Instant Pot

Our 5 Favorite Instant Pot Chicken Thigh Recipes

For the quickest, coziest weeknight meals.

January  9, 2023
Photo by Rocky Luten

Chicken thighs are a weeknight workhorse: They’re far more flavorful than other cuts (looking at you, chicken breast) and manage to stay juicy throughout cooking. However, when you’re exhausted from a long day, the idea of cooking a whole meal—and doing all those dishes—can still feel daunting. Enter: the Instant Pot. Using one of these electric pressure cookers speeds up the cooking process dramatically, meaning you can have dinner on the table in as few as 30 minutes.

To get you started, we’ve collected five of our favorite recipes that marry the versatility of chicken thighs with the quick-cooking abilities of an Instant Pot.

Our Best Chicken Thigh Recipes for Instant Pots

1. Instant Pot Butter Chicken

You’d never guess that this butter chicken comes together in 30 minutes—it’s just that flavorful. Garam masala (paired with ground turmeric, cumin, and paprika) is key to developing a complex flavor in a short period of time, so don’t skimp on the spice blend.

2. Instant Pot Creamy Mushroom Chicken

Rather than relying on a can of cream of mushroom soup, this chicken dish features a simple, homemade sauce consisting of mushrooms and cream, plus aromatics like garlic, onion, and thyme. The final product is a cozy, satisfying dish that’s ideal for chilly winter evenings.

3.Instant Pot Chicken in Red Wine Sauce

These chicken thighs braised in red wine take inspiration from the French coq au vin. Instead of the low-and-slow cooking method traditionally used for this dish (which can easily take several hours), this recipe employs an Instant Pot to get the cook time down to 45 minutes.

4. Instant Pot Chicken With Cumin-Chile Sauce

A combination of chile powder and ground cumin serves as the backbone of this chicken dish. Eat it over rice, suggests recipe developer Urvashi Pitre, or shred the meat and use it for tacos.

5. Melissa Hartwig's Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore With Zucchini Noodles

In addition to coming together in under an hour, this recipe happens to be Whole30-friendly and chock-full of vegetables. Rather than the standard accompaniment of noodles or pasta, this cacciatore gets paired with zoodles, or spiralized zucchini, for a fresh—but still satisfying—version.

What's your favorite way to use your Instant Pot? Tell us in the comments!
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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Anabelle Doliner

Written by: Anabelle Doliner

Staff Editor


HalfPint January 10, 2023
My go-to Instant Pot chicken dish is this Indian Coconut Chicken curry:

It's on the regular rotation for us. In fact, I made it last night. Start to finish, it takes about 35 minutes total from start to finish.
AntoniaJames January 10, 2023
Looks like a great recipe, HP. Thanks for the link! ;o)
AntoniaJames January 10, 2023
The Butter Chicken recipe is a keeper (added to my keepers file), which means I consider it one of the best recipes on the site. In the cooler months, I make it at least once every three weeks. I add frozen organic spinach (the best available, without too many stem pieces) after releasing the pressure, and heat it through for a few minutes on the sauté setting before serving.

The Cacciatore, on the other hand, we found extremely disappointing. See my comments on that recipe for more details. ;o)
judy January 10, 2023
All excellent recipe. I don't have an Instant. I just cook them in my oven. Works great! Good basic recipes to ahve on hand, with most ingredients in my pantry. Thanks.!
Judith January 30, 2023
When you get an instant pot, and do so, you will not be sorry, be sure to get the 8-quart one. You can pressure cook, slow cook, and on and on with it. And the time saved using the pressure cooker, oh my! You can trust me on this. Very Sincerely, Judith