Instant Pot teriyaki chicken made with tender pieces of white meat simmered in a flavorful Japanese-inspired sauce. This tasty meal is ready to eat in 30 minutes or less using a pressure cooker. Serve alongside rice and vegetables for a complete dinner solution.
There is one Japanese dish that my family can’t get enough of, and that’s teriyaki chicken. Sliced pieces of tender chicken breast drizzled with a sticky, sweet and savory sauce is undeniably satisfying. It’s a go-to item that we always order when dining out, until now. I’ve created an easy Instant pot version that requires minimal effort to make, with big bold flavors.
The trickiest part about using a pressure cooker is thoroughly cooking the chicken without drying it out. The solution is cooking whole tender breasts to keep the meat juicy. The lean protein simmers in a homemade teriyaki sauce that makes the flavors pop! Beware, you’ll want to add it to everything.
Once you make this meal once, there’s a good chance it’ll be put into the weekly dinner rotation because it’s just that good. Restaurant quality meal prepared in your kitchen!
Cooking lean chicken breasts in the Instant Pot under elevated pressures and temperatures can be a challenge. I initially tested this recipe using the saute function to get some browning on the surface to develop more flavor and texture. It’s a process I often do for other chicken breast recipes. However, once the chicken was pressure-cooked, it became dry and stringy. Instead, to keep the chicken succulent, I opted to follow this process:
How to make instant pot teriyaki chicken
- Add the chicken and sauce together in the pot.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Immediately “quick release” the pressure to prevent overcooking.
- Allow chicken to rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing to account for carryover cooking.
Despite not browning the surface of the chicken before pressure cooking, simmering the poultry in the teriyaki sauce infused a lot of flavors while preventing it from drying out. Win, win! Chicken thighs can also be used for this recipe if you prefer dark meat.
Teriyaki sauce is a favorite to add flavor to any meat or vegetable dish instantly. The good news, it’s made with simple pantry ingredients.
Homemade teriyaki sauce
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Mirin rice wine
The combination of umami flavors from the fermented soybeans balanced with honey for sweetness clings to your taste buds. The aromatic ginger and garlic flavors infuse into the sauce, adding earthy notes.
A splash of acidity from vinegar and rice wine elevates the taste intensity of each ingredient for a heightened experience with each bite. A cornstarch slurry is added at the very end of cooking acts as a thickening agent, allowing the sauce to cling to the chicken surface.
This teriyaki chicken is one of the easiest and quickest recipes I’ve made so far in my electric pressure cooker. If you’re new to using the multi-cooker, check out my Instant Pot guide for the basics of how this device works.
The cooked chicken breasts can be sliced or even shredded, with some sauce drizzled on top and extra on the side. I like to serve this dish with fragrant jasmine rice, brown rice, or for a low carb option, cauliflower rice or broccoli rice. Teamed up with some healthy vegetables, this is a complete meal to provide nourishment after a long day.
More Instant Pot recipes
How to correctly add a thickening agent to a sauce
Dry cornstarch powder should not be added directly to a hot simmering sauce. That will create a clumpy product. Instead, mix the cornstarch in room temperature or cold water. The slurry will allow the starches to more easily go into the hot liquid, absorb the water, swell and thicken the sauce. Make sure to continuously stir when adding in the thickening agent to help it stay separate and disperse properly.
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Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, 4 pieces
- 1 ¾ cups water, divided
- ⅔ cup soy sauce
- ¾ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mirin rice wine, optional
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons green onion, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- Add chicken breast to the Instant Pot.
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together 1 ½ cups water, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, mirin rice wine, garlic, and ginger. Add this teriyaki sauce to the Instant Pot.
- Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn and lock.
- Press the "Manual" button on the Instant Pot on high pressure, and then set the timer to 10 minutes using the "+" or "-" buttons. It will take about 10 minutes for the pot to heat and build up pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display.
- Once the display indicates "On" and begins the countdown at "10", the Instant Pot will beep when the cycle is complete.
- Cover the steam release handle with a towel to avoid splattering. Carefully quick-release the pressure by sliding the steam release handle to the "Venting" position, releasing all of the steam until the float valve drops down.
- Carefully open the lid. Press the "Keep Warm/ Cancel" button.
- Remove chicken and transfer to a clean plate, rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
- In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and ¼ cup of water to make a slurry.
- Press "saute" on the "more" setting.
- Once the teriyaki sauce begins to rapidly simmer, gradually add in the cornstarch slurry, constantly whisking.
- Cook and whisk the sauce until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 60 to 90 seconds.
- Slice chicken, drizzle teriyaki sauce on top and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
- Serve teriyaki chicken with jasmine rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or broccoli rice.
- Chicken thighs can be substituted for chicken breasts.
- If substituting cornstarch for arrowroot powder, use 3 ½ tablespoons of arrowroot powder mixed with ¼ cup water.
- MAKE IT PALEO: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Omit the rice wine. Use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch. Substitute pure maple syrup instead of honey.
- MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.
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