Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken (Easy + From-Scratch)

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken is a quick, easy pressure cooker recipe featuring chicken thighs in a sticky-sweet homemade sauce. Serve the chicken over rice or quinoa or shred it as a sandwich filling!

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken on plate.


 

If you love easy pressure cooker recipes, you'll also want to try Instant Pot Egg Roll in a Bowl, Instant Pot Chicken & Black Bean Tacos {or} Burrito Bowls, or Instant Pot King Ranch Chicken Soup.

Y'all know I love me some slow cooker meals...so much, in fact, that I wrote an entire cookbook about them. But in recent years, I've come to the conclusion that there's also room on my kitchen counter for an Instant Pot. I mostly use it when I neglect to plan ahead, forget to thaw the meat, and so on...and I'll admit that these instances happen fairly regularly in my current crazy-busy stage of life.  But on such days, it's nice to know that I can still get a delicious, family-pleasing dinner like Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken on the table...even when I'm really short on time!

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken on sandwich with slaw.

Teriyaki Chicken Ingredients

The simple, homemade teriyaki sauce is the key to this recipe's deliciousness! And it only requires a few ingredients.

  • Low-sodium soy sauce. Tamari will work as well. Use gluten-free if you need this recipe to be GF.
  • Honey. For natural sweetness.
  • Rice vinegar. Use plain and unseasoned.
  • Fresh garlic. Minced.
  • Fresh ginger. Grated. I like using a spoon, rather than a knife, to scrape off the soft skin. Since I don't usually end up using the entire hunk of ginger when I buy some for a recipe, I like to put the leftover piece in a freezer-safe baggie and pop it into the freezer. That way, when a future recipe calls for a small amount of grated ginger, I can simply pull it out and grate off however much I need. Alternatively, you can sometimes find ready-made cubes of grated ginger in the freezer section of your grocery store. Just don't substitute ground powdered ginger in this chicken teriyaki recipe, as it won't yield the same fresh flavor.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes. Optional but recommended. You can tweak the amount to taste.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs. If you prefer using bone-in, skin-on chicken things, 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. After browning, just be sure to 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.
  • Cornstarch + cold water. For a slurry to thicken the teriyaki sauce.
Aerial view of Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken with broccoli.

How to Make Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

This Teriyaki Chicken recipe is always a huge hit with my crew. And would you believe that it was actually inspired by a meal from my aforementioned cookbook!

It starts out by whisking together a simple teriyaki sauce of soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger in a bowl or a large measuring cup. Then arrange some chicken thighs in the bottom of your pressure cooker insert and pour in the sauce, ensuring that it gets between all of the pieces and coats them evenly.

Pouring sauce into pressure cooker.

Next, seal the lid and set to HIGH for 10 minutes. Remember that the pressure will take some time to build up before the timer starts counting down. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure valve to release naturally for 5 minutes, then carefully vent to release the remaining pressure. When the steam is fully released, open the lid, remove the cooked chicken thighs to a plate, and set the pot to the SAUTE function.

Chicken teriyaki recipe after cooking.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until dissolved, which will create a slurry. Once the liquid in the pot begins to bubble, pour in the slurry while briskly whisking the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer for a minute or two, stirring occasionally until it gets nice and thick. Turn off the Instant Pot by hitting CANCEL and add the chicken back to the sauce.

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken in pressure cooker.

If you wish, you can shred the chicken into the sauce at this point.

Shredded teriyaki chicken in pot.

All that's left to do now is serve...and wait for the rave reviews to start rolling in!

Ways to Serve It

I often serve saucy chicken dishes over brown rice. However, there are several other ways you can choose to enjoy this Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken!

  • Serve over quinoa instead of rice.
  • Enjoy the chicken thighs and sauce over a nest of rice noodles with some shredded carrots and chopped green onions mixed in.
  • Or if you're watching your carb intake, you can serve this recipe over cauliflower rice or spiralized veggie noodles, like zucchini or summer squash.
  • Shred the chicken thighs into the sauce and pile the mixture onto a hoagie bun, a crusty roll, or a slider bun for a fun, tasty sandwich. Dress a bag of shredded slaw with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette or Peanut Dressing to serve on the side or put right on top of the sandwich filling.
  • Make a teriyaki chicken bowl — like what you'd get at Chipotle, except with an Asian twist!
  • Serve atop a salad, whole or shredded...chopped lettuce, spring greens, spinach or kale, Napa cabbage, or even shaved Brussels sprouts would all make a great base.
  • Make tacos! Wrap some shredded teriyaki chicken in corn or flour tortillas and top with your favorite garnishes.
Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken on bun.

Can I Use Frozen Chicken?

Forget to thaw the chicken again? I may or may not have found myself in the same predicament before... Well, Instant Pot to the rescue! That's right, friends, you can cook frozen chicken right in your pressure cooker. You just have to adjust the cooking time by a few minutes.

Plan on cooking frozen chicken thighs on HIGH for 13 minutes, and then allow the pressure to release for 10 minutes. The internal temperature of chicken should always reach 165°F to be safe to eat.

Can I Use Chicken Breasts?

I think chicken thighs turn out the juiciest, tastiest, and most flavorful in this teriyaki chicken recipe. However, what if you don't have chicken thighs? Or maybe they're just not your fave? No problems there. You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead. You'll want to cook them on HIGH for 10 minutes and then let the pressure release for 10 minutes.

Close-up of Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken over rice.

