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Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe

how to cook chicken thighs in instant pot

Greetings! Welcome to my easy Instant Pot chicken thighs recipe. If you’re wondering how to cook chicken thighs in an Instant Pot, you’ve come to the right place. I’m here to guide you through a foolproof recipe that will result in tender and flavorful chicken thighs every time.

With the popularity of the Instant Pot soaring, it’s no surprise that many home cooks are turning to this convenient kitchen gadget for quick and delicious meals. And when it comes to chicken thighs, the Instant Pot is a game-changer. It locks in moisture and infuses the meat with incredible flavors in a fraction of the time compared to traditional cooking methods.

So, let’s dive into the details of this mouthwatering Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe. Get your Instant Pot ready because we’re about to embark on a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cooking chicken thighs in the Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to achieve tender and flavorful results.
  • The Instant Pot locks in moisture and infuses the chicken thighs with delicious flavors.
  • Follow this foolproof recipe for perfectly cooked chicken thighs every time.
  • The Instant Pot saves time and effort, making it a convenient option for busy individuals.
  • With the help of some additional ingredients and seasonings, you can elevate the flavor of your Instant Pot chicken thighs even further.

Gather Your Ingredients

Before you start cooking, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients for this amazing Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe. This section will guide you through the ingredient list, allowing you to get prepared efficiently.

For the best Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe, you’ll need the following:

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs – These will provide an incredible depth of flavor and keep the meat tender and juicy.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – This will help brown the chicken and add richness.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder – Garlic lovers will appreciate the savory aroma and taste.
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme – Thyme adds a herbaceous note and complements the chicken perfectly.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika – Paprika gives the chicken a beautiful color and adds a subtle smoky flavor.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt – Seasoning is essential for enhancing the flavors of the dish.
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper – A touch of black pepper adds a slight heat and depth of flavor.
  • 1 cup chicken broth – This provides the liquid needed for pressure cooking and infuses the chicken with a rich taste.
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish – A sprinkle of fresh parsley adds a pop of color and freshness to the final dish.

Having all your ingredients ready before you start cooking will ensure a smooth and stress-free cooking experience. Now that you have everything prepared, let’s move on to the next section to learn how to properly prepare the chicken thighs.

Prepare the Chicken Thighs

Properly preparing the chicken thighs is crucial for achieving tender and juicy results. In this section, I’ll show you how to thaw frozen chicken thighs and share tips for adding rice to make it a complete one-pot meal.

Thawing Frozen Chicken Thighs

When using frozen chicken thighs in your Instant Pot recipe, it’s important to thaw them properly before cooking. Here’s a simple method to thaw frozen chicken thighs:

  1. Remove the frozen chicken thighs from their packaging.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a sealed plastic bag to prevent any liquid from leaking.
  3. Fill a large bowl or basin with cold water.
  4. Submerge the sealed bag of chicken thighs in the cold water.
  5. Let the chicken thighs thaw in the water, changing the water every 30 minutes, until fully thawed.
  6. Once the chicken thighs are fully thawed, remove them from the bag and pat them dry with paper towels.

Adding Rice for a Complete Meal

To elevate your Instant Pot chicken thigh dish and make it a complete meal, you can add rice. Here’s how:

  1. After thawing and patting dry the chicken thighs, season them with your preferred spices and seasonings.
  2. Add a cup of rinsed rice to the Instant Pot, followed by the seasoned chicken thighs.
  3. Pour in the appropriate amount of liquid, typically water or chicken broth, according to your rice’s package instructions.
  4. Follow the cooking time and pressure release instructions for the specific rice you’re using.
  5. Once the cooking is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure before opening the lid.

Adding rice to the Instant Pot with the chicken thighs not only enhances the flavor but also creates a well-rounded and satisfying meal. The rice absorbs the delicious flavors of the chicken thighs, resulting in a flavorful and comforting dish.

Now that the chicken thighs are properly prepared and ready to be cooked, let’s move on to the next section, where I’ll guide you step-by-step on how to cook the chicken thighs in the Instant Pot.

instant pot frozen chicken thighs

Cook the Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot

Now that you’ve prepared the chicken thighs, it’s time to cook them to perfection in your Instant Pot. With its pressure cooking capabilities, the Instant Pot ensures that your chicken thighs turn out tender and juicy every time.

Step 1: Set Up the Instant Pot

Before cooking, make sure your Instant Pot is clean and ready to use. Insert the inner pot into the Instant Pot base and ensure the sealing ring is properly in place.

Step 2: Add the Chicken Thighs and Seasonings

Place the chicken thighs into the Instant Pot, ensuring they are well-spaced and not stacked on top of each other. This allows for even cooking. Season the chicken thighs with your desired seasonings, such as salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you prefer.

Step 3: Set the Cooking Time

Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set the pressure valve to the sealing position. Select the appropriate cooking program for chicken thighs or manual/pressure cook mode. Adjust the cooking time using the “+” or “-” buttons to ensure the chicken thighs cook thoroughly. For bone-in chicken thighs, a cooking time of about 10-12 minutes is recommended, while boneless thighs can be cooked for 8-10 minutes.

Step 4: Start the Cooking Process

Once you have set the cooking time, press the “Start” button to begin the cooking process. The Instant Pot will take some time to build up pressure before the cooking timer starts.

Step 5: Natural or Quick Release

After the cooking time is complete, you have two options for releasing the pressure: natural release or quick release. Natural release allows the pressure to release naturally over time, which can take around 10-15 minutes. Quick release involves carefully turning the pressure valve to the venting position to release the pressure more rapidly. Be cautious of hot steam during quick release.

