The sauce for Instant Pot Honey Adobo Chicken is spicy, smoky, and sweet. Served over crispy potatoes, this easy meal cooks in the Instant Pot on 6 minutes high pressure. Add your favorite toppings like sliced avocados or a dollop of creamy sour cream.
We’re still going strong on our 30 Dinner Challenge! January at our house has been pretty delicious and, with the exception of a few nights where we had to scramble and cook from the freezer or eat popcorn (just the adults – kids had an actual meal), we’ve had a home-cooked or semi-home-cooked dinner every night.
I’ll share my thoughts on the challenge at the end of the month, but if you haven’t been doing it from the beginning with us, try it now! Try a 7-Day or 5-Day challenge. January is a great month to cook at home, and I think you’ll find it rewarding even in small bursts. And don’t forget to share what you’re cooking on Instagram with #30dinnerchallenge. Seeing your meals has been my favorite part of the whole thing!
But now, back to the next in this week’s lineup of meals from the Ultimate Guide to 6-Minute Instant Pot Meals. Be sure to check out that post if you want more ideas for mix-and-match meals to make in the Instant Pot. This one is sort of a twist on nachos. Sweet and smoky chicken spooned over crispy potatoes.
It all cooks at once in just a few minutes. Here’s how to do it!
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast – I found that chicken breast makes for a better protein in this recipe than chicken thighs. They are more lean and don’t affect the texture of the sauce. I find that chicken thighs make the sauce slightly heavy tasting and a bit greasy.
- Stock – I like to use store-bought vegetable or chicken stock (sometimes labeled “broth”) to add extra flavor to the sauce. In a pinch, you can also use water.
- Tomato Paste – Tomato paste is notorious for causing the burn error in dishes cooked in the Instant Pot, but it’s important in this recipe for adding body and richness to the sauce. There is a sufficient amount of liquid to balance this out, so I never got the burn error in testing. If you know your machine is prone to the burn error, you can wait until after cooking and stir the tomato paste in at the end.
- Adobo Sauce – This is the sauce from a small can of chipotles in adobo sauce. It is smoky, spicy, and a tiny bit sweet. See below for more on this delicious ingredient.
- Honey – The sweetness of honey balances the spiciness of the adobo sauce. You can substitute another sweetener if you prefer.
- Garlic and Paprika – Use these ingredients to add depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Lemon Juice – This adds brightness to the sauce after cooking. You can skip it in a pinch, but the tart, fresh flavor really brings the sauce together.
- Garnishes – Finish this dish however you’d like, but avocado (or guacamole), sour cream, and chopped green onions / scallions are great options.
How to Make Pot-in-Pot Potatoes
Use the Pot-in-Pot (PIP) Method to cook potatoes at the same time as the Instant Pot Honey Adobo Chicken and you can make amazing crispy home fries to serve with the dish. Not familiar with this handy method that allows you to cook two things in the Instant Pot at the same time? Check out this post on the Pot-in-Pot Method for the Instant Pot.
For this recipe, the potatoes are steamed at the same time as chicken cooks. Use very small potatoes like baby, new, or fingerling potatoes and they will come out tender just as the chicken is finished cooking. But it’s in the next step that makes these potatoes really special. Take the potatoes out and slice them in half. Saute them in oil in a skillet for about 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Then season with some salt and pepper.
What are Chipotles in Adobo Sauce?
Look for canned Chipotles in Adobo Sauce in the international aisle of the grocery store. Usually the cans contain larger pieces or whole chipotle peppers surrounded by a smoky, spicy red sauce. The peppers and sauce can be pretty spicy, so a little goes a long way. They add a deep smoky, spicy flavor to any dish you use them in.
For this recipe you’ll just use the sauce that surrounds the chipotle peppers. You can freeze leftover chipotle peppers and sauce. Freeze them in an ice cube tray so that you can just use a bit at a time.
Wondering what to do with the leftovers? These smoky, spicy peppers are great stirred into soups, taco meat, Latin-style sauces, or queso to serve with chips.
Other Spicy Dinner Favorites
- Thai Cashew Chicken – This is a weeknight dinner dream – better than take-out, made in 30 minutes, loaded with flavorful sauce, and less than 350 calories.
- Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce – Sweet and slightly spicy glazed chicken is the key ingredient in these fast and easy chipotle chicken tacos.
- Southwestern Meatballs in Easy Adobo Sauce – After baking, these are simmered in a flavorful, slightly spicy, adobo sauce for just a few minutes, resulting in what may be the most tender meatball I’ve ever had.
- Crispy Tofu with Thai Chili Paste, Cashews and Kale – Crispy Thai Tofu with Thai Chili Paste, Cashews and Kale is a healthy 20-minute stir-fry. It features deliciously crispy tofu and is high in protein.
- Crispy Potatoes with Sriracha Sauce – Crispy, creamy garlic potatoes with a spicy Sriracha sauce. Adjust the amount of Sriracha to fit your taste – I like just enough spice to know it’s there, but not enough that I can’t take another bite!
- 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo – This is the Instant Pot / pressure cooker I use to test all meals on this site. It easily makes enough to serve the 5 members of our family (usually without leftovers). Though this recipe was not tested in the larger 8-Quart Instant Pot, it should work in that version.
- Instant Pot Rack – This 2.3-inch rack is just the right height to hold a bowl above the other ingredients to cook using pot-in-pot method described in this recipe.
- Instant Pot Bowl (for pot-in-pot method) – I test all of my recipes using a 7-Cup Round Pyrex Dish. This will fit in the 6-Quart Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Honey Adobo Chicken
- 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker
- Pressure cooker-safe metal trivet and bowl
Chicken and Sauce
- ½ cup Vegetable or Chicken Stock
- 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 3 Tbsp Adobo Sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 ½ lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, chopped into cubes
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 lb Potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed (use any small variety like fingerling, baby, or new potatoes)
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil (I typically use avocado or grapeseed oil for cooking)
For Serving (optional)
- Sour Cream
- Chopped Green Onions / Scallions
- In the bowl of the Instant Pot, combine all of the ingredients for Chicken and Sauce (except lemon juice) - stock, tomato paste, adobo sauce, honey, garlic, paprika, and chicken. (Note: If you don't want to add the pot-in-pot potatoes, skip ahead to Step #4.)
- Top the chicken and sauce with a 2” rack then with a 7-cup glass bowl. (Be sure that both the rack and bowl are approved for use in the Instant Pot.)
- Fill the bowl with potatoes and water.
- Close and lock the lid.
- Set the steam valve to Sealing.
- Cook on manual / high pressure for 6 minutes.
- When done cooking, leave the machine on Warming (most machines automatically revert to this after cooking). Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. (Tip: I like to set a kitchen timer so that I don’t get distracted and forget.)
- Manually release any remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove the bowl of potatoes and set aside to cool.
- To chicken and sauce, add lemon juice. Taste sauce and season with some additional salt and pepper, if needed. Place the lid back on the Instant Pot to keep the chicken and sauce warm while you finish the potatoes.
- Slice the potatoes in half.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and then halved potatoes. Saute potatoes, letting them brown slightly on each side until deep golden brown and very tender, 8 to 10 minutes total. Season potatoes with some salt as they cook.
- Serve chicken and sauce over potatoes. Serve with avocado, sour cream, and / or green onions.
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