Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner
comments 6

Instant Pot Quick Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

A plate of cooked chicken thighs, with an Instant Pot and a jar of paprika
Instant Pot Quick Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot Quick Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs. Need chicken in a hurry? Pressure cooking to the rescue!

Sometimes you just need some boneless, skinless chicken, you know? Something to top a salad, go in a sandwich, or as a quick weeknight main dish. Here’s how my Instant Pot gets me chicken in a (mostly) hands-off half an hour.

The most important part of this recipe is skipping the white meat. Dark meat has flavor, and does not overcook in the high heat of a pressure cooker. (Unlike bland, boring, stringy chicken breast.) My local grocery started carrying boneless skinless chicken thighs, and I never looked back. My singing the praises of the dark side of the chicken paid off! First I took over the meat case, next…the WORLD! BWAHAHAHA…ahem. Sorry.

The other important part of the recipe: brown the chicken thighs. Searing the thighs before pressure cooking adds a lot of flavor, and is worth the extra time. I understand if you want to skip the browning, but – please, try it, at least once. My concession to speed is browning the thighs on one side only. It gives me the complex flavors of browning, without spending a lot of time on it.

Recipe: Instant Pot Quick Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A plate of cooked chicken thighs, with an Instant Pot and a jar of paprika

Instant Pot Quick Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pound of chicken 1x


Instant Pot Quick Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs. Need chicken in a hurry? Pressure cooking to the rescue!


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (preferably smoked paprika, optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water


  1. Season the chicken: Sprinkle the chicken with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  2. Brown the chicken, on one side, in two batches (optional): In an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, heat the vegetable oil over Sauté mode set to high (medium-high heat on a stovetop) until the oil starts to shimmer. Set half of the chicken thighs in the pot, smooth side down, and let them cook, without moving, until browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Move the browned pieces to a plate, then add the rest of the thighs to the pot to brown, about 4 more minutes.
  3. Everything in the pot: Pour 1 cup of water into the pot, and add the browned chicken  and any juices on the plate.
  4. Pressure cook for 10 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid on the cooker. Pressure cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (“Manual” or “Pressure cook” mode in an Instant Pot), then the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes.
  5. Serve: Remove the chicken to a platter with tongs or a slotted spoon. Serve whole as chicken cutlets, slice thin for chicken strips, or shred. Enjoy!


  • Cooking from frozen. I don’t recommend it – you can’t season the chicken first, or brown it. But, if you absolutely have to cook from frozen: Put the frozen thighs in the cooker with 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 15 minutes, with a Natural Release, about 15 more minutes. Season the chicken after cooking.


  • This basic recipe is useful in a lot of different cuisines. All it takes is a switch of seasonings.
  • Tex-Mex style: Replace the paprika with chili powder. Serve with tortillas
  • Italian style: Use olive oil to sauté, and replace the paprika with Italian seasoning or dried basil. Serve with pasta.
  • Asian style: Skip the paprika, add a pinch of ground ginger, and replace ¼ cup of the water with soy sauce. Serve with rice.
  • Barbecue style: Replace the seasonings with your favorite barbecue rub. Serve on cheap white buns topped with barbecue sauce.


  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Quick Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, Pressure Cooker Quick Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Instant Pot Quick Chicken Thighs (Bone In)
Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub
Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks with Potatoes
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

Enjoyed this post? Want to help out DadCooksDinner? Subscribe to DadCooksDinner via email and share this post with your friends. Want to contribute directly? Donate to my Tip Jar, or buy something from through the links on this site. Thank you.

Sharing is caring!

Filed under: Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Tracy says

    I am a disabled grandma just trying to help out my family. I suffer chronic pain. Some nights are more difficult than others. I LOVE this simple, to the point recipe. It’s so quick & easy. You can really season it however you want. But, like you said, browning is the trick to add lots of flavor. I also use chicken stock or bullion instead of plain water. Thanks Mike!

  2. Lisa Perchez says

    Delicious! I needed a quick and easy recipe that used boneless thighs. All my pressure cooker recipes called for bone in thighs. The search WAS worth it. Your recipes never disappoint. Thank you@

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.