Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken is an easy, kid-friendly dinner that is full of flavor. It’s a healthier alternative to Chinese takeout and just as tasty.
My kids’ favorite dish at Chinese restaurants is Sweet & Sour Chicken. I wanted to create something at home that they would enjoy just as much without the breading and sugar.
I figured a honey garlic chicken would deliver the sweetness my kids loved with some added flavors to keep the dish interesting for the adults.
With two teenage boys in the house, I also wanted to come up with a good recipe using chicken thighs since they are much less expensive than chicken breasts.
I decided to make it in my Instant Pot to free me up to do other things without heating up the whole house by using the oven.
How to Make Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
The time that I make dinner is the busiest time in our house. Everyone is home or just getting home and there’s lots of chatter and many distractions.
That’s why all of my dinner recipes are super easy and very quick. This recipe for Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken is no different.
Step 1 – Make the Sauce
Combine soy sauce, ketchup, honey and garlic in a liquid measuring cup.
Step 2 – Brown the Chicken Thighs
I like a crisp coat on the chicken so I saute them first. This is an optional step though.
If you prefer, you can simply place the chicken thighs to your Instant Pot uncooked.
Step 3 – Coat Thighs with Sauce
Next, you’ll add the sauce and turn each thigh over to make sure they are all coated in the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of broth or water (this is a change from the original recipe since many readers have incorporated extra liquid for fear the dish wouldn’t come to pressure).
Step 4 – Pressure Cook
Now you just have to secure your Instant Pot lid and cook on “Manual” for 15 minutes.
I like to sprinkle the thighs with sesame seeds before serving.
FREE Instant Pot Cheat Sheet
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe
Ready to make it? Here’s the complete recipe with measurements:
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 4-6 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup broth or water (added per reader comments)
- Sesame seeds optional for serving
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
Combine the soy sauce, ketchup, honey and garlic.
If you want a crispy skin on the chicken thighs, set the IP to saute and add 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil to the bottom of the pot. Allow to get hot before adding the chicken thighs.
Cook until they release easily from the bottom, about 4-5 minutes, then turn off the IP.
Turn over the chicken thighs and pour the honey garlic sauce all over.
Place the lid on the IP, select "manual" and increase time to 15 minutes.
Quick release. Remove lid. Set IP to saute.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Stir briskly into the honey garlic chicken mixture to thicken the sauce.
When sauce reaches desired consistency, turn IP off and serve. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.
Slow Cooker Adaptation
No Instant Pot? No problem. You can easily adapt this recipe for a crockpot. Just add the chicken thighs to the bottom of your slow cooker, top with the sauce, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
If you have the time, these Fried Chicken Spring Rolls are the perfect side dish for the Honey Garlic Chicken.
Love Asian food? You might like these Thai Chicken Rice Bowls too! It’s one of my most popular recipes.
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Click on any of the images below: