These Instant Pot chicken thighs are cooked perfectly, juicy, tender, and flavored perfectly with the homemade dry rub. The easy homemade gravy with chicken drippings brings it to the next level!
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
I am so excited to share my latest recipe with you – Instant Pot Chicken Thighs. This dish is absolutely amazing and has quickly become a family favorite in my household.
The chicken thighs come out so juicy and tender, while the pressure cooking process infuses them with all the delicious flavors of the seasoning and sauce. Plus, it’s so easy to make!
With just a few simple ingredients and steps, you’ll have a mouthwatering dinner on the table in no time. Trust me; this is a recipe you’ll want to make again and again!
The chicken thighs are seasoned with a blend of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and minced garlic, which creates an aromatic and flavorful crust. Cooking on high pressure in the Instant Pot ensures that the chicken remains moist and juicy, without drying out.
The optional, but seriously delicious, pan gravy that I serve these thighs with is made from a combination of garlic, butter, chicken broth, and a touch of cornstarch for thickening. It’s the perfect complement to the well-seasoned chicken thighs and can be used for dipping or drizzling over your favorite side dishes, such as my favorite seasoned rice (which cooks in the same amount of time as this chicken recipe) or roasted baby potatoes.
This Instant Pot Chicken Thighs recipe is great for busy weeknights when you need a quick and satisfying meal that the whole family will love. The bone-in chicken thighs provide a delightful texture, while the skin crisps up beautifully under the broiler or in an air fryer.
If you love quick chicken dinners, be sure to check out this honey garlic chicken stir fry – it’s a popular one around here! Instant Pot shredded chicken is another easy one that’s a great addition to so many meals.
Chicken Thighs: Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are the star of this dish. They stay moist and tender during pressure cooking and the skin crisps up beautifully under the broiler or in an air fryer.
Chicken Spice Rub: The combination of Italian seasoning, paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper creates a flavorful rub that enhances the taste of the chicken thighs. Feel free to adjust the seasoning blend to suit your family’s preferences.
Olive Oil: Olive oil is used to coat the chicken thighs before seasoning, helping the spices to adhere and adding a layer of delicious flavor.
Butter: Butter adds a rich, creamy taste to the garlic-infused sauce, and helps in searing the chicken thighs.
Garlic: Minced garlic adds a wonderful depth of flavor and some umami to the sauce.
Chicken Broth: Chicken broth not only adds moisture to the Instant Pot, but it also contributes to the flavorful sauce that can be served with the chicken thighs.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce, creating a silky and delicious gravy to pour over the chicken thighs and any side dishes you choose to serve.
- For a spicier kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the seasoning blend.
- If you prefer a sweeter taste, try adding a touch of honey or maple syrup to the sauce.
- For a Mediterranean twist, use lemon juice and fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme in the seasoning blend.
How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
Prepare the seasoning blend: Combine all dry seasonings in a small bowl and set aside. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Season the chicken thighs: Pat them dry, coat with olive oil, and evenly sprinkle with the seasoning blend.
Flip the chicken thighs over and repeat.
Sear the chicken: In the Instant Pot, sauté garlic in butter and olive oil, then sear the chicken thighs on both sides.
Deglaze the pot: Pour in chicken broth and scrape up any caramelized bits from the bottom.
Pressure cook the chicken: Place the chicken thighs on the trivet, seal the Instant Pot, and cook on high pressure.
Crisp the skin: Transfer the cooked chicken thighs to a baking dish and broil or air fry to achieve the desired crispiness.
Optional sauce: Create a cornstarch slurry and whisk it into the remaining juices in the Instant Pot to thicken the sauce. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.
- Be sure to pat the chicken thighs dry before seasoning to ensure the spices stick well and create a flavorful crust.
- Don’t skip the step of searing the chicken thighs, as this helps to lock in the juices and adds a depth of flavor.
- Always deglaze the Instant Pot to prevent any “burn” warnings and to incorporate the caramelized bits into the sauce.
Are Chicken Thighs Better Than Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot?
In my experience, chicken thighs are often better for Instant Pot recipes because they tend to stay more moist and tender during pressure cooking compared to chicken breasts. Chicken thighs have a higher fat content which helps them remain juicy even after being cooked under pressure.
