Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

I have been getting more and more use out of my Instant Pot and I’m in awe at how fast it is to cook and how tender the meat comes out! One night, which happens more often than not, at 4:00 I had no meat out and no plans for supper. Off to the freezer I went to find nicely separated bags of bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks. I have wanted to try Instant Pot honey garlic chicken and I had everything I needed. Though you can cook meat right from frozen, I did put the bag of chicken into my sink with cold water to thaw the pieces enough to break them apart and they thawed enough to be able to sauté as well. Keep in mind, if you do want to cook from frozen, you need to freeze your meat so that they don’t stick together in one big clump – they can’t go into the Instant Pot frozen like that.
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken. Cook delicious fall-off-the-bone honey garlic chicken in your #InstantPot! Even cook from frozen in less than an hour!

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

  • 2 lbs chicken; I used bone-in thighs & drumsticks, about 8 pieces
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp water

Turn your Instant Pot on Sauté, spray with nonstick oil, add some extra oil (about 1 tbsp) to the pot and brown the chicken thighs first – this will also cut down on your cooking time. If you want to cut right to pressure cooking, just place the chicken pieces in the pot, but you will need to add extra time to your cooking anyway (couldn’t tell you how much, I always saute. Try 5 minutes and let me know!). Mix together the honey, soy sauce, ketchup and garlic and add on top of the chicken. If it seems like there’s not enough liquid, or if you are cooking from frozen, add ½ cup water.

Put the lid on, ensuring that the valve is sealed, and program your Instant Pot to Manual high pressure, and set it for ‘x’ amount of minutes depending on the following for 2 lbs of chicken (less time for less meat, understandably):

  • Completely frozen, bone-in: 30 minutes
  • Partially frozen, bone-in: 20 minutes
  • Fresh, bone-in: 15 minutes
  • Completely frozen, boneless: 20 minutes
  • Partially frozen, boneless: 15 minutes
  • Fresh, boneless: 8 minutes

When chicken is done cooking (you will hear a beep from the machine), perform a quick-release of the pressure, remove chicken with slotted spoon and set aside; make sure the chicken is cooked to 165ºF. Mix corn starch and water together in small bowl, add to sauce in Instant Pot and turn on to Sauté setting again, whisking until bubbling and thick.
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken. Cook delicious fall-off-the-bone honey garlic chicken in your #InstantPot! Even cook from frozen in less than an hour!

4.8 from 5 reviews
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Supper
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A quick and easy Instant Pot meal that can be made from frozen or fresh chicken thighs/drumsticks with that honey garlic flavour that everyone loves!
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken; I used bone-in thighs & drumsticks, about 8 pieces
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Turn your Instant Pot on Sauté, spray with nonstick oil, add some extra oil (about 1 tbsp) to the pot and brown the chicken on both sides first - this will also cut down on your cooking time. If you want to cut right to pressure cooking, just place the chicken pieces in the pot, but you will need to add extra time to your cooking anyway (couldn't tell you how much, I always saute. Try 5 minutes and let me know!).
  2. Mix together the honey, soy sauce, ketchup and garlic and add on top of the chicken. If it seems like there's not enough liquid, or if you are cooking from frozen, add ½ cup water.
  3. Put the lid on, ensure that the valve is sealed, and program your Instant Pot to Manual high pressure, and set it for 'x' amount of minutes (see notes) depending on the following for 2 lbs of chicken.
  4. When chicken is done cooking, perform a quick-release of the pressure by opening the valve, remove chicken with slotted spoon and set aside; make sure the chicken is cooked to 165ºF. Mix corn starch and water together in small bowl, add to sauce in Instant Pot and turn on to Sauté setting again, whisking until bubbling and thick.
Notes
Completely frozen, bone-in: 30 minutes
Partially frozen, bone-in: 20 minutes
Fresh, bone-in: 15 minutes
Completely frozen, boneless: 20 minutes
Partially frozen, boneless: 15 minutes
Fresh, boneless: 8 minutes

I did throw the chicken pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, covered them with the thickened sauce and broiled in the oven…but this step isn’t necessary. The meat is so tender, you don’t need it to be crispy too, in my opinion! Hope you enjoy; try with my easy baked rice!

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken. Cook delicious fall-off-the-bone honey garlic chicken in your #InstantPot! Even cook from frozen in less than an hour!

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Note: I used this guide to determine how long to cook chicken thighs and have found it to be accurate.

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I'm a nurse who married a farmer and I'm a boy mom of 3 to Braden, Ethan and Jonathan. I love blogging about family life, farming, recipes and embracing my role as farm wife and mom. I'm knee-deep in tractors, trains and trucks and I'm often seen with my camera in my hands catching life's moments.

