Monday, July 15, 2024

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken (15 Minutes)

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken (15 Minutes)


Instant pot teriyaki chicken is ready in 15 minutes, start to finish thanks to my quick cooking recipe tip. This is THE teriyaki chicken recipe you want when you are short on time but want a recipe with big flavor! Serve it with rice or quinoa for a better than takeout meal you can feel good about serving your family.

Teriyaki chicken in instapot after cooking, white napkin on side.Teriyaki chicken in instapot after cooking, white napkin on side.

When developing recipes for you, my goal is always to find ways to create a flavorful, healthy recipe that is ready in 20 minutes or less. This healthy gluten free teriyaki chicken in the instant pot fits all those categories.

Making meals in the instant pot is the way to go when you are short on time, if you have the right tips and strategies! The Instant Pot is known for set it and forget it meals, and this one is no different.

I’m sure you are wondering, what is the special tip? It’s to cut the chicken up into small, bite size pieces so that it will cook quickly. The chicken cubes cook in 3 minutes (high pressure), that means even with the Instant Pot having to come up to pressure, the meal will be ready in about 15 minutes.

The chicken cooks in a homemade gluten free teriyaki sauce that infuses the chicken with flavor. After cooking, add some thickener (arrowroot, tapioca, cornstarch) to make the sauce thick and sticky, just like takeout! I promise your whole family is going to love it!

If you don’t have an Instant Pot but still want a flavorful Asian inspired meal, try these Teriyaki Chickpeas or Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

Ingredients to make instant pot teriyaki chicken on a concrete countertop.Ingredients to make instant pot teriyaki chicken on a concrete countertop.
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Ingredients for healthy teriyaki chicken

  • Boneless, skinless chicken – use whatever (boneless, skinless) chicken you have on hand. Chicken breast, thighs or tenderloins will all work great in this recipe. A great time saver is to use chicken tenders, as they are already quite thin and quick to cut down into cubes.
  • Coconut aminos (or soy sauce or gluten free tamari) – coconut aminos give the teriyaki sauce a deep flavor. Coconut aminos are the gluten free, soy free alternative to soy sauce.
  • Rice wine vinegar – rice wine vinegar helps to really create that teriyaki flavor as the acid in the vinegar cuts through some of the sweetness and really balances everything out. I don’t recommend substituting rice wine vinegar with anything else but if needed, you could try a mixture of apple cider vinegar and lime juice.
  • Maple syrup (or honey) – maple syrup helps to sweeten the sauce, giving it that distinct sweet, savory combination. You could also use honey or your favorite low calorie maple syrup alternative. I don’t recommend using a granulated sweetener as you need the liquid from the syrup.
  • Grated ginger – you can use freshly grated ginger (be sure to peel it first) or my hack which is to use freeze dried ginger. I don’t recommend using powdered ginger in this recipe though, it doesn’t produce the same flavor profile.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder, dried chives – Salt amplifies all the flavors, garlic powder adds a garlic undertone without overpowering the sauce and the dried chives add a unique onion flavor.
  • Arrowroot powder (or cornstarch or tapioca) + water – this is used to help thicken the sauce after the chicken is done cooking. This is what helps make that sticky sauce so quickly.

How to make instant pot teriyaki chicken

Cut the chicken into cubes: Cut the chicken into bite size pieces (about 1-1.5 inches squares). I like to use kitchen shears, but you can also use a sharp knife (and a plastic cutting board). Place the chicken in the instant pot.

Cubed raw chicken on a plate.Cubed raw chicken on a plate.

Make the sauce: Combine the teriyaki sauce ingredients (except the water and arrowroot thickener). Stir well and pour over the chicken.

Cook the chicken: Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. After it comes to pressure and cooks for 3 minutes, let it naturally release for 3-5 minutes before releasing the pressure.

Make the slurry: Combine the arrowroot and water in a small bowl. Stir well to make sure all the flour is dissolved in the water.

Thicken the sauce: Scoop out the chicken and put it in a bowl. Turn the instant pot to sauté mode and add the arrowroot slurry, stirring well. Let the sauce start to bubble and turn off the sauté mode when it reaches your desired thickness (this usually takes about 2 minutes).

Add chicken to thickened sauce: Add the chicken back to the sauce and stir well. Serve hot.

Top tips

  • Be sure to blend together the thickener (arrowroot, tapioca, cornstarch) with water before adding to the hot liquid or it will clump.
  • If using chicken tenders, I recommend that you take the tendon out before cutting into cubes. This is easy to do with a fork and a paper towel. Simply hold the tendon (the white piece that hangs out of the chicken tender) with a paper towel (this helps with grip) and place a fork over the tendon. Pull down with the fork as you keep steady pressure on the tendon. The chicken will easily strip away from the tendon.
  • If you have an 8 qt instant pot, you will need to double the recipe or you won’t have enough liquid to bring the Instapot up to pressure.
  • Short on time? Cut the chicken into cubes in advance and make the teriyaki sauce in advance, the chicken will be ready in under 15 minutes, start to finish.

