Chicken Instant Pot Recipes Recipes

Last updated on April 13th, 2024 at 04:13 pm

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Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe – Fresh or Frozen [Video]

This Instant Pot Whole Chicken is the perfect way for you to make a whole chicken with juicy flavorful meat and savory seasoned skin. Being a huge fan of rotisserie chicken, and cooking it so often in the pressure cooker, I have perfected the recipe to share it with you. In less than an hour, you can have this tasty meal ready to serve with your favorite side dishes. What’s more, if you forgot to thaw out your chicken, you can still make it in the instant pot.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken – Fresh or Frozen

You do not have to be a trained chef to make the most succulent and delicious chicken—no need to run out and get a rotisserie chicken from the store either. In the time it takes you to put your shoes on and drive to the store and back, you could have already served and eaten this instant pot chicken.

Also, with this recipe, you can choose to stuff your bird with garlic, lemon, and seasonings for a more flavorful meal. Sure, you can season the skin and even under the skin, but letting your chicken soak up the flavors of garlic, lemon, and fresh herbs makes the meat extra flavorful. It is so easy; anyone can do it.

I spent many hours working with this recipe to make it perfect by changing the types and number of herbs, using broth instead of water, and making the most incredible gravy to go on top of each slice when serving. I even perfected the gravy and garlic butter coating for broiling your chicken to a crispy brown perfection.

This recipe is the faster way to cook rotisserie chicken in the pressure cooker. The best thing about it is that in case you forgot to thaw the meat, you don’t have to worry, you can still cook a delicious dinner. That is the beauty of the IP, you can cook frozen meat like it’s no big deal.

The pressure cooker rotisserie-style chicken is to die for! The meat is perfectly cooked, juicy, and very tender. To get the skin crispy, just brush the meat with a garlic butter mixture and broil until golden brown. Your family will love this easy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal. Instant Pot recipes are a staple around here, you just can’t beat the convenience. 

I want to share with you a handful of basic and very helpful IP recipes, that will make your life easier. How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Pressure Cooker, How to Cook Fresh Chicken BreastsFrozen Chicken Wings, and Frozen Ground Beef! All these recipes will save you so much time and effort when you are in a hurry to cook dinner.


This recipe is a BIG HIT with my readers, just check the tried and true awesome feedback it gets!

“Made it for Thanksgiving dinner since we are only 4 it was such a hit. Very moist and a nice crisp to it. I love every bit of it. Now my family wants me to make it every Thanksgiving. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’m an instant pot maniac but never made a whole chicken before. I made gravy with the broth.”

“Best chicken recipe ever!! I use this chicken recipe then bone and skin the chicken saving the meat. I return all the skin and bones in the IP fill it with water add more onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook for an hour. It makes the best chicken broth ever!! It has such a rich taste my family goes crazy for it!”

What you need to make instant pot chicken

This easy chicken recipe uses just the basic ingredients so you may already have it in your kitchen just waiting for you to start cooking. Take a look at what you need for this scrumptious dish.

Main ingredients:

  • Whole chicken –You can use fresh or frozen but be sure to get a chicken that is going to fit into your instant pot. My chicken was about four pounds.
  • Chicken broth – I always use low-sodium broth that is organic. This gives your meat the freshest and most flavorful taste.
  • Butter – I use salted butter softened to room temperature for this recipe because it is easier to work with and adds a yummy buttery flavor.

Seasonings, Herbs, and Spices:

  • Minced garlic – Fresh minced garlic cloves give your chicken a robust flavor.
  • Fresh thyme – Thyme adds a blend of woodsy, floral flavor with hints of mint and citrus.
  • Rosemary – Another woodsy herb, rosemary also has a slightly minty and peppery taste.
  • Oregano – The aromatic herb is spicy but a little sweet with a strong pungent aroma.
  • Bay leaves – Similar to oregano and thyme, bay leaves add a woodsy flavor with hints of cloves, vanilla, and cinnamon.

For the buttery coating:

  • Unsalted butter – If you only have salted butter, cut the salt in half.
  • Onion powder – For a rich and hearty flavor with a bit of a bite.
  • Garlic powder – Perfect for mixing with butter to spread onto the chicken.
  • Thyme powder – Ground thyme will blend better than fresh.
  • Paprika – Gives your butter sauce a sweet and peppery flavor.
  • Salt – Any kind of salt will work for this recipe.
  • Ground black pepper – Freshly ground black pepper has a fresher taste.

How to cook a whole chicken in an instant pot?

Making Instant Pot Roasted Chicken a very easy recipe involves just a few steps, you can also make this in any other electric pressure cooker. Cooking a whole chicken in the IP is a great idea.

