Looking to make a juicy Instant Pot Whole Chicken? We’ll teach you how to add flavor and moisture to your whole chicken made in the Instant Pot!
Juicy Whole Chicken in Instant Pot
What I love about the Instant Pot is that you can pretty much cook up any cut of meat in the fraction of time it tastes to roast while having it come out super flavorful and juicy.
This Instant Pot whole chicken recipe is truly a game-changer for cooking a whole chicken! It might sound/look intimidating, but we promise, cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot isn’t hard at all!
Our recipe is made with a raw whole chicken, easy spice rub, fresh garlic, herbs, and a little butter for moisture.
Why you’ll love it!
Ready in less than an hour
Great for meal prep
Easy to freeze
Serves a crowd
What You Need
Whole Chicken: this recipe calls for a 4-5 lb. whole chicken. We always recommend organic, when possible.
Spices: you’ll be making a delicious spice blend with black pepper, granulated garlic, light brown sugar, thyme, and kosher salt.
Flavors: other flavors include white onion, garlic, lemon, and fresh thyme.
Other: chicken broth, butter, corn starch.
How to Make an Instant Pot Whole Chicken (at a glance!)
Make sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card to get the full ingredient list and written recipe.
- Prep the whole chicken by removing any innards and patting it dry with a paper towel.
- Combine the spices for the dry rub.
- Season the entire whole chicken with the spice rub.
- Heat olive oil in the Instant Pot using the saute feature and sear the whole chicken for 2.5 minutes per side. Remove chicken.
- Deglaze the Instant Pot with chicken broth and then add the onion, garlic, and lemon slices. Then, place the metal rack on top.
- Lift up the chicken skin and add the butter. Then, place the chicken on top of the metal rack. Add the remaining garlic, onion, and lemon into the cavity of the chicken.
- Seal the Instant Pot and cook for 25 minutes on high pressure. Natural release for 15 minutes and remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
To Make the Gravy
Remove the metal rack from the Instant Pot and scoop out ⅓ cup of the gravy from the bottom of the pot. Add 2 teaspoons to the ⅓ cup of gravy and whisk until combined. Pour the cornstarch mixture back into the Instant Pot and bring to a simmer with the saute function. The gravy should thicken quickly.
The gravy is optional, but we highly recommend it. It adds so much moisture and it’s so delicious!
Roasted Veggies: serve your Instant Pot Whole Chicken with any of your favorite roasted veggies such as: roasted cauliflower, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, garlic roasted Brussels sprouts, or roasted delicata squash.
What to do with Leftover Whole Chicken
Add to Soup: shred the leftover chicken and add it to one of your favorite soup recipes.
Make Homemade Chicken Broth: instead of discarding the chicken carcass, use the bones to make chicken broth! Check out our homemade chicken broth recipe HERE.
Homemade Chicken Broth
Make this homemade chicken broth and use it in your favorite soup recipe! This broth is the most flavorful chicken broth on the internet. You can use it in soups, chilis, sauces, and more!
Shred and Freeze: shred the leftover chicken and then freeze it for up to 3 months.
Top Your Nachos: love nachos like us? Follow our baked chicken nachos recipe, but use shredded chicken instead.
Let your chicken cool completely. Then, use your hands to remove the meat from the bones. Transfer the meat into an airtight container and discard the carcass. Seal and store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
- 4-5 lbs. raw whole chicken
- 3 teaspoons whole peppercorns
- 3 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 3 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons of oil olive oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 small white onion diced
- 6 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 large lemon sliced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried chives
- 4 tablespoons butter cold and cut into pads
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Remove any innards from a whole chicken and pat the chicken dry with a paper towel to remove moisture. Set aside.
Add peppercorns to a mortar and pestle and grind until the pepper turns into a coarse pepper. Add the garlic, brown sugar, thyme, and kosher salt to the mortar and mix together.
Season the whole chicken with the spices and massage the spice mixture into the chicken. Over the skin, under the skin, and in between the skin.
Turn on the saute function of the Instant Pot and add oil to the pot. When the oil is fragrant, add the whole chicken to the pot, skin and breast side down to brown the chicken. Brown the chicken for 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and use a wooden utensil to break the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add half of the onion, garlic, and lemon slices into the pot. Then add the thyme and chives to the pot and stir. Place the Instant Pot’s metal rack on the bottom of the pot.
Next, carefully place the pads of butter under the chicken skin and then take the remaining onion, garlic, and lemon slices and place it in the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the metal rack breast side up.
Seal the Instant Pot and cook for 25 minutes on high pressure. Natural release for 15 minutes and remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Make the gravy. Remove the metal rack from the Instant Pot and scoop out ⅓ cup of the gravy from the bottom of the pot. Add 2 teaspoons to the ⅓ cup of gravy and whisk until combined. Pour the cornstarch mixture back into the Instant Pot and bring to a simmer with the saute function. The gravy should thicken quickly.
Carve the chicken and serve with gravy.
Tips & Notes
- Be sure you have at least a 6-qt Instant Pot for this recipe, any smaller will not fit a full chicken.
- We used grapeseed oil for this recipe because it browns the chicken really well, but any oil will work. How brown your chicken is will vary by oil.
Feel free to use different spices or fresh herbs.
- You can omit the gravy and serve this chicken shredded or for any other recipe that uses chicken.
- If you would like the chicken skin to be more crispy, after the chicken is removed from the Instant Pot, place it under a high broil in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until it reaches your desired crispiness.
Calories: 577kcal Carbohydrates: 7g Protein: 45g Fat: 40g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g
Lee is the founder of Fit Foodie Finds and based in Minneapolis, MN. She started this website in 2010 as a way to share her love for real food and wellness.