Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken is a healthy and delicious meal, that is packed with amazing flavors and is ready in just 30 minutes.
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, it 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. The Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken is a healthier meal, that is perfect served over white or brown rice with some steamed veggies on the side.
You don’t have an Instant Pot, but still want to try this recipe? Check out this Healthy Honey Lemon Chicken stovetop version and also these amazing Honey Lemon Chicken Lettuce Wraps – healthy and tasty.
Tips & Tricks on how to make the perfect Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken Recipe:
- I user organic chicken thighs, but this recipe also works with chicken breast. You don’t have to adjust the cooking time.
- If you don’t have pineapple juice on hand, you can substitute for orange juice, just try to use No Sugar Added and Pulp Free.
- Using fresh lemon zest and lemon juice is key, it will add amazing flavor.
- First wash the lemons, zest it and after that juice it. If you juice it first, it will be very hard to zest it.
- Using fresh ginger will add an amazing flavor to the dish, but 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.
- 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.
- If the sauce is too runny, mix another 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch with same amount of water and 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.
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 for any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.
Here is a step-by-step video for the Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe:
Looking for more Asian Instant Pot Recipes? Check my collection here:
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken – my most popular Instant Pot recipe!
- Instant Pot General Tso– another amazing take on a classic Chinese recipe.
- Instant Pot Mongolian Chicken – a quick and delicious family meal.
- Instant Pot Mongolian Beef – made healthier with less sugar, oil and not deep fried.
- Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken – made with juice pineapple and sweet bell pepper.
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.
Easy Instant Pot Honey Lemon Chicken is a healthy and delicious meal, that is packed with amazing flavors and is ready in just 30 minutes.
- 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.