Instant pot turkey thighs are tender, juicy, and delicious. They are perfect for a small holiday dinner or even for a weeknight fall dinner when you want something savory, filling, and well-seasoned without taking the time or the effort to cook. That’s right, your instant pot will do all the work—you just need 10 minutes of prep time to sauté a few ingredients before popping the lid on. Pressure cooked in a rich sauce of chicken broth, tomatoes, and wine, these pressure cooker turkey thighs are loaded with flavor and are sure to satisfy. Serve with a side of rice or potatoes to soak up all that sauce.
Why You’ll Love Instant Pot Turkey Thighs
- Turkey thighs are juicy and delicious. You’ll want to buy the best dark meat for this recipe, and here’s why. It tastes great. It’s packed with protein. It stays juicy once cooked. And it’s super cheap. It’s not unusual to find turkey thighs for less than $3 per pound—so stock up and freeze those thighs for this instant pot turkey thigh recipe!
- A sauce with incredible depth of flavor. In this case, you’ll have a dash of wine in dinner. Adding wine to a sauce like this helps cut the acidity and more complex flavors. While your turkey thighs sit in the sauce, they absorb the depth of flavor that the wine sauce delivers. If you want to skip this ingredient, substitute it with balsamic vinegar instead for a similar flavor.
- It’s so easy to make. Since the instant pot (pressure cooker) will do most of the work for this recipe, all you need to do is set aside about ten minutes for prep work. There’s nothing better than dinner prepared for you by someone else—especially when that someone else is a kitchen appliance.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make these easy Instant Pot Turkey Thighs, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in the recipe card below):
- turkey thighs - you could also use turkey drumsticks but may have to adjust the cook time slightly.
- seasoning - Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- vegetable oil - I used avocado oil, but any vegetable oil that you typically use for cooking works.
- onion + garlic
- chicken broth - feel free to substitute with vegetable broth.
- red wine - you can substitute the wine with balsamic vinegar for a similar flavor.
- tomato sauce
- herbs - bay leaves, fresh rosemary, and fresh parsley.
How to Make the Best Instant Pot Turkey Thighs
- Season the turkey. Use a paper towel to pat dry the turkey thighs completely dry. Rub Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper evenly all over the thighs to season. Set aside on a plate for at least 10 minutes.
- Sear the turkey. Turn on the Sauté function on high on the instant pot. Add oil and heat until the hot oil sizzles, about 1 minute. Sear the turkey thighs for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Note that the turkey doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this point (and will not be).
- Make sauce. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, and rosemary. Sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Pour in wine, chicken broth, and tomato sauce. Mix well until evenly combined.
- Pressure cook. Switch to pressure cooking mode on manual High and seal the lid (the steam release knob must be turned to the sealed position). Let the turkey thighs pressure cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Once the time is up, you can let the instant pot slowly release the pressure, about 20 minutes or quick release the remaining pressure by turning the steam release valve to the venting position.
- Serve. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes, if desired.
Storing and Reheating Instructions
- How to store: Keep leftover instant pot turkey thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- How to reheat in the oven: To reheat leftover turkey thighs in the oven, first preheat the oven to 375F. Place turkey thighs and sauce (or water) in an oven-safe dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of your turkey thighs). For faster heating, cut the turkey thighs up into pieces.
- How to reheat in the microwave: Place turkey thighs and sauce in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Reheat on medium heat for 2-5 minutes.
More Turkey Recipes
- Roasted Turkey Legs with Vegetables
- Soy Glazed Braised Turkey Breast
- Roasted Turkey Breast
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- The Juiciest Roast Turkey
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.