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  1. Just made these for dinner, we have it at lunch time, and they were delicious. Chicken was tender and tasty, had them with rice, broccoli and butternut squash, yummy! Thanks for the recipe, I will be trying more.

  2. Hi! I’m wondering how this works in an IP without adding liquid; water or broth for example? I thought the liquid was necessary for coming to pressure. That coupled with the fact that honey and ketchup can scorch??
    Did I miss the addition of liquid in this recipe?
    I’m interested in trying, but I’d love to avoid the frustration of dealing with it not coming to pressure.
    Thanks!

    • When I made this there was plenty of sauce that it did not scorch & was delicious! The recipe does say to add 1/2 cup water if you need more liquid. You add cornstarch to thicken sauce at end so any extra added water will thicken up.

  3. I've made this twice and have loved it both times. My toddler devoured it and kept wanting more. Thank you for all the different variations for frozen or thawed. It is now making it to my stash of family favourites.

  4. How would you recommend doing this exact recipe for a crowd of 15 people? Does it work to double or triple the thighs/drumsticks in 1 instapot? Or would it make for a huge disaster considering cook time, juiciness, etc… Thank You!

  5. We followed the recipe exactly using completely frozen chicken drumsticks and pressure cooking for 30 minutes with quick release as suggested. It was so tasty and easy to put together that it'll be on our regular weeknight rota. Thanks so much for the recipe and alternative cooking times. We'll be back for more recipes 🙂

  6. Made this last night for dinner — my picky eaters ate it all and asked for more! Thanks for an easy recipe!
    Used fresh bone in thighs and the time worked out great! =)

  7. This turned out great!!
    I used bone-in thighs and removed the skin before cooking, and it came out so tender and flavorful. (Plus, your guideline for cooking times really helps!) Everyone enjoyed their dinner. Thank you for the recipe!

  8. This smelled so good and was delicious. The most frustrating part was thawing my hunk of frozen chicken thighs enough to seperate them. From now on I'm freezing chicken pieces on a cookie sheet THEN sealing them with my foodsaver. Thank you for the recipe, I'm adding it to my list of last minute dinners.

  9. Turned out perfect. The chicken was so moist and flavorful. I added the water to the initial sauce while cooking and then took chicken out when finished and added some hot sauce with cornstartch and put back into pot and saute for 2 minutes. I may add pineapple next time and less honey. Thank you for a great recipe!

  10. Can you share the pot-in-pot instructions to make rice at the same time. I'm very new to the IP scene. Only made 2 dishes so far but both were great!

  11. Absolutely perfect!! Thank you for being so thorough and although this may sound silly, thank you for proof reading!! So many recipes lately have typos that can really wrench up a new IP user!! No left overs tonight!!

  12. Trying this tonight! I am excited. Just bought my IP for Christmas. Thanks for the recipe! I will let you know what we think <3

  13. Fantastic recipe! This was only my second time using my new Instant Pot and Your recipe was easy to follow and my family loved it! I’ll be printing it out and adding it to my list of go-to recipes!

  14. Did you still add the soy with the sriracha? My family likes spice and this looks like just the right variation.

    • Sorry for the delay in my response….darn flu! Yes, I did add the soy with the Sriracha. Was soooo delicious!

    • I just used three chicken beasts from frozen and followed the same time recommendation. Worked like a charm; came up to the internal temp and everything. Not as easy to shred as out of the crockpot though so next time I’ll probably use thawed beasts and chop to my desired size beforehand.

    • I tried a similar recipe with chicken breasts, and it was super dry. I’d stick to drumsticks or thighs. I read somewhere that breasts don’t work well in the instant pot. That was my experience. I’m getting ready to make this with thighs for the second time. My family loves it!

        • I’m saving the IP honey garlic thigh recipe. It sounds very yummy and I will be making it very soon!
          In answer to chicken breasts cooked in IP: I’ve made chicken noodle soup with chicken breasts. I used a Pinterest recipe from the damndelicious blog. I used frozen “kluski” type noodles found in grocery store freezer section. Added noodles when soup was done. Shredded chicken and added back to soup when noodles were cooked. Noodles absorbed a lot of the broth so I added more broth at the end. Turned out great!

    • I used skinless, boneless chicken tenders cut in chunks & cooked on high pressure for 8 minutes & it was great!

  15. Thanks for posting this recipe on FB, Sarah. I just bought an Instant Pot last week and have been trying to figure out what to cook. I look forward to any other Instant Pot recipes you post.

  16. this is cooking right now! Smells amazing! Question-I put 12 bone-in chicken thighs In (bought too much at Costco!). Do I need to adjust the cooking time?

    thanks!