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

If you'd like to make this Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken in the slow cooker instead, it's easy to do! This recipe was actually originally developed for my Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers cookbook. 🙂

  1. Place your chicken in the bottom of a large slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients: garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, water, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender but not dry.
  5. Once the chicken is done, transfer it to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  6. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the water until smooth and set aside.
  7. Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Whisk the sauce continuously while slowly pouring in the cornstarch slurry. Reduce to a simmer and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and glossy.
  8. Pour the sauce over the chicken to coat and serve leftover sauce on the side.

See? Easy-peasy.

Teriyaki Chicken piled onto sandwich bun.

Helpful Tips, Tricks, & Equipment

  • Always follow the manufacturer instructions for your particular pressure cooker. Safety first!
  • I've found it handy to keep an extra inner cooking pot on hand for when I want to batch cook in my IP without having to clean the insert over and over again...particularly since I like throwing my Instant Pot parts in the dishwasher to get them nice and clean.
  • If you prefer using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, you will probably 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. After browning, just be sure to 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 it's sealed.

The next time you're in pinch come the 5 o'clock hour, I do hope you'll give this Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken a whirl! I think you'll find it to be a quick, easy, savory-sweet winner of a chicken dinner. Enjoy!

Close-up of Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds.

More Asian-Inspired Dinner Ideas

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken on plate with rice and broccoli.

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken (Easy + From-Scratch)

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken is a quick, easy pressure cooker recipe featuring chicken thighs in a sticky-sweet homemade sauce. Serve this teriyaki chicken recipe over rice or quinoa or shred it as a sandwich filling!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Pressure Build-Up & Release: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 457kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 8 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, water, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of the pressure cooker insert, pouring a little bit of sauce between the layers and the rest over the top.
  • Seal the lid of the Instant Pot according to the owner's manual and cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes.
  • When the timer is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then carefully vent to release the remaining pressure (consult your owner's manual for more specific instructions).
  • Open the lid, remove the chicken thighs to a plate, and set the Instant Pot to SAUTE. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until completely dissolved. Once the sauce starts bubbling, slowly pour in the cornstarch slurry while whisking the sauce. Allow to bubble and cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened. Cancel the SAUTE function and add the chicken back to the sauce. Serve the sauce with the chicken thighs over rice, or shred the chicken thighs into the sauce and serve on buns.

Video

Notes

  • For frozen thighs, cook on HIGH for 13 minutes and allow the pressure to release for 10 minutes.
  • You may make this recipe with chicken breasts instead. Cook on HIGH for 10 minutes and then release pressure for 10 minutes.
  • If you prefer using bone-in, skin-on chicken things, 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. After browning, just be sure to 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.
  • See the post above the recipe card for slow cooker instructions. 🙂

Nutrition

Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 269mg | Sodium: 897mg | Potassium: 768mg | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2.8mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

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Recipe Rating




110 Comments

    1. I added slow cooker instructions to the post above the recipe card, Cynthia...hope that helps! 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious and easy! I used frozen thighs and subbed tamari sauce for soy, as we are gluten free. The whole family enjoyed it (even those who do not typically like Asian food)!

    1. I would suggest white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Another reader commented that she subbed mirin for the rice vinegar, so that could be another option. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    My husband and I loved this recipe..so easy and delicious. He is diabetic so I used sugarless maple syrup and just a couple TBSPs of honey to make up the 1/2 cup. I marinated boneless skinless thighs in the marinade then put everything in the instant pot..Served chicken on rice and stir-fried thai frozen veggies, topped with the delicious sauce and sliced green onion..Oh so GOOD!

  3. 4 stars
    The chicken was fall apart perfect, and everyone else LOVED this recipe, but I found it way too sweet for me, personally. I thought the honey overpowered much of the flavors and would cut back and substitute for a little water or broth next time. But, still a hit served with broccoli and white rice.

  4. Can I substitute ground ginger for fresh in this recipe? If so, what measurements would you recommend? It looks yummy!!!

    1. Good question! Ground ginger will not give this recipe the same ginger "punch" as fresh, but it may be substituted in a pinch. The conventional ratio is subbing 1/4 ground ginger for every 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger. That being said, I always try to keep either frozen crushed ginger or jarred minced ginger on hand so that I can make recipes like this even when I don't have fresh ginger. 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        this was absolutely delicious. I doubled the sauce because I had half again as many chicken thighs as called for but it really wasn't necessary because there still would have been plenty of sauce. I served it with rice and carrots and put the sauce on everything. I think I might add some chopped peppers and onions next time.

  5. 4 stars
    Very good. I used thawed tenders from Costco. I chopped in to cubes first. Added a little brown sugar instead of honey. Cooked on high pressure for 5 minutes with no natural release. Was fully cooked and delicious.

  6. 5 stars
    This is very tasty and easy. It makes an ENORMOUS quantity, enough for six adults and a full cup of sauce per person! The second time I made it I kept the aromatics the same, halved the amount of soy sauce and honey, and marinated the chicken in the sauce for an hour before cooking. At the sauce cooking step, I added a pinch of MSG and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, and reduced the cornstarch to 2 tablespoons and increased the water to 1/4 cup.

  7. 5 stars
    This is a keeper!! Thank you my husband loved it. I didn't change anything except I doubled the sauce. Added some sautéed veggies. Delish!

    1. 5 stars
      This is amazing! All 5 kids (aged 12 months - 13 years) absolutely loved it and said it's better than Japanese takeaway

  8. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I used frozen skinless chicken breasts and instead of hot pepper flakes I used Sambal. Sliced the chicken for Asian chicken salad.