This Instant Pot whole chicken is coated in butter, herbs and spices, then pressure cooked to tender and juicy perfection. The easiest way to make a whole chicken with perfect results every time!
When I’m short on time but need to get dinner on the table, I turn to Instant Pot recipes including Instant Pot chili, Instant Pot beef stew and this simple, yet satisfying Instant Pot roasted chicken.
You can never go wrong with a roasted chicken. It’s inexpensive, feeds a crowd and is a comfort food classic for good reason. This Instant Pot whole chicken cooks in a fraction of the time as a traditional oven roasted chicken, but is still packed with plenty of flavor.
How do you make Instant Pot whole chicken?
Start by mixing a blend of herbs and spice with room temperature butter. Spread the butter mixture all over the chicken, and rub some under the skin. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with lemon and onion. Pour chicken broth into the pot. Next, lace the chicken on a trivet in the Instant Pot. Cook the chicken, then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure. Place the chicken on a sheet pan, then broil it in the oven to get brown and crispy skin. You can skip this step if you’re in a hurry but I highly recommend it! Turn the pot to saute mode, then bring the drippings to a simmer. Stir in corn starch to thicken the gravy. Slice the chicken, then pour the gravy over the top and serve.
How long do you cook chicken in an Instant Pot?
I recommend cooking a whole chicken for 6 minutes per pound. I used a 4 pound chicken, so I cooked it for 24 minutes. You can use a larger or smaller chicken, just be sure to adjust the cook time up or down, and choose one that will fit into your Instant Pot!
Tips for the perfect chicken
- Make sure the butter is very soft so that it will easily spread onto the chicken. Work quickly as you coat the chicken in butter, as the butter will solidify on the cold chicken and can flake off if you disturb it too much.
- Serve your chicken with a side of mashed or roasted potatoes, and a green vegetable such as broccoli or brussels sprouts.
- Leftover chicken will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- If you’d like, you can soak your chicken in my chicken brine recipe before you cook it for extra flavor. If you use a brine, reduce the salt in the butter mixture to 1/2 teaspoon.
- You can eat this chicken as is, or shred or dice it for other recipes such as soups, casseroles, pasta or sandwiches.
Instant Pot whole chicken flavor variations
While this recipe is great as-is, you can change up the spice blend to make the flavors suit your tastes.
- BBQ Rub: Mix together 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Mexican Rub: Combine 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, a pinch of oregano, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Italian Rub: Stir together 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder.
- Cajun Rub: Mix up 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Instant Pot chicken is so easy to make, you’ll find yourself making it on a regular basis. It’s just that good!
More chicken recipes you’ll enjoy
- Pesto Chicken
- Blackened Chicken
- Garlic Butter Chicken and Mushrooms
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- Beer Can Chicken
Instant Pot Whole Chicken Video
Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- 4 lb whole chicken giblets removed
- 6 tablespoons butter softened, divided use
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 lemon wedges
- 1/2 onion cut into wedges
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
- fresh herbs for garnish optional
- Place 5 tablespoons of butter, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir until combined.
- Loosen the skin of the chicken. Spread half of the butter mixture underneath the skin of the chicken, and spread the rest all over the outside of the chicken.
- Place the lemon and onion wedges into the cavity of the chicken.
- Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of an Instant Pot.
- Place a trivet in the pot. Place the chicken, legs up, on the trivet.
- Close the lid of the pot and turn the vent to the sealing position.
- Set the pot to manual high pressure for 24 minutes.
- After the cook time has ended, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then manually release the rest of the pressure.
- Carefully transfer the chicken to a sheet pan. Preheat the broiler.
- Broil the chicken for about 4 minutes or until skin is browned and crispy.
- Set the pot to the Saute function and bring the remaining liquid to a simmer. Whisk together the corn starch with 3 tablespoons cold water.
- After the liquid has come to a simmer, whisk in the corn starch mixture. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until gravy has thickened. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve with the gravy. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
- The chicken will need to cook for 6 minutes per pound. If you have a larger or smaller chicken you should adjust the cooking time accordingly.