It only takes one bite of this Instant Pot Lemon Rosemary Chicken to fall in love with it. The Italian-inspired flavor, creamy pan juices and succulent chicken are the best! No one will guess how easy it is to make!
This easy chicken recipe knocks it out of the park with amazing flavor and the creamy light sauce perfect for drizzling.
It’s an easy dinner recipe great for a weeknight that tastes like you are serving company.
Serve it with mashed potatoes or rice with the luscious creamy cooking juices.
Need a non Instant Pot version? Try this 30-Minute Lemon Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Vegetables (Sheet Pan recipe) recipe.
Rosemary Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
This recipe is very easy but the resulting flavor will taste like you slaved over the stove for hours.
The perfect combination of spices, herbs and lemon juice really give this moist, succulent chicken incredible flavor.
After cooking the chicken there are two choices: to make a sauce, or to simmer in the cooking juices with cream added.
Making the sauce has a few extra steps that are totally worth it. If you are in a hurry you’ll still enjoy great flavor from the quick simmer method.
Using a Fat Separator
To make the sauce we use a fat separator. If you’ve never used one they are a ‘must have’ gadget great for making gravy.
They work by effortlessly separating fat or oil from liquids. In this case the fat released from the cooked chicken is strained out before adding the liquids back to the Instant Pot to make the sauce.
This allows all the flavor but most of the fat is removed.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Olive oil. Use a good quality olive oil. It has a delicious Mediterranean flavor that pairs perfectly with the rosemary and lemon.
Butter. Use unsalted butter. The butter helps create a rich, buttery and silky sauce.
Bone-in skin-on Chicken Thighs. Leaving the skin on adds more flavor and helps keep the chicken thighs moist. The bone also adds more flavor to the chicken.
Yellow onion. We used yellow onions but red or white onions could be substituted.
Garlic clove. Adds more flavor to the recipe.
Italian seasoning. A combination of basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary and thyme, Italian seasoning is this spice blend the star of any Italian inspired dish. Try our homemade Italian Seasoning blend!
Kosher salt. Kosher salt has a slightly bigger flake than table salt so it’s easier to evenly distribute over anything you are cooking. It also has a less salty flavor.
Black pepper. A small crack of pepper to give it just the right amount of heat.
Low sodium chicken broth or stock. Using low sodium stock gives the chicken flavor without over salting the flavor of the final dish.
Fresh rosemary sprigs. The star of the recipe! Rosemary is one of those herbs where a little bit goes a long way so two small sized sprigs are enough to make this dish pop.
Lemon juice. Add some bright and zesty flavor to the chicken with some lemon juice. Lemon juice is also great to balance the flavor of the rosemary.
Heavy cream. To transform the stock into a creamy gravy-like sauce add a little bit of heavy cream or half and half.
How to prepare Rosemary Chicken – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Sear the Chicken
Select SAUTE and heat the oil and butter; allow the butter to melt (photo 1).
Place the chicken skin side down and cook 2 minutes (photo 2). Flip over and cook 1 more minute (photo 3).
Remove the chicken and set aside.
STEP 2. Saute the vegetables
Add the onion. Sauté until softened scraping up any sticking food bits (photo 4).
Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Turn off the SAUTE function.
STEP 3. Pressure Cook the chicken
Add the seasonings to the Instant pot along with the chicken stock and lemon juice. Stir (photos 5 and 6).
Insert the trivet (photo 7) and place the chicken skin side up on it (photo 8).
Seal the Instant Pot and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 12 minutes. Perform a QUICK RELEASE (photo 9 – post pressure cooking).
Remove the chicken, thighs, rosemary and trivet from the Instant Pot (photo 10).
STEP 4. Making a sauce
Strain the cooking liquids through a fat separator (photo 11). Pour the strained liquids back into the Instant Pot (photo 12).
Add the cream (photo 13) and turn on the SAUTE function. Warm through (it will not thicken).
Add the chicken, turn to coat and serve (photo 14).
NOTE: if not making a sauce, follow the instructions in the recipe card below.
Deglaze the pan. Deglazing the pan removes any stuck on food bits from sautéing. It’s important for two reasons.
Those little cooked bits stuck in the bottom of the pot are packing a TON of flavor. You’ll want to incorporate them all into your final dish.
If the Instant Pot is not deglazed between a sauté and pressure cooking phase a BURN warning can result.
Sauté the onions after the chicken. The onion will soak up the chicken fat resulting in more flavor.
The onions also help to loosen up some of the stuck chicken particles deglazing the pan with their moiture.
Go with the sauce. There are two options of how to finish the chicken: 1) simmered in the cooking liquids or 2) making a sauce.
This chicken is delicious with the liquids (for a quick type of dinner) but is mind blowing good drizzled with the sauce. It only takes a few extra minutes to make. And then drizzle some over your mashed potatoes.
It keeps the chicken from being submerged in the sauce (so the end texture of the chicken is better). It also makes an easy way to remove the chicken from the Instant Pot. Just lift it out on the trivet by using the handles.
While not a total must, a fat separator allows you to create a super rich and creamy sauce without the excess oils and fats that come with cooking the skin on chicken thighs.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Heat in the microwave.
Can you freeze rosemary chicken?
Yes. Allow it to cool completely. Add to a freezer-safe airtight container or bag. Add just a bit of the cooking liquids; seal and freeze for up to 2 months.
Allow to thaw in the refrigerator, reheat and serve.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
Lemon Rosemary Chicken Thighs (Instant Pot)
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- 4-6 bone-in skin-on Chicken thighs
- 1/2 Yellow Onion chopped
- 1 Garlic clove minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- 1 cup low sodium Chicken stock
- 2 fresh Rosemary sprigs
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Select the SAUTE setting on the Instant Pot. Add the olive oil and butter and allow butter to melt.
- Place the chicken, with the skin side down, into the Instant Pot. Sear for 2 minutes, flip over and sear 1 additional minute. Remove the chicken. NOTE: if making 6 thighs sear the chicken in two batches of 3 each.
- Add the onion and sauté until softened, scraping up any browned bits sticking to the Instant Pot bottom (this can cause a burn warning in some Instant Pot models).
- Add the garlic and sauté 1 additional minute.
- Turn off the SAUTE function.
- Add the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, chicken stock, lemon juice, and rosemary sprigs. Stir to incorporate.
- Place the trivet into the Instant Pot and return the chicken placing it skin side up on top of the trivet.
- Close the lid and valve and set on high pressure for 12 minutes.
- When cooking completes perform a QUICK RELEASE.
- Remove the chicken, trivet and rosemary sprigs from the Instant Pot.
If NOT making a sauce
- Pour in the heavy cream and turn on the SAUTE function.
- Return the chicken to the Instant Pot, skin side down.
- Allow the liquids to simmer for a few minutes (infusing the chicken). Remove and serve.
To make a sauce
- Pour the cooking liquids into a fat separator. Return the strained liquids back to the Instant Pot and discard the fat.
- Turn on the SAUTE function and add the cream. Allow it to just warm through (it won’t thicken).
- Add the chicken back to the Instant Pot and coat with the sauce.
- Serve over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes drizzled with the sauce.