Instant Pot Lemon Butter Chicken Thighs

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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!

Instant Pot Lemon Butter Chicken


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 resulting 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 Lemon Butter Chicken


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?!

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 chick thighs need to pressure cook for 8 minutes. Then, do 8 minutes of natural pressure release, and a quick release at the end.

FYI: I remove the skin before eating. Saves me about 40 calories per chicken thigh.


  • 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.

Instant Pot 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.


  • 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.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken


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.




5 from 8 votes
Instant Pot Lemon Butter Chicken Thighs | Keto Instant Pot Recipe

Instant Pot Lemon Butter Chicken

12 12 12
WW Freestyle: 15
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Tender Instant Pot chicken thighs recipe with an irresistible lemon butter sauce. A delicious chicken dinner idea that's low-carb and keto-friendly!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 380


  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided (if avoiding butter, you can use olive oil)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • lemon wedges for garnish


  • 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 (use 3 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 internal temperature of 170F degrees has been reached.
  • Transfer chicken thighs to a serving platter, garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges; serve with the lemon butter sauce. 


  • If you want a CREAMY lemon butter sauce, after removing the chicken from the Instant Pot, stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream 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.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Lemon Butter Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 chicken thigh with sauce)
Calories 380 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 156mg52%
Sodium 171mg7%
Potassium 362mg10%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 450IU9%
Vitamin C 10.1mg12%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

Keywords: chicken thighs recipe, instant pot chicken thighs recipe, instant pot dinner recipe, keto chicken recipes, keto dinner idea

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31 Responses
  1. Helen

    Just made this. Super easy. Smells amazing.
    Doubled the recipe but not all the stock.
    Looking forward to dinner tonight.

  2. Andrea

    Easy and delicious! I added a bag of spinach to the sauce (per a comment made below) and paired it with an italian seasoned rice. I’m going to be eating well this week thanks to your recipe. 🙂

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      For that many thighs, I’d suggest to use about 1 cup of chicken stock instead of 3/4. Seal the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealed. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Once the pressure cooker has counted down, let it do a natural release for 5 minutes before turning the valve to vent. Hope that helps. 😊

  3. Linda Wall

    Would this turn out if you made it with skinless, boneless chicken thighs? I have some taking up space in my freezer.

  4. John

    It is really an incredible dish and i will say my wife to make this delicious food.

    I seriously love chickens.

  5. Joan

    After the natural release I put a whole bag of baby spinach in and let it cook down. Yummy. Thanks for the great recipes.

    1. Kelly

      I made it with 8 bone in chicken thighs and added one more minute of pressure cook time. Same amount of natural release.

  6. Marie Polifrone

    I will be using this recipe time and time again for family and also company. The chicken was so moist and you just wanted to lick the plate with the delicious sauce. My husband who is a picky eater absolutely loved it and the people we served it to could not get enough. I will always make a lot more chicken thighs than I think I need because everyone went for seconds and thirds!! Thanks for sharing

  7. Brianon Sheffield

    I want to cook this for a crowd next week… Will it still be delicious if I double or triple this recipe? (I have an 8qt IP)

    I love your recipes and getting the weekly menu! Thank you!

    1. Shay

      Made this for my mom and it was absolutely amazing! Sooiooo juicy and flavorful wow. I deffintley think the trick or to brown the chicken on butter first and get those brown bits up from the pot. Omg so good.

  8. Renee

    Can you make this on the regular stove top? I don’t have an instant pot and it’s just too expensive of an investment right now for me.

  9. Mohit Batra

    I recently bought an Instant pot and now came across this recipe. Would definitely try it this weekend. Thank you.

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Katerina of Diethood
Hey There!
I'm Katerina, a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

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