Instant Pot Garlic Herb Chicken Thighs are tender, juicy, flavorful, and super versatile. Prep a big batch ahead of time and use them for meal prep or to add to meals throughout the week.
I go through phases with my Instant Pot. It’s no secret around here that I absolutely love the Instant Pot, but I go through long stretches where I almost forget about that beloved machine. When I decide to pull it back into the rotation, I use it almost every day, and that’s where I’ve been lately. Soups, stews, curries, sticky rice, my machine has been living on the kitchen counter.
And one of my favorite ways to use the Instant Pot is to cook a big batch of chicken hands-off. This garlic-herb chicken gets chopped up and used all week in salads, sandwiches, tossed into soups, and added to dinner and lunches for the kids. With Frank and I both still working from home, this has been one of the most useful recipe components to find in the fridge. And the key to all of the chicken’s flavor is a simple pantry-staple marinade.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- Make a Marinade - The marinade is simple and made of pantry staples, but it’s the key to big flavor and tender chicken.
- Marinate Chicken - Marinate the chicken for at least 10 minutes and as long as 2 days. Even 10 minutes is enough to give the chicken lots of flavor.
- Prepare Instant Pot - Pour a cup of water and some sliced lemons into the bowl of an Instant Pot. Add a rack to the machine (this will hold the chicken above the water). Add chicken to the rack.
- Cook - Pressure cook chicken on high 7 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.
Tips for Great Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- The marinade for the chicken is key to its flavor, but none of the ingredients are set in stone. If you don’t have red or white wine vinegar, try another type of vinegar. Don’t have Italian Seasoning? Just mix up your favorite dried herbs. Don’t have fresh garlic? Use 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Watch the time closely. Be sure not to let the natural release go any longer than 5 minutes. There is still pressure in the pot when you let it naturally release and that pressure will continue to cook the chicken, leading to tough chicken instead of the tender, juicy chicken you want.
More Instant Pot Favorites
- Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli
- Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup
- Instant Pot Honey Adobo Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls
Instant Pot Garlic Herb Chicken Thighs
- Mixing Bowl
- Instant Pot with Rack
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Red or White Wine Vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced or grated
- 1 Tablespoon chopped Fresh Parsley
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (see note)
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Lemon, zested and then quartered
- 4-6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (about 1 ½ pounds)
- 1 cup Water
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Add garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Use a zester to zest the lemon and add it to the bowl (save the rest of the lemon).
- Add chicken thighs to the bowl with the olive oil mixture and stir to completely coat them in the mixture. Set aside to marinate briefly while you prepare the Instant Pot. (Note: You can marinate the chicken anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 days.)
- Pour water into the bowl of an Instant Pot. Slice lemon into quarters, squeeze the juice into the water and drop the remaining quarters into the water.
- Place the steamer rack / trivet in the pot and arrange chicken thighs on top in a single layer. Pour any remaining marinade over top of the chicken.
- Close and lock the lid.
- Set the pressure valve to “Sealing”. Cook on manual / high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.
- Serve chicken thighs whole or slice and serve.