This easy Instant Pot lemon garlic chicken is a fantastic entree that you can make in less than 20 minutes. Pair it with your favorite side dishes for a simple, but delicious weeknight dinner.
Why you'll love it
- Easy entree that you can make in less than 20 minutes.
- This simple Instant Pot chicken recipe is perfect for quick and easy weeknight dinners.
- Suits most diets and dietary requirements (keto, low carb, whole 30, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, nut free and more!)
- Easy to adjust to suit your preferences.
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Chicken: Use boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts. If you only have frozen chicken, I recommend thawing it before use, as this will allow it to be seared before pressure cooking.
Water: A splash of water helps to deglaze the Instant Pot, and prevents the chicken from burning. You can also use chicken broth.
Onion + garlic: These are added for flavor. Can be omitted if you prefer.
Lemon: Use a whole lemon. For extra lemon flavor, you can even use two!
Italian seasoning: This is a spice blend with a combination of herbs and spices commonly used in Italian cuisine. You can substitute it with a pinch of red pepper flakes and a variety of dried herbs like basil and parsley.
Salt + pepper: Gives the chicken extra flavor.
Full instructions and accurate ingredient measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Prepare the ingredients by grating the garlic, and dicing the onion.
Heat up some vegetable oil or olive oil in an Instant Pot on the SAUTE setting. Sauté chicken and diced onion for a few minutes, until the chicken is cooked on the surface.
Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, lemon slices and water to the pot. Cook on PRESSURE COOK setting on high pressure for 8 minutes.
Release the pressure from the pot, and serve!
- Use chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts if possible. The chicken breasts are more likely to become dry and rubbery, while the chicken thighs will stay juicy and tender.
- You can skip the step of sautéing the chicken and onion before pressure cooking to save on time, but the dish tastes best if you include the step.
This easy chicken dinner recipe pairs really well with practically anything. Here are some of my favorite healthy side dishes that I like to serve it with:
- Rice: Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice, Turmeric Rice, Pesto Rice
- Vegetables: Oven Roasted Green Beans, Air Fryer Carrots, Air Fryer Cauliflower, Mediterranean Roast Vegetables, Air Fryer Eggplant
- Salads: Asparagus Pasta Salad, Olive Salad, French Potato Salad
- Potatoes: Parmentier Potatoes, Air Fryer Baked Potato, Healthy Mashed Potatoes
- Toppings: Top with lemon slices, green onions, toasted sesame seeds
Lemon chicken and vegetables: I love to serve vegetables as a side dish with this entree, but you can also cook vegetables in the Instant Pot with the chicken. Keep in mind that the vegetables can become a little mushy. If you prefer crunchy veggies, you can add them to the pressure cooker after cooking the chicken.
Sticky lemon sauce: If you want to spoon sauce over chicken, you can add a tablespoon cornstarch mixed with lemon juice or water after pressure cooking the chicken. Turn the Instant Pot on SAUTE mode, and sauté the sauce for about a minute until it thickens. This will result in a delicious sticky lemon sauce.
Store leftover Instant Pot lemon garlic chicken in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
You can reheat the chicken in a microwave and serve it as an entree for future meals, or shred the chicken and use it in other dishes such as sandwiches, salads or soups.
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Frequently asked questions
For perfect chicken thighs, make sure to season it well, and sear the surface of the chicken before cooking it.
If your chicken is rubbery, it means that it's overcooked. Chicken breasts tend to dry out quickly in an Instant Pot. I recommend using chicken thighs for this recipe to prevent the chicken from being dry.
You might also like these recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Curry
- Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- Instant Pot Chili Mac
- Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas
- Lemon Chicken with Orzo
- Instant Pot Pad Thai
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- Instant Pot Pork Chops and Rice
Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken
- 1 pound chicken thighs
- ¼ cup water
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Grate the garlic, and finely dice the onion.
- Heat up vegetable oil or olive oil in your Instant Pot on SAUTE setting. Sauté chicken, onion, and garlic for about 3 min, or until the chicken is mostly cooked on the surface. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, and sauté for another minute.
- Turn off the Instant Pot, and add water. Squeeze a lemon into the Instant Pot, then slice it and add the lemon slices to the pot. Use a spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom.
- Seal the lid of the pressure cooker, and cook on MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK setting for 8 minutes. Quick release the steam according to the manufacturers instructions.
- Serve the lemon garlic chicken immediately.
- This recipe has only been tested in a 6 qt Instant Pot. The results may vary if you use a pressure cooker of a different size.
- Store leftovers in a refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat and serve as an entree, or shred the chicken to use in other dishes like sandwiches, salads and more.