Instant Pot Whole Chicken

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Today’s Instant Pot chicken recipe is a game changer: a Whole Chicken Cooked in the Instant Pot for tender, juicy, flavorful results without all of the fuss of roasting in the oven. Add vegetables to the Instant Pot for an easy side dish and whisk some butter and flour into the drippings for a quick chicken gravy, too!

A delicious Italian-style whole chicken recipe made in the Instant Pot with veggies. You can also use the dripping to make a homemade gravy, too - an Instant Pot one pot meal

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe

While I love the nights that I have plenty of time to experiment and whip up unique or gourmet meals for my family, for the most part I am a fan of simple, reliable meals that taste delicious and everyone will be happy to eat.

Roast chicken has been a mainstay in our home for years, but now that I’ve perfected cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, I think I have a new favorite!

Cooking a whole chicken in the Instant Pot results in fall-off-the-bone, tender, juicy and flavorful chicken – similar to how the chicken turns out in my Milk Poached Chicken recipe.

I add root veggies right to the pot for an easy side dish and then after everything has cooked and has been removed from the Instant Pot, I use the drippings to make a quick and easy chicken gravy by whisking in some butter and flour on the Sauté setting.

You can use whichever seasonings you desire to make your whole chicken. I went with my homemade Italian seasoning, a whole lot of garlic and a slug of white wine. Rotisserie seasoning, homemade Greek seasoning, even Cajun seasoning would all be delicious.

I do love a crispy chicken skin, so I do add an extra step of popping the chicken under the broiler for a couple minutes just to crisp up the skin. This step is totally optional.

Use the leftover chicken bones to make our Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken soup or Instant Pot Chicken Stock.

How Long to Cook Your Chicken in the Instant Pot

For a thawed or fresh chicken, you will need 6 minutes per pound, plus a 10-20 minute natural release:

  • 3 lb chicken = 18 minutes on high pressure
  • 4 lb chicken = 24 minutes on high pressure
  • 5 lb chicken = 30 minutes on high pressure
  • 6 lb chicken = 36 minutes on high pressure

The chicken should read 165ºF on a meat thermometer after the natural release. If it doesn’t, place the lid back on and cook for 2 minutes for every 5ºF the chicken fell short of 165ºF. (For example, if the chicken was at 155ºF, cook for 4 more minutes.)

This is the meat thermometer I have been using for the past 6 years – I’ve never had to change a battery and it’s super sturdy and reliable. It was a bit pricey, but unlike the $15 models that you can buy, this one isn’t going to need replacement. It is waterproof and comes with a two-year warranty. (Thermoworks also has a $15 pocket-sized model if you want to try that out first before investing in the MK4.)

Can I cook a whole frozen chicken in the Instant Pot? Yes, but I do recommend using fresh or thawed if you can. For a frozen chicken, you will need to cook for 11 minutes per pound, plus a 20 minute natural release:

  • 3 lb chicken = 33 minutes on high pressure
  • 4 lb chicken = 44 minutes on high pressure
  • 5 lb chicken = 55 minutes on high pressure
  • 6 lb chicken = 66 minutes on high pressure

What size Instant Pot do I need to cook a whole chicken? I use a 6qt Instant Pot and can give a 5.5 lb chicken easily into it. Definitely check to ensure that your chicken can fit into your Instant Pot before proceeding with this recipe to avoid frustration.

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Ingredients

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: before getting started, ensure that your chicken fits in your Instant Pot! I use a 6qt Instant Pot and can fit a 5.5 lb chicken easily.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Instant Pot <– I’m so excited to upgrade to this one with air fryer capacities soon! (You can also just buy the lid which adds the air fryer capacity to your standard IP.)
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons

How to Make a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil, and then season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.

Place the chopped vegetables and water in the bottom of the instant pot and place the chicken over top.

Pour the wine over the chicken and secure the lid.

Select the manual setting, set to high, and increase time to 24 minutes.

Natural release for 10 minutes to let the chicken rest and then quick release until steam is complete.

Set the oven to broil and place the chicken under the broiler for 2 minutes to crisp up the skin.

Pin this Easy Chicken Recipe for the next time you need to save time in the kitchen – but still serve a filling, amazing meal:

How to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot: a step-by-step tutorial plus helpful hints on different sizes of chickens, seasoning options, plus what to do if your chicken is frozen!

Grab your free printable for our Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe:

Yield: 1 whole chicken, 10 servings

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

A simple recipe for Italian-style whole chicken made completely in the Instant Pot.

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water or broth
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 potatoes, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil, and then season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Place the chopped vegetables and water in the bottom of the instant pot and place the chicken over top.
  3. Pour the wine over the chicken and secure the lid.
  4. Select the manual setting, set to high, and increase time to 24 minutes. (See cooking chart to select the correct cooking time for your chicken's size.)
  5. Natural release for at least 10 minutes to let the chicken rest and then quick release until steam is complete. (Ideally, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 20 minutes.)
  6. Set the oven to broil and place the chicken under the broiler for 2 minutes to crisp up the skin.

Notes

For a thawed or fresh chicken, you will need 6 minutes per pound, plus a 20 minute natural release:

  • 3 lb chicken = 18 minutes on high pressure
  • 4 lb chicken = 24 minutes on high pressure
  • 5 lb chicken = 30 minutes on high pressure
  • 6 lb chicken = 36 minutes on high pressure

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 19g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

Pin this Recipe for Later

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This method of making a whole chicken in the Instant Pot is perfect for busy weeknights when you still want to serve your family a filling, healthy meal but don’t have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen.

For more delicious Instant Pot recipes the whole family will love, check out our Instant Pot Taco Pasta recipe (with video) or our Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs recipe.

An entire chicken dinner - including vegetable side and gravy - made completely in the Instant Pot! This Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe is Italian-inspired with amazing flavor, plus tips on how to change up this method for other flavors or even using frozen chicken  How to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot: a step-by-step tutorial plus helpful hints on different sizes of chickens, seasoning options, plus what to do if your chicken is frozen!  An entire chicken dinner - including vegetable side and gravy - made completely in the Instant Pot! This Instant Pot Whole Chicken recipe is Italian-inspired with amazing flavor, plus tips on how to change up this method for other flavors or even using frozen chicken

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