Instant Pot Chicken Thighs (Fresh or Frozen)

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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are an easy way to get juicy and tender chicken! Thighs are browned in the Instant Pot and then pressure cooked until juicy and tender.

Once cooked, I put them under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin for a perfect meal. 

This luscious chicken recipe goes great with roasted vegetables and potatoes or simply on its own paired with a light salad and a dinner roll.

This chicken is so tender that it makes a great base for a savory chicken salad filling too!

Frozen Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot

This recipe can use fresh chicken thighs or you can cook frozen chicken thighs in the IP! The instant pot will quickly bring frozen foods up to a safe temperature, (unlike a slow cooker where frozen food may remain in the ‘danger zone’ too long).

If using frozen chicken, skip the browning of the skin and instead place them under the broiler once cooked.

Raw chicken seasoned on a plate.

How to Cook Chicken Thighs in Instant Pot

These instant pot chicken thighs are ready in just 3 simple steps!

    1. Season chicken and brown skin on saute setting (per recipe below).
    2. Add broth and scrape any brown bits in the bottom (Important, this will help you avoid the burn notice.
    3. Place chicken on the trivet and cook according to the recipe below.

To get a nice crisp skin as you would on baked chicken thighs, place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes once cooked.  While broiling, I like to make the juices into a gravy.

To Make Gravy: This is similar to a regular gravy recipe. Remove onions from the broth and bring the broth to a boil using the saute function on the IP. Mix equal parts cornstarch and cold water (called a ‘slurry’) and whisk into the boiling broth until it reaches desired consistency.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

Anything that goes with chicken will go perfectly with this particular chicken recipe.

The combination of savory spices and instant pot pressure cooking magic results in juicy, flavorful pieces of chicken that are paired perfectly with so many sides.

How to Store Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

Cool the chicken thighs overnight in the refrigerator and place it in a zippered bag or another airtight freezer container.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

4 from 1 vote
Review Recipe

Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Building Pressure and Natural Release 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Chicken, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Quick and easy recipe that pairs well with anything.


  • 2 lbs chicken thighs bone-in, skin on (approx. 6 thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 thick slices onion

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  • Combine spices in a small bowl. Season chicken with spice mixture.
  • Turn a 6QT Instant Pot onto saute. Add olive oil and heat 1 minute.
  • Place 1/2 of the chicken skin side down in the instant pot and cook 3-4 minutes or until crisp and it releases easily from the pan. Repeat with remaining chicken adding more oil if needed. Turn Instant Pot off. *see note for frozen thighs
  • Add chicken broth to the bottom of the pot and scrape any brown bits. Add onion slices.
  • Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and place thighs skin side up on the trivet.
  • Select manual and cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. Allow to naturally release for 5 minutes. Release any remaining pressure.
  • Optional: Place chicken on a foil-lined pan and place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes to crisp skin. Serve with juices from the Instant Pot.

Recipe Notes

Thicken sauce with cornstarch slurry if desired. This has been tested in a 6qt Instant Pot only.
To Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs
  1. Place onion and broth in the bottom of the IP.
  2. Add the trivet and place the chicken on the trivet.
  3. Sprinkle with seasonings. Set the IP to high pressure for 15 minutes. Naturally release 5 minutes. Release remaining pressure. Broil as directed above.
Ensure chicken reaches 165°F. If your chicken thighs are extra large, add 1 minute cook time.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 358, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 148mg, Sodium: 296mg, Potassium: 356mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 118IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg
Keyword instant pot chicken thighs

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. i would never make chicken as frozen because I always thaw and go over it for stubles and guck, (I call it cleaning the chicken to get all of the ugly stuff off before even eating it.