How Much Water Do You Put In An Instant Pot For Chicken?
In this recipe, we use 1 cup of chicken broth to provide enough liquid for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. You can substitute water if you prefer, but using broth adds extra flavor.
Why Is My Chicken Tough After Pressure Cooking?
If your chicken comes out tough after pressure cooking, it may be due to overcooking or not allowing a natural pressure release. Overcooked chicken tends to get dry and tough, which is why it’s essential to follow the recommended cooking times for your specific type of chicken (bone-in or boneless).
Additionally, allowing for a natural pressure release, as suggested in this recipe, can help prevent the chicken from becoming tough. This gives the chicken some time to rest and reabsorb juices, resulting in a more tender and juicy final dish.
How Long To Cook Bone-In Chicken Thighs In The Instant Pot
For this recipe, I recommend cooking bone-in chicken thighs on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by a 5-minute natural pressure release. This timing has consistently given me tender and juicy chicken thighs with all the delicious flavors from the seasoning and sauce.
How Long To Cook Boneless Chicken Thighs In The Instant Pot
If you’re using boneless chicken thighs, you may need to reduce the cooking time slightly to prevent overcooking. I suggest cooking boneless chicken thighs on high pressure for 8 minutes, followed by a 5-minute natural pressure release. Just like with the bone-in chicken thighs, this will help to keep the chicken moist and tender. Always remember to check the internal temperature to ensure it reaches 165°F before serving.
Chicken Thigh Temperature
The internal temperature of cooked chicken thighs at the thickest point (without touching the bone) should reach 165°F. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they are fully cooked before serving.
What To Serve With Chicken Thighs
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
While you’re here, be sure to check out all of our chicken thigh recipes! Some reader favorites are:
- Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs
- Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
- Ranch Chicken Thighs
- Cranberry Chicken
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Frozen Chicken Thighs Instant Pot
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (6-8 thighs)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- In a small bowl, combine all dry seasonings and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
- Pat chicken thighs dry using a paper towel. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over the thighs and rub or brush to evenly coat. Evenly sprinkle half the seasoning blend over the oiled thighs. Flip over and repeat with another Tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining seasoning.
- Add butter and the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the stainless steel Instant Pot insert. Turn on “Saute” mode to medium heat. Once the butter has almost melted, add in the minced garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds, or until aromatic.
- Place half of the chicken thighs, skin side down, into the garlic butter and cook for 3-4 minutes (or until the skin looks seared and golden). Flip over and cook the bottom side for an additional minute. Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and set aside while you cook the remaining thighs, following the same instructions in this step.
- Once all chicken thighs have been seared and set aside, pour the chicken broth into the pot and deglaze by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to lift up any caramelized bits.
- Once the bottom is clean, add the trivet to the pot and place the chicken thighs on top (it's okay if they are touching or overlapping slightly).
- Secure the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to “seal”. Press the “manual” or the “pressure cook” button. Set the timer for 10 minutes and cook on “High Pressure” (it won't take long to heat up since the Instant Pot will already be hot). After the timer ends, allow the pot to naturally release for 5 minutes, then carefully perform a quick release by switching the valve to “Vent” until the remaining pressure is gone. Be careful when you adjust the vent - the steam is hot!
- Transfer the thighs to a 9x13-inch ceramic casserole dish (or a metal baking sheet) and broil for 5-7 minutes in the oven (or until the skin has reached your desired crispiness). Alternatively, cook in an air fryer to crisp up the skin.
- To make the optional sauce: Create a slurry by mixing cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until smooth. Turn the Instant Pot on to saute and whisk the slurry into the flavorful chicken juices left in the bottom of the pot. Let the sauce boil until it thickens slightly, about 3-4 minutes, then transfer it to a dish for easy pouring.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 536Total Fat: 37.2gCarbohydrates: 2.3gFiber: 0.6gSugar: 0.4gProtein: 46g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
I hope you and your family enjoy this Instant Pot Chicken Thighs recipe as much as mine does! It’s a fantastic, easy-to-make dinner that pairs well with rice, potatoes, and vegetables.