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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are so easy to make, tender, and full of flavor. I used bone in chicken thighs, but this method would work with boneless skinless chicken thighs as well.

bone in chicken thighs in a yellow bowl

 These Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are ready in a flash, full of flavor, and they are so easy to make!

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Hands down, my favorite piece of chicken is the chicken thigh.  It has so much flavor, and can handle cooking without drying out.  One of my favorite ways to cook chicken thighs is with my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker!

I love to use chicken thighs in my recipes!  I have a delicious recipe for Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs that you will not want to miss.

I do have room in my menu for chicken breast, though.  I like to use Instant Pot chicken breast for tacos and casseroles.  I also like to use my recipe for Slow cooker chicken tacos…that is the best taco meat!

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN THIGHS

I started these instant pot chicken thighs by purchasing bone in and skin on chicken thighs.  I then removed the skin.  There is absolutely no way that skin will get crispy in an instant pot!

After removing the skin, I seasoned them with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder.

seasoned chicken thighs on a yellow cutting board

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Then I added some avocado oil to my Instant Pot, set it to sauté, and let it get hot.  I browned the chicken thighs (in batches) to give them the most flavor possible.

After I had them all browned, I added water to the pot and scraped the bottom to make sure there wasn’t any stuck on bits.  I added the trivet, put all of the chicken thighs back in, placed the lid, and set the timer for 10 minutes.

BROWNED CHICKEN THIGHS IN AN INSTANT POT

When the timer was up, I let the pot do a 10 minute natural pressure release, then I flipped the valve to release the rest of the pressure.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK CHICKEN THIGHS IN A PRESSURE COOKER?

These chicken thighs were bone in and they were perfectly cooked after a 10 minute cook time and a 10 minute natural pressure release.  If you used boneless skinless chicken thighs, you would nee to cook them for 5 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release.

This will result in meat that is perfectly juicy and tender, but not overcooked to where they completely fall apart.

chicken thighs on a yellow plate

These go perfectly with Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Low Carb Broccoli Salad, or Parmesan Zucchini and Corn!

You could also chop them up and make Keto Chicken Salad or Cranberry Chicken Salad and then serve it on 90 second bread!

I also like to use my Instant Pot to make Crack Chicken!

Have you heard of Butcher Box?  That’s where I get all of my high quality meat!  (get $15 off and free bacon when you order your first box!)

chicken thighs on a yellow plate

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are so easy to make, tender, and full of flavor. I used bone in chicken thighs, but this method would work with boneless skinless chicken thighs as well.
4.93 from 28 votes
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Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 215kcal

Instructions

  • Lay the chicken thighs out on a cutting board and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on HI Sauté .  When the display reads "hot" add 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Brown the chicken thighs on both sides in batches adding additional oil as needed.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and add the water.  Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to remove any burned bits.  Cancel sauté function.
  • Add the trivet to the pot, then the chicken.  Seal the lid and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • When the Instant Pot is finished cooking, do a 10 minute natural pressure release, then release the rest of the pressure with a quick release.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and serve.

Video

Notes

WANT MORE LOW CARB & KETO RESOURCES?

If you want to know more about how to start a low carb or keto diet check out this guide:
 
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Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal
Use code LOWCARBJ for 20% off at Lakanto (my favorite low carb sweetener)CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

⭐ Did you make this Instant Pot Chicken thighs recipe?  Tag me on Instagram so I can see! @lowcarbwithjennifer

 

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    • Doug Rapp
    • August 8, 2019
    Reply

    Love the recipe,been using it for years at large functions. Only difference I used an old style pressure cooker precooked the thighs,drums and skin on breasts then threw them on the grill and became a hero. No one ever figured out how the chicken was so moist and juicy but brown and crispy too. The question you recieved about the added ingredient [ a trivet] cracked the place up. Oh yes I now use instapots and wish they were around in the day. Great recipe,Thanks

    • Omar Perez
    • July 7, 2019
    Reply

    Good recipe, but I would cook for more like 15-20 minutes. At 10 minutes cooking time the meat near the bone was still red. Otherwise, thank you!

