Using my Instant Pot is like hitting the easy button for dinner.
- Like cooking a whole chicken – even if it’s frozen! – in under an hour.
- Or making a 4x batch of Instant Pot brown rice without having to stand over the stove forever.
- Or making GALLONS of homemade chicken stock in just a few hours.
Recently though, I created this Instant Pot honey garlic chicken recipe and it takes just 7 minutes to cook!
When I wrote 20 Things to Know Before You Buy an Instant Pot, I shared that Instant Pots really aren’t “instant.” They require time to come to pressure, time to cook, and then time to release pressure.
But I timed my Instant Pot honey garlic chicken recipe and it took about 20 minutes to come to pressure, 7 minutes to cook and less than 5 minutes to release pressure. Can I get a high five to adding another 30 minute meal to our repertoire?!
I don’t know why it is, but I’ve been craving Chinese food lately. And I know that ordering take-out will not only hurt my wallet, but it’ll hurt my belly too.
I know this might sound cliché, but I’m pretty sure this homemade version is BETTER than anything you could possibly order from take-out.
- There are no additives or preservatives, and I’m using ingredients that I already have on hand.
- We’re using the Instant Pot which means our hands are free to do other things and dinner is ready super fast!
- There’s NO pre-cooking or frying or anything else of the sort. Literally dump it in the Instant Pot and hit go!
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe
Details, details, details… let’s talk about why my Instant Pot honey garlic chicken should be on your meal plan this week!
I used skinless boneless chicken thighs from Costco. It comes in a 3-pack and one of those packages weighs just over 2 pounds. It’s the perfect amount of chicken to feed my family of four AND have a few lunches leftover.
I chose chicken thighs because they’re more affordable than chicken breasts, but also because I didn’t want the chicken to dry out.
You can probably substitute chicken breasts, if that’s what you already have on hand, but I’d reduce the cooking time by a minute.
If you can’t find the quality of meat you want at your local stores, try Butcher Box. I use them for my beef and pork. I’ve written a full review that you can read here. Plus they offer $15 off + FREE bacon when you order through this link!
Somehow honey + soy sauce + garlic powder + sriacha + ketchup makes a CRAZY GOOD sauce that I simply cannot get enough of. Let’s break it down:
- Honey – Gives just enough sweet and sticky without making you feel like you ate a ton of sugar for dinner. I recommend using pasteurized honey (i.e. NOT raw honey) because you’re going to cook it and you’ll lose the benefits of the raw enzymes anyway. Save your money and use raw honey for things like elderberry syrup or immune boosting honey garlic or 3-ingredient yogurt popsicles.
- Soy Sauce – Choose your weapon. Whether you usually use soy sauce, liquid aminos or coconut aminos, it all works the same.
- Garlic Powder – I tested this recipe with fresh garlic and you know what? It wasn’t nearly as good. Not by a long shot! In fact, almost every Instant Pot recipe that I’ve made that calls for fresh garlic, falls flat. My non-scientific opinion is that the pressure cooking method doesn’t really allow the garlic to fully blossom in flavor, so note to self for future recipes. In the case of our Instant Pot honey garlic chicken recipe though, it works to our advantage. We always have granulated garlic in the spice cabinet!
- Sriacha – Also known as the red rooster sauce, this hot sauce gives our sauce a little kick. If your kids are super sensitive to spicy foods, you might want to omit and serve it at the table. My daughter can’t tolerate spicy foods wells, but this meal doesn’t bother her at all – she gobbles it right up!
- Ketchup – I know, weird, right? I never would have thought to use ketchup in this honey garlic chicken recipe, but I’ve made it with and without and it’s a definite must. The without versions were lackluster, like something was missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Add ketchup and BAM – it’s knocked out of the park! Read the ingredients of your ketchup though – we want to avoid high fructose corn syrup.
Tips to Getting Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken on the Table Faster
I like to make this Instant Pot honey garlic chicken recipe with brown rice and roasted broccoli.
- I typically make big batches of Instant Pot brown rice and freeze them in 4 cup portions in quart-size plastic bags. Then when I need rice, I can just pull one bag out the night before and the rice is already done.
- Roasted broccoli takes 15-20 minutes in the oven, which means it will cook as the chicken cooks too. Plus roasted broccoli doesn’t run the risk of getting mushy like steamed broccoli does.
This recipe is totally freezer-friendly too! Simply mix up the sauce with the raw chicken and put it in a freezer-safe bag or container. Label and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to cook, dump it in the Instant Pot and follow the rest of the recipe as-written.
In fact, if you put this recipe on your meal plan this week, I HIGHLY recommend doubling it and putting half in the freezer for later! It takes no more work, you’ll already have the ingredients out anyway, and you don’t even have to use a bowl to mix up the sauce.
Just measure it straight into the bag with the chicken and massage the bag a few times to mix it up. Instant freezer meal for later!
(Also check out this incredible Freezer Cooking Bundle for more recipes, shopping lists, and meal plans. You can fill your freezer with healthy meals for your family with someone else doing all the hard work!)
When it comes to measuring the sauce, use a 1-cup measuring glass. I pour the honey in first (to the 1/3 cup line), then the soy sauce (to the 2/3 cup line), add the garlic and sriacha sauce and then ketchup until it gets to the 1 cup mark. It comes out to about 1/4 cup of ketchup, but it’s MUCH easier to measure the ingredients this way. And you’re left with just one dishwasher-friendly dish!
When you make the corn starch slurry, re-use the measuring glass! Less dishes is always a good thing, and you aren’t contaminating anything by re-using the glass you used for the sauce for the corn starch slurry. You’re just being efficient!
- 1½ - 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)*
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅓ cup soy sauce (I use liquid aminos)
- 3 tsp granulated garlic
- 1½ tsp Sriacha
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- 2 Tbsp water
- Cut the chicken into 1" pieces and place in the Instant Pot (or pressure cooker).
- Add the remaining ingredients - except the corn starch and water - to the Instant Pot. Use a spoon to stir well.
- Close the Instant Pot and turn the vent knob to "seal."
- Cook on "high" for 7 minutes. When the timer goes off, release the pressure by turning the venting knob to "venting." Be careful - hot steam will come out!
- Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch and water together in a small mug (or reuse the glass measuring cup from making the sauce).
- When the pressure is fully released, remove the lid and set aside.
- Press the "saute" button. When the liquid begins to bubble, add the corn starch slurry and stir well to incorporate.
- Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes, and then press "cancel" to turn the Instant Pot off. The sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it cools.
- Serve with rice and vegetables, or however else you'd like!