Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken with just five ingredients is sweet, sticky, and ready in less than 30 minutes for an easy healthy dinner.

234 CAL 13g CARBS 6g FAT 30g PROTEIN

Honey Garlic Chicken was an immediate hit when I made it for dinner last week. Not only was it a five ingredient recipe that took me literally less than 3 minutes to throw into the Instant Pot, but it also tasted amazing and we were all licking up the sauce from our plates. 

I have had an Instant Pot for about six months now but to be honest, it has taken me some time to really come around and start using it. For the first six months, outside of a few beef recipes, I pretty much used it to make boiled eggs. And even though it makes amazing boiled eggs, I definitely wasn't taking advantage of all this little pot has to offer.

Recently after lots of prodding from readers and family members who love it, I have finally busted it out and unsurprisingly am loving it. As someone who loves slow cooked dishes but sometimes needs something quick, this is the perfect solution. I can make all my favorite slow cooker dishes in about a tenth of the time it would normally take. 

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken with green beans and rice.

Now let's talk about this dish. There are so many versions of honey garlic chicken out there and they are all delicious. The only problem is that most have so much honey, that it, unfortunately, isn't the healthiest dish, having more sugar than many desserts.

This lightened up version has just enough sweetness from three tablespoons of honey but isn't overly sticky sweet. I promise you won't miss all the extra honey. Paired with the soy sauce and ketchup, it creates this amazingly delicious sauce that is flecked with garlic. So good. 

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken in a wooden bowl.

Tips for Making Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

  • Spice things up by adding some Sriracha or Asian garlic chili paste to the mix. Red pepper flakes also work, but I love adding an Asian hot sauce since it pairs perfectly with the other flavors in the recipe.
  • I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the recipe since they stay nice and moist. However, you can use virtually any cut of boneless or bone-in chicken for the recipe and could even use pork tenderloin or a lean pork roast. If you use skin on chicken, consider throwing it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp up the skin.
  • If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can make this on the stove top or in the slow cooker. For the slow cooker, just add everything and cook on low for 4 hours. For a stove-top version, just simmer the chicken in the sauce, covered, for about 30-40 minutes until it is tender. You may have to add more water or broth if the sauce thickens too much.
  • Chicken can vary greatly when it comes to water content, which can cause quite a range when it comes to the sauce. Look for chicken without water or broth added if you can. Either way, if you end up with a thin sauce, you can thicken it up with cornstarch. You could also toss the chicken with a touch of flour and brown it in the Instant Pot. This will also thicken up the sauce.
  • For a gluten-free or Paleo version, make the recipe using coconut aminos and a Paleo friendly ketchup.
  • Meal Prep: This is an awesome recipe for meal prep. Make up a batch on the weekend and pair it with rice and veggies for quick lunches during the week. It's also delicious in lettuce wraps, tortillas for an Asian taco, and big green salads.

Can I make Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts?

This dish works great with chicken breasts as well but it is extremely important to make sure you don't overcook the breasts. For the best results, cut the chicken into small bite sized pieces. Saute it in some olive oil in the Instant Pot to sear the outside. Add the sauce and cover the Instant Pot. Cook on manual mode for 3 minutes and let naturally release. 

Side Dishes Ideas 

To keep things easy, usually I serve this chicken with frozen brown rice and a veggie. Here are veggie sides I make most often:

  • This Baked Broccoli is my favorite way to eat broccoli and my whole family gobbles it right up.
  • Sesame Soy Edamame is a fun way to shake things up instead of serving plain edamame.
  • This chicken is great over a salad and this Asian Kale Salad is the perfect candidate.
  • If you want something instead of rice, consider making some soba noodles or rice noodles to switch your starch.

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?

Here are some of the products and tools I used to cook this recipe:

  • Instant Pot: There are a few different models of the Instant Pot depending on how many features you want. I have this one and have been really happy with it.
The Recipe
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken on a bed of rice with green beans.

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

234 CAL 13g CARBS 6g FAT 30g PROTEIN
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  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (no sugar added)
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

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Add the chicken thighs to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Mix together the remaining ingredients to create the sauce.


Pour over the chicken and stir. Cook on manual mode for 20 minutes. Once it is finished cooking, use the quick release.


Shred the chicken using two forks. If needed, you can thicken up the sauce using a touch of cornstarch, although normally I don't need it. It will depend on the liquid content of your chicken thighs,

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 234
Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 132mg
Sodium 820mg
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 11g
Protein 30g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
On Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
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August 24, 2021 - 16:00
Add a Rating:
Simple and very tasty!
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January 21, 2020 - 10:24
Hi there! I’m eager to try this recipe, but I, too, was wondering - When you say cook in manual mode, do you mean pressure cook? If so, what level of pressure? Thanks!
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January 12, 2020 - 06:56
what do you mean manual cooking? do i put it on pressure cook? or saute?
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January 25, 2020 - 14:41
Older Instant Pot models have a "Manual" button. Newer ones call it "Pressure Cook."
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January 10, 2019 - 10:07
Hi! I would love to make this, but my family doesn't like thighs. Can I sub chicken breast? If so, do I need to add extra liquid?
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January 10, 2019 - 13:07
Chicken breasts should work fine. I would cut down the cooking time to about 6-8 minutes depending on the size of the breasts. You shouldn't need extra liquid.
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February 7, 2019 - 12:21
Thank you! Also, can I use frozen chicken breast? If so, would I need to adjust the cooking time?
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January 20, 2019 - 08:29
How would I adjust this if using frozen chicken thighs?
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