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+ servings
chicken thighs on a plate with creamy sauce and lemon slices

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

This Instant Pot lemon chicken is tender, juicy, lemony, creamy and just absolutely incredible - plus it's ready in 30 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 385kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 4 chicken thighs bone-in
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley optional for garnish


  • Season the chicken thighs with the salt and pepper and place them, skin side down, in a cold cast iron skillet.
  • Turn the skillet on medium low heat and let the thighs cook about 10-12 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Heat the butter in the Instant Pot on the sauté setting. Add the onions and garlic and cook until they are softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, lemon zest and cayenne pepper. Mix together.
  • Nestle the chicken thighs on top and close the lid. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes then use the quick release to release any remaining pressure.
  • Carefully remove the thighs from the Instant Pot and set them aside.
  • Add the cream and bring to a simmer on the sauté setting. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes, until slightly reduced.
  • Add any additional salt to taste at this time.
  • Add the chicken back in and spoon the sauce over to coat the chicken. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.


  1. I recommend browning the thighs in a cast iron skillet instead of the Instant Pot because the Instant Pot tends to stick and it's more difficult to control the temperature. 
  2. You can also use boneless skinless thighs and brown the outside of the thighs for 2-3 minutes before adding to the Instant Pot. You can brown these right in the Instant Pot.
  3. For an extra lemony flavor, add ½ -1 teaspoon more of lemon zest. 
  4. Add extra cayenne pepper for a little extra heat.
How to store Instant Pot lemon chicken: Store it in a covered container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
How to freeze lemon chicken: It's best store in a freezer bag with the air removed (you can use a Foodsaver for this too if you have one). You can also store it in an airtight container. Store the frozen chicken in the freezer for up t a month for the best results. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or in a skillet. 


Serving: 1thigh | Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 513mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg