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Craving tender, juicy chicken thighs with crispy skin… but only have frozen chicken thighs on hand? This Instant Pot recipe produces unbelievably moist and tender chicken with (really!) crispy, delicious skin – with zero need to thaw the frozen chicken thighs!

Three chicken thighs cooked in the Instant Pot

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Cooking frozen chicken thighs in the Instant Pot with just a couple ingredients makes dinner so incredibly easy, yet still SO tasty. This recipe is also perfect for meal prep or cooking your chicken to use in another recipe.
  • I literally gasped when I tried these chicken thighs for the first time and said out loud (TO MYSELF!), “Oh, mama!” You know it’s good when you can’t stop yourself from shouting for joy!
  • Forgot to thaw chicken for dinner? No problem! This Instant Pot recipe is meant for frozen chicken thighs. No more long waits or accidentally nuking your chicken in the microwave!

Chef’s Tips

  • This recipe was created for frozen bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, but you can use boneless thighs if you prefer! You’ll just need to adjust the cook time. After broiling, be sure to test the chicken with a thermometer, and aim for a minimum of 165° Fahrenheit for food safety.
  • Cooking more than 4 chicken thighs? If they don’t fit in a single layer, that’s ok. You can stack the chicken thighs in the Instant Pot without fear of them cooking unevenly. The cook times will remain the same.
  • For a different flavor, use pineapple juice or apple juice in the bottom of the Instant Pot, instead of chicken broth. You could also add a little minced garlic or onion to the broth!
Instant Pot chicken thighs

More Incredible Instant Pot Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
4.93 from 38 votes

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs


Prep 2 minutes
Cook 13 minutes
Broil Time 10 minutes
Total 25 minutes
Cooked in the Instant Pot with just a couple ingredients, these chicken thighs are tender, juicy, and incredibly delicious with crispy skin.
4 thighs

Equipment

  • Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on frozen chicken thighs. Add broth to bottom of Instant Pot, then set trivet inside. Place seasoned chicken thighs on trivet.
    Raw chicken thighs on a white plate
  • Seal and cook on high pressure for 13 minutes. See Notes if cooking boneless chicken thighs. While chicken is in Instant Pot, preheat broiler.
    Uncooked chicken thighs in an Instant Pot
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 5-10 minutes. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet and pat dry. Add more salt or seasoning if desired.
    Cooked chicken thighs in an Instant Pot
  • Place chicken thighs under the broiler, about 10 to 12 inches from heat. Broil 5-10 minutes or until skin is golden brown. Note: if you skip this step, your chicken thighs may be undercooked. This is an important part of the recipe.
    Cooked chicken thighs on a baking sheet
  • Boneless Thighs: For boneless thighs, cook on High Manual Pressure in the Instant Pot for 8 minutes.
  • Chicken Broth: For a 6-quart Instant Pot, use 1 cup of broth. For an 8-quart Instant Pot, use 1.5 cups of broth.
 
For food safety reasons, cooked chicken should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit. If you skip the broiling step in this recipe, your chicken may be undercooked. Cook times can vary slightly based on the size of chicken thighs used.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1thighCalories: 281calProtein: 19gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 302mgPotassium: 279mgTotal Carbs: 1gNet Carbs: 1gVitamin A: 88IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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66 Comments

  1. Okay, I’m gonna be honest… I did NOT think there was any way those mushy slimy skins were going to crisp after I took them out of the pot, but to my pleasant surprise – they did! Looked just like the picture (except there were 11 of them because, teenage boys). What a great trick!5 stars

    1. So glad this one was a pleasant surprise! It’s such a great go-to recipe to keep on hand! Thanks for sharing, Laurie. 😊

  2. This was so easy and came out juicy and delicious
    I made 6 bone in thighs and followed the recipe as written5 stars

  3. So annoying I have to read the whole thing to get a small bit of info. This is the 5th site with this nonsense

    1. The “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of the page will take you straight to the recipe, bypassing all the Chef’s Tips and everything before the recipe.☺️

    2. What does it feel like going though life complaining and blaming other people for you being clueless. THE THIRD LINE OF THE BLOG HAS “JUMP TO RECIPE” LIKE EVERY OTHER BLOG ON THE ENTIRE INTERNET. And IMAGINE THAT! You, before you got your spiffy computer that you can’t use….always had to not only go through EVERY line of a RECIPE but every page of an ENTIRE BOOK.

  4. You know the scenario; it’s nearly freezing outside and freezing rain is pelting down as well as stinging our cheeks as we cycle home from the cinema, last night. Hungry. What have I got? Of course the “emergency rations”, a tin of baked beans and a couple of baking potatoes, are in the cupboards but I’m wanting something more substantial. Of course, being in efficient housewife mode means ALL of our meat is vacuum-sealed and, of course, frozen. In moments, I have two solid chicken thighs on the counter and my eyes fastened to my laptop: Surely my trusty little (3 Qt) Instant Pot can deal with frozen food? I scanned your recipe and settled on it because it was a) a 100% match and b) the attractive photo looked good enough to eat! My chicken was seasoned perched on its little steamer stand on top of 3/4 cup of my favourite chicken broth. Thirty minutes later (natural release, 16 minutes), the thighs were cooked. And, after a brushing with thick soy sauce, it was ready for the grill.
    They were delicious and cooking from frozen was a new feather in my cap! Thank you for taking the time to explain the process so clearly. I can’t wait to peruse your website and see what other goodies are there!5 stars

    1. Hi, Lisa! Thank you for the beautiful review! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, and hope you find more favorites! 🙂

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