Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken is a healthy and delicious meal, that is packed with amazing flavors and is ready in just 30 minutes.
Easy Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken
This Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken is one of the easiest and most flavorful dinners you can make. I love my Instant Pot, and while it cooks the food pretty quickly, sometimes recipes take longer because of the prep steps involved and also, it takes time for the pot to come to pressure.
This recipe involves minimum prep work and is budget-friendly. It takes only a few minutes to come to pressure and only 15 minutes to cook if you count the Natural Pressure Release. Also, this is a perfect quick dinner recipe to make for busy families, and the kids will love it just as much!
The is a healthy meal, that is perfect served over white or brown rice with some steamed veggies on the side.
How to make the best Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken?
This is absolutely one of our favorite quick dinner meals to make, especially during busy summer weekdays. Also, it is great as a lunch box meal for kids. Follow the below steps, and you will end up with one delicious meal!
- Prepare the chicken: Whether you use breasts or thighs, soak the meat in cold water to clean some unwanted bacteria. Then, using a paper towel, pat-dry it and cut into smaller pieces.
- Make the sauce mix: In a bowl, combine and mix together the sauce ingredients as listed in the recipe card. Set aside.
- Saute the meat: Using the “sautee function” of your pressure cooker, saute the chicken for a couple of minutes.
- Deglaze: Use about 1/4 cup of water to deglaze it, while stirring occasionally. Then, add the sauce mixture.
- Cook: Close the lid, and pressure cook it for 5 minutes, plus 10 minutes of NPR ( natural pressure release).
What is best to serve with Honey Lemon Chicken?
- Rice – white or brown rice is one of our favorite ways to serve it. Use the sweet and tangy sauce over rice, it is amazingly delicious! Also, did you know you can cook the rice in the Instant Pot as well? Check out the recipe here.
- Vegetables – broccoli, asparagus or bok choy. During summer days, it is great to go with a lighter version and serve with some fresh and healthy veggies.
- Noodles – You can use any types you like, they all work great with this dish!
Should I add cornstarch to Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken?
When it comes to adding the cornstarch, you have to mix it with orange juice or pineapple juice until dissolved and add the slurry to the Instant Pot at the end to thicken the sauce.
Do NOT add the cornstarch by itself to the Instant Pot, it will create a sauce full of lumps.
What wines pair well with Honey Lemon Chicken?
- A nice, fruity red wine such as Zinfandel or Syrah will pair nicely with the flavors in this beef dish.
- If you’re looking for a white option, Riesling or Pinot Grigio are always great matches for bold, somewhat spicy dishes.
How to make lemon zest
Follow the easy steps below:
- First, rinse the lemon.
- Next, set your tool over a cutting board. A microplane produces a very fine zest, perfect for baking and cooking. If you don’t have a microplane, use the smallest holes on an ordinary grater.
- Grate the yellow skin of the lemon only. Grate just enough to get through the yellow skin, this way you can avoid the bitter white pith underneath.
- Then, rotate the lemon and repeat. Once the white pith is exposed, rotate the lemon and zest the next strip of peel. Repeat until most of the peel is removed, or until you have enough zest for your recipe.
What is a 10 Minutes Natural Pressure Release?
A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm, and wait 10 minutes, after which you open the valve and let any leftover pressure to release.
Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and after that open the valve. A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta or steel-cut oats.
This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.
Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken Recipe Tips:
- I user organic chicken thighs, but this recipe also works with breast. You don’t have to adjust the cooking time.
- In addition, if you don’t have pineapple juice on hand, you can substitute for orange juice. Try to use No Sugar Added and Pulp Free.
- Using fresh lemon zest and lemon juice is key because it will add amazing flavor.
- Also, fresh ginger will add an amazing flavor to the dish as well. If you don’t have any on hand, use 1 teaspoon of ground ginger powder.
- Cornstarch is a key ingredient in here, do not try to replace it with flour, the results will not be the same.
- If the sauce is too runny, mix another 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch with the same amount of water. Add it to the Instant Pot. Please note, that the sauce will get thicker with time, so definitely wait a bit before adding more cornstarch.
- You can add a touch of heat to this recipe if you prefer, by adding some Sriracha sauce or 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
- Using garlic will add amazing savory flavor to the overall sweeter dish, you can use more or less.
- Additionally, this recipe can easily be doubled, just add 2 to 3 minutes per additional pound of chicken.
Tools/Ingredients I used to make the Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken Recipe:
- Instant Pot – I use it all the time, I have the 6 quarts one.
- Cornstarch – I prefer using cornstarch instead of flour to thicken sauces, and this organic brand is my favorite.
Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe Video:
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Total time: 30 mins
- 2 lbs chicken thighs (cut into 1-2 inch pieces)
- 2 tablespoons sesame or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup lite soy sauce
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup water or sugar free orange juice
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 green onions sliced
- extra lemon zest
- Dry chicken with paper towels and slice it into 1-2 inch chunks. I prefer 2-inch chunks because they keep their shape better.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients listed under Sauce Mix. Whisk to combine and add red pepper flakes, if you want to add some heat to the dish. Set aside.
- Heat up your pressure cooker: press Sauté -> click on the Adjust button -> select More to get the Sauté More function, which means that the food will be sautéed over medium-high heat. Wait for the Instant Pot indicator to read HOT.
- Add the oil to the hot Instant Pot, add the chicken and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times. Cook until it just starts to look white on the outside. When sautéing it, stir constantly so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Also, after you sauté the chicken, check if bits stuck to the bottom, in that case, deglaze the pot with 1/4 cup water and scrape them with a wooden spoon. If you leave the bits stuck to the bottom, they may burn or cause the pot not to come to pressure.
- Add the Sauce Mix to the pot over the chicken. Gently stir to combine the chicken with the sauce.
- Close lid, select the Poultry function and adjust the time to 5 minutes on High Pressure. Or just select Manual, and select 5 minutes on High Pressure.
- Use a 10-minute Natural Release. Turn off the heat. Release the remaining pressure. Open the lid.
- Select again the Sauté function, on LOW.
- In a medium bowl combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with the pineapple juice, whisk until all combined with no lumps.
- Add the mixture to the Instant Pot and gently stir to combine. Cook on Sauté function for a few more minutes, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens.
- If you want the sauce even thicker, mix one more tablespoon of cornstarch with juice and add it to the pot.
- Let the chicken stand for 5-7 minutes, the sauce will thicken more.
- Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped green onions and extra lemon zest.