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Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

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Flavorful chicken thighs cook perfectly in this Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken recipe. Ready in about 30 minutes, you can be feasting on a hot and hearty meal in no time! Packed with flavor, Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken is a popular pick in my house, and it’s sure to be a favorite in yours, too! 

Affordable and easy-to-use chicken thighs are the star of this homey dish. Buy bone-in thighs – the bones prevent the thighs from overcooking, and the flavorful honey garlic sauce will get into every nook and cranny.

Speaking of the sauce, it’s amazing! It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and richly flavored with soy, plenty of garlic, and a touch of heat from the chili sauce. 

I like to serve this dish with rice because it’ll soak up all that yummy sauce! Affordable, fast, easy, and delicious, what’s not to love about this Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe?

top view of instant pot honey garlic chicken

Why You Will Love This Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

After a quick saute, this is a set-it-and-forget-it dish!

Honey garlic chicken in the Instant Pot is quick, easy, and delicious, perfect for a busy weeknight.

This recipe is easily doubled to feed a crowd.

Looking for more easy Instant Pot dinner ideas for your family? Try Instant Pot Salsa Chicken or Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings!

Key Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

Chicken thighs – I use bone-in skin-on thighs to keep the meat juicy and tender.

Vegetable oil – Or whatever oil you use for sauteing. Butter or olive oil work well too.

Honey – You need honey to make Instant Pot honey chicken, but you don’t need much to add the right amount of sweetness to this dish.

Sesame oil – A little goes a long way! This is flavorful stuff! Keep the opened sesame oil bottle in your fridge as the oil can go rancid fairly quickly.

Chili sauce – Find this in the Asian section of your supermarket. It adds incredible flavor! 

Soy sauce – Whatever soy sauce you have on hand is fine. Use low sodium soy sauce if you’re watching your sodium intake.

Garlic – Fresh is best! But if you don’t have fresh, substitute a teaspoon of garlic powder.

Green onions – Sliced fresh green onions add a pop of color and flavor on top of this easy Instant Pot recipe, but they’re optional. If you have some on hand, use them!

Sesame seeds – Also optional, but sesame seeds look so pretty when sprinkled on top. Jazz your dish up with a combination of white and black sesame seeds.

ingredients for honey garlic chicken

How to Make Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot

1. Prep

Trim the excess fat from the chicken thighs and season them with salt and pepper. Then set the Instant Pot to saute and add the oil.

browning the chicken

When the oil is hot, add the chicken skin-side down and saute for 2 minutes or until golden brown. The goal is to just brown the skin a little bit.

2. Pressure cook

Take the chicken out of the Instant Pot and set it aside for a few minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pressure cooker to deglaze it. Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to make sure no bits of chicken are stuck to the bottom.

Then put the trivet in the pot. Place the chicken thighs on top of the trivet. Deglazing the pressure cooker and using the trivet will make sure you don’t get a burn notice on your Instant Pot.

chicken before pressure cooking

Mix the honey, sesame oil, chili sauce, soy sauce, and garlic in a small bowl. Pour this mixture over the chicken.

Put the lid on, making sure the sealing ring is in place and the pressure valve is closed. Set the Instant Pot to manual/high pressure for 12 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for it to reach pressure.

chicken after pressure cooking

Quick-release the pressure when the time is up. Carefully open the lid, take the chicken out and pour the sauce from the bottom of the pressure cooker over top of the chicken thighs.

Serving Ideas

Honey garlic Instant Pot chicken is begging to be served with rice. Long grain white rice, basmati or jasmine rice, or brown rice, it doesn’t matter! Use cauliflower rice for a low carb meal. The honey garlic sauce is a perfect combination with the rice, and you can scoop up every last tasty bit of it.

Because this honey garlic chicken thighs recipe is so flavorful, I like serving it with a simple vegetable. Steamed broccoli, carrots, or even green peas add lovely color to the plate, and their flavors won’t compete with the chicken.

honey garlic chicken ready for serving

Variations Of Honey Garlic Chicken

This is a straightforward dish, but you can switch things up. Here are some of my favorite ways to change this easy chicken Instant Pot recipe.

Chicken Breasts – Use chicken breasts in this recipe to make honey garlic chicken breast in the Instant Pot instead of thighs. You’ll need to increase the cooking time by 2-3 minutes to get them fully cooked.

Chicken drumsticks – Instant Pot chicken drumsticks cook up so nicely! Decrease the cooking time by 1 minute if you choose to use drumsticks.

Crispy chicken thighs – If you want the crispiest thighs put them on a baking sheet and broil, skin side up, for 3 minutes to crisp the skin.

Like spice? – Add an extra teaspoon of chili sauce or sprinkle on some crushed red pepper flakes before serving. You could also stir in a bit of Sriracha sauce into the honey mixture.

How to Store Leftover Honey Garlic Chicken

Honey garlic chicken will keep nicely in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze this dish, but the sauce will get diluted and runny after being frozen and thawed. But, it’ll still taste great! 

I love freezing portions of this with rice. I pack the chicken and homemade honey garlic sauce on top of the rice and freeze it for up to 3 months; then I’ve got a quick meal that’s easy to reheat in the microwave.

honey garlic chicken on a plate with rice

FAQ

Can I use frozen chicken thighs?

Yes, as long as they are frozen individually and not in a big clump. If using frozen thighs increase the cooking time to 15 minutes and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes instead of doing a quick release.

Can I use boneless thighs?

Yes, if you don’t want to mess with the bones you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Reduce the cooking time to 10 minutes.

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Yield: 4-6

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs

honey garlic chicken ready for serving

This easy Instant Pot honey garlic chicken is quick and delicious.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Pressure TIme 10 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon oil, canola or vegetable
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

For Serving

  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Green onions, sliced

Instructions

  1. Wash and trim excess fat from chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Turn Instant Pot to SAUTE function and add the oil. Let it heat for 2-3 minutes.
  3. While oil is heating, whisk together the honey, sesame seed oil, chili sauce, soy sauce, and garlic.
  4. Add to the Instant Pot chicken skin side down. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes to brown the skin.
  5. Take the chicken out and set it aside for a few minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water to the pressure cooker to deglaze it. Stir and make sure that there are no bits of chicken stuck to the bottom.
  6. Put the trivet in the Instant Pot and put the chicken on it.
  7. Pour the bowl of honey garlic sauce over the chicken.
  8. Put the lid on, making sure the sealing ring is in place and the pressure valve is closed. Set it on Manual, high pressure for 12 minutes.
  9. Once it is done cooking open the valve to do a quick pressure release.
  10. Place the chicken on a serving platter and pour the sauce over the top. Serve garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

    Notes

    My Instant Pot has no trouble reaching pressure without any extra liquid added to this recipe. If you are worried about yours reaching pressure add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom.

    • For chicken breasts: Pressure cook for 15 minutes.

    For chicken drumsticks or boneless thighs: Pressure cook for 11 minutes.

    For frozen chicken thighs: Pressure cook for 15 minutes. Don't use frozen chicken unless it is frozen individually and not in a big clump.

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    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    4

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 598mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 10g

    Nutrition facts are estimates.

    chicken on a cutting board in front of instant pot

    By on March 14th, 2022

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