Instant pot whole chicken is tender, juicy, and flavorful. Can you believe that you can fit a whole chicken into the pressure cooker, and it comes out perfectly cooked in just 40 minutes? It is seriously the fastest way to cook a whole rotisserie chicken for dinner. Plus, the prep is quick and easy too with just a handful of pantry staples. But my favorite part might be the delicious homemade chicken gravy made straight from the reserved pan drippings. You don't want to skip it!
Why You'll Love Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Easy to prepare. Sometimes the thought of cooking a whole chicken can be a little daunting, especially if you have never done it before. But once you give it a try, you might become very hooked. The prep time is minimal — just dry and season the bird and pop it into the pressure cooker. Just like our other favorite one pot pressure cooker meals like Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice and Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup.
- Tender, juicy chicken loaded with flavor. When you pressure cook a whole chicken in the instant pot, you guarantee that it will come out tender, juicy, and flavorful from top to bottom. That's just what happens in the pressure cooker. Plus, this chicken is well seasoned with pantry staples like paprika, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder, and stuffed with fresh herbs and lemon for even more flavor. It tastes as good as it sounds!
- The quickest way to cook chicken. It takes just 25 minutes to cook a whole chicken in the instant pot and 15 minutes to release the pressure. Isn't that unreal? A whole chicken cooked in way under an hour. You might never pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store again.
- Homemade chicken gravy. When you pull out your juicy cooked rotisserie chicken out of the instant pot, you’ll notice a beautiful broth left behind. This broth is a blend of chicken drippings, chicken stock, and all the yummy seasonings you added to the chicken. Don't throw it out! Keep it to make a gravy. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this easy Instant Pot Whole Chicken, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in the recipe card below):
- whole chicken
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- paprika - adds subtle flavor and gorgeous color.
- Italian seasoning - you can substitute this for dried oregano.
- garlic powder
- lemon - for stuffing the chicken to add flavor.
- thyme - feel free to substitute with rosemary or sage, or a combination of the three.
- chicken broth
- for the gravy - you will need all-purpose flour, more chicken broth, butter, salt, and pepper.
This pressure cooker whole chicken is totally customizable. You can switch up the seasonings any way that you like. You can add soy sauce for an Asian twist, add in harissa paste (as in our Harissa Spatchcock Chicken), add more lemon and garlic flavors (like in our Greek Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken). Season it however you like and follow this recipe for the cooking instructions.
How to Make the Best Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Season the chicken. Pat the whole chicken completely dry using a paper towel. Rub on oil, salt, pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder evenly to season. Set aside on a plate for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, it’s ideal to bring the marinated chicken to room temperature to achieve even cooking and more tender and juicier meat.
- Stuff and truss the chicken. Stuff the lemon half and fresh thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Truss the chicken by tying the chicken snugly with cooking twine so that the wings and legs stay close to the body. This helps cook the whole chicken evenly.
- Pressure cook. Place a rack that can be fitted into the instant pot into the pot and add broth. The broth will be used to make gravy later, it also stops the chicken drippings from burning. Place the chicken (breast side up) on the rack and seal the lid (the steam release knob must be turned to the sealed position). Set the chicken on pressure cooking for 25 minutes. For each extra pound of chicken, cook 6 more minutes.
- Release the pressure. Once the time is up, let the instant pot slowly release the pressure, about 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast should reach 165F as read on a meat thermometer.
- Broil (optional). To make chicken skin extra crispy and browned, turn on the oven broiler and set it to high. Broil the chicken on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes. Keep a close eye on the broiler because things can heat up and burn quickly. Remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve with gravy on top.
How to Make Instant Pot Gravy
On the instant pot, switch the Sauté function on high. Add flour, chicken broth, and butter to the chicken drippings in the pot. Whisk well until smooth and cook until thickened to a desired consistency, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
How to Serve
Serve this instant pot whole chicken with a side of vegetables. Some of my favorites are:
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Roasted Vegetables
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Creamy Brussels Sprouts Bake
- Creamy Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Pressure cooker tips: As a general rule of thumb, cook your chicken on high pressure for 6 minutes per extra pound, then do a natural pressure release for 15 minutes before manually releasing remaining pressure.
- How to store: Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- How to reheat: Preheat oven to 325F. Place chicken on a casserole dish or quarter sheet baking pan and cover the bottom with some chicken broth or water (to prevent burning of any drippings). Loosely wrap the chicken in aluminum foil which helps hot, humid air circulate around the chicken, resulting in evenly heated, juicy leftover chicken. Bake for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. You can also break it apart and reheat leftovers in the air fryer at 350F for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
- How to use leftovers: You can reheat leftovers an enjoy this as is, or shred the meat and use in to make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup or White Chicken Chili, add it to sandwiches and salads, or stuff it in Chicken Enchiladas. If you are planning to use leftovers in this way, I would recommend separating the meat from the bone before refrigerating. That way, it’s easier to use when you want it.
More Whole Chicken Recipes
- 60 Best Chicken Recipes
- Dutch Oven Whole Roast Chicken
- Greek Lemon Garlic Whole Roast Chicken
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
- Harissa Spatchcock Chicken
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.