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A plate of cooked chicken thighs, with an Instant Pot and a jar of paprika

Instant Pot Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • 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.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)


  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American