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.

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4.91 from 21 reviews

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.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 5 drumsticks
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 25 mins



Cornstarch Slurry:



Now, you have a few options:


Nutrition information

Calories: 374 Carbohydrates: 27 Protein: 25 Fat: 17 Saturated Fat: 3 Cholesterol: 125 Sodium: 1004 Potassium: 387 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 21 Vitamin A: 120 Calcium: 54 Iron: 1.8
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I'm having the hardest time finding rice wine vinegar. Are there any alternatives?


Apple cider is a great alternative.



Made this tonight and the family loved it! I doubled the recipe to the T and it came out wonderful. The slur went so well on the chicken and rice. I’m definitely adding this to our meal rotation! Thank you for sharing!


Thanks for stopping by, and for your review. Glad you loved it!



Can I brown first then add to instant pot? Instead of broiling at end? Broiler isn't working right now. But would love to make this for dinner tonight! Thanks!


yes, but they won't be crispy. The broiler is what makes them crispy.


Rachel Lamb

Can I double the amount of drumsticks? How much would I add to the cooking time?


Yes, you can double, cooking time goes up only just by 1 minute.



We absolutely LOVED this, and it will be made again! The sauce is SO delicious, and the broiling is a great finish to the drumsticks! Love your recipes, Catalina!


Thanks Laurel for your feedback! Glad you loved it!


Thank you Laurel. Happy you loved our recipe.


Paul Kern

You're right, most were submerged but not all, and everything turned out great, probably because 1.) we have a 20 year old pressure cooker (Presto) that took some time to get to heat, and 2.) used the digital thermometer to make sure all were at 165 F (even the chicken pieces submerged were not there), so mixed them up each of two 5-minute additional pressure cookings.



Hi, was wondering how to/if I can substitute chicken wings....thanks!


just follow the recipe, but pressure cook for 7 minutes, and 5 minutes NPR, that should be enough.



We made this recipe tonight and it was absolutely divine. We paired with stir fried garlic bak choy and white rice. We did make a soup if alternations to make a little healthier (we tripled the recipe): - subbed 1/3 of the light soy sauce with chicken stock - replaced water with chicken stock - added 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 tbsp honey (instead of 1.5 cups) Thank you so much for this recipe. Would definitely make it again!


Thank you for the feedback, so happy that you enjoyed this recipe!


Kim Furzer

Okay I am soooo not into social media and commenting but I just have to say that this recipe is absolutely astounding!!!! It was so simple but the flavors are perfect. Thank you so much. This is a keeper.


Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know :)



Loved the taste of this! I marinated 6 large drumsticks in the sauce but found the cooking time too long. Quite a few pieces of the chicken fell off and were a little dry. I will definitely make this again but adjust the cooking time. Thank you for your sauce, was amazing!



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!


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