    • Nancy
    • June 1, 2019
    Reply

    these were soooo good! i’ll definitely be making these again! I used boneless skinless chicken thighs.

    • Denise Herrick
    • May 21, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you for the chicken recipe. Husband & three kids ( two are pretty picky eaters) , they loved it!
    Denise

    • Sue
    • April 15, 2019
    Reply

    Can you add some carrots to this in a steamer on top of the chicken? Would it change the 10 min cook time?

      • jenniferbanz
      • April 15, 2019
      Reply

      The cook time would not change. The carrots would be a delicious addition!

      • Suzanne
      • August 7, 2019
      Reply

      I just got my instant pot and I don’t have a trivet. What do I use to put the chicken on?

        • jenniferbanz
        • August 11, 2019

        You could use a steamer basket

    • Eva
    • March 29, 2019
    Reply

    These were absolutely delicious! I used frozen chicken thighs from Trader Joe’s. I didn’t have the paprika on hand so I just used the garlic powder, salt and pepper. My kids complain every single time we have chicken. But they both were like, this is amazing, can we have more. This will be a weekly staple in my house. Thanks for sharing!!

      • Patti
      • June 6, 2019
      Reply

      Did you thaw out your chicken before putting it in the pot?

    • Patricia
    • March 12, 2019
    Reply

    Well you all may think I am crazy but I made this tonight for my dog. I did not add any flavor spices. Just plain chicken. I first put I. Ava Odom oil and the. These boned in chicken which were hard to turn over so I added. Little more oil. .still having a problem I added some water. It was on sauté. After a while I took the chicken out added more water and then put the trivia in and chicken. Stopped the sauté and tried to use the pressure for 6 min. Waited a bit and hit the pressure release hopefully the chicken will be good. I have a sick dog and hope this helps him. And atill trying to learn how to use this machine….

    • Gail
    • February 10, 2019
    Reply

    Where do you find smoked paprika? I cannot find it anywhere.

      • jenniferbanz
      • February 11, 2019
      Reply

      Usually at Kroger but most grocery stores should have it

      • Connie Hostetler
      • February 20, 2019
      Reply

      Trader joes

      • Sandra Duke
      • February 27, 2019
      Reply

      Amazon

      • Judy
      • April 2, 2019
      Reply

      Trader Joe’s has a nice can for

      Trader Joe’s has a can of Smoked Paprika for $2.99!! Local market, $6.99……

      • Michelle
      • July 15, 2019
      Reply

      Penzey’s

    • Merrily
    • January 30, 2019
    Reply

    Does the time need to be adjusted based upon how many thighs you’re cooking? For instance, I want to do 10 chicken thighs instead of 6, do I need to keep them in the IP longer? Thanks!

      • jenniferbanz
      • January 31, 2019
      Reply

      I don’t think you would need to add any time but you could add a minute or 2 just to be safe.

    • Barb Christensen
    • January 30, 2019
    Reply

    This sounds so good, I’m going to try it tomorrow. My question is, I have 15 bone-in chicken thighs and an 8qt instant pot. Do I need to adjust my cook time? And How?
    Thanks

      • jenniferbanz
      • January 31, 2019
      Reply

      I would add a couple of minutes just to be on the safe side.

  1. Reply

    Thanks for this easy but delicious recipe. I had thawed a large package of boneless, skinless thighs and needed to cook them the other night, but had zero energy for complicated recipes. After a bit of a search, I came upon yours and it was perfect. I admit I was worried that they wouldn’t cook completely so pressure cooked for 8 minutes (based on several other suggestions), but now I think the 5 minutes would have been perfect). They were still delicious and moist, but a tad stringy in places. I think the browning step started the cooking process, so next time I’ll stick with your 5 minute suggestion. This will be a keeper recipe!

    • Jenette
    • January 24, 2019
    Reply

    I am new to the IP. When you say natural release, what do you mean? Just let it sit after cooking for that time and then release pressure?

