Instant Pot Whole Chicken

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Cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot for tender, flavorful rotisserie chicken in half the time! This Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe has a simple spice blend and fresh aromatic vegetables and herbs.

Make your Sunday dinner even more special with this instant pot whole chicken! Use the juices from the chicken to make an easy, flavorful gravy, and pair it with Roasted Asparagus and Baked Mac and Cheese.

Whole chicken in front of an instant pot.

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Delicious roasted chicken is just a few steps away! IP chicken is a quick way to cook a whole chicken for dinner, or for using in other recipes, like Caldo de Pollo, Chicken Casserole, or on salads and in wraps.

The flavor you get from cooking with the herb butter and then broiling in the oven is out of this world. And it’s so simple!

Why I Love This Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe

  • Fast and Easy – It takes about 10 minutes of prep and an hour of total cooking time to make this delicious chicken recipe.
  • Juicy Meat, Guaranteed! Unlike roast chicken in the oven, IP Chicken always be moist and juicy, just like a rotisserie chicken, but in a fraction of the time.
  • Crispy Skin – Broiling is optional, but essential to get crispy skin. The Instant Pot will cook your chicken beautifully, but it won’t crisp up the skin.

Ingredients

Ingredients for roasted chicken in the instant pot.
  • Chicken – I love a recipe that is just fresh, simple ingredients. The chicken I purchased for this recipe, was roughly 4 pounds, but the recipe will work with anywhere from a 3-5 pound bird.
  • Seasonings and Aromatics – The flavors and preparation are similar to my whole turkey recipe, with simple seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, and fresh herbs rubbed into and under the skin. Stuffed inside the cavity are the aromatics: garlic, onion, lemon, and more fresh herbs.
  • Liquids – Chicken broth and lemon juice fill the bottom of the pot and provide steam to keep the chicken moist and juicy. And finally, olive oil (or Canola oil) are brushed all over after the chicken is done cooking, and just before broiling in the oven.

How To Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

This is a visual overview of the steps to make this recipe. Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.

Whole chicken in a baking dish, a spoon separating the skin from the chicken.

Pat chicken as dry as possible using paper towels. Use a spoon or your fingers to lift the skin away from the breast. Rub seasoned herb butter under the skin and smooth back down over the breasts.

Raw whole chicken in a instant pot.

Place a trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot and place the chicken breast-side up on the trivet. Stuff with fresh herbs, lemon, onion, and garlic. Pour in lemon juice and chicken broth.

Cooked whole chicken in an instant pot.

Seal the instant pot and set for 6 minutes per pound at high pressure. Natural release for 20 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure.

Roasted chicken sitting on a trivel on a baking sheet.

Preheat the broiler of and position the oven rack in the lower ⅔ of the oven. Using oven mitts, lift the trivet out of the IP and place onto a baking sheet. Brush the chicken with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil for 5 minutes to crisp up the skin. Rest before carving.

Butter, garlic, and flour in a sauce pan.

Make the gravy: Melt butter and cook flour to make a roux. Strain liquid from the Instant Pot, adding packaged chicken broth if needed to make 2 cups, and add that to the roux.

Gravy in a sauce pan.

Whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a boil then simmer for a few minutes to thicken. Serve with chicken.

Sliced chicken breast and mashed potatoes on a white plate, a gravy boat pouring gravy over the chicken.

Serve gravy with the chicken and make ahead mashed potatoes and your favorite veggies. I like to serve with a Kale Salad with sweet, crunchy apples and pecans.

How Long Do You Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot?

It takes about an hour to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot: 6 minutes per pound under high pressure, then 20 minutes to naturally release the pressure, plus about 10 minutes for the pressure to build.

  • 3-pound chicken: 18 minutes high pressure, 20 minutes natural release.
  • 3.5-pound chicken: 21 minutes high pressure, 20 minutes natural release.
  • 4-pound chicken: 24 minutes high pressure, 20 minutes natural release.
  • 4.5-pound chicken: 27 minutes high pressure, 20 minutes natural release.
  • 5-pound chicken: 30 minutes high pressure, 20 minutes natural release.

