The Best Instant Pot Chicken Thighs come together in under 30 minutes with a delicious sticky-sweet honey garlic sauce. Serve with Asian coleslaw for a full meal!
Ingredients in Instant Pot chicken thighs
Chicken thighs with a sticky honey garlic sauce cooked in the Instant Pot requires just a few ingredients. Use boneless skinless chicken thighs so the meat absorbs the flavor of the sauce. Chicken thighs have more fat than breasts so they make a much juicier meal. It is a healthy type of fat though so don’t worry about the extra fat in the meal.
This Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe will make four servings of two thighs each.
Besides the thighs, you will need:
- Chicken broth
- Soy sauce
- Ginger root
- Sesame seeds
A great side dish to go with the chicken thighs is Asian coleslaw. I start with a store bought package of coleslaw and add the following:
- Rice vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
How to make Instant Pot chicken thighs
In less than 30 minutes, you can have these Instant Pot boneless chicken thighs complete and ready to eat or to divide into meal prep containers.
- Add the chicken thighs and seasonings to the Instant Pot.
- Cook the chicken for five minutes and do a quick release to stop the cooking process immediately.
- When you can open the lid, remove the chicken pieces only.
- Switch the Instant Pot to saute mode. Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce and simmer it for a few minutes until it has thickened.
- Pour the sauce over the thighs.
Using frozen chicken thighs
Unlike a crock pot, you can use frozen meat in an Instant Pot. The problem with putting frozen meat in the crock pot is that it takes a long time to heat, and the meat could remain at an unsafe temperature for too long. This will allow bacteria to build in the meat and contaminate it.
An Instant Pot heats quickly so this process can not happen. It will require a slightly longer time to cook though. For boneless skinless chicken thighs, set the Instant Pot to cook for ten minutes.
If you are sensitive to gluten, you need to substitute the soy sauce for tamari or coconut aminos.
I love the flavor of this Asian-inspired sauce. However, this is the method to cook any Instant Pot chicken thighs. To use other sauces, be sure that there is enough liquid in the bottom of the Instant Pot. The liquid creates steam and builds pressure to make the Instant Pot work correctly. If you don’t have enough liquid, your chicken will burn and the Instant Pot will kick off. You usually need at least 1 cup of liquid and some oil on the bottom for the Instant Pot to build pressure and to avoid the burn message.
Other flavors you may want to try on your chicken thighs include:
- Garlic sauce
- Herbed butter
- Creamy lemon sauce
- Orange sauce
- Peanut sauce
Making the coleslaw
Customizing coleslaw to match the flavor of your dinner is simple. I like to start with bagged coleslaw mix from the store. That way you don’t have to worry about finely slicing the cabbage.
Packaged coleslaw is usually a mix of red and green cabbage to give it a bright color. If you prefer to make your own, you can use just one kind or a combination of different kinds of cabbage. If you are starting with a huge head of cabbage, use a mandolin or the shredding blade on a food processor to cut the cabbage quickly.
Some store bought coleslaw mixes also have shredded carrots or broccoli stems if you want something a little different.
To make the dressing for the coleslaw, mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a jar. Don’t just dump the whole jar on the cabbage. Start with about half to two thirds of the dressing and see how it tastes. If you want more, go ahead and add it.
Storing and reheating
Cooked chicken will last for five days in the refrigerator. That means you can make this meal in advance or use the leftovers for lunch.
Simply divide it into individual portions and refrigerate. Warm the chicken in the microwave before eating. You don’t want to warm the coleslaw though. You could choose to eat the chicken cold as well.
I only like to keep prepared coleslaw for about two days. The longer it sits, the less crunchy it will be.
Can you freeze chicken thighs?
You have several options for freezing these chicken thighs.
You can prepare the sauce and put the raw chicken thighs in the freezer with the sauce. Then when you are ready to prepare it, you would just have to dump everything together into the Instant Pot.
You can also freeze the cooked chicken thighs. They will last for about four months in the freezer. Allow the chicken to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
More Instant Pot chicken recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Use these Ziploc bag holders if you’re marinating the chicken then freezing it
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Instant Pot resources
If you’d like some more help with your Instant Pot, then you’ll love my free resources! Sign up for free below when you get my weekly newsletter:
The Best Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp gingerroot, minced
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 package coleslaw mix
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Add all ingredients to Instant Pot in the order in which they are listed except for cornstarch slurry and coleslaw.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 5 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together cornstarch and water in a small bowl, and mix together ingredients for coleslaw.
- When chicken thighs are done, do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily. Remove chicken thighs from the pot, reserving sauce.
- Set Instant Pot to saute mode and add cornstarch slurry to sauce. Saute for 3-4 minutes until sauce has thickened, then pour sauce over thighs and serve with Asian coleslaw. Enjoy!