Tender chicken thighs cooked in the Instant Pot with sauce made from butter, lemon juice, plenty of garlic and herbs. This is an outrageously delicious chicken thighs recipe and one of my best Instant Pot recipes!
My Favorite Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe
Pals, say HI to your new favorite Instant Pot Chicken recipe! 👋 This Instant Pot Lemon Butter Chicken is prepared with tender chicken thighs packed with incredible flavors from butter, garlic, and lemon juice. 🍽
This lemon chicken recipe is one of my personal favorites, and I know so many people out there are going to love it, as well. It’s a one-pot, keto-friendly, 25-minute dinner that pairs perfectly with weeknights… and white wine. 😉
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
For this recipe, I used juicy, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, but you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I have prepared it with both; the only difference is in the cooking time:
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs need to pressure cook for 10 minutes. When done, allow 10-minute natural pressure release, then do a quick release. IF browning (sautéing) the chicken beforehand, I cut about 2 minutes from the natural pressure release time. Also, expect your Instant Pot to take several minutes to reach pressure and begin the cooking program.
- To cook frozen chicken thighs in the Instant Pot, you will need to adjust the cook time to 25 minutes. Also, you can’t brown frozen chicken thighs.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs need to pressure cook for 8 minutes. Then, do 8 minutes of natural pressure release, and a quick release at the end.
Lemon Butter Chicken in the Instant Pot
- We will start by seasoning the chicken thighs with some paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Melt butter in the Instant Pot and add 3 chicken thighs at a time, skin side down; brown on both sides for about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pot; repeat the same with the remaining chicken thighs.
- Melt remaining butter in the Instant Pot and add garlic; cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in chicken broth and scrape up the browned bits.
- Stir in the lemon juice; add browned chicken thighs back to the pot, set the timer, close lid and cook.
- When finished, remove chicken from the pot and serve with the sauce.
Optionally, but if you want to crisp up the chicken skin a bit more, set it under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, then serve.
Creamy Lemon Butter Sauce
- If you want a creamy sauce, remove chicken from the Instant Pot and add 1/3 cup heavy cream to the lemon butter sauce; cook for a minute or two, or until creamy. Serve.
- If you are looking for a thicker creamy sauce, in a small bowl mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 2 teaspoons cold water; add to the sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened.
Crispy and golden chicken on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside, simmered in a lemon sauce with garlic and butter. What could be better?!
FYI: I remove the skin before eating, saving me about 40 calories per chicken thigh.
Side Dishes for Chicken Thighs
For a lighter meal, serve over stir fry zucchini noodles or bright green veggies, like bacon wrapped asparagus. You can also serve chicken thighs with pasta, rice, or anything else you can think of. A salad, perhaps? My Creamy Cucumber Salad is da bomb.
More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
More Lemon Chicken Recipes
- Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata
- One Pot Lemon Chicken and Potatoes
- Lemon Chicken Fettuccine
- Crock Pot Honey Lemon Chicken
Instant Pot Lemon Butter Chicken
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided (if avoiding butter, you can use olive oil)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- lemon wedges, for serving
- ⅓ cup heavy cream, optional
- Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, and basil; set aside.
- Press the sauté function on the Instant Pot (OR normal setting) and add 2 tablespoons butter to melt.
- Place chicken thighs skin-side down (I use three thighs at a time) in the Instant Pot and cook on each side for 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove chicken from Instant Pot and set aside.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the Instant Pot and stir in garlic.
- Add chicken broth and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom; cook for 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Arrange chicken thighs back in the Instant Pot.
- Press “Manual” and set time to 10 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE; close lid and set the valve to seal.
- After the time is up, allow 8 minutes of natural pressure release. Then, release remaining pressure.
- Remove lid and use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature of 165˚F degrees has been reached.
- Transfer chicken thighs to a serving platter, garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges; serve with the lemon butter sauce.
- To make a creamy Lemon Butter Sauce, after removing the chicken, add heavy cream to the liquid in the Instant Pot, whisk, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbly and slightly thickened.
- If you like a thicker sauce, in a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 2 teaspoons cold water; whisk into the sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.