Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs (Using Fresh or Frozen Chicken)

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This easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs recipe , using fresh or frozen, bone in or boneless  chicken thighs will produce tender, flavourful chicken thighs in no time at all with a delicious gravy as well. 

Suitable for Whole 30, Paleo, and Keto dieters. Recipe also includes Weight Watchers points and a video.

overhead shot of instant pot chicken thighs on a plate

Say hello to delicious. I looove cooking all sorts of chicken in the Instant Pot (try this easy Instant Pot chicken breast recipe) and family favorite Instant Pot whole chicken recipe– it’s sooooo easy – but I have a bit of a soft spot for these really easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs.

Flavourful, moist and tender meat wrapped up in browned and crispy skin, seasoned with smoky paprika, coriander, herbs, allspice, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper… I’m not afraid to say it’s pretty much cooked perfectly. And you can easily make these juicy chicken thighs for dinner tonight.

Instant pot quick start guide image

The good thing about this recipe is it’s highly versatile, too. Season it how you’d like, remove the skin for a leaner meal, skip the browning step if you’re short on time, cook from frozen if you’d prefer – yeap, there are lots of ways to make this recipe your version of ‘perfection.’

And like my Instant Pot Chicken Tenders, They are easy to serve as is with a side for a main meal or remove the meat and serve as a chicken salad, pasta, wrap or more. Make extra for meal prep all week long.

instant pot chicken thighs inside an instant pot with the lid off

Why Make This Recipe

  • This absolutely delicious recipe is affordable and made with pantry staples.
  • It is very easy to prep and simple to cook.
  • They turn out perfectly juicy every single time.
  • A great freezer and meal prep friendly eat.
  • Suitable for Paleo, Whole 30, Low Carb, Keto or any other diet that emphasizes ‘clean’ protein choices.

Ingredient Notes

You only need a few everyday ingredients to make this recipe.

  • Fresh chicken thighs – This recipe calls for fresh bone in chicken thighs , but you can make it with boneless chicken thighs , you would just need to cook them a few minutes less.
  • Oil – use your favorite olive oil or others like canola oil or sunflower oil.
  • Seasoning – the combination of Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, ginger, salt and pepper make an easy seasoning. Add more or less of each seasoning as you wish.
  • Low sodium chicken broth – you need this for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

Chicken Marinades

Like marinades, then you can flavor you meat with one of these 7 chicken marinades. There is something for everyone.

Make This Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe in 8 Easy Steps

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

Make this simple Chicken Thighs Instant Pot recipe in only 8 steps. See the ‘variations’ section below for modification options.

  1. Step 1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine paprika, coriander, herbs, allspice (optional), garlic, ginger, Sea Salt Flakes  , pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp chicken broth to create a paste.
  2. Step 2. Put bone in thighs in a bowl and coat thighs in the paste.
  3. Step 3. Add olive oil to the Instant Pot and turn it on the sauté setting. Brown seasoned chicken thighs on each side (about 3 mins per side). Remove thighs from Instant Pot and set aside.
  4. Step 4. Add the rest of the chicken stock to the Instant Pot, and scrape any bits that were stuck to the bottom of the pot from frying.
  5. Step 5. Insert trivet and add chicken thighs to the top of the trivet.
  6. Step 6. Close the Instant Pot lid, select the pressure cook or manual button (dependent upon Instant Pot model), select high pressure and set the timer to 12 minutes.
  7. Step 7. Pressure cook til done, let the steam do a natural release, about 10-15 minutes, before opening lid and removing them with some tongs.
  8. Check the internal temperature of the chicken thighs using a meat thermometer (see recipe for details). If the temperature is right, let the chicken rest for 10 mins before serving. If it hasn’t reached the ideal temperature, cook for 5 additional minutes.
  9. Serve with sides like a salad, green beans, mashed potatoes, cooked long grain white rice etc
image collage showing the steps for making instant pot chicken thighs

How To Cook Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs

Yeap, you can cook frozen pressure cooker chicken thighs in the Instant Pot. So easy, so tempting to never thaw thighs again… Before cooking from frozen, make sure the thighs are separated. (Large chunks of meat will not cook properly.)

