Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

Super easy to make Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): tender moist chicken in refreshing honey lemon garlic sauce.

Make this Beloved Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken). Tender & moist chicken drowned in a beautiful marriage between American Chinese flavors – refreshingly sweet & sour honey lemon garlic chicken sauce. Super easy to make even on a weeknight!

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4.9 from 37 votes

Running a restaurant is tough. Real tough.

Hard physical labor, heat in the kitchen, serving interesting customers from all walks of life, managing staff, extremely long hours, stress from all over…

But each satisfied smile you see on customers’ face makes everything worthwhile.

On the days where Jacky and I helped out in my dad’s Chinese restaurant, we wouldn’t get away a day without diners after diners ordering the Beloved Chinese Lemon Chicken. Probably top 10 on the menu!

Those crispy yet tender chicken nuggets drenched in deliciously dangerous sweet & sour sauce. I simply couldn’t say no to any well-balanced sweet & sour anything sauce. hehe~

When life gives you a lemon, make some Lemon Chicken! 😉

Super easy to make Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): tender moist chicken in refreshing honey lemon garlic sauce.

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On crazy days when we needed a quick fix for some sweet & sour secret sauce. This Zesty Sweet Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe inspired by my dad’s restaurant just hits the spot.

Without the need to dice the chicken, marinate ahead of time, or even fry, this healthy & delicious lemon chicken will satisfy your cravings even on a chaotic weeknight! 🙂

You’ll Enjoy Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Because:

  • Super easy to make with simple & healthy ingredients from your pantry
  • Oh~ your taste-buds will fall in love with the sweet, savory, tangy delicious lemon garlic sauce!
  • Refreshing dish that’s very appetizing and easy to eat (kid-friendly flavors)

Ingredients for Instant Pot Lemon Chicken


Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken) Ingredients

  • 4 – 8 (1 1/3 – 2 2/3 lbs, 600g – 1200g) skin on chicken thighs, bone-in or boneless
  • 1 (120g) lemon, slice half of the lemon & juice the other half (~1 tbsp or 15ml)
  • 3 (10g) garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup (188ml) unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons (63g) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) light soy sauce (not low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) peanut oil
  • A pinch of dried rosemary
  • A dash of shaoxing wine
  • Salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • Thickener: 2 ½ tablespoons (22.5g) cornstarch + 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water
  • Optional Garnish: Fresh rosemary

*Pro Tip: Per Gordon Ramsay, be sure to roll the lemon on a cutting board before slicing – it’ll soften the lemon and releases the juices.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): roll the lemon on chopping board to soften and release the juice before slicing

For this Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe, slice half the lemon, then juice the remaining half.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): slice half the lemon and juice the remaining half

Instructions for Instant Pot Lemon Chicken


Step 1
Prepare Pressure Cooker

Tool

Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button and click Adjust button to Sauté More function).

how to use instant pot - saute more function

Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be (Instant Pot: wait until indicator says HOT).

Step 2
Prepare Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

4 – 8 (1 1/3 – 2 2/3 lbs, 600g – 1200g) skin on chicken thighs, bone-in or boneless
Salt & ground black pepper to taste

Pat dry the chicken thighs’ skin with paper towels.

Season with generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Step 3
Brown Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

1 tablespoon (15ml) peanut oil
Chicken thighs
Salt & ground black pepper to taste

Pour 1 tbsp (15ml) peanut oil in pressure cooker. Ensure to coat oil over whole bottom of the pot.

Place 4 chicken thighs (skin side down) in Instant Pot. Do not overcrowd.

Season the meat side lightly with more kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Brown the skin side (don’t touch it for 4 minutes). Flip and brown the meat side for 1 ½ minutes. Remove and set aside.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): season and brown chicken thighs in Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

*Pro Tip: The chicken skin will stick to the inner pot in the beginning, but it will release itself at the 3-minutes mark.

*Note: If you are preparing 8 chicken thighs, repeat this step for the remaining 4 chicken thighs.

