chicken being cooked to perfection, juicy, tender, BUT, seriously lacking any flavor at all. Blah. I thickened the sauce with some corn flour, but still, tasted like something my mother made, lol. (Not good). I put the leftovers in the juices in the fridge & finished it off the next night. WOW! It was fantastic!! It just needed to sit & stew in its own juices overnight. So, this is a 2nd day recipe. Skip the 1st day. It needs time to drink in those flavors. I highly recommended adding more spices and/or using chicken stock instead of water. There’s a high-end restaurant in Sedona, AZ that serves “2nd day entrees” for this reason.

  3. 4 stars
    Tried it . At your settings for bone in, the temp was 155, so i put it in for 3 min more. Dont like chicken at 165 as it makes me sick. Came out just over 185. Tasted good til i hit a soft under cooked part near a bone. Just made more today and cooked 20 min . Still does not come clean from the bone. Will experiment with it more . Pasta boat does it well in the microwave at 23 min. Will try that time next. The pot roast was excellent. Never tried any better.

  4. Hi, am I able to double this recipe in a 6 quart instant pot? If so, what cooking time do you recommend for fresh, bone-in thighs? Thanks!

    1. So IP you see I use is 6 quart. I say you can use 1.5 times, so 3 lbs. Not sure if double will leave enough room for IP to pressurize. Regardless amount of meat it is same cook time.

  5. 5 stars
    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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