Optional additional ingredients

  • Red pepper flakes or sriracha for spice
  • Green onion – add this at the end, it’s great for color and flavor
  • Cubed pineapple – add this to the instant pot along with the chicken so it can absorb the teriyaki flavor. You can use fresh or canned (drained).
  • Sesame seeds for topping
Chopsticks picking up a piece of instant pot teriyaki chicken from plate.Chopsticks picking up a piece of instant pot teriyaki chicken from plate.

How to serve pressure cooker teriyaki chicken

  • Over rice or quinoa with steamed veggies
  • Over pizza with pineapple and cilantro for a fun twist
  • In sandwiches or lettuce wraps
  • Over rice noodles (double the sauce if you will be serving it this way)
  • Topping for an Asian inspired salad with lettuce, red cabbage, shredded carrots, green onions, mandarin oranges and sesame ginger dressing
  • Tacos – male a fun twist on tacos by serving along side cilantro lime slaw

Common questions

Can you make this with frozen chicken?

Yes! If you are going to use frozen chicken, I would recommend frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders. Cook the frozen chicken with the teriyaki sauce (before adding the arrowroot).

  • Frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs: cook 15 minutes high pressure
  • Frozen chicken tenderloins , cook them from frozen for 6 minutes, high pressure
  • Frozen chicken breasts cook in 17 minutes from frozen, using high pressure.

Can you use chicken thighs to make this?

Yes, I often make this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They are very forgiving and budget friendly.

Cut the chicken thighs just like the tenders or cook them whole. If you want to cook the boneless, skinless chicken thighs whole, increase the cook time to 13 minutes. After cooking remove the chicken from the instant pot and leave whole, cut into cubes, or shred.

Sticky teriyaki sauce over cubed chicken, broccoli on the plate as well.Sticky teriyaki sauce over cubed chicken, broccoli on the plate as well.

Can you double the recipe?

Yes, this recipe can easily be doubled without changing anything. The chicken may take a few more minutes to come up to pressure, but it will still cook quickly.

Storing leftovers

  • Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Note that the teriyaki sauce will get thick in the fridge but will thin out a bit when reheated.
  • Reheat in the microwave (2:30 -3 minutes) or on the stove (add a little water to the pot) and cook over medium low heat covered until warmed through.
  • Freezer: Freeze in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Note that the sauce may get a little clumpy when frozen, but should thin out when reheating. Defrost in the fridge and reheat using methods above.
Teriyaki chicken in instant pot, pair of chopsticks on the side.Teriyaki chicken in instant pot, pair of chopsticks on the side.

If you love Asian inspired meals, you should try

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!

  • Cut the chicken up into 1-1.5 inch cubes (bite size pieces). I recommend using kitchen shears but you could also use a sharp knife and plastic cutting board. Put chicken cubes in instant pot.

  • Make the teriyaki sauce by combining together the coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, grated ginger, garlic powder, salt and dried chives. Stir well. Pour over chicken in instant pot.

  • Close the lid and turn instant pot on high pressure for 3 minutes. Let come up to pressure and cook. Allow pressure to naturally release 3-5 minutes before manually releasing pressure.

  • While chicken is cooking, make arrowroot slurry. Combine the arrowroot powder with water in a small bowl. Stir well until all arrowroot is dissolved.

  • When the chicken is done and all pressure is released, remove the chicken from the instant pot and put it in a bowl.

  • Turn instant pot on to sauté mode, pour arrowroot slurry in and stir well. Let the sauce bubble to thicken, stirring often. Once it reaches your desired consistency, turn off sauté and add chicken back. Stir well and serve hot.

Top tips

  • Be sure to blend together the thickener (arrowroot, tapioca, cornstarch) with water before adding to the hot liquid or it will clump.
  • For the best texture, if you are using chicken tenders take the tendon out before cutting into cubes.
    • This is easy to do with a fork and a paper towel. Simply hold the tendon (the white piece that hangs out of the chicken tender) with a paper towel (this helps with grip) and place a fork over the tendon. Pull down with the fork as you keep steady pressure on the tendon. The chicken will easily strip away from the tendon.
  • If you have an 8 qt instant pot, you will need to double the recipe or you won’t have enough liquid to bring the Instapot up to pressure.
  • Short on time? Cut the chicken into cubes in advance and make the teriyaki sauce in advance, the chicken will be ready in under 15 minutes, start to finish.

Optional additional ingredients

  • Red pepper flakes or sriracha for spice
  • Green onion – add this at the end, it’s great for color and flavor
  • Cubed pineapple – add this to the instant pot along with the chicken so it can absorb the teriyaki flavor. You can use fresh or canned (drained).

Tips on using frozen chicken are in post above. 

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Amount per Serving

Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.

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