Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
4.91 from 21 reviews

Asian food recipes Chicken Instant Pot 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 on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Quick and easy Instant Pot recipes are a staple around here. I have a large library of delicious Instant Pot recipes, like this Instant pot Orange Chicken and Instant Pot Sesame Chicken, which should be on top of your must-try list.

Easy Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks

Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks are the perfect budget-friendly dinner, which is also very easy to make and delicious. I love to prep ahead this meal 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 cook. For a delicious crispy outside, I cook the drumsticks under the broiler for a few minutes. Served with the sweet and sticky Mongolian sauce, this dinner is bound to be a success.

Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks Recipe 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.
  • There are different methods to cook chicken drumsticks. 1) on the rack that usually comes with your instant pot or pressure cooker or 2) to directly add the chicken in the liquid on the bottom of the pot.
  • The cooking methods depend on the recipe and the result you want. Also, for this recipe, it is best to cook the chicken in the liquid. Because it contains all the flavors and its intended to flavor the chicken.
  • If the recipe is heavier on seasonings and the intention is to have the rub on the chicken, its best to cook the chicken on the rack. In that case, for the liquid part, only water or broth is usually used.
  • 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 them with the sauce. Then, broil for 2-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully not to burn them.

Can I make these Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks 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 the chicken drumsticks.
  • Close the bag, shake to coat all the pieces and freeze flattened so all the chicken drumsticks are covered in sauce.
  • When ready to make, 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.

Storing instruction:

  • To refrigerate: Ensure the dish is completely cooled prior to storing. Then, transfer the Mongolian drumsticks to an airtight container, and store for up to 4 days. Best to reheat prior to serving. 
  • To freeze: Once the chicken has cooled, transfer it to a freezer-safe dish, and freeze for up to 3 months. You can reheat it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. 

Looking for more delicious pressure cooker meals, check these out:

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.

Tools/Ingredients I used to make the Instant Pot Mongolian Drumsticks Recipe:

  • 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 on the inside and crispy on the outside.
4.91 from 21 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:

  • To add the sauce and the chicken drumsticks to the Instant Pot and cook.
  • To add the chicken to the sauce and marinate for a few hours.
  • To 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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You reused the sauce to marinate chicken in to cook in instant pot. Then after chicken was cooked you used that same marinate liquid to make the sauce. Is this safe? I usually throw away the marinated chicken sauce and make a new batch to use to cook in.


Yes, it is safe, it is cooked under pressure so it is totally safe.


Kay Smith

My family absolutely loved this recipe. I followed it to a T. I actually made two batches three legs and two thighs bone in. I wanted them to get done at the same time and didn’t know if I could double it the recipe in my Insta pot so I made one in the instant pot and one in my cast-iron Dutch oven at 300° for one hour. They both turned out perfect. I will definitely be making it again!


Thank you for your feedback Kay! So happy you loved it!



Great flavors and not so complicated to make for my first IP recipe to follow. The only questions were: 1) I had was about whether I was supposed to use the sauce the chicken cooked in and if that was safe and it was answered in the comments, so I gave it my shot; 2) under your Step 4 of the recipe, are we suppose to turn off/cancel the IP? I am new to IPs so that was not so clear and I was fearful of overcooking the drumsticks. I followed the recipe completely. Loved it! Now for the next time I won't be so nervous and will make it spicier for my taste. I made Lime Cilantro Rice in the IP as well and it was a hit! Thanks.



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!


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