Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
4.91 from 22 reviews

100 Best Instant Pot Recipes Asian food recipes Chicken Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 15 minutes

Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks are the perfect combination of sweet and savory. The chicken drumsticks are incredibly tender, crispy on the outside, and covered in the most amazing sticky Mongolian sauce.

Quick and easy Instant Pot recipes are a staple around here. Chicken recipes like this are such a time-saver, and the perfect way to make sure you have an easy and tasty dinner even during a busy day. Recipes like our Instant Pot Mongolian Chicken and, Instant pot Orange Chicken should be on top of your must-try list. They are budget-friendly, incredibly delicious, and very easy to make.

Easy Instant Pot Drumsticks Recipe

This is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes you can make in your instant pot. It is a budget-friendly dinner, that you can dump and cook. Also, you can prep it ahead of time and freeze it.

I make the sauce and add everything to a freezer-friendly zip-lock bag and when I know I want to make it for dinner, I transfer the bag from the freezer to the fridge in the morning to thaw.

By the time I get home from work, all I have to do is add the marinated Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks to the pot and pressure cook. For a delicious crispy chicken, I cook the drumsticks under the broiler for a few minutes. Served with white rice and sweet and sticky Mongolian sauce, this dinner is bound to be a success.

Mongolian chicken drumsticks are the perfect electric pressure cooker recipe to make during a busy weeknight. It is so good that the whole family will love it. Bonus points for being kid-approved.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Chicken: We use chicken drumsticks, but boneless skinless chicken breasts work as well. Or as. an alternative you can use chicken pieces, or make instant pot chicken thighs in Mongolian sauce.
  • Oil: We prefer to make this recipe with sesame oil for extra flavor. However, olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil are good choices as well.
  • Water: As an alternative use chicken broth or chicken stock for a more robust flavor.
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Dark brown sugar: The sauce contains a good amount of sugar, you can reduce it, or use honey, or a sugar alternative.
  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cornstarch slurry: A mixture of corn starch and water is used to thicken the sauce.
  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions

How do you make Instant Pot Mongolian Chicken Drumsticks?

  1. Sauce: First, combine the sauce ingredients in a large bowl and add the mixture to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add meat: After that, add the chicken into the sauce mixture, preferably in one layer, so the meat is covered in the sauce.
  3. Pressure cook: Next, pressure cook for 15 minutes on high pressure.
  4. Natural pressure release: One donee cooking, do a 10-minute natural pressure release.
  5. Quick pressure release: Afterward, release the remaining pressure with a quick release by opening the valve.
  6. Broil: To make the top of the. chicken crispy place it on a baking sheet and broil for a few minutes.
  7. Saute function: In the meantime, select the saute setting on your pressure cooker and add the cornstarch slurry to the pot to thicken the sauce.
  8. Serve: Serve the meat with white rice, the sauce, and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

Recipe Variations:

  • Beef: Instead of making chicken, use the sauce to make the Mongolian beef recipe. A cubed flank steak would work great for this.
  • Whole chicken: As an alternative, cool a whole chicken in the instant pot, and after that brush it with the sauce and broil it.
  • Wings: Cook some wings in the electric pressure cooker and after that coat them in this delicious sauce.
  • Breasts: Une boneless chicken breasts to make this dish, the pressure cooking time will be 10 minutes with a 10 minute NPR.
  • Veggies: As an addition, mix some veggies into the sauce. Cubed bell peppers, green beans, or mushrooms are great choices.
  • Spicier: Another option is to make the sauce spicer by adding some Sriracha or more red pepper flakes.
  • Stovetop: Want to try something different? Make this version of Crispy Mongolian Chicken.

Cooking methods: 

There are different methods to cook chicken drumsticks in the instant pot:

  1. On the rack that usually comes with your instant pot or pressure cooker.
  2. Directly add the chicken in the liquid on the bottom of the pot.

The cooking methods depend on the recipe and the results you want. Also, for this recipe, it is best to cook the meat in the liquid. Because it contains all the flavors and is intended to flavor it.

If the recipe is heavier on seasonings and the intention is to have the rub on the chicken, it’s best to cook it on the rack, not touching the liquid. In that case, for the liquid part, only water or broth is usually used.

Can I prep these ahead of time?

Yes, you can. I like to meal-prep and these are always on the menu as they are quick and delicious. Here is how you can prep these Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks ahead of time:

  • First, add all the sauce ingredients to a medium bowl and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Then, add the chicken drumsticks to a large freezer zip-lock bag.
  • Next, pour the sauce over them.
  • Close the bag, shake to coat all the pieces, and freeze flattened so all the drumsticks are covered in sauce.
  • When ready to cook, remove the bag from the freezer in the morning and move it to the refrigerator to thaw.
  • Once thawed, shake well, and add all the ingredients to the instant pot or pressure cooker.
  • As an alternative, add everything to a Ziploc bag in the morning to marinate and dump and cook in the evening.

