Instant-Pot Whole Chicken


This basic Instant Pot whole chicken is moist and delicious. Plenty of garlic and fresh herbs flavor this healthy chicken recipe that can be enjoyed as a meal on its own or shredded and used in soups or as a topping for salad. In addition to the garlic and herb chicken, see Tips (below) for a lemon-garlic variation and a lemongrass and lime version of the basic recipe. Whichever version you choose, this pressure-cooker chicken requires just 15 minutes of active time.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins
6 servings


  • 1 (4 pound) chicken, giblets removed

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with pepper, salt, tarragon and thyme. Place garlic cloves inside cavity. Loosely tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under.

  2. Place water in the bottom of a programmable pressure multicooker (such as an Instant Pot; times, instructions and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model). Place rack in the cooker; place the chicken, breast-side up, on the rack. Cover the cooker and lock the lid in place. Turn the steam release handle to Sealing position. Select Manual/Pressure Cook setting. Select High pressure for 20 minutes. (It will take 10 to 15 minutes for the cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

  3. When cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, carefully turn the steam release handle to Venting position and let the steam fully escape (the float valve will drop; this will take 4 to 5 minutes).

  4. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks and 2 breasts; arrange on a platter. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with parsley.

Instant-Pot Whole Chicken Variations

Lemon-Garlic Chicken: In Step 1, omit tarragon, thyme and garlic cloves. Rub 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic over the chicken. Proceed with Steps 2 through 4 as directed, omitting parsley in Step 4.

Lemongrass & Lime Chicken: In Step 1, omit tarragon, thyme and garlic cloves. Rub 2 Tbsp. lime juice, 2 Tbsp. finely chopped scallion, 1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic and 2 tsp. finely chopped lemongrass over the chicken. Proceed with Steps 2 through 4 as directed, omitting parsley in Step 4.

To make ahead

Refrigerate cooked chicken for up to 4 days.


Kitchen twine

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

254 Calories
14g Fat
1g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 3 oz.
Calories 254
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 29g 57%
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Vitamin A 184IU 4%
Vitamin C 3mg 3%
Folate 8mcg 2%
Sodium 280mg 12%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 1mg 8%
Magnesium 28mg 7%
Potassium 264mg 6%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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