Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Sweet, sticky, and simple Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken for your healthy dinner menu!

A plate of healthy Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken with chopsticks

This healthy chicken recipe is a wholesome twist on the ultra-appealing teriyaki chicken stir fry that was my earliest gateway into Asian food. It’s made with more natural ingredients, you can adapt it for teriyaki chicken breasts or thighs, and the teriyaki chicken sauce is just 8 ingredients, including the water (which I don’t think counts, do you?).

I was introduced to Japanese teriyaki chicken via our hometown’s favorite (only?) Japanese takeout joint. It was in the corner of a nondescript strip mall. The only notable décor was large-scale photos of the menu items plastered to the walls and bottles of Kikkoman soy sauce on the tables.

What the restaurant lacked in atmosphere, it more than made up for in food. My go-to order was the teriyaki chicken with a big side of sticky rice. The memory of it still makes my mouth water. I’ll forever consider teriyaki chicken a comfort food.

A plate of healthy Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

I suspect you’ve encountered teriyaki chicken in some capacity, be it a favorite takeout spot of your own, a mall food court, or a recipe you saw printed on the back of bottled teriyaki sauce at the grocery store.

If your experience has been like mine, with very few exceptions, most teriyaki chicken recipes are laden with sugar, sodium, and other ingredients meant to be consumed in moderation versus as a healthy dinner.

For today’s Teriyaki Chicken recipe, I drew inspiration from that perfect plate of Japanese teriyaki chicken I remember from my youth, then gave it a wholesome makeover.

Serve it with rice and a side of veggies, and you have yourself a knockout dinner that beats the pants off of takeout every single time!

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken being stirred in the pressure cooker

Without my expressly setting out to do so, making healthy versions of Asian takeout favorites has become a little side hobby of mine.

In fact, as I’m typing this, I took a quick peek at my recipe index and…well, we have some evidence: Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli (and um, Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli plus this stove top Healthy Beef and Broccoli), Pineapple ChickenGeneral Tso’s TofuCrockpot Orange Chicken, and Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken, not to mention all of these healthy stir fry recipes.

Clearly, I am in this takeout fake-out food game for more than the fortune cookie.

How to Make Teriyaki Chicken

The base recipe for this Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken is my Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken. (Did I mention I like teriyaki chicken?)

Like the original recipe, this one is made of simple, homemade ingredients. You don’t need to make Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken with bottled sauce. Instead, swap the store-bought sauce for a quick mix of:

  • Soy Sauce. I like and recommend low sodium.
  • Rice Vinegar. A staple in any stir-fry sauce. This provides the acid that balances the teriyaki sauce’s sweetness.
  • Honey. This replaces some of the brown sugar (most restaurant sauces are LOADED with sugar).
  • Brown Sugar. We do still need a bit for the quintessential teriyaki chicken flavor, but again, this far less than what you’ll find in a bottle or at a restaurant.
  • Fresh Garlic and Fresh Ginger. To bring the teriyaki sauce to life.
  • Cornstarch. To thicken the teriyaki chicken marinade into a thick, glossy sauce that coats every forkful.

How to Cook Teriyaki Chicken in the Instant Pot

One mega advantage this easy pressure cooker teriyaki chicken recipe has over my slow cooker version is that everything cooks in one pot. (This is the Instant Pot that I have and recommend.) Instead of reducing the teriyaki sauce on the stove, you can do it right in the Instant Pot itself! Thank you sauté mode.

  • Place the chicken in the Instant Pot. You can use chicken breasts, go for Instant Pot teriyaki chicken thighs, or even use frozen chicken.
  • Stir the sauce ingredients together. Easy peasy.
  • Pour over the chicken, seal, and cook! The amount of time will vary based on if you used breasts or thighs, as well as if your chicken is fresh or frozen.
  • Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and shred it with two forks. At this point, it will be fall-apart tender.
  • Switch the Instant Pot to sauté, then add the cornstarch slurry. Let it bubble and thicken into a glorious, hopelessly addictive teriyaki sauce.
  • Stir the chicken back into the sauce, and serve!

