Instant Pot Honey Teriyaki Chicken


This Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken is incredibly simple to make and pleases even picky eaters with its sweet and savory Asian-inspired honey teriyaki sauce and tender shredded chicken pieces. Serve over rice for a no-fuss dinner the whole family will enjoy!


If you love Instant Pot chicken recipes as much as I do, then you’ll also want to try these recipes for Instant Pot Egg Roll in a Bowl, Instant Pot Chicken & Black Bean Tacos {or} Burrito Bowls or this King Ranch Chicken Soup

Why This Recipe Works 

Instant PotThis Instant Pot teriyaki chicken is an easy, delicious chicken recipe that you’ll want to come back to again and again. The key here is the Instant Pot. It truly is so much quicker to cook but loses none of the amazing honey chicken flavor. 

Chicken thighs – I know chicken thighs can be a polarizing subject, but to me they are every bit as good as chicken breasts and in some cases (like in this chicken teriyaki), even better. They are more flavorful and cook up so quickly in the Instant Pot, soaking up all those juices from the yummy sauce. 

Honey – I’m all about that sneaky sweet sauce. It’s just enough, you know? It offsets the ginger and red pepper flakes just the right amount. It’s all about that balance. 

Versatile – Serve the chicken thighs whole on top of rice or noodles or make Instant Pot shredded chicken and add the chicken to ramen, salads, slaws, cauliflower rice – you name it. So good in everything! 

Here’s How You Make It 

Though the process for making this teriyaki chicken recipe seems long, I promise it goes quickly. It’s just that with the Instant Pot there’s a bit of a safety issue (i.e. you really, really, don’t want to get scalded or burned) so you do have to make sure you follow your manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly. 

  1. First, whisk together the sauces and spices in a small mixing bowl and set that aside. 
  2. Put the chicken thighs on the bottom of the pressure cooker insert, making sure every thigh gets coated in the sauce (I just mix together as I layer them). Next, seal the lid and set it to MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK.
  3. Once the timer goes off, let that pressure valve release naturally for 5 minutes until the float valve drops. Once it’s done releasing the steam, open the lid and transfer the chicken to a bowl and use two forks to shred the chicken.
  4. Set the cooker to the SAUTE setting. 
  5. Get out another small bowl and whisk together the cornstarch and water until it’s dissolved to create a slurry. When the sauce in the pot starts to boil, pour the slurry into it while continuing to whisk. Let it bubble for a minute or two and stir occasionally until the sauce gets nice and thick. 
  6. Finally, turn off the SAUTE function and add the chicken back in, garnish with a hearty sprinkle of sesame seeds and diced green onions (totally optional) and enjoy!

How Should I Serve this Teriyaki Chicken? 

I often serve all kinds of chicken dishes over rice. It’s just my go-to. While that works fabulously and tastes so, so good, there are many other ways you can serve this Instant Pot chicken. 

  • Shred the chicken thighs and add them to a hoagie bun, crusty roll, or slider bun for a fun, tasty sandwich. Make an Asian slaw to put on top of the chicken. 
  • Add the chicken and sauce over a nest of wide egg noodles with some shredded carrots, slivers of green onions, or jalapenos. 
  • If you’re watching your carb intake, you can serve this over cauliflower rice or spiralized veggie noodles, like zucchini or summer squash. 
  • Make a teriyaki chicken bowl — like Chipotle only with Asian chicken and all the fixins you love. 
  • This easy teriyaki chicken also goes great on top of a bed of shredded lettuce or a pre-cut mixture of kale, cabbage and/or Brussels sprouts. Top with a yummy peanut dressing
  • Tacos! Add the shredded chicken to a corn or flour tortilla and top with all of your favorite ingredients. 

Can I Use Frozen Chicken?

Forget to thaw the chicken again? I’m with ya. Instant Pot to the rescue! You can use frozen chicken right in the pressure cooker — you just have to adjust your cooking time. Instead of cooking for 10 and pressure releasing for 5 with thawed chicken, you’ll want to cook frozen chicken thighs on HIGH for 13 minutes and let the pressure release for 10 minutes. 

Can I Use Chicken Breasts? 

Don’t have chicken thighs? Don’t like to eat them? No problems there. You can use boneless, skinless chicken instead in this easy teriyaki chicken recipe. You’ll want to cook them on HIGH for 10 minutes and then let the pressure release for 10 minutes. 

Instant Pot Chicken Tips, Tricks, & Equipment

Though pressure cookers vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, there are some tips and tricks that work when working with them. 

  • First of all, here is the Instant Pot I have been using for years. It has worked just fine through dozens of recipes and season after season. 
  • Make sure you add liquid to the pressure cooker. It needs some kind of liquid to create the steam (pressure) to cook your food. It needs at least a half to one cup of liquid to make it pressurize. 
  • Always, always, always let it vent. I cannot stress how important this is. Although many Instant Pots lock when cooking, it’s best not to even try to get the lid off without venting first. You do not want to go to the hospital with burns from trying to cook dinner. 
  • Want to batch cook without having to clean the inner pot over and over again? Consider purchasing extra inner pots to help you do this more easily. 
  • You’ll need a nice, sturdy set of tongs for pulling meat and other heartier ingredients out of the bottom of the inner pot. I have found nothing beats a strong pair of stainless steel ones
  • Alternately, if you are cooking soups in your slow cooker, you’ll need a great big deep soup ladle. Ain’t nobody got time for those dinky ones. 
  • Finally, most inner parts of Instant Pots can go in the dishwasher. As always, check your instructions first — but if you can save time and use the dishwasher I say go for it! 

Why Is My Instant Pot Chicken Rubbery? 

There are a number of reasons your Instant Pot chicken comes out with a rubbery texture. Sometimes, it is undercooked and other times it’s just the chicken itself. I’ve found that the bigger the chicken breasts or pieces, the more rubbery they tend to be. I think it’s all those hormones or something. Opt for smaller, more normal-sized pieces of chicken and make sure that you’re cooking the chicken long enough. An internal temperature of 165 is the safe cooking temperature for poultry. 

What Is the Difference Between an Instant Pot and a Crock Pot?

As you’re probably a seasoned Crock Pot user like myself, you know by now that a slow cooker works by slowly heating food at a constant temperature over a low or high setting for anywhere between 2-8 hours (usually). So this kind of appliance is great for all-day cooking, you know the kind where you want to set it up in the morning and come home to a dinner all cooked and ready. 

Instant Pots, on the other hand, are pressure cookers that cook your food hot and fast by controlling the pressure in the pot. These appliances are great for when you forgot to cook dinner and want to put something together fast. 

Expert Tips 

  • Forget to thaw the chicken? No problem. For frozen thighs, cook on HIGH for 13 minutes and allow the pressure to release for 10 minutes.
  • If you want to substitute chicken breasts, then you’ll only need to cook on HIGH for 10 minutes and then release pressure for 10 minutes.
  • For bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, you will want to crisp the skin as a first step (unless you plan on removing the skin before eating). You can brown the thighs in a tablespoon or two of oil (directly in the Instant Pot insert using the SAUTE function) for 1-2 minutes per side before proceeding with the recipe. Just remember that, after browning, you scrape all of the dark bits from the bottom of the pot (you can add a little water to deglaze the pot) before adding back the chicken and sauce. Otherwise, the Instant Pot may give you a burn warning after sealed. 

More Asian-Inspired Recipes

Did you make this Instant Pot Honey Teriyaki Chicken recipe? EXCELLENT! Please rate the recipe below!