Make this Instant Pot Lemon Chicken for dinner tonight – everyone will love it. Even better: It’s SO quick and easy to make – and you can even cook the chicken from frozen!
This recipe is Trim Healthy Mama friendly (THM S), low carb, Keto friendly and gluten free. It only has 2g of net carbs per serving!
Chicken is such a dinner favorite around here. And I love chicken thighs for their healthy fat content! I always eat the skin to get more of that precious collagen from natural sources.
This low carb instant pot lemon chicken
- is easy to make
- can be cooked from frozen on those extra-busy nights!
- has 2g NET carbs per serving, perfect for low carb or Keto diets!
My instant pot has been my saving grace on those nights I completely forgot to defrost any meat…
… which has really been most nights since having baby #3. Ahem.
This version with a tangy and creamy lemon sauce is one of our favorites, because it’s so easy and flavorful!
I love how tender meat turns out in the instant pot, so I don’t mind those flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants dinners at all 😉
How to make instant pot lemon chicken
Read on for the detailed steps, or scroll down for more tips to make this recipe foolproof and the printable recipe card.
1 – Prep: To prep, chop a small onion (do really use a small one to keep this low carb, or use half of a medium one) and mince some garlic.
Plug in your instant pot and fit with the inner pot.
2 – Brown the chicken: Set the instant pot to “sauté” and add oil to the inner pot. Brown the chicken well on the skin side, then flip and brown on the other side for a couple of minutes, too.
Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a plate (it doesn’t have to be cooked through at this point).
3 – Start the sauce: To start the sauce, add the onion and garlic to the hot pot and sauté until softened.
Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, herbs and seasoning. Scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
4 – Pressure cook: Place the chicken thighs back into the pot.
Secure the lid and set the valve to the “sealing” position. Choose “pressure cook” (or “manual” on older models) and “high” for 12 minutes.
Allow the pot to naturally release the pressure (just switch it off and leave it alone) for the most tender meat.
5 – Finish the sauce: Once the pressure has released, open the pot and remove the chicken.
Set the instant pot to “sauté” and stir your preferred thickener into the sauce.
You can use glucomannan, arrowroot or cornstarch, depending on your carbohydrate goals.
Simmer until the sauce has thickened! Then stir in some cream and butter to make it extra luscious.
Tips for the BEST Low Carb Lemon Chicken
- don’t try to flip the chicken too soon, or you’ll rip it apart. it will naturally come off the bottom once it’s ready if you’re using enough oil
- you can make this with chicken breast, reduce the pressure cooking time to 8 minutes
- if the instant pot gets too hot while you’re sautéing, switch it off and use the residual heat to finish browning the chicken
How do you cook frozen chicken thighs in the instant pot?
Simply skip browning the chicken and only sauté the onion and garlic, then follow the recipe as written.
Pressure cook for 15 minutes instead of 12. Check the meat for doneness, if it’s still raw in the middle close the lid again and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Can you stack the chicken in the instant pot? Can you double the recipe?
If you’re using defrosted thighs and want to double the recipe, you can stack the chicken thighs.
Double the sauce ingredients too, but the cooking time should stay the same.
Please note: Do not stack the chicken if frozen/make sure the thighs are separated. If that’s not possible/they’re totally stuck together, your thighs may need longer to cook.
Can you use water instead of chicken broth?
Yes, you can.
It will still be delicious, but you may need to add more seasoning.
What are the best low carb sides for this lemon chicken?
There are many great ways to serve this!
More Low Carb Dinner Recipes
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!
Low Carb Instant Pot Lemon Chicken
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound chicken thighs I used bone-in, skin-on
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 lemon juice only
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon glucomannan OR 1/4 teaspoon Xanthan gum OR 1 teaspoon cornstarch OR arrowroot mixed in 3 tablespoons cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Brown meat: Set instant pot to sauté. Add oil to pot and add thighs skin-side down. Cook, in batches if needed, until golden and crisp. Flip and cook until browned on the other side. Remove chicken from pot.
- Start sauce: Add onion and garlic to pot and cook until starting to soften, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, herbs and seasoning. Stir, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Pressure cook: Place chicken thighs back in the instant pot. Secure lid and set the pressure valve to "sealing". Choose "pressure cook" (or "manual") and "high" for 12 minutes. Naturally release pressure after cooking time is up (just switch off the instant pot and leave it alone until pressure is gone).
- Finish sauce: Carefully remove thighs. Set the Instant Pot to sauté. Pour thickener slurry into pot, stir well and simmer until sauce has thickened. Stir in butter until melted and serve sauce over chicken.