Step 6: Check for Doneness

Once the pressure has been released, open the Instant Pot and check the chicken thighs for doneness. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are fully cooked. If the chicken thighs need additional time, you can put them back in the Instant Pot and cook for a few more minutes.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy

Once the chicken thighs are tender and cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy your delicious meal. You can serve the chicken thighs as they are or pair them with your favorite side dishes to complete the meal.

With these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to cook tender and flavorful chicken thighs in your Instant Pot effortlessly. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or meal prepping for the week, this method will ensure that your chicken thighs turn out delicious every time.

Add the Finishing Touches

Once the chicken thighs are cooked to perfection in the Instant Pot, it’s time to take your dish to the next level by adding some finishing touches. These additional ingredients and seasonings will enhance the flavor and turn your easy chicken thigh Instant Pot recipe into a mouthwatering dish that you’ll crave again and again.

1. Fresh Herbs:

Adding a handful of fresh herbs is a simple way to elevate the taste of your chicken thighs. Whether you choose parsley, cilantro, or rosemary, the natural flavors of these herbs will complement the tender meat and add a burst of freshness to your dish.

2. Citrus Zest:

For a tangy twist, try grating some citrus zest over your cooked chicken thighs. Lemon, lime, or orange zest can brighten up the flavors and provide a refreshing balance to the richness of the meat. Sprinkle it on top just before serving for a burst of aromatic goodness.

3. Garlic Butter:

Indulge your taste buds by slathering your chicken thighs with a generous amount of garlic butter. Simply mix minced garlic with softened butter, spread it over the hot chicken, and let it melt into a creamy and flavorful coating. This decadent addition will take your dish from delicious to absolutely irresistible.

4. Crispy Skin:

If you’re a fan of crispy chicken skin, give your chicken thighs a quick blast under the broiler for a few minutes after pressure cooking them in the Instant Pot. This extra step will give you that desirable golden-brown skin that adds texture and flavor to each tender bite.

5. Sauce it Up:

No chicken dish is complete without a delicious sauce to tie everything together. Whether you prefer a creamy mushroom sauce, tangy barbecue glaze, or zesty lemon pan sauce, drizzle it over your chicken thighs before serving. The extra layer of flavor will make your easy chicken thigh Instant Pot recipe even more memorable.

These finishing touches will transform your Instant Pot chicken thighs into a culinary masterpiece that will impress family and friends. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors to find your favorite combination. Enjoy the delectable results of your efforts and indulge in the incredible taste of these easy and delicious Instant Pot chicken thighs.

delicious instant pot chicken thighs

Serve and Enjoy

Now that your Instant Pot chicken thighs are ready, it’s time to serve and enjoy your meal. The delicious aroma and tender meat will surely whet your appetite. Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, here are some serving suggestions and tips to make the most of your flavorful chicken dish:

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair your instant pot chicken thighs with a side of steamed vegetables for a well-balanced meal.
  • Serve it alongside a fresh green salad dressed with a zesty vinaigrette to add a refreshing contrast to the savory flavors.
  • For a heartier option, serve the chicken thighs over a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro to add a vibrant touch of color and flavor.

Additional Tips

Here are a few extra tips to elevate your Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe:

“Invest in a good meat thermometer to ensure your chicken thighs are cooked to perfection. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.”

Alternatively, you can add a different twist to your Instant Pot chicken thighs by experimenting with different seasonings and spices. Try options like Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, or even a homemade barbecue rub to create unique flavor profiles.

Remember to let the chicken thighs rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and tender bite in every mouthful.

With these serving suggestions and tips, you can enjoy the full flavors of your Instant Pot chicken thighs. Now it’s time to gather your loved ones around the table and savor the delicious results of your culinary efforts.


In conclusion, cooking chicken thighs in the Instant Pot is a game-changer for busy individuals who crave tender and flavorful chicken without the hassle. With easy-to-follow instructions, this foolproof recipe allows you to enjoy a delicious, homemade meal without spending hours in the kitchen.

By using the Instant Pot, you unlock the simplicity of cooking chicken thighs to perfection. The pressure-cooking method tenderizes the meat while infusing it with rich flavors. Whether you’re a novice or experienced home cook, this recipe is sure to impress both your taste buds and your dinner guests.

With minimal effort, you can achieve tender and juicy chicken thighs that are perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s a quick weekday dinner or a weekend gathering, this recipe will always deliver mouthwatering results. So why not give it a try today and experience the convenience and incredible flavors that the Instant Pot has to offer?


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

The cooking time for chicken thighs in the Instant Pot varies depending on the size and whether they are fresh or frozen. Generally, for fresh chicken thighs, you should cook them on high pressure for about 10-12 minutes, followed by a natural release. For frozen chicken thighs, increase the cooking time to 12-15 minutes.

Can I add rice to the Instant Pot with the chicken thighs?

Yes, you can add rice to the Instant Pot along with the chicken thighs. To do this, use a 1:1 ratio of rice to liquid (such as chicken broth or water). Add the rice and liquid to the pot, then place the chicken thighs on top. Cook for the recommended time, and the rice will cook perfectly alongside the chicken thighs.

Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe?

Absolutely! Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work great in the Instant Pot and will result in a moist and flavorful dish. Follow the same cooking times and instructions as you would for bone-in chicken thighs.

How do I know if the chicken thighs are cooked through?

The best way to ensure your chicken thighs are cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. They should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the meat. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can also cut into the thickest part of the chicken thigh to check if the meat is opaque and juices run clear.

Can I substitute chicken breasts for chicken thighs in this recipe?

Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs in the Instant Pot. Keep in mind that chicken breasts may require a slightly shorter cooking time, as they typically cook faster than thighs. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, but make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for food safety.

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Written by lyndas

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