Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

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Yes, another Instant Pot recipe. I can’t help it. It makes cooking so much easier. You really need to run out and buy one if you haven’t. Amazon has them for under $100. You don’t need to get the fancy WiFi version either. Just break down and get one already. You’ll use it more than you think. But I digress…I’ve promised myself that from now on, I’ll try to share more traditional recipes that don’t require fancy gadgets. Next time.

I’ve been on vacation for a couple of weeks and have been super lazy. After all the Christmas cooking, I needed a rest. We’ve all been living off leftovers like turkey and dressing. While this is all fine and good, it was starting to get a little old, even with the tri tip (and more leftovers) we made for New Year’s Eve.

To break the cycle, I decided to ease back into cooking by making this delicious pressure cooker dish from Delish. For those of you who are trying to stick to your New Year resolution of healthier eating, this recipe is very accommodating. If you are watching carbs, serve it with a salad instead of rice. If you’re watching your sugar, skip the glaze.

Season your chicken with salt and pepper. In general, you always want to season your meat, even if the recipe doesn’t call for it. It’ll make the meat taste better by adding the first layer of flavor. I’m usually generous with the ground pepper too.

I used boneless, skinless chicken because I like it better. I find it easier to work with, has a shorter cook time, and is just as tasty. I’m simply not a big fan of skin so when I remove the skin before eating the chicken, all those yummy seasonings disappear with it. Sadness. Granted bone-in, skin-on chicken might be juicer, it doesn’t matter for this recipe because the pressure cooker infuses so much liquid into the chicken.

Sauté the chicken in olive oil. In the meantime, make the marinade: olive oil, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil (don’t skip this ingredient!), garlic, lime juice, green onions, and red pepper flakes (don’t skip this either!). Be sure to whisk it completely so the honey is fully incorporated. The sesame oil provides that nuttiness reminiscent of Asian flavors that this dish needs while the red pepper enhances the dish. I’m always cautious with anything spicy because of the rest of my family (not big fans of red pepper), but trust me when I say you won’t be able to taste it. In fact, I usually add a pinch to spaghetti sauce because it takes the sauce over the top good in a subtle not-sure-what-that-secret-ingredient-is way. It’s the same here.

When the chicken is browned, add the marinade.

Lock it up and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Go make a salad or some rice.

When it’s done, make the glaze. Take out the chicken. Then, remove 1/4 cup of the sauce and whisk in some cornstarch. Add that back to the pot and simmer until thickened. Serve over the chicken and rice, garnished with green onions.

To be completely honest, everyone thought this glaze was completely unnecessary. Maybe we’re just not fancy people, but it’s just there to add a sauce to the rice. I ate the chicken without the glaze along with a salad, and found the chicken to be very flavorful and fall apart tender. My son wanted nothing to do with the glaze (and god forbid the chicken touched the rice, but that’s a different story for another day). My husband tried it with the glaze and said it wasn’t anything special. No glaze it is! Also, I found the glaze to be a bit oily. The sauce called for 1/4 cup of olive oil, which at the time I was blown away at the amount, but then again, it’s for a marinade so that’s a perfectly respectable amount. When converted over to a glaze, it’d hard to disguise. Regardless, this recipe got three thumbs up by all of us. Definitely a make again recipe.

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

Servings 4


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons for browning the chicken
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • cooked rice


  • Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Set Instant Pot to Sauté function and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chicken and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Then flip and cook for another 3 minutes more. Work in batches as necessary. Turn Instant Pot off of Sauté function.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, lime juice, green onions, and pinch of red pepper flakes. Place chicken in Instant Pot and pour sauce over. Lock lid and set to Pressure Cook on High for 10 minutes.
  • Quick release, making sure to wait until cycle is completely before, unlocking and removing lid. Using tongs, remove chicken from Instant Pot and set on plate to keep warm.
  • Ladle out about 1/4 cup of sauce from Instant Pot and whisk in cornstarch. Pour liquid back into Instant Pot and set to Sauté function. Let sauce simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over chicken, and garnish with green onions, and serve over rice.
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