How To Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs In Instant Pot

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Can I Make This Recipe With Chicken Breasts

Frozen Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot Ultra 60

Yes! We suggest doing a shredded honey garlic chicken breast with this recipe. Instead of sauteing the chicken, just add it to your pressure cooker and then top it with the sauce.

Mix to combine. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on high for 8 minutes. Do a quick release and then shred the chicken breasts. Thicken the sauce as directed.

Check out our Instant Pot Chicken Breast recipe.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

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.

Say hello to delicious. I looove cooking all sorts of chicken in the Instant Pot and family favorite Instant Pot whole chicken recipe its 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 Im not afraid to say its pretty much cooked perfectly. And you can easily make these juicy chicken thighs for dinner tonight.

The good thing about this recipe is its highly versatile, too. Season it how youd like, remove the skin for a leaner meal, skip the browning step if youre short on time, cook from frozen if youd 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.

Recipe Tips And Variations

I love this recipe because it can be modified to suit your preferences. Want a different flavour? No problem. Dont 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 dont 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 .
  • Tip 3. Change up the cooking liquid.Instead of chicken broth, you can use water, stock or pineapple juice etc.
  • Tip 4. If you dont 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 dont 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 to make sure your meat has cooked fully through

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How To Make Fresh Chicken Thighs In An Instant Pot

Cooking perfect Instant Pot chicken thighs is a no-brainer. Check out the recipe overview below:

  • Trim and Season Chicken: Trim any excess fat and skin from your chicken thighs. Massage the seasoning all over the thighs until they are completely coated.
  • Brown the Chicken and Onions: On the sauté setting, brown the outside of the chicken thighs. Remove the chicken. Cut onion into half rings and sauté in the brown bits leftover from browning the chicken.
  • Pressure Cook Chicken: Return the chicken to the Instant Pot, nestling the thighs on top of the onions. Seal and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. Allow the chamber to have a natural release for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

How To Cook Chicken Legs In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs

Youll need the trivet that came with the Instant Pot. If you dont have one, you can set the chicken directly in the pot. I like the texture of the chicken more when its on the trivet. Its more tender and less water-logged, for lack of a better descriptor.

Seasoning the chicken legs before cooking adds a ton of flavor. I season almost everything with my homemade dry rub. You can find the recipe at that link. Its fine to season with seasoning salt or just salt and pepper.

Pour a cup of hot water into the base of the pot, along with the smashed garlic. Add the trivet. Then place the legs evenly on the trivet. This recipe is for just 2 servings, but you can make as many chicken legs as you need, just stack them up.

Close the lid and seal the vent. Press the pressure cook button and set the time to 10 minutes. After this, allow natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure. You can also allow the pressure to release completely on its own, if you arent in a hurry. The extra few minutes wont hurt anything.

Be sure to visit our Instant Pot Guide for more tips and great recipes!

At this point, you can serve the chicken legs as is. They are nicely seasoned and tasty. Or you can brush them with BBQ sauce , buffalo sauce, or a glaze, like this delicious honey sriracha sauce.

If you do want to crisp the skin, put it under the broiler for up to 5 minutes.

Also Check: Rice Sticks To Instant Pot

Frozen Chicken Thighs In Instant Pot Are So Easy To Make From Rock Hard To Tender Fall Off The Bone In Your Pressure Cooker In Just Minutes Game Changer

Frozen chicken thighs Instant Pot directions are here! Forgot to defrost meat for dinner? NO problem because you can make tender chicken in a pressure cooker in no time. Find this and over 100 other easy Instant Pot recipes here.

I know I cant be the only one who forgets to defrost dinner in time. But now cooking chicken has never been easier! Now you can make a variety of quick chicken thigh recipes even if they start off rock solid.

What Side Dishes Go Well With Chicken And Rice

This is actually a really hearty meal all on its own. The chicken provides the protein and the rice is the starchy substance. Your appetite is going to be satisfied. But if you want to add in something else, a nice side salad or a cup of soup are always a good choice. You can even toast a slice of bread.

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Tip : Large Cuts Of Meat Should Be Cut Into Small Pieces Before Freezing

Were talking pork shoulders and beef roasts. In order for meat to cook evenly and to get really tender, its better if its not in one big chunk. We recommend quartering our pork shoulders and cutting our chuck roasts into 2 inch cubes. Its some work on the front end but worth it. Chicken breasts and thighs seem to do fine as they are.

