This is the BEST Instant Pot chicken stew! Chicken breast, potatoes and vegetables are cooked together to make a delicious and comforting stew. This is such an excellent warming meal for fall or winter. We also use lean ingredients, which makes the dish healthy and low calorie too!
I love a hearty stew in the winter, and this chicken stew is one of my absolute favorites. Pressure cooking chicken stew is so much faster than any traditional cooking methods, and the result is a delicious stew with soft vegetables, tender chicken and a flavorful broth.
Although I also love my Slow Cooker Chicken Stew, the Instant Pot version is a lot faster to make, and tastes just as good. It's also really convenient as you can cook stew from scratch with only a few minutes of effort in the kitchen.
Now, this Instant Pot chicken stew might not look like much. But the best stews in my opinion never look good. This is the kind of chicken stew that your grandmother would make, with fantastic flavor, although it might not look quite ready for Instagram.
Why you'll love it
- Low calorie chicken stew
- Use any type of chicken that you like
- Use your favorite vegetables
- Affordable + easy to find ingredients
- Kid friendly
- Easy to make a big batch
- Quick 20 minute meal
- Dairy free, gluten free and nut free
Chicken: I like to use chicken breasts in this recipe, but you can also use other pieces of chicken like chicken thighs. I recommend using skinless and boneless chicken.
Vegetables: Celery, carrots, potatoes and peas are very traditional stew vegetables. You can however use any veggies that you like.
Garlic + onion: These add a lot of flavor to the stew. Can be omitted, but I recommend including them if possible.
Seasoning: I like to use bay leaf, salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning and rosemary. You can also just use any seasoning that you like. See the Variations section below for more suggestions.
Chicken broth: For the liquid in the stew, I recommend using chicken stock or vegetable stock. These add a lot more flavor to the dish compared to using water.
Water + cornstarch: Combining cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl forms a paste we often refer to as cornstarch slurry. This will help thicken the soup. You can also use alternative thickeners, like instant mashed potatoes or tapioca starch.
Some ingredients should be added before pressure cooking, and others should be added after. Read the instructions in the recipe card below for detailed instructions.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Sauté diced onion in a little olive oil in the Instant Pot on the SAUTE setting.
Two: Add diced garlic and seasoning to the pot, and sauté for another 30 seconds.
Three: Add chicken stock to the pot. Turn off the Instant Pot, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any onion and seasoning that might be stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add diced celery, carrots, potatoes and chicken breasts. Don't stir.
Four: Seal the lid, and cook on PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL setting on high pressure for 10 minutes. Leave the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then perform a quick release according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Five: Remove the lid, and add frozen peas. Turn on the SAUTE setting again. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl, and pour the paste into the stew. Stir the stew for 1-3 minutes, or until the peas are warm and the stew has thickened.
- If you substitute any vegetables, you should add hard vegetables like swede, turnips or peppers before pressure cooking, and soft vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower after cooking. This is the best way to ensure that the vegetables are cooked correctly.
- You can skip the steps of sautéing the onion and seasoning to save on time. Keep in mind that this will make the stew a little less flavorful.
- If the stew is too thick, you can add some chicken stock or water to make it thinner.
- If the stew is too thin, try adding more cornstarch slurry, or leave it to simmer for a little longer.
- Only fill the Instant Pot to the maximum capacity. You can find the fill line on the inside of the inner pot.
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Pressure cooked chicken stew is best served as a meal for lunch or dinner. I love serving stews with a side of bread to make it a little more filling. Also, scooping up thick stew with some lovely bread is probably one of my favorite activities.
Here are my favorite bread side dishes:
Other vegetables: Use any of your favorite vegetables. We love to add rutabaga, mushrooms, parsnips, cauliflower, broccoli, corn, peppers, olives, spinach or kale.
Other seasoning: Use any seasoning that you like. Any dried herbs like parsley, basil or oregano will taste fantastic in chicken stew. You can also use a store bought stew seasoning mix.
Tomato chicken stew: Add a can of diced tomatoes to the stew before pressure cooking. The liquid will have a lovely tomato flavor. I love this variation, especially if you also add some Mediterranean flavor ingredients like olives and artichokes.
Other protein: Use beans, sliced sausage, diced beef or pork strips for a delicious variation.
Vegetarian stew: Make it veggie friendly by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and replace the chicken breast with canned chickpeas or white beans instead.
Stews always taste even better the next day! You can store leftover Instant Pot chicken stew in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 6 months.
Defrost and thaw the frozen stew in a refrigerator overnight. Reheat the stew in a microwave for a few minutes, in a sauce pan or pot on the stove top, or in your pressure cooker on the SAUTE setting for a few minutes.
This recipe is well suited for meal prep. Make a big batch of chicken stew, and enjoy it for lunch or dinner throughout the week, or freeze it down for quick and easy future meals.
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Frequently asked questions
You can thicken stew by adding cornstarch slurry, roux, instant mashed potatoes, or tapioca starch.
A pressure cooker is a kitchen appliance which cooks food in a high pressure environment. The Instant Pot is the most popular brand of pressure cookers. The two names are used interchangeably, and usually mean the same thing.
The meat/stew setting on the Instant Pot will simply automatically set the pressure cook timer to 35 minutes. That is way too long to cook chicken stew. Therefore, I recommend using the Manual or Pressure cook setting for this recipe.
Chicken tends to be tough if it has been cooked for too long. If this happens, you can try to reduce the cooking time a little for next time, or dice the meat into slightly larger pieces.
Absolutely! Depending on the cooking method, chicken is often added raw to the stew. This is particularly common if you make the stew in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
You might also like these recipes
- Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
- Slow Cooker Pork Stew
- Spanish Chicken Stew
- Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
- Sausage and Bean Stew
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Slow Cooker Meatball Stew
- Instant Pot Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Curry
Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- Dice garlic and onion finely. Dice the potatoes, carrots and celery into small bite sized pieces.
- Sauté diced onion in a little olive oil in the Instant Pot on the SAUTE setting.
- Add diced garlic and seasoning to the pot, and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add chicken stock to the pot. Turn off the Instant Pot, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any onion and seasoning that might be stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add diced celery, carrots, potatoes and chicken breasts. Don't stir.
- Seal the lid, and cook on PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL setting on high pressure for 10 minutes. Leave the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then perform a quick release according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Remove the lid, and add frozen peas. Turn on the SAUTE setting again. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl, and pour the paste into the stew. Stir the stew for 1-3 minutes, or until the peas are warm and the stew has thickened.
- Store leftover chicken stew in a refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost and reheat in a microwave or pot, and serve warm.
- This recipe has only been tested in a 6 qt Instant Pot.