Recipe FAQs

Do you need to add water to the instant pot when cooking chicken?

Yes, you always want to make sure there is liquid on the bottom of the Instant Pot to add moisture to the meat and to keep from getting a burn notice.

Can you cook a frozen chicken in the Instant Pot?

A fresh or fully thawed whole chicken will work best for the recipe. While you can cook chicken pieces safely from frozen, a whole chicken will take significantly longer (about an hour at high pressure). It will also be near impossible to separate the skin to flavor with the butter.

What size Instant Pot Should I use?

A 6-quart Instant Pot can fit up to a 5-pound chicken. An 8-quart Instant Pot will be able to accommodate larger chickens. Make sure to use a trivet for even cooking and easier removal.

How do you store leftovers?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Helpful Tips

  • You can use 1 teaspoon each of dried rosemary and thyme in place of the fresh.
  • Remember to remove the giblet bag if there is one and make sure the chicken is fully thawed before cooking, as this can alter cooking times.
  • You could also double the herb butter recipe and brush on the other half before broiling it in the oven, instead of brushing it with oil.
  • If your broiler is in the bottom drawer of your oven and the chicken won’t fit, preheat your oven to 475℉, brush the chicken with oil and bake on a rimmed sheet pan for 5-10 minutes until skin becomes crispy. Be careful to not over-bake the chicken, it will dry out very quickly and become tough.
  • Be sure to save the drippings to use for gravy.
Carved chicken on a white platter with sliced lemons and fresh herbs.

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Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe

5
Instant Pot Whole Chicken with simple spices and fresh herbs for a fast rotisserie chicken at home. Cook a whole chicken in your Instant Pot!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 51 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 433kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 3-5 pound whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary divided
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme divided
  • Fresh parsley
  • ½ yellow onion quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • Canola or olive oil

Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups Chicken broth using cooking liquid from the pot plus additional as needed.

Instructions
 

  • Strip a few leaves from rosemary and thyme and finely mince. In a small bowl, mix butter with the dried seasonings and the chopped fresh herbs.
  • Pat the chicken dry using paper towels and remove the giblet bag. Discard or save to make broth another time. Lift the skin away from the breast using the back of a spoon. Rub the butter mixture under the skin, and smooth out evenly over the breast meat.
  • Add 1 cup broth into the bottom of the Instant pot. Place chicken on a trivet breast side up and lower chicken into the pot.
  • Stuff the chicken cavity with 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 sprig of thyme, half of the parsley, half of the onion, half of the garlic, and the lemon half. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and stuff remaining herbs, onion, and garlic down around the chicken.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal. Set to high pressure, cook for 6 min per pound, then allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes. Release any remaining pressure. (Note that it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before the cook time starts).
  • Optional (but delicious): Meanwhile, preheat the broiler on low, position the oven rack in the lower ⅔ of the oven.
  • Using oven mitts, carefully lift the chicken out of the pot using the handles of the trivet and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the chicken with oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Broil until the skin is crispy, about 5 minutes, watching it closely so it won't burn.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  • Strain the liquid from the instant pot. Add packaged chicken broth to the juices to make 2 cups total. Set aside.
  • While the chicken is resting, make the gravy (optional). Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in 2 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and let the gravy simmer for a few minutes or until thickened, whisking occasionally. Serve with chicken.

Notes

  • A 6 quart Instant Pot can fit up to a 5 pound chicken. An 8 quart Instant Pot will be able to accommodate larger chickens.
  • If your broiler is in the bottom drawer of your oven and the chicken won’t fit, preheat your oven to 475℉, brush the chicken with oil and bake on a rimmed sheet pan for 5-10 minutes until skin becomes crispy. Be careful to not over-bake the chicken, it will dry out very quickly and become tough.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 433kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 29gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 577mgPotassium: 358mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 514IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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