Step 4
Sauté Garlic

Ingredients

3 (10g) garlic cloves, minced

Add minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.

Step 5
Deglaze

Ingredient & Tool

A dash of shaoxing wine

Bamboo Wooden Spoons

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): deglaze pot with shaoxing wine and wooden spoon

Add a dash of Shaoxing wine in Instant Pot and deglaze by scrubbing the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.

Step 6
Pressure Cook Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

¾ cup (188ml) unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon (15ml) light soy sauce (not low sodium)
1 (120g) lemon, slice half of the lemon & juice the other half (~1 tbsp or 15ml)
A pinch of dried rosemary
Browned chicken thighs

Add ¾ cup (188ml) unsalted chicken stock, 1 tbsp (15ml) light soy sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) freshly squeeze lemon juice, lemon slices, and a pinch of rosemary (rub the rosemary with your fingers to “activate” them).

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): add ingredients to make lemon garlic sauce in Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

Give it a quick stir and place 4 – 8 browned chicken thighs on top of the lemon slices.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): place seasoned and browned Instant Pot Chicken Thighs in the lemon garlic sauce for pressure cooking

Close lid and pressure cook at

  • Pressure Cooking Method: High Pressure for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes Natural Release (after pressure cooker has finished cooking, wait until the floating valve drops. It should take roughly 10 minutes).

Turn off the heat. Open the lid carefully.

Step 7
Thicken Gravy

Ingredients

3 tablespoons (63g) honey
Thickener: 2 ½ tablespoons (22.5g) cornstarch + 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water
Salt & ground black pepper to taste

Set aside the cooked chicken thighs on a chopping board.

Press Cancel button, then Sauté button to heat up the sauce.

Stir in 3 tbsp (63g) honey.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): thicken gravy and create honey lemon garlic chicken sauce in Instant Pot Multicooker

In a small mixing bowl, mix 2.5 tbsp (22.5g) cornstarch with 3 tbsp (45ml) cold water. Mix it in one third at a time until desired thickness.

Taste the gravy and season with more honey, salt & black pepper if necessary.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): place chicken back into Instant Pot in the honey lemon garlic sauce

Step 8
Serve Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

Ingredient

Optional Garnish: Fresh rosemary

Drizzle the lemon sauce onto the chicken thighs and garnish with optional fresh rosemary if desired.

Super easy to make Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): tender moist chicken in refreshing honey lemon garlic sauce.

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Super easy to make Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken): tender moist chicken in refreshing honey lemon garlic sauce.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

Make this Beloved Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe (Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken). Tender & moist chicken drowned in refreshingly sweet, savory, tangy honey lemon garlic chicken sauce. Super easy to make even on a weeknight!
4.9 from 37 votes
Print Rate This Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 452kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Ingredients

  • 4 - 8 (1 1/3 - 2 2/3 lbs, 600g - 1200g) skin on chicken thighs , bone-in or boneless
  • 1 (120g) lemon , slice half of the lemon & juice the other half (~1 tbsp or 15ml)
  • 3 (10g) garlic cloves , minced
  • ¾ cup (188ml) unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons (63g) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) peanut oil
  • A pinch of dried rosemary
  • A dash of Shaoxing wine
  • Salt & ground black pepper to taste

Thickener

  • 2 ½ tablespoons (22.5g) cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water