      • jenniferbanz
      • January 25, 2019
      Reply

      Yep! let it sit for 10 minutes then release the rest of the pressure with a quick release.

        • Kim
        • January 30, 2019

        I am also an IP newbie and this worked out great for me! Thank you for sharing and taking the time to walk me through it.

    • Janine Chartrand
    • January 22, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you! I had skinless boneless thighs that I needed to cook in the IP and this recipe worked great for me.

    I’m still trying to find more love for IP – I find that I mostly cook oatmeal in it still. Recipes are so inconsistent.

    Thanks again!

    • Sandra L
    • January 18, 2019
    Reply

    I made these tonight with frozen bone in thighs. They were great. I sauteed, pressure cooked as directed. Then I broiled with a sauce about 8 minutes. I will be doing this one again!

      • Miranda
      • August 11, 2019
      Reply

      If using boneless thighs, does the time need to be adjusted at all?

    • Mohamed
    • January 18, 2019
    Reply

    Great recipe. Many thanks

    • Theresa
    • January 17, 2019
    Reply

    We have made this recipe multiple times. The chicken does brown if you FOLLOW directions. My picky eater who says he hates chicken just gobbles this up. Great recipe, thank you.

    • Glenn
    • January 17, 2019
    Reply

    My wife saw this last night and she and I made it together tonight. We really liked it and my 19 year old son really liked it as well. It will probably take close to 30 to 35 minutes to make. You have 20 minutes alone in the 10 minute cook and 10 minute pressure release.
    The recipe doesn’t call it out, and most people will realize this, but you do need to switch from “saute” after browning to “pressure cook” for the actual cook.
    Very good and we will definitely make this again.

    • Joellen Welch
    • January 16, 2019
    Reply

    20 minutes? On what planet? 40 minutes and these thighs still aren’t browned. I should have just roasted them in the oven. What a waste of time .

      • jenniferbanz
      • January 17, 2019
      Reply

      You brown them using the sauté function before you cook them under pressure.

      • Glenn Brons
      • January 17, 2019
      Reply

      Well you kind of have a point. I mean you have a 10 minute pressure cook, then you have a 10 minute natural release so there’s 20 minutes. I would put the prep time at 10 minutes to do the seasoning, and browning before you cook, then deglazing with the water. Read the instructions though, it says to brown each piece using the oil before you pressure cook. That’s how it gets the nice golden brown color.

    • Shirley
    • January 14, 2019
    Reply

    The thighs are not getting brown.

      • jenniferbanz
      • January 14, 2019
      Reply

      If you sear them with the pot on sauté and wait for the display to say HOT, they should get brown.

    • Chelsea
    • January 10, 2019
    Reply

    Thank you so much for this great recipe! I left the skin on but followed the rest of the directions and browned first. This was important and a great suggestion! Then when I took it out I put them under the broiler in the oven to get a nice crispy top. It was delicious. I highly recommend this recipe! And like others have said, don’t skip the paprika!

      • jenniferbanz
      • January 12, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks for the review! I’ll have to try with the skin on next time, too!

    • Kristin
    • January 4, 2019
    Reply

    Made this last night and it was very good. My husband usually only likes chicken grilled, but he really liked this dish, said it had great flavor. I put rice under the chicken, and it cooked and flavored it nicely.

    • Flash
    • January 2, 2019
    Reply

    Add the trivet to the pot and then the chicken. I would guess that less than 1% of people know what that is and you casually add that word. There’s no trivet in your ingredients so what the heck is a trivet?

      • jenniferbanz
      • January 7, 2019
      Reply

      Every Instant pot comes with a trivet. A trivet is not an ingredient

      • Scott McElhiney
      • March 25, 2019
      Reply

      I had to look it up, it’s the stand that allows you to put stuff in the pot, but not on the bottom. I’m using a Yedi pot and it came with two different height ones that allow you to cook a bunch of hard boiled eggs with them also. I did about 12 pieces of chicken and used both layers. It’s pressure cooking now.