  17. My husband is Type 1 Diabetic & doesn't like honey because his mom shoved it down his throat when he was younger & got low. That being said, how much can you taste the honey in this recipe? I know that might sound dumb since "honey" is in the name of the dish… I'm wondering if I could use syrup or agave nectar or something…or just use honey & maybe he won't notice. Sounds quick & simple!!

    • I never eat just plain honey, it just adds sweetness. And from a nursing perspective, his mom did it for his own good 😉 but can't blame him for having ill feelings towards honey hehe

  18. I made this tonight and it was a hit. I eyeballed the measurements to save time so it took about a minute to make the sauce, adding a little extra water to thin out the sauce. My boneless chicken thighs were frozen so I just tossed it all in Instant Pot and set it for 20 minutes. Like the directions said, I pulled out the chicken and thickened the sauce with cornstarch (taking about a quarter cup of sauce from the Instant Pot rather than using water). My kind of dish on a busy night – fast, easy, all the ingredients already in the pantry, and compliments at the dinner table!

  19. My boyfriend hates chicken. If he had it his way, we'd eat red meat every night. But he compromises for his poultry princess (me). Point being, I have to dazzle on nights I cook chicken. I was excited to try your recipe. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and legs and only made 2 tweaks — doubled the garlic (the norm for us) and added a bit more slurry to the sauce to thicken it up. I did end up broiling the chicken and served it with salad and baked quinoa. It was outstanding!! Boyfriend went back for seconds! Adding this to regular rotation. Thank you 😀

  20. Thanks so much! My picky husband loved it and it was so easy. Served with rice and veggies. Will be adding to weekly rotation!!!

  21. This was delicious! I’ve been looking for a good IP honey garlic chicken recipe and DH keeps complaining that they come out plain. As soon as he came home he asked what was cooking and cleaned two plates! I served it over brown rice with steamed broccoli. The sauce is just delicious and perfect thickened up a little. So simple and easy, thank you for including instructions for cooking from frozen as well. This will go into our regular weekly rotation for sure. Thanks for a great recipe!

  22. This recipe is SO Good. I use my Instant Pot all the time. This will be my go to recipe for chicken thighs. I put a couple of chicken breasts I had on hand, but the boneless/skinless thighs could not be beat. Thank you for posting this 10 out of 10 recipe!

  23. Yummy, quick & easy. I always sauté, then deglaze the pot before pressure cooking. I deglazed w soy sauce. Next time I may use a little less ketchup & add just a little spice,maybe siracha,my favorite-just for zip, not heat.

  24. This was really good and really easy! Used frozen chicken thighs and the 20 minutes was spot on. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks!

  25. great recipe especially when potatoes are cooked with the chicken. son loves it. thinking about another root veggie (not carrots) to add next time.

  26. This is a super stupid question. I loved this recipe because it is allergy friendly (I made it without gluten by substituting soy sauce for coconut aminos) so I would like to save it on my board on Pinterest. How do I pin it?

  27. this is going to be my first recipe so excuse the stupid questions- if I double the chicken ( 4 pounds) do I have to double the sauce too? and what about the time…

  28. Made this last night in my Instant Pot…YUMMY!!! Used fresh bone-in thighs – 1/2 cup Sriracha sauce (my family likes heat!) and 1/2 cup ketchup, and some Mrs. Dash extra Spicy salt free seasoning. The sauce consistency came out perfect, so I didn't need to use the cornstarch. The family loved it so much they asked me to make it again tonight 🙂 Thank you for the recipe Sarah!

  29. A big hit with my 3 kids and wife. They requested it twice in 3 days! First time we did with fresh chicken and second time with frozen. The fresh was much better as it browned the skin better and the sauce combined more with the chicken. We also doubled the sauce the first time since we were doing about 10 bone in thighs. Great served over rice or noodles with a veggie side. Thanks!

  30. This was delicious, my whole family enjoyed it! And it's perfect for doing pot-in-pot and cooking the rice at the same time, making it super simple to get a full meal on the table. Just add some veggies and it's good to go!

  31. Can I add vegetables to the instant pot to cook along with the chicken? Suggestions on how to successfully do so? I’m thinking carrots, green beans, potatoes…

    Jen

  32. This looks great! Trying it tonight. Thanks so much for accounting for all the states of frozen in your times – awesome!

  33. This dish was SOOOOO good! My 5 year old loved it, too.
    No changes and we served it over rice with a veggie side dish.

    • It's pretty much guaranteed if I share it here, the kids will eat it, because there's no point in making a meal if they don't. Yes – they loved it! Pretty much anything honey garlic they love!

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