This Instant Pot Chicken Stew combines tender shredded chicken thighs, vegetables, and thyme for a simple, warming, delicious dinner that comes together in under an hour, almost all of which is hands-off time in the Instant Pot.
Why You'll Love This Dish
There’s nothing I love more than a warm soup or stew on a cold night, and this Instant Pot chicken thigh stew can’t be beat.
Making chicken stew in the Instant Pot allows you to produce tender meat and vegetables with a depth of flavor that would only be possible in many hours on the stovetop.
The rich chicken thigh meat, sweet carrots, earthy celery, filling and creamy potatoes, savory onions and garlic, and woodsy, floral thyme create a balanced and comforting flavor profile that the whole family will love.
What You'll Need
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- Chicken Thighs You could also use chicken breasts here, but I strongly prefer the flavor imparted by the darker, more tender meat of the thighs.
- Chicken Broth I used a regular, boxed chicken broth, but making your own broth or stock would be delicious here. You could also use bouillon.
- Carrots You can also use baby carrots here if you prefer.
- Potatoes I use russet potatoes in this recipe, but you could get away with using a variety of baby potato as well.
- Onion I like using a yellow onion here. A sweet onion would work well, too.
- Garlic Fresh garlic adds a lot of flavor to this dish. If you don’t have access to fresh garlic, you could try some of this jarred garlic or use a bit of garlic powder.
- Thyme I used dried thyme here as I always have it on hand, but you could use fresh thyme, dried or fresh rosemary, or something like Herbs de Provence.
- Salt My preference is always kosher salt. Diamond Crystal is my brand of choice. It coats food evenly and has a lower salinity per teaspoon than other brands of salts, which makes it easier to taste as you go and harder to oversalt.
- Black Pepper I recommend a few cracks of good black pepper.
- Olive Oil a nice olive oil is always great, but you won't notice the difference if you have a less expensive olive oil on hand.
- Red Wine Vinegar Just a splash of red wine vinegar livens up the whole dish.
How to Prepare Instant Pot Chicken Stew
Step One Turn Instant Pot on sauté mode. After heating for a few minutes, add the olive oil.
Step Two: Pat the chicken dry and season well with salt and pepper.
Step Three: Brown the chicken thighs on both sides and transfer to a plate.
Step Four: Add the vegetables, onion, and garlic, season with thyme and salt, and let cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits of chicken.
Step Five Add the chicken back into the pot. Add the broth and the flour. Whisk the flour until well combined.
Step Six Secure the instant pot lid. Select the soup setting for 30 minutes.
Step Seven Once the Instant Pot has finished cooking, release the pressure with the instant release method. Be careful to stay away from the hot steam.
Step Eight Carefully remove the chicken from the broth, place on a cutting board, and shred using two forks. Add the chicken back to the stew.
Step Nine Stir in the red wine vinegar, top with fresh herbs if you’d like, and serve.
Stovetop You can make this stew on the stovetop as well. Brown the chicken, then sweat the vegetables, onions, and garlic, add the flour, broth, and seasonings, then bring up to a boil and down to a simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
Creamy Replace one cup of broth with one cup of cream.
Different Herbs Try using rosemary or Herbs de Provence in place of thyme.
Fresh Herbs Garnish the stew with soft fresh herbs like parsley or basil once it is finished.
How to Store
Fridge Pressure cooker chicken stew can be stored for about 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freezer Place stew in an airtight container, leaving a little bit of room for it to expand. I like to use gallon storage bags. Stew can be cooled, then frozen for about 3 months.
Reheating From the fridge, reheat the stew on the stovetop over medium-low to medium heat. Bring up to a boil and then down to a simmer. You can also reheat in the microwave for a few minutes.
From frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight, then follow the directions above.
For this recipe, we recommend using the soup setting for 30 minutes for perfectly cooked, tender chicken thighs.
You can. For this recipe, skip browning the chicken and simply add the frozen chicken along with the broth. Be sure to separate the pieces. The Instant Pot will take a little bit longer to come up to pressure with frozen thighs.
Definitely! You can prepare this up to three days in advance, then reheat on the stove when ready to serve.
Absolutely. This stew can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Sure. While I recommend thighs for their taste and texture, chicken breasts will work as well. Cook a few minutes less, as they will cook more quickly and is more likely to dry out.
How to Serve
This Instant Pot chicken stew with potatoes is a meal unto itself. Below are some suggestions for toppings and sides that complement the dish nicely.
Toast Try making this Air Fryer Toast recipe, which also includes instructions for crostini and croutons!
Salad Serve with a side of salad, like this tasty Kale Caesar Salad.
Pesto Serve a little dollop of this Almond Pesto on top of your soup for a delicious, fresh pop of flavor.
Hot Sauce Add a dash of hot sauce to this stew for a little heat! This Pineapple Habanero Sauce recipe is my personal favorite.
Looking for a recipe using whole chicken? Try this Instant Pot Chicken Soup.
- Do your chicken thighs always stick when browning? Be sure to let the Instant Pot come up to heat for several minutes before adding the oil, and let the chicken release on its own when flipping.
- You can cool down your stew quickly for storage by filling your sink with a few inches of ice water, transferring your stew to a metal or ceramic bowl, and then placing that container in the ice water, being careful not to let any water in.
- Freeze your stew in individual portions for an easy midweek meal.
Other Recipes You'll Love
If you're in the mood for more soup recipes, try these:
Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- 1 ¼ pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 2 russet potatoes small, or 1 large, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 carrots large, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon thyme dried
- 2 tablespoons flour
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar optional, but recommended
- Turn the instant pot on sauté mode. Let heat for a few minutes. Add the olive oil.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry and season will with salt and pepper.
- Brown the chicken thighs on both sides. Remove and set aside.
- Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, potatoes, salt, and thyme.
- Add the chicken back to the pot. Add the broth and the flour. Whisk until well combined.
- Secure the Instant Pot lid and set to soup mode for 30 minutes.
- Use the instant release method to allow the steam to escape.
- Carefully remove the chicken from the broth and shred with two forks. Add the chicken back to the broth, stir in the red wine vinegar, taste for seasoning, and serve.
- Stew can be stored for about 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- To freeze, place stew in an airtight container, leaving a little bit of room for it to expand. I like to use gallon storage bags. Stew can be cooled, then frozen for about 3 months.
- To reheat from the fridge, reheat the stew on the stovetop over medium-low to medium heat. Bring up to a boil and then down to a simmer.
- From frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight, then follow the directions above.
- Be sure to let the Instant Pot come up to heat for several minutes before adding the oil, and let the chicken release on its own when flipping.
- You can cool down your stew quickly for storage by filling your sink with ice water, transferring your stew to a metal or ceramic bowl, and then placing that container in the ice water, being careful not to let any water in.