Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner
comments 2

Instant Pot Quick Chicken Thighs

A chicken thigh, sprinkled with herbs, on a teal plate, in front of bowls of herbs and more chicken.
Instant Pot Quick Chicken Thighs

I sense a disturbance in the Dark Meat. Chicken thighs are having an online moment, with a bunch of posts singing their praises. Finally! To lure you to the dark side1, here is my simplest dark meat recipe – Instant Pot Quick Chicken Thighs.

I use this recipe when the planets align against me2, the boss is breathing down my neck3, and the kids are just not listening to me4. When force-choking another incompetent co-worker just feels like too much effort…this is what I make for dinner.

Recipe: Instant Pot Quick Chicken Thighs

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A chicken thigh, sprinkled with herbs, on a teal plate, in front of bowls of herbs and more chicken.

Instant Pot Quick Chicken Thighs

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 thighs 1x


Instant Pot Quick Chicken Thighs. Join the Dark Side (of the chicken) with this easy pressure cooker recipe


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water


  1. Season and brown the chicken thighs: Heat the teaspoon of oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat (sauté mode adjusted to high in an Instant Pot) until the oil is shimmering. Sprinkle the chicken thighs evenly with the salt, Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, and fresh ground black pepper. Brown the thighs in two batches: Put four of the chicken thighs in the pot, skin side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Move the browned thighs to a bowl, then brown the remaining 4 thighs, skin side down, about 5 more minutes. Move the second batch of thighs to the bowl.
  2. Pressure cook the chicken thighs: Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker pot. Add the cooking rack to the pot and pile the chicken thighs on in 2 layers, then pour in any chicken juices in the bowl. Lock the lid and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes in an electric pressure cooker, or for 16 minutes in a stovetop PC. (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) After pressure cooking, quick release the pressure from the pot. (Be careful – that steam is scalding hot.)
  3. Serve: Lift the chicken thighs out of the pot and on to a platter. (Be gentle – they will be fall-apart tender). Spoon a little of the pot liquid over the thighs, serve, and enjoy.


  • Want to crisp the chicken skin a bit more? After cooking and releasing the pressure, set the chicken thighs on a rimmed baking sheet, skin-side up, and run them under a broiler until the skin starts to brown and bubble, about 5 minutes. (The time depends on your broiler – there’s a huge range in heat output. Keep an eye on the thighs, and pull them out when they look browned.)


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

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

What do you think?

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

Related Posts

Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Pressure Cooker Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic
Pressure Cooker Chicken Legs with Herb Rub
My other Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes

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  1. Join us! We have flavor! Together we will rule the galaxy!
  2. Curse those rebel scum!
  3. The emperor wants to know when his space station will be fully operational.
  4. My son just blew up the emperor’s last space station by “letting go and trusting his feelings.”

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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. Dave says

    No need to publish this comment but wanted to let you know I think you have a typo or at least there is confusion in your post. The entire thing talks about chicken thighs except in instruction #2 where it says to cook the chicken legs. Thought you’d want to know…. Thanks for your awesome blog! You inspired me to take the instant pot leap and now it’s the primary cooking device in our house!

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