Get vibrant Filipino flavors and tender chicken in under an hour with the Instant Pot Chicken Adobo recipe below!
The term “adobo” may make you think of Mexican food, but Adobo Chicken is actually a classic Filipino dish and cooking method. Traditionally, Filipino Chicken Adobo is simmered in a savory sauce of vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, black peppercorns, and salt or soy sauce.
Our Instant Pot Adobo Chicken Instant Pot recipe keeps the classic Filipino flavors but transforms this long-simmering dish into a quick and easy meal. In the recipe, we cook boneless chicken thighs in the savory sauce using the high pressure of the Instant Pot for a burst of flavor and chicken so tender it falls apart.
“It made my two-year-old niece — who doesn’t like chicken — say ‘Yum! I eat?!’”
– Zeb W.
We first introduced Chicken Adobo (the original was cooked in a slow cooker) as part of our meal plan service in March 2015 and it was a hit. So with the help of our member-run Cook Smarts Instant Pot community, we converted this easy Chicken Adobo recipe for use in the Instant Pot, which means you get the same delicious dish in much less time. You can join the Instant Pot community here!
Instant Pot Tip: Use the Instant Pot for batch cooking to save time cooking later. This recipe serves 8, so if you have leftovers, freeze the meat to make a great filling for tacos or wraps later in the week.
(For more Instant Pot tips, check out our article here.)
- Get your aromatics prepped ahead to save a bit of time when you cook. Watch our videos below to see how.
- You can also get the chicken seasoned and tenderized ahead of time. Tenderizing with a fork is an easy way to ensure tender chicken that allows all the flavor to seep in. See how we tenderize chicken with the video below.
How to Mince or Crush Garlic
Garlic adds great flavor and aroma to any dish. Learn how to impart the flavors of garlic to any dish with this short video.
How to Dice Shallots
This short video shows you how easy it is to chop shallots, which lend a lot of flavor to your cooking.
How to Season & Tenderize Proteins with a Fork
Maximize flavor and tenderize proteins with this little trick.
- Instant Pot — this is all the equipment you need! Cook your rice in the Instant Pot first and then cook the chicken.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1-1/2 cups
- Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
- Shallots - 2 cloves, chopped
- Green onions - 2 stalks, green and white parts chopped and combined
- Limes - 1/2, wedges
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1/4 cup
- Vinegar, rice - 1/4 cup
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 2 Tbsp
- Bay leaves - 2
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 2 lbs
- Rice – For white rice, use a 1:1 rice to water ratio in the Instant Pot. Cook for 4 minutes on the Manual function. Natural release for 10 minutes and then quick release. Set aside. For brown rice, use a 1:1.25 rice to water ratio. Cook for 20 minutes on the Manual function. Natural release for 10 minutes and then quick release. Set aside. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Garlic / Shallots / Green onions / Limes – Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Chicken – Season with salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Heat Instant Pot on Sauté function. Brown chicken in the pot. Set meat aside.
- Add garlic and shallots and sauté until soft. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, bay leaves, and water in the Instant Pot.
- Set Instant Pot to Manual function. Lock the lid, set the pressure valve to “sealing” and cook for 10 minutes. Do a natural release.
- Use a fork to shred your chicken right in the Instant Pot. Let it sit in the cooking liquid for 5 to 10 minutes, and then taste and season to your liking (if you like heat, definitely shake on some of your favorite hot sauce).
- Top rice with chicken. Serve with lime wedges and chopped green onions. Enjoy!
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