This Instant Pot Chicken Adobo is a delicious Filipino dish that comes together easily with the help of your pressure cooker. This recipe makes a dish with all the flavors of authentic adobo, in a fraction of the time!
History of Filipino Chicken Adobo
Adobo is a popular Filipino dish, made with meat (often chicken thighs or drumsticks), vegetables, or seafood.
The process of making authentic adobo involves marinating the food in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and black pepper, then browning the ingredients in oil, and braising them in the marinade.
Though the combination of flavours may seem strong, it ends up being a very savoury dish with balanced flavours similar to a stir fry. The black pepper adds some spice and who doesn’t love a ton of garlic?! This chicken adobo recipe calls for 12 garlic cloves and YES you should use that much, it’s what makes the recipe so delicious!
In fact, Filipino adobo is such a popular dish, it is sometimes called the national dish of the Philippines.
In this recipe, we’ve taken the traditional chicken recipe and sped up the process with the Instant Pot!
What type of chicken is best for Instant Pot Chicken Adobo?
You can make this version of chicken adobo using any type of boneless, skinless chicken, but chicken thighs are a perfect choice for this Instant Pot recipe.
Chicken thighs stay moist and juicy under pressure cooking, while breast meat has a tendency to dry out instead of absorbing all the flavour. This is especially true for recipes with longer cooking times and dishes that don’t have a lot of sauce or cooking liquid.
Making Instant Pot chicken adobo is incredibly easy because everything is done effortlessly right in the pressure cooker! The buildup of pressure allows for marinating of the chicken while it cooks at the same time. This really is a one pot dump recipe so it’s nice and easy!
I do recommend using boneless chicken thighs just to reduce the cook time a little bit – you’ll still get all the flavour but none of the work of eating afterward or taking extra care to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.
After the chicken is finished pressure cooking, switch over to the saute function to reduce and thicken the sauce.
Chicken adobo is traditionally served with rice. I like to use a rice cooker for this, cooking the rice on the side as the chicken pressure cooks just so you save time and dishes.
If you do a lot of meal prep, you may already have some rice ready to reheat, which works just as great (I personally like leftover rice a lot better)!
Is chicken adobo healthy?
This Instant Pot chicken adobo recipe uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs rather than breasts, so it’s not as lean as it could be but the dark meat is a lot closer to traditional chicken adobo than breasts.
However, to make a healthier Instant Pot chicken adobo, you can lower the fat by substituting boneless skinless chicken breasts and adding one more minute to the cook time. To maximize the flavour using chicken breasts, you can cook the chicken whole in the marinade and then shred the chicken afterward to soak up the remaining sauce.
To reduce the sodium in the dish, choose a low-sodium soy sauce or opt for gluten-free tamari. As for the rice, choosing to use whole grain rice will make the dish healthier as well.
And of course I’ve added in some chopped red pepper and sliced green onions to finish the dish and add some healthy veggies but these are not traditionally included in chicken adobo. Go ahead and make substitutions that you feel would make the dish your own!
How long does chicken adobo last in the fridge?
This fact may surprise you, but many Filipino cooks store adobo at room temperature for a few days. Seriously, without any refrigeration! Apparently, vinegar and soy sauce in the marinade act as preservatives. This allows the dish to keep well at room temperature for up to four days.
However, I would recommend you store this dish in the fridge. If refrigerated, Instant Pot chicken adobo will stay good for up to 5 or 6 days so it’s perfect for your weekly meal prep (I’ll admit, mine didn’t last even that long in the fridge before it was eaten LOL!)
Can I freeze chicken adobo?
Yes, adobo freezes very well. It can be frozen after cooking, or you can make freezer meals using the uncooked ingredients. A night or two before you want to make Instant Pot chicken adobo, transfer the frozen ingredients into your fridge to thaw.
Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning the Instant Pot chicken adobo into your weekly lunches.
I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 12 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 tsp Butter `
- 1 pinch salt
- Add trivet to Instant Pot, then add olive oil, onion, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, bay leaves, pepper and salt to Instant Pot in that order. Add chicken thighs on top of trivet.
- Press the pressure cook button and select the high setting, then set to cook for 4 minutes - Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to preheat then the 4 minutes to pressure cook.
- Meanwhile, cook rice, water and butter in a rice cooker.
- Do a quick release of the pressure by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon, then open lid when safe to do so. Remove chicken thighs in trivet from pot and turn to saute mode. Remove bay leaves from sauce.
- Bring sauce to a boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Add red pepper and chicken thighs back to pot, then gently stir and cook another 2 minutes.
- Top rice with chicken mixture and garnish with green onions. Serve and enjoy!