What is a Natural Pressure Release?

A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm, or you turn off the Instant pot and wait a certain amount of time, after which you open the valve and let any leftover pressure release.

How to store leftovers:

  • To refrigerate: Ensure the dish is completely cooled prior to storing. Then, transfer the Mongolian drumsticks to an airtight container, and store them for up to 4 days in the fridge. Best to reheat prior to serving. 
  • To freeze: Once the chicken has cooled, transfer it to a freezer-safe dish or freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw: Plan in advance when ready to serve and thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat: You can reheat it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Or as an alternative you can microwave it.

More Instant Pot Recipes:

Cooking Tips:

  • Firstly, you always have to use the minimum liquid requirement for your pressure cooker.
  • For this recipe, I used a 6 quart Instant Pot and I used 1.5 lbs of chicken drumsticks.
  • In addition, I find 15 minutes to be enough cooking on High Pressure for 1.5 lbs of chicken drumsticks. That comes down to about 5 chicken drumsticks.
  • Similarly, if the chicken legs you are using are thicker, you can increase the cooking time by 2 minutes. For tender and fall of the bone meat, increase the cooking time to 20 minutes. I like 15 minutes, as the chicken is tender and it also gets cooked under the broiler for extra crispiness.
  • Also, always do a 10-15 minute Natural Release when cooking chicken. Because if you do a quick release, the meat will toughen from the quick change in pressure.
  • Lastly, place drumsticks on a lined cookie sheet and brush the sauce on top of the chicken. Then, broil for 2-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully not to burn them.
  • Instant Pot – I use it all the time, I have the 6 quarts one. It makes weeknight meals so much easier.
  • Cornstarch – I prefer using cornstarch instead of flour to thicken sauces, and this organic brand is my favorite.

Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks

Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks

Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks are the perfect combination of sweet and savory. The chicken drumsticks are incredibly tender, crispy on the outside, and covered in the most amazing sticky Mongolian sauce.
4.91 from 22 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 drumsticks
Calories: 374kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 1 1/2 lbs. or about 5 drumsticks (skin on)


  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free Tamari sauce)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cornstarch Slurry:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • chopped scallions


  • Add all the sauce ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Now, you have a few options:

  • Option 1: Add the sauce and the chicken drumsticks to the Instant Pot and cook.
  • Option 2: Add the chicken to the sauce and marinate for a few hours.
  • Option 3: Add the chicken and the sauce mixture to a freezer-friendly Ziplock bag and freeze.


  • When you are ready to cook the meal, add the sauce mixture to the instant pot.
  • Add the chicken drumsticks in one layer on the bottom of the pot.
  • Close the lid, make sure you Seal the valve, and cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Once the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure naturally release for 10-15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, turn on the oven broiler and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Gently remove the chicken drumsticks from the Instant Pot and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Brush them with some of the sauce and place them under the broiler for 2-5 minutes on each side. Watch them closely not to burn.
  • In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water until fully combined.
  • In the meantime, turn the Sauté button on, and add the cornstarch slurry to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Let stand, the sauce will thicken.
  • Serve the chicken over rice, and pour the sauce on top of the chicken.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Enjoy!



Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 1004mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1.8mg
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OMG! I am so glad that I doubled this recipe from the get go! It is out of this world good! Chicken is permeated with flavor! My better half said it was the best chicken he has ever eaten. I know I will be making this again!


I am so happy that you loved the recipe. Thank you for the feedback!



I doubled the whole recipe and had 12 drumsticks. Def put them in with the meaty side down and they all cook evenly. I salted them lightly and subbed chicken broth for half of the soy sauce. The sauce took a long time to reduce at the end but this recipe is awesome. Definitely a keeper!



Should the chicken be thawed or can you cook it straight from the freezer and still follow your instructions with the time setting?


You can use frozen chicken, just add two more minutes to the cooking time.



If you have leftover sauce, can you freeze and reuse it for next time? Thank you For this! Family loved it.


yes, totally!


Brittany Carter

Can I put drumsticks in the IP at double the amount?


hi, yes you can



Does increasing the number of drum sticks mean you must increase the sauce too or is there plenty since the instant pot needs the liquid no matter how many pieces you cook?


Hi Kelly, depends how many you are adding, if say just 2-3 no need to adjust the sauce ingredients.


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This was so tasty and easy. I had to do a couple of substitutes and to make sure it was really cooked I added 3 more minutes. the temperature was what the instant pot set for meat and I forgot the water :( Another change was doing 8 drumsticks but 4 of them were small so didn't think it necessary to change any other measurements. However it turned out alright. I just added the water at the thickening stage and needed a little more cornflour. I'll certainly add the sauce to my list of sauces, it was so good :)


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