Instant Pot Lemon Chicken


Lemony, bright, and rich, this easy chicken supper makes the most of your Instant Pot. With simple, flavorful ingredients, just little work goes a long way in allowing the natural flavors of your bone-in, skinless chicken thighs to shine. And we do mean just a little work; it's ready in under an hour after all. Can't find skinless? You're welcome to leave it on, but for the best results we recommend removing the skin yourself before cooking. To mix things up, you can also add lemon slices to the pot while the dish is pressure cooking for extra lemon flavor. The hardest part about this popular Instant Pot main may be deciding what to serve with it. It's delicious served over rice or pasta with green beans or asparagus. You really can't go wrong. 

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken
Photo: Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food stylist: Margaret Monroe Dickey
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 2 thighs, about 3 Tbsp. sauce)


  • 8 (6-oz.) bone-in, skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic cloves (about 2 large garlic cloves)

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 3 thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 thinly sliced lemon, for garnish


  1. Pat chicken dry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Select SAUTÉ setting on a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Select HIGH temperature setting, and allow to preheat 2 to 4 minutes. Add oil to cooker. Add half of chicken, meat side down, and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and repeat with remaining chicken. Set chicken aside.

  2. Add garlic, rosemary, and thyme sprigs to cooker; cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant and softened, about 1 minute. Add lemon zest and juice, and stir to loosen any browned bits from bottom of cooker. Stir in broth and mustard. Return chicken to cooker, cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Press CANCEL. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 9 minutes. (It will take about 10 minutes for cooker to come to pressure before cooking begins.)

  3. When cooking has finished, carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take 2 to 3 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker. Transfer chicken to a platter.

  4. Select SAUTÉ setting. Select HIGH temperature setting, and allow sauce to reduce by half, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Press CANCEL. Gradually stir butter into sauce in cooker until melted and combined. Pour over chicken. Garnish with lemon slices and thyme sprigs.

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