Instant Pot Chicken Thighs With Sticky Honey Garlic Sauce Recipe

Sep 01, 2023 By Cassandra Bailey

Instant Pot thighs with sticky honey garlic sauce will become a regular dinner rotation. The chicken thighs come out incredibly moist and tender in the pressure cooker, with a sweet and salty honey garlic sauce that is simply to die for.

Pressure-cooked chicken thighs are a weekday game-changer. Using boneless, skinless chicken thighs makes this recipe budget-friendly and healthier.

Let’s make the instant pot honey garlic chicken in simple, easy steps. Continue reading to learn the recipe.


The star ingredient of this dish is the chicken thighs, which should be 1.5 lbs of skinless chicken thighs. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work best, as they will cook up quickly and tender in the Instant Pot. The chicken takes on all the delicious flavors from the sauce ingredients.

For the sauce, you will need:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step-By-Step Recipe For Instant Chicken Thighs With Sticky Honey Garlic Sauce


1. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season them generously with salt and pepper on both sides.

2. Select the "Sauté" function on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Working in batches, if needed, add the chicken thighs to the pot in a single layer and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until browned.

3. Remove the browned chicken thighs from the pot and set aside.

4. Add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, cornstarch, and chicken broth until the cornstarch has dissolved. Pour the sauce mixture into the pot.

6. Place the browned chicken thighs into the pot, submerging them in the sauce. Lock the lid and seal the pressure release valve.

7. Select the "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" function and adjust the time to 8 minutes at high pressure. Allow 10-15 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure.

8. When cooking is complete, allow its pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, carefully switch the pressure release valve to venting to release any remaining steam.

9. Open the lid once the pressure has fully released. The sauce should be thickened and the chicken thighs cooked through.

10. Garnish the chicken thighs with the sesame oil and green onions. Serve warm with rice or vegetables. Enjoy!

How To Make Sticky Honey Garlic Sauce?

The magic of this Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe is truly in the quick and easy honey garlic sauce. Preparing only takes a few minutes but packs a serious punch of sweet and savory flavor.

To make the sauce, you will need:

Honey - The honey provides natural sweetness and a thick, sticky texture as it blends with the other ingredients.

Soy Sauce - A few tablespoons of soy sauce adds salty, savory, umami flavor to the garlic and honey.

Garlic - Minced or grated fresh garlic gives the sauce a nice kick of aromatic garlic flavor.

Ketchup - The ketchup adds subtle tomatoey sweetness and another layer of thickness to the sauce.

Cornstarch - Mixing cornstarch with chicken broth creates a slurry that helps thicken the rest of the sauce into a glaze as it cooks.

Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl before pouring over the chicken thighs in the Instant Pot. The sauce ingredients meld together as the pot cooks, forming a luscious, sticky glaze that coats each tender piece of chicken.

Serve Instant Chicken Thighs

Once the Instant Pot finishes cooking, you will be left with fork-tender chicken thighs bathed in a sweet and salty honey garlic sauce. Below are some tasty ways to serve up these saucy chicken thighs:

  • Rice - Serving the chicken thighs over a bed of fluffy white or brown rice is a perfect way to soak up all that delicious sauce. The rice provides a neutral base that complements the flavorful chicken.
  • Green Onions - Garnish your bowl with sliced green onions to add freshness and flavor. The green onions pair nicely with the garlic sauce.
  • Sesame Seeds - Sprinkling toasted sesame seeds over the chicken and rice gives a nice crunch and nuttiness.
  • Vegetables - A side of steamed broccoli, carrots, snap peas, or other veggies balances the meal. The veggies can be lightly drizzled with any leftover honey garlic sauce.
  • Noodles - For an extra savory option, serve the saucy chicken thighs over lo mein noodles or rice noodles instead of rice.

This easy one-pot meal can be customized to your preferences. There are endless options for enjoying these tender, juicy Instant chicken thighs smothered in sweet honey garlic goodness.

Tips For The Best Instant Chicken Thighs

Follow these tips to maximize flavor and get perfectly cooked, juicy chicken thighs from your Instant Pot:

  • Brown the chicken - Browning the chicken thighs before pressure cooking seals in moisture and gives great caramelized flavor. Use the sauté function to brown them on both sides.
  • Use chicken broth - The chicken broth adds moisture and flavor to the sauce. Opt for low-sodium broth.
  • Cook under pressure - The pressurized environment gently cooks the chicken thighs in minutes while infusing them with sauce.
  • Natural release - Allow the pressure to come down naturally for 5 minutes before quick release. This allows the sauce to thicken without overcooking.
  • Add sauce ingredients - The sauce ingredients should be combined and added after browning the chicken for maximum flavor infusion.
  • Monitor thickness - If the sauce is too thin after cooking, simmer with the lid off to reduce and thicken it.
  • Rest before serving - Let the chicken thighs rest in the sauce for 5 minutes before serving. This allows them to reabsorb any juices.


Instant Pot honey garlic chicken thighs make for a fast and delicious family dinner any night of the week. The chicken cooks up incredibly moist and tender, while the garlic honey glaze is finger-licking good.

For a meal that’s both budget-friendly and crowd-pleasing, this Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe can’t be beat. Follow the above steps to make this dish at your home.

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