    • Kristi
    • December 27, 2018
    Reply

    I made this for supper tonight and it was really good! I used drumsticks as that’s what I had on hand and olive oil. I sautéed the chicken first but didn’t want to drain the oil out of the pot because of all the flavor in there but also didn’t want the chicken sitting in the oil to cook. So I put the chicken on the stainless steel vegetable steamer basket and cooked them that way. I was worried they’d be dry because they weren’t sitting in any liquid but they were fall off the bone, juicy and tender. I also used chicken broth instead of water.

    • Kristi
    • December 27, 2018
    Reply

    I have chicken drumsticks that I’m thawing out to try this recipe. I would think that would work. Hopefully it will anyway!

    • Kathleen
    • December 24, 2018
    Reply

    I made this the other day and it was easy and delicious! I’m new to low carb eating and I’m so glad I found your site.

    • Lisa
    • December 22, 2018
    Reply

    This recipe was a huge success & a big hit. Definitely making again. We get Hello Fresh vegetarian meals which I often make a side meat/protein with to fill up the 18year old. This is a perfect one that will go great with many of them. Thanks!!

    • D Rodgers
    • December 9, 2018
    Reply

    Do you set for 10 mins on pressure cook?

      • jenniferbanz
      • December 12, 2018
      Reply

      yes

    • Kuewa
    • December 5, 2018
    Reply

    Thank you for a delicious, simple recipe that comes together quickly for a healthy weeknight dinner. I added a bunch of fresh green beans on top (I have the 8 qt. Instant Pot), and the chicken and green beans all came out perfectly cooked!

      • jenniferbanz
      • December 5, 2018
      Reply

      That’s such a great idea!

    • Diane
    • November 26, 2018
    Reply

    Can you do pot in pot (rice over chicken or under chicken) at same time? Setting the same or different times?? Thank you.

      • jenniferbanz
      • November 27, 2018
      Reply

      I bet you could! Let me know how it works for you!

    • Connie
    • October 6, 2018
    Reply

    I must have browned them too long. I fixed them so my husband would have them cold the next day. He said they were very dry. When I took them out of the pot they seemed tender. Any ideas?

    • Steve T
    • October 4, 2018
    Reply

    I like this recipe because it is simple and turns out great. Like some other readers I substitute water with chicken broth and use cornstarch slurry to thicken up the drippings into a yummy gravy.

    • Ginger Haggerty
    • October 1, 2018
    Reply

    I don’t have a trivet for my pressure cooker. Can I still do this recipe without the chicken being burned?

      • jenniferbanz
      • October 1, 2018
      Reply

      It will still work just fine

        • Miranda
        • June 22, 2019

        How did the recipe go without the trivet? My instant pot doesn’t have one and I am wondering what I can use in place of one (or if I should just leave it out all together)

        • jenniferbanz
        • June 25, 2019

        No trivet will work just the same

    • Pattie
    • September 23, 2018
    Reply

    Can you use a pressure cooker instead of Instant Pot? If so do you know the time to cook?

      • jenniferbanz
      • September 24, 2018
      Reply

      You could definitely use a traditional pressure cooker but I am not sure how those work

        • Tia
        • December 15, 2018

        Yes you can. Same time. Bring your cooker to the correct pressure for your altitude, then start your timer once it reaches that point for 10minutes and let it cook. Turn the burner off when done, and let sit for 10min before releasing any remains pressure 🙂

    • Janet
    • September 11, 2018
    Reply

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing! I made gravy with the leftover juices (just whipping ~1.5 tbsp cornstarch and putting back on saute mode for ~5 min) and it was delicious. I will make this again and again, thanks!

      • jenniferbanz
      • September 12, 2018
      Reply

      sounds great!

    • Marianne
    • September 5, 2018
    Reply

    Super delicious! I used boneless/skinless and I did 6 mins just because I though 5 mins couldn’t possible be enough! It would have been – they were coming apart after 6 mins! I didn’t care – they were SO good! Don’t skip the paprika – it does add a nice color. Served w/black beans I made the day before in the IP. I like the idea of using the liquid for making rice!

    • Christina
    • August 22, 2018
    Reply

    How long would you saute on each side? I couldn’t tell if browned because of the spices.

      • jenniferbanz
      • August 22, 2018
      Reply

      Just a few minutes

    • Ali Perry
    • August 13, 2018
    Reply

    Is it high pressure cook or low pressure cook? It just says cook 10 min.
    Thanks

      • jenniferbanz
      • August 14, 2018
      Reply

      high pressure

    • Anne
    • August 4, 2018
    Reply

    Awesome recipe and the chicken came out super tender. I used the leftover juices to make rice immediately after the chicken was done. Quick and easy to prep meal. Thanks for sharing.

      • Bonnie Moore
      • August 19, 2018
      Reply

      I put the rice under the chicken and cooked them together on the rice setting. That way they are ready at the same time and the rice is flavored by the chicken. Yum.

        • Julianne
        • September 19, 2018

        How long did you cook on the Rice setting? Low or High Pressure? Also, did you put the trivet on top of the rice to hold the chicken (was there room for the rice under it?) or just set the chicken on the rice?
        Thanks! I’m planning to try this tonight.

    • Brandon
    • July 20, 2018
    Reply

    Do you leave the pot on sauté mode when you close the lid and set the timer for 10 minutes?

      • jenniferbanz
      • July 23, 2018
      Reply

      you would need to cancel, and then set the timer for 10 minutes

        • Jamie
        • August 9, 2018

        Exactly how do u set the timer? I don’t see that anywhere on my instant pot… i have the 6QT one. I’m currently cooking this, i selected Poultry for 5 min. We’ll see how it comes out (oh 5 min bc boneless) I’m still trying to figure out the natural release part. Ha.

        • jenniferbanz
        • August 10, 2018

        You can either hit one of the pre-set buttons, like poultry, or you can press the manual button, or if you have a newer Instant Pot, you can press the pressure cook button.

    • Trish Brown
    • July 19, 2018
    Reply

    Oh my goodness…literally GOODNESS! The chicken is delicious. The only change I made was to use chicken broth instead of water. Thickened it up a little at the end and served over rice – which I also made in an Instant Pot?

    • Sue
    • July 19, 2018
    Reply

    Could you use frozen boneless chicken thighs?

      • jenniferbanz
      • July 23, 2018
      Reply

      yes. I would use them same cooking time

    • ALICE I ALLEN,
    • July 11, 2018
    Reply

    This was my first time to use my instant pot, so decided to try chicken and used this recipe. I asked my husband for his opinion and he said it was pretty good boiled chicken! He likes fried chicken. I thought your photo looked rather like fried chicken, so that is why I tried this recipe. It was tender and had good flavor, however I would have liked it to have some brown crispy on it. I did use the saute feature. I have a 3 qt. and I added the one cup water…maybe that is too much water for the 3 quart? Any suggestions? I did let it natural release for 10 or 15 minutes.

      • jenniferbanz
      • July 16, 2018
      Reply

      Nothing cooked in the instant pot is going to be crispy

      • Froggie Doodle
      • August 24, 2018
      Reply

      Yes it was boiled so I took it out and finished on the Foreman grill to get the outside crispy (removed the skin before cooking) My husband really liked it. If I hadnt browned it before serving he would have turned up his nose!!

    • Stacey
    • June 25, 2018
    Reply

    Just made these tonight with skinless and boneless chicken thighs! It was so tender once it came out of the pressure cooker. It also filled my house with a delicious paprika aroma! Will definitely make these again!

    • Tayler Ross
    • May 22, 2018
    Reply

    I love how easy dinner is made in the Instant Pot! This chicken looks amazing!

      • jenniferbanz
      • May 22, 2018
      Reply

      Yes! Love the Instant Pot so much!

    • Samantha Dawn
    • May 22, 2018
    Reply

    Love chicken thighs and I can’t wait to incorporate this IP recipe into our menu!

      • jenniferbanz
      • May 22, 2018
      Reply

      You are going to love it!

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