by Olena

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

by Olena

5 from 2 reviews

instant pot teriyaki chicken with a spoon

Pressure Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Instant Pot teriyaki chicken with sweet and glossy homemade teriyaki sauce in 30 minutes from start to finish. Cooked in your pressure cooker with simple ingredients. No mirin or brown sugar. No oyster sauce. Just good old chicken breasts or thighs, soy sauce, maple syrup and a slurry.

If you are still nervous around this “monster”, check out my Instant Pot guide. Thinking of getting one? Check out which Instant Pot to buy.

Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 30 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Breaking all the rules of Japanese cooking with my pressure cooker teriyaki chicken. But if it helps to get tasty and healthy dinner that kids love on the table in 30 minutes, I am prepared to slay my inner Julia Child.

Are you?

pressure cooker teriyaki chicken served in a bowl with vegetables

Is Teriyaki Chicken Healthy?

The key is to eat teriyaki chicken occasionally, prepare it using healthy method and combine with other wholesome ingredients like vegetables. A problem also lies in portion control as many just pour and pour and pour bottled teriyaki sauce over their plate.

Restaurant teriyaki chicken is usually loaded with sodium, sugar and MSG. So is the store bought bottled sauce. High fructose corn syrup not to mention loads of preservatives overcrowd the ingredients label. And if you really into about your health, those ingredients are GMO treated with deadly RoundUp.

Still want some teriyaki? Make this chicken teriyaki in Instant Pot then. With quality chicken meat, real maple syrup or honey, moderate amount of soy sauce and fresh ginger and garlic. Big on flavor, low on sodium, sugar and yucky stuff.

chicken breasts, maple syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger

Chicken You Can Use

You can use any chicken pieces. I have tested 2 types of chicken to make this easy Instant Pot teriyaki chicken: boneless chicken breasts and bone in chicken drumsticks. If you follow the rules below, your pressure cooker teriyaki chicken will come out thick, sticky and glossy. They way it should be.

  • Boneless chicken breasts or thighs: Add 1 cup of water before cooking. That’s because breast is dry meat not releasing any water. Cook for 10 minutes on high pressure.
  • Bone in chicken thighs or drumsticks: Add  1/3 cup water before cooking. That’s because bones and skin contain water and fat which will come out during cooking. Cook for 20 minutes on high pressure.
  • Frozen chicken: Use any frozen chicken pieces as long as they are separated. Cook for 20 minutes on high pressure.

Tip: If you do not like shredded chicken add cubed into 1 inch pieces.

chicken breasts and homemade teriyaki sauce ingredients before cooking in instant pot

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

My homemade teriyaki sauce consists of:

  • Regular (not low sodium) soy sauce or I used Bragg’s liquid aminos. It has the same amount of sodium as regular soy sauce – I checked. So no low sodium necessary, we use a bit anyways.
  • Honey or maple syrup. You can sub 1 tbsp with molasses to get that traditional deep brown colour. That’s why cooks add brown sugar, because it contains molasses. I added molasses. I don’t own organic brown sugar and I’m into non-GMO sugar.
  • Rice vinegar: If you don’t have one, you could use white vinegar. Not sure about apple cider. That one has distinct non-Asian food flavor.
  • Fresh ginger and garlic. I feel like you can replace both with powder dry version but expect less of “wow”. I have done it and result was OK. Not wow. So depends what kind of mood you are in today.

Add everything to Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 10 or 20 minutes following the recipe below.

Tip How to Peel Ginger

The easiest way to peel ginger is with a spoon, not a knife. Literally hold it in one hand and scrub with a side of a spoon in another hand. Once I learnt that trick, we eat way more fresh ginger. According to Healthline, ginger is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Tip: I usually peel all ginger at once, use what I need and then freeze minced ginger in an airtight container.

peeled ginger with a spoon

Release Pressure and Add Slurry

After Instant Pot is done cooking, wait 5-10 minutes before releasing pressure to avoid sauce splattering all over your kitchen. Frankly, Natural Release makes meat more tender. So if you have 15 minutes to wait, I would recommend doing so.

Shred chicken right in the pot and press Saute. In a small jar, whish with a fork 1/4 cup cold water with 4 tbsp cornstarch. Add to the pot right after whisking (cornstarch settles super fast), stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Just until teriyaki chicken is bubbly and thick.

shred chicken, press saute and add slurry to instant pot to thicken teriyaki chicken

What to Serve With?

I think it’s easy to serve teriyaki chicken healthy. Traditionally teriyaki chicken is served over rice. And our family enjoys it over brown rice because it is more nutritious. Recently I have been making brown rice in Instant Pot and I can’t believe how perfect it comes out. You can run 2 pressure cookers at the same time if you are like me.:)

Or you can serve teriyaki chicken breast over quinoa. Which is a great healthy alternative to rice and it cooks within 12 minutes.

Or slice vegetables and pour a bit of teriyaki sauce from the pot on top.

instant pot chicken recipe garnished with green onion and sesame seeds

Make Ahead or Freeze?

This simple Instant Pot teriyaki chicken can be a healthy freezer meal. Add all ingredients except all water and cornstarch into a resealable plastic bag, let out as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to cook just cook from frozen following the recipe. That’s it. No extra instructions.

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Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

5 from 2 reviews

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken is healthy, sticky and glossy. Make with any chicken, even frozen. Pressure cooker dinner entire family will love!

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs or 3 lbs bone in chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • 1 cup water with boneless chicken or 1/3 cup water with bone in chicken
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I used Bragg’s liquid aminos)
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 inch ginger
  • 1/4 cup cold water + 3 tbsp cornstarch, as a thickener
  • Sesame seeds and green onion, for garnish


  1. In Instant Pot, add water, maple syrup or honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and chicken.
  2. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 10 minutes if using boneless chicken or 20 minutes for bone in chicken.
  3. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  4. After 10 or 20 minutes, Instant Pot will beep, display will say OFF and now it needs to bring pressure down before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve.
  5. Wait 5 minutes and then turn pressure valve to Venting position to release remaining pressure.
  6. Open the lid, shred chicken right in the pot and press Saute (cancel Keep Warm if it’s on).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk cold water and cornstarch with a fork, pour over chicken and stir gently. Cook for a few minutes until sauce has thickened a bit.
  8. Serve with brown rice or quinoa, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.

Freezer Meal: Assemble ingredients minus all water and cornstarch in the order listed above and freeze uncooked in gallon size Ziploc bag. When ready to cook, cook from frozen following recipe’s instructions + water as per recipe increasing time to 30 minutes. After follow Step 4.


Different amount of water is listed due to bone in chicken releasing more juices.

If you like dark coloured teriyaki chicken, substitute 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup with molasses.

You can use frozen chicken. Cook for 20 minutes.

 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.

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  1. Made this tonight and loved it. I sliced two peppers and threw them in too. With 3 frozen chicken breasts. Then I put brown rice right on top of trivet I’m another glass dish and cooked it altogether for 22 minutes. It was perfect.

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