Instant Pot Whole Chicken


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Instant Pot Whole Chicken (and gravy) is simple and easy, perfect for Instant Pot beginners. Cooking a whole chicken has never been more delicious!

While I often make roast chicken or whole chicken in the slow cooker, cooking it in the Instant Pot is easy and makes for a delicious gravy!

Instant Pot Whole chicken on a cutting board with gravy

How to Make Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Read the instruction manual that comes with your instant pot and familiarize yourself with how it works. Different sizes can require different amounts of liquid (I use a 6qt Instant Pot for this recipe).

No Instant Pot? No problem, this recipe can be made in the slow cooker.

A raw chicken layered in an instant pot with onions and chicken broth.

  1. Place sliced onions and 1 cup of broth in the Instant Pot.
  2. Place seasoned chicken on a trivet with onions (breast side up) and add herbs.
  3. Select MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE on the Instant Pot and the timer for 25 minutes (will vary based on size below). Close and secure the lid per manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Allow the instant pot to natural release for 20 minutes. Turn the valve to release any remaining pressure.

To Crisp Chicken Skin

Instant Pot Chicken is delicious, tender, flavorful and easy… but I’m not going to lie, the skin on it is not all that pretty. Once it’s done cooking I like to crisp the skin.

It’s easy and takes a few minutes while prepping your gravy (right in the Instant Pot). Simply place the chicken in a shallow pan and broil on high until the skin crisps up.

How Long to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

A whole (defrosted) chicken will need about 6 minutes per pound to cook.

  • Cook a 4 lb chicken for 24 minutes
  • Cook a 4.5lb chicken for 27 minutes
  • Cook a 5lb chicken for 30 minutes

Keep in mind you’ll need to allow about 15 minutes for the IP to reach pressure and 20 minutes for it to naturally release. You can expect the total cook time to be about an hour and 15 minutes once you make the gravy etc.

pouring gravy over instant pot whole chicken

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken?

Yes, frozen chicken in the instant pot is totally doable! Any meat can be cooked from a frozen state in a pressure cooker. Each model will have different instructions but I cook a frozen whole chicken for about 13 minutes per pound in a 6qt Instant Pot.

My Favorite Sides for Chicken

Instant Pot whole chicken goes great with anything that an oven roasted chicken would. Vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and peas compliment chicken and of course creamy mashed potatoes. A crisp salad and some dinner rolls really round out this family dinner.

Don’t forget that instant pot chicken can also be made into shredded chicken for tacos or as chicken salad sandwiches or even served on a bed of lettuce.

How to Store Leftovers

Remove the chicken and onions from the instant pot and make sure they are fully cooled before placing them in zippered bags or freezer safe containers. Label them and place them in the freezer for up to three months.

Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Chicken

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Chicken
Cuisine American
Frozen or fresh, it turns out delicious every time.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken 4-4.5lbs lbs
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small handful fresh herbs parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage; optional
  • 2 Tablespoons flour (or cornstarch) for gravy

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Instructions

  1. Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Slice onion 1/2" thick and place on the trivet. Add 1 cup broth.

  2. Rub chicken with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and chicken seasoning (below) if desired. Place chicken on top of onions and add herbs to the instant pot.

  3. Select MANUAL/HIGH PRESSURE and turn it to 25 minutes* (see note). The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to reach pressure.

  4. Allow to natural release for 20 minutes. Turn valve to release remaining pressure.

To Crisp the Skin (optional)
  1. Once pressure is released, open the lid and place the chicken on a small pan. Broil 3-5 minutes or until skin is golden.
To Make Gravy
  1. Remove onions and herbs from the broth in the bottom of the pan. Add additional chicken broth if desired.
  2. Turn Instant Pot onto sautee and allow to come to a rolling boil. Make a slurry of equal parts flour (or cornstarch) and water (start with 2 tablespoons of each).

  3. Add a little at a time while whisking until you reach desired thickness. (You may not need all of the slurry).

Recipe Notes

Chicken will need about 6 minutes per pound to cook. 
To make homemade chicken seasoning combine the following:
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
Nutrition Information
Calories: 499, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 143mg, Sodium: 350mg, Potassium: 447mg, Carbohydrates: 6g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 36g, Vitamin A: 351%, Vitamin C: 11%, Calcium: 31%, Iron: 2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword instant pot chicken
A serving of instant pot chicken with carrots and potatoes.
A serving of instant pot chicken with carrots and potatoes.
Top photo - Instant pot chicken sliced on a cutting board. Bottom photo - A raw chicken layered in an instant pot with onions and chicken broth.

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Holly

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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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