Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe

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Craving something savory and delicious but don't have a lot of time? Try this Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe! You can have a restaurant-quality meal in just a few simple steps without leaving your kitchen. Not to mention, it's also a budget-friendly option that the whole family will love.

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

These chicken thighs are made with an Instant Pot Chicken and are a delicious, easy-to-make meal that can be on the table in less than an hour. This dish is made with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs cooked in a flavorful broth until they are fall-off-the-bone tender. The Instant Pot quickly cooks the chicken, resulting in a moist, juicy, and flavorful dish that your family will love.

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Ingredients to make chicken thighs.

Ingredients needed:

The ingredients for making Instant Pot Chicken Thighs that the whole family will like are listed below. Please scroll down to view our printable recipe card, which includes detailed steps and measurements.

  • Chicken thighs: Bone-in skin-on
  • Butter: Unsalted 
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken stock or broth


  • Paprika
  • Dried oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Onion powder
  • Dried parsley
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
Four photos showing steps to making chicken thighs using an Instant Pot.

How to cook instant pot chicken thighs from scratch? 

  1. Mix the spices: In a small bowl, combine the spices.
  2. Pat dry and season the chicken: The chicken should be thoroughly dried before being placed on a chopping board and spiced.
  3. Press on SAUTE: Put the inner pot on SAUTE, add the oil, and melt the butter.
  4. Add the chicken: In batches, add the chicken and brown it for 2–3 minutes with the skin side down before flipping it over to finish browning. On a plate, set it aside.
  5. Add stock: Add the chicken stock after deglazing the pan by scraping any lingering brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.
  6. Insert a trivet: Lay the chicken thighs out on a trivet that has been inserted. A little overlap is acceptable.
  7. Close and cook: Set the vent to the SEALING position, lock the lid, and close it. The cooking time should be 10 minutes at high pressure with the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL mode.
  8. Natural release or quick release: When the instant pot beeps to indicate that the cooking is finished, you have two choices: let the pressure naturally release for exceptionally soft, fall-off-the-bone meat or quick release for chewier but still tender meat.
Close up of a chicken thigh slipt in half showing interior

How to serve:

So what should you serve with your Instant Pot chicken thighs? Here are a few ideas:

Try potatoes or sweet potatoes if you're looking for a hearty side dish. For something lighter, a simple green salad or roasted vegetables would be a great option. And if you want to keep things really simple, just pair your chicken thighs with some rice or quinoa.

You can also serve chicken thighs with zucchini ribbons, which require only zucchini and some cooking oil. These ribbons have a fancy appearance but are all fairly light, making them a fantastic side dish alternative when serving something substantial like chicken thighs. Additionally, this recipe is incredibly simple to serve by placing some zucchini ribbons on each thigh before serving.

Moreover, even though spinach artichoke dip is typically served as an appetizer, it is one of the most well-liked side dishes to offer with chicken. Since it enhances the flavor of dark meat, this dip is especially delicious with chicken thighs.

Chicken thighs severed over white rice.

Frequently asked questions

How long should you cook chicken thighs in the Instant Pot?

When it comes to cooking chicken thighs in an Instant Pot, the general rule of thumb is to cook them for 10 minutes. However, this cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs.

For example, if you are cooking boneless, skinless chicken thighs that are about 1-inch thick, you may only need to cook them for 8 minutes. On the other hand, if you are cooking bone-in chicken that are 2-inches thick, you may need to cook them for 12 minutes.

Ultimately, the best way to determine how long to cook chicken thighs in an Instant Pot is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Raw chicken thighs inside an instant pot

Can you put raw chicken in an Instant Pot?

You can put raw chicken in an Instant Pot. This is a quick and easy way to cook chicken and a great way to ensure that your chicken is cooked evenly. Here are some tips for cooking chicken in an Instant Pot:

  • Place the chicken in the pot, thigh side up.
  • Add 1 cup of water or chicken broth.
  • Close the lid and set the valve to sealing.
  • Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Natural release or quick release the pressure.
  • Remove the lid and carefully remove the chicken from the pot.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it.

Why are my Instant Pot chicken thighs tough?

Instant Pot chicken thighs can be tough for a variety of reasons. First, the chicken can be tough and chewy if it is not cooked correctly. Instant Pot chicken thighs should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another reason why Instant Pot chicken thighs might be tough is if they are overcooked. Instant Pot chicken thighs only need to cook for 10 minutes at most. They will become dry and tough if cooked for too long.

Finally, Instant Pot chicken thighs can also be tough if they are not properly seasoned. Be sure to use salt, pepper, and other spices to flavor the chicken before cooking it in the Instant Pot. By following these tips, you can ensure that your Instant Pot chicken thighs are tender and juicy.

Chicken thighs in the instant pot.

Should you brown chicken before pressure cooking?

There are two schools of thought when cooking chicken in an Instant Pot: browning the chicken before pressure cooking or not browning it at all. So, which is the right way to do it?

If you're looking for perfectly cooked, juicy chicken, then browning the chicken before pressure cooking is the way to go. Browning adds flavor and creates a nice sear outside of the chicken that helps to lock in moisture.

However, if you're short on time or don't want to dirty another pan, you can skip the browning step altogether. The chicken will still be cooked and moist, although it may not have as much flavor.

How to store leftovers:

One way to store your leftover chicken thighs is to put them in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to four days. You can also freeze the chicken thighs for up to six months.  

If you're planning on eating the chicken within the next day or two, you can keep it in the fridge. Otherwise, it's best to freeze it. When you're ready to eat the chicken, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in the Instant Pot in the poultry setting.

Recipe tips: 

  • After cooking, save the excess liquid at the bottom of your instant pot to make a quick and tasty homemade chicken broth. To enhance the broth's flavor while the chicken cooks, you may add a piece of carrot, onion, or celery to the liquid in the bottom of the pot.
  • Use the extra liquid to make gravy. The thighs are a simple and delectable main dish to serve with mashed potatoes on the side. First, add 3 teaspoons water, and 3 teaspoons flour should be whisked together until smooth. Next, turn the instant pot to the sauté setting and stir the flour slurry into the boiling broth at the bottom of the pot. Until the gravy has thickened, cook while stirring. When necessary, taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper as well as chicken bouillon.
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Making chicken thighs in the Instant Pot is a great way to get tender, juicy chicken cooked perfectly every time. You can cook them with or without skin, and they're perfect for weeknight meals or easy dinners.

Plus, the Instant Pot makes this dish so quick and easy - you'll be surprised at how simple it is!

So, if you're looking for a delicious and easy chicken dish to make in your Instant Pot, then keep reading for this recipe. Trust me; once you try this dish, you'll be hooked!


  • 6-8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth


  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Mix the spices in a small bowl.
  2. Pat dry the chicken, place it on a cutting board, and season it with the spice mix.
  3. Press on SAUTE, add the oil to the inner pot and melt the butter. 
  4. Add the chicken in batches, brown it skin side down for 2-3 minutes, flip it, and brown it for two more minutes. Set it aside on a plate.
  5. Add the chicken stock, and deglaze the pot using a wooden spoon to scrape any stuck brown bits from the bottom.
  6. Insert a trivet and arrange the chicken thighs onto it. Slightly overlapping is ok.
  7. Close and lock the lid, and set the vent to the SEALING position. Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL setting and set the cooking time for 10 minutes at high pressure. 
  8. When the cooking ends and the instant pot beeps that it's done, you have two options: allow to naturally release the pressure for extra tender, fall of the bone meat, or quick release for chewier yet still tender meat.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 513mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g

These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.

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