To season frozen chicken thighs, either season them before cooking (I prefer this method) or cook without seasonings and add them after cooking.

Now for how long to cook frozen chicken thighs in instant pot….

To cook from frozen, increase the time under pressure to 14-15 mins (instead of 12). Experiment with this timing as it may vary depending on the size of your frozen pieces.

You should always, always, always check the internal temperature of your chicken thighs to make sure they’re safe (they are done when the internal temperature reaches at least 74C (165 F)) on an instant read meat thermometer but it’s especially important to do so when cooking from frozen.

Cook More Frozen Foods In the Instant Pot

If you want to cook more from frozen, you can also cook these incredible juicy Frozen Pork chops in the Instant Pot and super versatile Frozen Chicken Breast In The Instant Pot.

So, so easy.

white plate containing six cooked instant pot chicken thighs with chili sauce in the middle

Recipe Tips And Variations

I love this recipe because it can be modified to suit your preferences. Want a different flavour? No problem. Don’t have much time today? No problem. Want to cook some veggies too? No problem. Here are some of my best tips to share with you:

  • Tip 1. For a leaner meal, remove the skin. If you don’t want the added calories and fat from the skin, go with skinless chicken thighs. Alternatively just trim the excess fat pf the meat to reduce the calories.
  • Tip 2. You can use boneless or bone-in chicken thighs. I typically use bone-in chicken thighs because I find they have more flavour, but do whatever you prefer. If you use boneless, you may find they cook slightly faster (by a few minutes).
  • Tip 3. Change up the cooking liquid. Instead of chicken broth, you can use water, stock or pineapple juice etc.
  • Tip 4. If you don’t have the time, skip the browning step. The browned chicken adds a lovely flavour to the end dish and crisps the skin, but if you don’t have the time, you can skip browning.
  • Tip 5. You can cook veggies whilst cooking chicken thighs in the Pressure Cooker. Easily add in veggies like potatoes and carrots in the bottom of the Instant Pot when cooking the meat.
  • Tip 6. Larger chicken thighs may need more time. Use a instant read digital thermometer (see recipe for desired internal temperature) to make sure your meat has cooked fully through
  • Tip 7. Do a natural pressure release, not a quick release. Although it may be tempting to do a quick release and dig in, keep in mind that a natural pressure release continues the cooking process and also keeps the Instant Pot chicken thighs moist. If you do a quick release, you’ll need to increase the time under pressure.
  • Tip 8. Keep the cooking liquid for other recipes. You’ve just created a wonderfully flavourful stock. Use it for stews, soups and more.
  • Tip 9. Crisp up the skin – you can crisp up the skin even more after cooking using an Instant pot air fryer lid, an air fryer or transfer to a baking dish under the broiler.
  • Tip 10 – Let it rest – allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving r=or cutting so the juices distribute evenly.
If you’re looking for the BEST and EASIEST Instant Pot chicken thighs recipe, you’ve found it! This Instant Pot recipe produces flavourful, moist, and delicious chicken thighs in no time at all. Start with fresh or frozen chicken thighs! #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #instantpotchickenthighs #pressurecookerchickenthighs #pressurecooker

Delicious Variations

The seasonings provided for these Instant Pot Bone in Chicken Thighs are only suggestions – adjust them or change them altogether to suit your preferences. Try onion powder, fresh herbs,

  • Marinade the meat instead – you can use one of these 7 Chicken Marinades. or store bought ones like teriyaki sauce, honey and soy sauce, barbecue sauce etc.
  • Add extra heat – a dash of hot sauce, chipotle, red pepper flakes or cayenne will add that little extra heat if you prefer.
  • Spicy chicken – simply top the meat with spicy salsa just before you pressure cook them.
How Long To Cook Chicken Thighs In Instant Pot?