Can You Cook Chicken Thighs That Were Frozen In A Marinade

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs Recipe

I dont recommend freezing chicken thighs in a marinade. Head over here to find out why. Basically, it results in the thighs being in the marinade for too long. This tends to toughen the meat.

Instead, I recommend adding flavor ingredients to the Instant Pot during cooking. The pressure forces the flavors into the meat and the result is delicious. Good additions are a sliced onion, sliced lemon, any herbs or seasonings you like, and/or whole garlic cloves.

There you have it! A new way to get dinner on the table super-quickly. If you try cooking chicken thighs from frozen, let me know how it goes in the comments below. Thanks and have a great day!


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Can I Skip Browning The Chicken Thighs

I shouldn’t admit that I often skip this step if cooking skinless chicken thighs in the Instant Pot, but I do. The sauté function in the Instant Pot is incredibly convenient for browning vegetables and meat. The small surface, however, makes it very tedious to brown even a small amount of meat. Unfortunately, we all know that browning the meat does add depth and flavour to the meat, and adds complexity and colour to the sauce.

So I compromise. I brown the meat on one side only. I find this gives me the nice browned bits on the bottom of the pan that add so much flavour, without spending too long on the task.

What Is The Best Thing To Cook In An Instant Pot

The 20 Best Things to Cook with an Instant Pot or Multicooker

  • Pot Roast. Pot roast holds a place in the pantheon on Instant Pot miracles.
  • Rice. There are thousands of recipes for rice scattered across the internet.
  • Beans. What do you gain from making beans in a multicooker instead of any other method?
  • Barbacoa Beef.
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    Can I Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs In The Slow Cooker

    Now, we know this is your next question. We hate to break this to you, but unfortunately cooking frozen chicken in the slow cooker is not safe. Here is what the USDA says about frozen food in the crockpot:

    Always defrost meat or poultry before putting it in the slow cooker. If you place frozen meat or poultry in a slow cooker it can spend too much time thawing, allow bacteria to multiply, and make you sick. Using defrosted foods will also ensure your meal cooks evenly and all the way through.


    Fresh or thawed chicken thighs do, however, cook beautifully in the crockpot!

    Crispy Chicken Thighs In Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

    When I buy frozen chicken thighs, they always come bone in and skin on. In fact, we have to drive to Spain if we want boneless and skinless.

    But as you know the instant pot is a pressure cooker, not an air fryer and if you want delicious crispy chicken thighs in the instant pot, then you will need a Mealthy Crisplid, or a similar product.

    How it works is that you place the air fryer lid over your instant pot and it makes your chicken thighs skin lovely and crispy.

    But to achieve the wonderful crispy skin you will need to add ingredients to the top of your chicken thighs. I prefer honey and garlic, but the honey will blacken your chicken thighs like you see below:

    Instead, if you go with a balsamic, garlic and olive oil marinade then you keep a crispy chicken thigh colour without the dark look. It just depends how you prefer your chicken thighs!

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    How To Serve Chicken Thighs

    For skin-on chicken thighs, you will probably want to take the extra step of crisping up the skin under the broiler. Just place the chicken on a baking sheet and place it about 2 under the heating element for about 3-5 minutes, until crispy. You can then add any seasonings or sauces you want. I love it with this Alabama White BBQ Sauce.

    If you dont want to use the broiler, you can crisp the skin on the grill outside, or you can empty and dry the inner pot of the Instant Pot and sear the skin side of the chicken on saute mode for 3-5 minutes.

    How To Make Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

  • Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and taco seasoning . See below for ideas of how to customize the seasoning.
  • Press the SAUTE function on the Instant Pot. Wait until it shows Hot and then add a tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil and then add the chicken thighs. Cook about 3 minutes. Then turn the chicken and cook for about another 3 minutes on the other side.
  • Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and pour in 1 cup water or chicken brother
  • Add the trivet into the Instant Pot and place the chicken thighs on the trivet.
  • Close the lid and move the seal into the sealing position. Press Pressure cook and change the time to 5 minutes. The Instant pot will take about 8 minutes to come up to pressure and then cook for 5 minutes.
  • Let the Instant Pot naturally release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. After the pressure valve has dropped, open the lid, and carefully remove the chicken thighs.
  • Serve with your favorite side dish, such as fresh broccoli or rice.
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    How Much Water Do You Put In An Instant Pot For Chicken Thighs

    The usual amount of liquid to add to many instant pot recipes is 1 cup. You dont want to add too little or too much.

