Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe

Chicken thighs are the hero of dinnertime. Cheap and easy recipes like this one save you from potential dinnertime woes. They are the reason you should always pick up boneless, skinless chicken thighs from the grocery store even if you don’t have a specific plan in mind for them.

The honey garlic sauce packs a punch and the Instant Pot saves time so you can prepare side dishes like roasted bok choy and coconut rice. You could even toss in a few halved baby potatoes and sliced carrots to the mix and let them cook alongside the chicken. Regardless of what you serve with these sweet, savory, salty chicken thighs, they are sure to be a hit.

“The honey-garlic chicken thighs made an easy and tasty meal with some crispy rice. To avoid a ‘burn’ error, make sure you deglaze the pan and scrape up all the stuck-on bits before adding the sauce and pressure cooking. The recipe worked well in my 6-quart Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus.” —Diana Rattray

instant pot honey garlic chicken A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon mushroom powder, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs, without skin, about 4

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

  • Green onions, sliced, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, soy sauce, honey, ketchup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, mushroom powder, and onion powder and whisk well to combine.

    Garlic, soy sauce, honey, ketchup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, mushroom powder, and onion powder in a bowl with whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Turn on the sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Once hot, add the canola oil and coat the bottom. Add the chicken and brown the thighs on each side, about 2 minutes a side. Deglaze the pan with 3 tablespoons water and scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.

    Chicken and water in an instant pot

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Add the honey garlic sauce to the pot and turn off the sauté setting. Lock the lid.

    Chicken and honey garlic sauce in an instant pot

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  5. Set the pressure cooker/manual setting for 10 minutes. Once the cook time is up, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for about 5 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.

    Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken cooking in an instant pot

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  6. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and spoon sauce over the top or into a small serving dish on the side. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions and serve immediately.

    Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken on a platter, with a side of green onions and sesame seeds

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Tips

  • You can purchase mushroom powder online. If you don't have mushroom powder, you can grind some dried mushrooms (such as porcini or shiitake) in a coffee or spice grinder, or add 2 dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms to the Instant Pot before adding the lid to pressure cook.
  • To prevent the skinless boneless chicken thighs from sticking while browning, blot them dry beforehand and make sure the Instant Pot and the oil are hot before adding the chicken.

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer skin-on chicken thighs, just preheat the Instant Pot on the sauté setting and brown the chicken skin-side down first for three to four minutes instead of two minutes per side. Don’t force the chicken to flip—if it still feels like it’s sticking to the bottom of the pot when browning, there is still more browning to do. The chicken should come off the bottom of the pan with ease when it’s ready and fully browned.
  • Up the time to 15 minutes for bone-in chicken thighs.
  • Make a slurry with 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water to thicken the sauce. When the cooking time is up, remove the cooked chicken from the sauce and keep warm. Choose the sauté function and add the cornstarch mixture—cook until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover chicken thighs and sauce in a covered container and eat within 4 days.
  • To freeze the chicken and sauce, cool it completely, transfer to zip-close freezer bags and label with the name and date. Freeze honey garlic chicken for up to 3 months. Defrost the chicken in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave oven.

Can I use frozen chicken thighs instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use frozen chicken thighs in the Instant Pot. If your chicken thighs are frozen, separate them, skip the browning step, and add 2 minutes to the pressure-cooking time.

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