  1. Frozen Poultry: If you are cooking frozen poultry, add a trivet, and water, and cook on High Pressure per recipe directions. You DO NOT have to remove the giblets, stuff, or season the chicken.
  2. Fresh Poultry: However, if you are cooking fresh poultry, follow the below directions.
  3. Remove the giblets: Before stuffing, remove the giblets from the inside of your chicken. If you are using a frozen bird, skip this step. 
  4. Stuff chicken: Then, stuff your chicken with the bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, thyme, lemon, and garlic cloves.
  5. Season under the skin: Loosen the skin from the chicken breast and push about three tablespoons of butter into the breast. Rub the rest of the butter onto the chicken skin. 
  6. Transfer: Now, put a trivet in your instant pot and add chicken broth. Then, put the chicken on top, breast side facing down.
  7. Cover and cook: After, cover and lock the lid and point the valve to the sealed indicator. Set it for 24 minutes on high pressure.
  8. Release: Now, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes before doing a quick release. Check for doneness. It should be 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast.
  9. Make the sauce: Next, make the buttery sauce for broiling by melting the butter and stirring in the rest of the ingredients.
  10. Broil: Rub the chicken with the buttery sauce and broil for five to eight minutes.
  11. Make the gravy: Use the remaining liquid to make the gravy. First, pour it into a bowl and skim off the extra fat. Then, sauté butter and add flour. Stir and cook for one minute. Pour the liquid back into the pot and stir until thick.
  12. Serve: Finally, serve your delicious chicken with gravy and your favorite side dishes.

Expert tip

While cooking in an instant pot is certainly easy and fast, you do have to be careful not to overcook it. First of all, know how much your chicken weighs because you cook it by weight. For this recipe, I used a four-pound chicken and it was cooked for 24 minutes on high with a 15-minute natural release. A frozen chicken of the same weight will take 52 minutes.

Also, do not put too much liquid in the pot. Use exactly what the recipe calls for or your chicken may turn out soggy. It cooks with pressure, not with the liquid, so follow the time given in the recipe. Another tip is to make sure you let your chicken sit for at least 10 minutes after cooking it. This way, the juices get absorbed back into the meat.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Make it spicy: Add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the stuffing and the rub for a spicier bird.
  • Flavored chicken: Experiment with different flavors like honey, barbecue, or orange spice.
  • Less fat: For a healthier chicken, replace the butter with olive oil and use reduced-fat broth.
  • Soak your chicken: For even more flavor, brine your chicken for a few hours before cooking it.

Serving suggestions:

When I make a whole chicken, I typically serve a vegetable and some kind of starch like pasta or rice. Here are a few of my favorite serving suggestions:

What can you do with leftover rotisserie chicken?

Leftover meat doesn’t have to go to waste, it can be added to many delicious recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot?

First, you can cook it fresh or frozen, which adds bonus points to it. The meat ends up being very moist and tender, just like it has been slow-roasted for hours. Also, you can’t beat the convenience of being able to cook frozen meat in just under 2 hours, it takes way longer to defrost it.

Cooking time for Instant Pot FRESH whole chicken:

  • 3 pounds = 18 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release
  • 3.5 pounds = 21 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release
  • 4 pounds = 24 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release
  • 4.5 pounds = 28 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release
  • 5 pounds = 33 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release

How long does it take to cook a Frozen Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot?

The beauty of the pressure cooker is that you can cook whole frozen chicken in it. However, you need to make sure that the poultry has the innards/gizzards removed and has no plastic ties around the feet. Because, if the meat is frozen, and these are not removed, you will not be able to cook it that way.

Also, keep in mind that frozen meat doesn’t cook as evenly, therefore some parts may be overcooked, resulting in tough, rubbery meat.

For frozen poultry, you will have to increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes per pound. Here are the cooking guidelines for frozen whole poultry:

Cooking time for Instant Pot FROZEN whole chicken:

  • 3 pounds = 39 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release
  • 3.5 pounds = 46 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release
  • 4 pounds = 52 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release
  • 4.5 pounds = 59 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release
  • 5 pounds = 65 minutes of cooking time on High Pressure with a 15-minute Natural Pressure Release

Do you need to add water when cooking chicken in an instant pot?

Yes, you will need at least one cup of liquid when making chicken in the instant pot. In this recipe, I use one and a half cups of chicken broth. If you do not add any liquid, the chicken will most likely scorch or burn.

How much liquid do you need to make instant pot chicken?

Depending on the size of the chicken, one or one and a half cups is plenty. I used one and a half cups in this recipe, and it turned out perfectly. Just be sure not to add too much. Too much liquid can cause the meat to be too soggy.

Can you Brine the Chicken Before Cooking it in the Electric Pressure Cooker?

Absolutely! Brining it before will give the meat an additional flavor boost. You can use your favorite brine method. Just remember, if you brine it with salt, just limit the salt accordingly when following the recipe steps.