This depend on if they meat is boneless or bone-in. If you want a quick visual cooking times guide then here you go.

— Bone-in skin on thighs or skinless thighs => 12 minutes.
— Instant Pot boneless chicken thighs skin on or skinless chicken thighs => 8-10 minutes.
— Cook Frozen Chicken thighs for => 14-16 minutes. Just make sure they are added in individually and not in one big lump.

Can I Make Gravy With The Broth?

Chicken and gravy is such a classic combination. You certainly can use the flavorful leftover chicken stock to make a delicious chicken gravy. Make a smooth cornstarch slurry using 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water.

Whisk this slurry into the broth in the inner pot, turn on the saute mode and cook for 3-5 minutes until the gravy thickens. You can add in some heavy whipping cream for a delicious gravy.

Can You Make This With Chicken Breasts.

Certainly but the cook time will be a little less. Head on over to the Instant Pot Chicken Breast recipe to find out more.

Recipe Video

instant pot chicken thighs on a salad plate with salad leaves and pomegranate seeds

Prep Ahead & Storing

Prep ahead – You can season the chicken and keep uncooked in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Alternatively season them and freeze uncooked meat till needed.

Store – Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Great for meal prep.

Freeze – Let them cool down then transfer into freezer bag. Squeeze out all the extra air and seal the bags. Label the bags and then lay them flat in the freezer. Store in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Other Delicious Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Serving Suggestions

Weight Watchers Points

If you replace the 1 tbsp olive oil used for frying with a calorie-controlled cooking spray, there are:

  • 11 Blue Plan SmartPoints per serving of skin on thighs.
  • 4 Blue Plan SmartPoints per serving of skinless thighs.

Thank you for reading my Instapot chicken thighs recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

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4.87 from 38 votes

How to Cook Instant Pot Chicken Thighs {Using Fresh or Frozen Chicken}

An easy and flavourful recipe for Instant Pot chicken thighs.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time18 minutes
Total Time23 minutes
Course: Main
Servings: 6
Calories: 311kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy


  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice optional
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 180 ml chicken stock divided
  • 3 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 6 chicken thighs skin on


  • In a small bowl mix together the paprika, coriander, herbs, allspice if using, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp chicken stock into a paste.
  • Put the chicken thighs in a bowl and coat the thighs in the paste.
  • Select the sauté setting of the Instant Pot, add in remaining oil and when hot brown the chicken thighs on both sides (about 3 mins on either side).
  • Remove the chicken thigs from the Instant Pot, and set aside on a plate.
  • Add the remaining chicken stock into the Instant Pot, and scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot from frying with a silicon or wooden spoon.
  • Place the trivet inside before adding the chicken thighs on top of the trivet.
  • Cover your Instant Pot and set the valve to the SEALING position.
  • Select the manual or pressure cook button (dependent upon IP model), select high pressure and set the timer to 12 mins. 
  • Cook till done then let the steam release naturally about 10-15 mins before opening.
  • Make sure you check the internal temperature of the chicken using a Meat thermometer (guidelines state meat is done when the internal temperature reaches at least 74C (165 F)). You can recook for a further 5 mins if not.
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The total cook time does not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to get to pressure and the time for the natural pressure release. Plan for additional time.
To cook from frozen chicken thighs, increase the time under pressure to 20-25 mins (instead of 12). Experiment with this timing as it may vary depending on the size of your frozen chicken thighs.
For best results, do a natural release. If you want to do a quick release, you will need to increase the time under pressure. If the internal temperature of the chicken thighs isn’t high enough (at least 74C (165 F)), cook longer.
Weight Watchers Points 
If you replace the 1 tbsp olive oil used for frying with a calorie-controlled cooking spray, there are:
  • 11 Blue Plan Smartpoints per serving with the skin on
  • 4 Blue Plan Smartpoints per serving for skinless

Serving Suggestions

I have a few ideas for you:


Calories: 311kcal | Protein: 18g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 231mg | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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