    For this instant pot chicken thigh recipe, you need to add 1 cup of water to the instant pot. It is just enough to make pressure cooker chicken thighs and then also to make some yummy gravy to pour over it.

    What To Do If The Chicken Isnt Done

    How To Make Frozen Chicken Thighs in Instant Pot
    • If your chicken doesnt read 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer when you open up the Instant Pot but is pretty close , close the lid and let it rest for another 5 minutes before checking the temperature again. Often this rest is enough to get the chicken up to a safe temperature.
    • If its still not done, you can recover the Instant Pot and set for an additional 2 minutes of pressure cook time.
    • Last, if you prefer, you can finish cooking the chicken in a 350 degree F oven.

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    Does Cook Time Change If I Have A Smaller Or Larger Instant Pot

    • No matter which size model Instant Pot you have, the number of minutes you select on the Instant Pot remains the same.

    The capacity of each Instant Pot and the amount of time the differently sized pots take to come to pressure will vary, but youll always set it for the same number of minutes, regardless of its size.

    If you have a different brand other than Instant Pot and are wondering how long to cook chicken in a pressure cooker, the times listed above should still be accurate for other electric pressure cooker models.

    How To Freeze Chicken Thighs For Cooking From Frozen

    Previously, I have told you that you have to freeze the chicken thighs individually in order to later cook them from frozen. This means that you get your chicken thighs home from the store and you take them out of the packaging and put them into a ziptop bag. You then freeze the bag flat such that none of the chicken thighs are touching each other. Once they are frozen, you can give them a toss and then they dont have to stay flat anymore.

    However, I have experimented and found out how to cook frozen chicken thighs in the Instant Pot even if theyre frozen in a clump. How amazing is that?

    So below I am giving instructions for how to cook chicken thighs whether they were individually frozen or were frozen in a clump.

    As to chicken thighs frozen in a clump, you can do at most 10 chicken thighs like this. More that that and the clump is too big and things will not cook evenly.

    It is best if the clump is still fairly flat. That is, the chicken thighs are touching on each others sides and not stacked. The less contact between the thighs, the better.

    Finally, you must remove any styrofoam or absorbent pads, or any packaging before putting the chicken thighs into the Instant Pot. If you froze the chicken thighs with packaging and if the thighs are stuck to the packaging, then you need to defrost the thighs a little bit so that you can remove the packaging. Head over here to learn different ways to thaw chicken thighs.

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    Why Youll Love This Easy Instant Pot Recipe

    However, if you dont have the time to sear, this recipe comes together quickly with frozen chicken thighs for a delicious last minute dinner! Ill include directions for this recipe from either fresh or frozen chicken thighs, but first let me tell you three reasons to love Instant Pot Chicken Thighs:

  • Brown butter garlic sauce! YUM. It sounds fancy, but its incredibly easy! I simply brown the chicken, deglaze the pan, and then thicken the cooking liquid to make a delicious pan sauce or gravy. I serve this with Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes or Instant Pot Brown Rice or Instant Pot White Rice.
  • Pantry friendly ingredients. This Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe calls for basic ingredients and spices. I usually have everything on hand! Its a great option for an impressive, last-minute meal.
  • Versatile dish. Instant Pot chicken thighs are a versatile dish. It pairs well with a variety of sides, such as rice, mashed potatoes, or other vegetables. Leftover chicken thighs are delicious as is, or shredded to stuff sandwiches and burritos. Switch it up to satisfy your needs and cravings!
  • Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Thighs In The Slow Cooker

    Instant Pot Chicken Thighs

    You should always defrost chicken before slowly cooking it. Frozen chicken in the slow cooker can cause problems. The main problem is the risk of bacterial growth. Frozen chicken takes longer to heat up in a slow cooker than thawed chicken, which means frozen chicken can grow bacteria while slowly heating.

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