Why is my cooked chicken tough?

Overcooking chicken can turn out dry, rubbery, or tough. The cooking time is based on the weight of the chicken so make sure you weigh it first. The weight on the package may be wrong if it counts the giblets and gizzards found in the middle.

Since chicken is cooked quickly at high temperatures, and since the meat on a whole bird doesn’t have the same thickness, some parts may become easier overcooked. Unfortunately, this is harder to control when cooking it in the instant pot.

However, following the recipe guidelines for cooking time per pound and making sure to pay close attention to how the meat turns our, will help you figure out the best cooking time.


  • Refrigerate: Leftover instant pot chicken should be refrigerated after it comes to room temperature. Place it in a sealed container and it should keep for several days. 
  • Freezing: For freezing, put leftovers in a freezer bag and they will stay fresh for up to three months. 
  • Defrost: Make sure you thaw your chicken overnight in the fridge before serving for the best flavor and texture.
  • Reheating: Reheat chicken in the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds or in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes.

More delicious instant pot chicken recipes to try:

Recipe tips:

  • If you are cooking a frozen chicken and need to remove the giblets, just run that area under warm-hot water for 5-10 minutes, so you can remove and discard them.
  • Weighting the bird is very important, as pressure cooking it for too long will make it “explode” in the IP. The cartilage becomes too soft and the result won’t be as pretty but still delicious. Tying together the drumsticks helps prevent that.
  • Also, make sure to use a relevant poultry size, so it fits the IP. If the chicken is larger than your pressure cooker, then it won’t work. 
  • Keep the carcass and make the best homemade stock

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe

Instant Pot Whole Chicken is juicy, tender, and easy to make. Make this time-saving rotisserie chicken recipe with a fresh or frozen bird.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken
  • Prep Time10 MIN
  • Cook Time1H
  • Servings 6 servings


  • 1 (4 pounds) whole chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons butter room temperature or use olive oil

Stuff Chicken (optional):

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 3 bay leaves

Buttery Mixture for Broiling:

  • 1/2 cup butter unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Gravy (optional):

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • remaining cooking liquid


  • If cooking a FROZEN chicken you will not be able to stuff it, so skip the stuffing step. Proceed to the step where you add the chicken to the Instant Pot.

Stuff Chicken:

  • Remove giblets from a fresh chicken if present.
  • If cooking a fresh chicken, stuff the chicken with garlic cloves, lemon, fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano, and bay leaves.
    chicken stuffed with lemons and herbs
  • Optional: Gently loosen the skin from the chicken breast, lift it from the meat with your fingers, and rub about 3 tablespoons of butter (or olive oil) under it. You can also add some seasoning.
  • Rub the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter (or olive oil) all over the chicken surface. You can also add some seasoning if desired.
    whole chicken coated in butter

Pressure cook:

  • Add a trivet with handles to the Instant Pot and add the chicken broth. Place the chicken, breast side down, on top of it.
    whole chicken coated in butter in the instant pot
  • Cover with the lid and lock it, point the valve to sealed.
  • Press High Pressure and set the timer to 24 minutes. See the blog post for cooking times based on chicken weight and if using fresh or frozen chicken.
  • After the cooking time is done and the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes, followed by a quick release of the remaining pressure.
  • Using a food thermometer, check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast, it should be a minimum of 165 degrees F. If needed, pressure cook for 5-10 more minutes.

Buttery Mixture for Broiling:

  • Turn on the Oven Broiler.
  • Melt butter and mix with garlic powder, onion powder, thyme powder, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper.
    butter garlic and herb mixture for chicken


  • Open the pressure cooker lid remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and drizzled with olive oil.
  • Brush the chicken with the Buttery Mixture and place it under the broiler for about 5-8 minutes for extra crispy skin.
    cooked instant pot chicken on a baking sheet
  • Watch the chicken closely, and if needed rotate the pan, so it doesn't burn. If needed brush more with the sauce from the pan. Broil until skin is golden-brown and crispy.
    broiled whole chicken

Make Gravy:

  • Also, use the remaining liquid to make gravy. Pour the liquid into a bowl and skim off the excess fat at the top.
  • Select saute, add the butter, and melt it. Add the flour and stir until combined and lightly golden, this will take about 1 minute.
  • Slowly, while stirring, add back the liquid to the pot, and stir until thickened and fully combined. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
    instant pot gravy
  • Serve the chicken topped with gravy and your preferred side dish.

Nutrition Facts

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Yup Just follow this recipe and you have a dinner everyone will rave about I did add poultry seasoning Thanks for this



Turned out excellent! Followed the recipe very closely.



This turned out great. Made gravy with the juices.

Sandra Marshall

Sandra Marshall

Delicious! The seasoning mix was very tasty. I used it to rub under the skin and in the cavity.

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