EPIC Instant Pot Chicken Thighs that are juicy, tender, flavorful and ready in 30 minutes. Not to mention it is 5 ingredient chicken recipe!
Browse all my healthy Instant Pot recipes, easy weeknight dinner savers!
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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
- Instant Pot chicken breast
- Instant Pot chicken and potatoes
- Instant Pot whole chicken
- Instant Pot shredded chicken
- Instant Pot chicken alfredo
Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips?
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- 2 lbs of chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 large garlic cloves grated
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup water
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
How much chicken juice would I need to make a chicken soup? How much water should I add?
Honestly all eye balled. You can use my Instant Pot chicken noodle soup recipe as a guideline.
Turned out great. Thanks for the recipe.
Perfect every time!
5 star. The dish was delicious, easy and quick to make. Highly recommend.
Fantastic Elspeth! Thanks for the positive feedback!
Thank you! Dinner tonight!!!
delicious and it’s a keeper…… elspeth
Made using instant pot easy.
Thank you for your wonderful review, Pattie!
Simply uber amazing!
Thank you again Olena for another wonderful recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Diane! Thank you for the wonderful review and welcome!