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Test Kitchen Approved

Instant Pot Roast Chicken

Recipe By Abbey Cochran


4 to 6 servings

Prep Time

10 Minutes

Cooking Time

45 Minutes

Recipe By Abbey Cochran

It seems as though everyone is talking about the Instant Pot these days! This method creates an easy "roast" chicken that stays moist and practically falls off the bone.

Recipe Notes

*The onion quarters help to elevate the chicken in the pot so it doesn't cook completely submerged in broth. If you have the trivet Instant Pot accessory, use only one quartered onion. Try this recipe with any of your favorite spice blends!

If you don't have an Instant Pot, don't worry! Check out our recipe for the Easiest Ever Slow Cooker "Roast" Chicken for a dinner that's just as simple and delicious.


1 (3 to 4 lb.) whole chicken, gizzards removed

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 onions, quartered*

1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed

1 ¼ cups chicken broth (or water)

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. seasoning of choice, divided:

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Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Season the inner cavity of the chicken with 1 tsp. of seasoning. Add thyme, two onion quarters, and half of the garlic cloves to the cavity, then tightly tie the legs together with butcher's twine. Set Instant Pot to Saute and add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. While pot heats up, rub the chicken with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. seasoning.

Gently place chicken into hot oil, breast-side down, and brown for 3 to 5 min. Turn chicken and brown other side for another 3 to 5 min. Remove chicken and set aside. Add remaining onion quarters, garlic, and broth to the pot. If you have the trivet accessory, add it to the pot as well. Set chicken back in the Instant Pot, sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. seasoning, and seal the lid. Pressure cook for 25 min., then let pressure release naturally (turn off heat and let pot cool for about 15 to 20 min., or until lid releases pressure automatically).

Remove chicken and set aside to rest. Turn Instant Pot back on to Saute and boil liquid, uncovered, for 10 to 15 min. to reduce. Carve chicken and serve with reduced liquid as an au jus.