Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

A simple, yet flavorful, way to make a delicious quick dinner in the instant pot! 

The Facts

Especially when just starting out, simple recipes are some of the best recipes you can throw together. When you can turn a couple of chicken thighs into a delicious dinner with hardly 5 minutes of work, it really speaks to the benefit of home cooking. This Instant Pot Lemon Chicken recipe is a testament to that idea. It is quick, tasty, and inexpensive.

This recipe is just chicken thighs (or breasts) cooked with lemon and few spices. We did, however, want to make sure that while it is quick, it still justifies your time and ingredients to be made. As with most chicken recipes, if you don’t have time to marinate, the inside can lack flavor. To combat this, we wanted to make sure the sauce really delivered lots of flavor with an ample amount of gravy afterwards for keeping those inside bites still tasty.

To do this it came down to nearly doubling the previous maximum lemon juice we saw and increasing salt by about 150% relative to other recipes. The chicken has no inherent flavor, so that sauce is all it gets. Perhaps on its own it’s a bit rich, but since the chicken is not marinating in it and you (ideally) have some bread for it, lean into the richness. Additionally, though it wasn’t common, we put onions in the sauce. Onions do a good job of absorbing acidic flavors, like a lemon sauce. It also added slightly more substance to the sauce for dipping and dunking the chicken in.

To make it an actual gravy, though, you do have to thicken it in the end. Most recipes employ corn starch or cream for this and so logically we did both. The cream was included more for flavor than thickness, corn starch was more for the thickness. Having a thicker and creamier gravy once again helps deliver a delicious flavor on chicken thighs with little up-front work, the motivating factor behind this recipe.

With some bread and a salad to start you’ll find this recipe is delicious, easy and well worth its spot in your weekly meal rotation!

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

The bright flavoring of lemon with tasteful herbs makes this chicken so good! Great over rice, noodles, or just with some crusty bread!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner
Servings 6
Calories 289 kcal


  • Instant Pot 6qt or 8qt


  • 6 Chicken Thighs - Bone In - Skin On ~1.5-2 pounds
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsps Lemon Zest
  • 4 tbsps Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsps Heavy Cream
  • 1 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 1 tbsp Water


  • Salt and pepper the Chicken Thighs. Turn the Instant Pot onto ‘saute’ mode, add the 2 tbsps of Olive Oil.
  • Once hot, add in the Chicken Thighs (you might have to do multiple batches depending on the size of the thighs) and sear each side for 3-4 minutes or until slightly golden.
  • Remove the chicken to a plate. Add in the Yellow Onion and Garlic to the pot. Cook for 3 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.
  • Add in the 1 tsp Dried Thyme, 1 tsp Dried Rosemary, 1 tsp Kosher Salt, 2 tsps Lemon Zest, 4 tbsps Lemon Juice and 3/4 cup of Chicken Broth. Stirring together and deglazing the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the chicken back in, place the lid on and cook on the ‘manual’ or ‘poultry’ setting for 8 minutes. Allowing the pot to naturally release for 5 minutes before releasing the pressure.
  • Remove the chicken once again. Create the Cornstarch slurry by mixing together the 1 tbsp Corn Starch and 1 tbsp Water together in a small bowl. Turn the pot back to the ‘saute’ mode. Allow to come to a boil before stirring in the Corn Starch slurry and the 2 tbsps Heavy Cream. Allow to thicken for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Spoon the thickened sauce over the chicken and serve. Goes great with bread, rice, or noodles!
Keyword chicken, instant pot, Lemon
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