Optional Garnish

  • Fresh Rosemary

Instructions

  • Prepare Pressure Cooker: Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button and click Adjust button to Sauté More function). Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be (Instant Pot: wait until indicator says HOT).
  • Prepare Chicken Thighs: Pat dry the chicken thighs’ skin with paper towels. Season with generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
  • Brown Chicken Thighs: Pour 1 tbsp (15ml) peanut oil in pressure cooker. Ensure to coat oil over whole bottom of the pot. Place 4 chicken thighs (skin side down) in Instant Pot. Do not overcrowd. Season the meat side lightly with more kosher salt and ground black pepper. Brown the skin side (don’t touch it for 4 minutes). Flip and brown the meat side for 1 ½ minutes. Remove and set aside. *Note: If you are preparing 8 chicken thighs, repeat this step for the remaining 4 chicken thighs.
  • Sauté Garlic: Add minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Deglaze: Add a dash of Shaoxing wine in Instant Pot and deglaze by scrubbing the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
  • Pressure Cook Lemon Chicken: Add ¾ cup (188ml) unsalted chicken stock, 1 tbsp (15ml) light soy sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) freshly squeeze lemon juice, lemon slices, and a pinch of rosemary (rub the rosemary with your fingers to “activate” them). Give it a quick stir and place 4 - 8 browned chicken thighs on top of the lemon slices. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 5 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release (after pressure cooker has finished cooking, wait until the floating valve drops. It should take roughly 10 minutes). Turn off the heat. Open the lid carefully.
  • Thicken Gravy: Set aside the cooked chicken thighs on a chopping board. Press Cancel button, then Sauté button to heat up the sauce. Stir in 3 tbsp (63g) honey. In a small mixing bowl, mix 2.5 tbsp (22.5g) cornstarch with 3 tbsp (45ml) cold water. Mix it in one third at a time until desired thickness. Taste the gravy and season with more honey, salt & black pepper if necessary.
  • Serve: Drizzle the lemon sauce onto the chicken thighs and garnish with optional fresh rosemary if desired.
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Recipe Notes:

Lemon's Piths: If your lemons has thick piths (white part), just grate out the lemon zest and use the lemon juice instead.
*Rate the Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you! 

Nutrition:

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 414mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 11.1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Quick Meals, Super Easy
Cuisine: American, Asian, Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!

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Leave a Reply

newest oldest most helpful
Pamela Perales

Delicious!!! Better than my traditional Lemon Chicken recipe!5 stars

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot DUO 60
Selma

As good as our favorite Asian restaurant
Bravo. And thanks5 stars

Pressure Cooker
Other Pressure Cooker, Please specify in comment.
Anne

Finally tried it tonight and was great, easy and lots of good sauce! Thank you!5 stars

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot LUX 60
Karen

This was the first protein that I cooked in my new instant pot. Even though I did not have peanut oil (used grape seed oil), light soy sauce (used dark, not low sodium) and used rice wine vs Shaoxing wine, it was delicious- will make again and again I am sure. The sauce was mixed in with rice, and I ate the lemon slices out of the pot!5 stars

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot LUX 60
Gerard

First time making anything in the IP! Recipe was simple and straight forward. Everything came out good. Will adjust/increase the honey and lemon amount to account for our personal taste. All in all, very happy with the result.5 stars

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot LUX 80
Rachel A Seitz

I tried making this with chicken breast, using the cooking time I found on one of your other recipes for chicken breast, but it came out dry. Actually, anytime I cook chicken breast in my IP, it comes out dry. What am I doing wrong? I LOVE the flavor of the chicken from this dish, just not the dryness.4 stars

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot DUO 60
Giao

Can we replace peanut oil with olive oil?

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot DUO 60
Shirley

Can you use skin-less & bone-less chicken thighs. If so is the time different in the sauté step & cooking step also. My IP is 6qt LUX60 V3

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot LUX 60
FE

Hello again. The 1st time I made Lemon Chicken, it turned out perfect. When I made it the 2nd time – last night -like another comment here, the sauce turned out bitter. Searching on line, I got the impression that the lemon pith may have been the culprit (some lemons have thicker piths than others), plus I cooked the 10 thighs a little longer. I think going forward, I will remove the lemon pith and just use the zest and the juice, just to be on the safe side. Do you think that should do it? Thank you again for… Read more »

FE

This was my 2nd IP dish and it was fantastic! Hubby agrees and thinks it’s better than my pre-IP lemon chicken. Again, many many thanks!
Regards,
FE5 stars

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