How to Serve Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

  • Keep it simple: serve Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken with rice. Use brown rice for a higher fiber and protein content. You can make this in advance in the Instant Pot or on the stove while the teriyaki chicken cooks.
  • While the chicken cooks, I like to steam or sauté a side of broccoli, then pile it all together with the teriyaki chicken and rice to make Instant Pot teriyaki chicken bowls.
  • For a lower-carb version, use cauliflower rice or even broccoli rice.

A plate of brown rice, Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken, and veggies

Using Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

The other Instant Pot advantage is that you can use frozen chicken.

  • General guidelines I recommend for fresh/frozen can be found in this simple guide to cooking Instant Pot Chicken!

Making this Teriyaki Chicken recipe, I can’t help but smile at the thought of high school Erin sitting down to a bowl. I’m confident she’d approve, now adult-Erin certainly approves, and I know that you and your family will too!

Healthy Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken from scratch! Use fresh or frozen chicken thighs or breasts and serve with rice or cauliflower rice for a low carb version. This easy pressure cooker recipe tastes like your favorite stir fry but is so much better for you.
4.75 from 12 votes
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Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
How to make easy, healthy Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken from scratch! Made with simple ingredients and so much better than store bought.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts — about 3 medium breasts (see blog post above for tips on using chicken thighs or frozen chicken)
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic — minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch — stirred together with 1/4 cup water to create a slurry

For serving:

  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Prepared brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice

Instructions

  1. Lightly coat the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot with nonstick spray. Arrange the chicken breasts in the bottom.

  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. Pour over the chicken.

  3. Close and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH (manual) pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then immediately vent to release the remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid. Turn the Instant Pot OFF. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it cool a few minutes. Once you can safely handle it, shred the chicken with two forks or cut it into bite-size pieces.

  4. Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE. Once the liquid begins to simmer, slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Continue whisking to ensure the sauce is smooth and does not have any lumps. Continue to cook and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Turn the Instant Pot OFF. Add the chicken back to the pot and toss to coat in the sauce. Serve hot with prepared rice and a sprinkle of green onions and sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, with a splash of water or chicken broth if you'd like to thin the mixture back out a bit.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Japanese
Keyword: Instant Pot Chicken Recipe, Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 of 4, about a heaping 3/4 cup) — Calories: 319, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Carbohydrates: 35g, Sugar: 27g, Protein: 36g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

44 comments

  1. I love this, I don’t have an instant pot but I am guessing if i make the sauce a head of time I could make this in my slow cooker? I love making sauces from scratch, and this teriyaki sauce is going on the list to try. I make a homemade sweet chili sauce and could never go back to store bought especially knowing all the extra weird ingredients that are on the label, don’t need to be there. Oh, and I loved the post about how you are developing recipes for you cookbook, just didn’t get a chance to comment. Thanks for what I am sure will be a winner.

  2. This sounds insanely delicious! I am still breaking in my Instant Pot and can’t wait to try out this recipe!

  3. With the various recipes calling for rice vinegar do you think I could substitute apple cider vinegar Without changing the flavor too much?

    • Kibby, I am afraid rice vinegar is totally unique and has a unique flavor. It especially shines in Asian dishes. It’s not too expensive and available at most grocery stores, so I definitely recommend it here.

  4. Quick question! Is step 3 of this assuming frozen chicken (thighs or breasts)?

    • Hi Deniz, the recipe assumes thawed chicken. If you’re starting with frozen, you can scroll up in the blog post for my tips on that!

  5. Made this dish last night in my Instapot and my husband really liked it. I also like that this is quick and easy to prepare!

  6. Haley-Anne Miller Reply

    This was great but pay attention to the recipe and DO use the LOW SODIUM soy sauce. I usually ignore low sodium and use the regular kind. Mine turned out really good, but you could tell how much better it would have been it was less salty.

    I would also recommend stir frying some water chestnuts, celery and whatever else (maybe cashews) in sesame oil and adding them to sauce after the chicken is done.

    • Haley, thank you for chiming in and sharing this (yes, low sodium soy sauce makes it much much easier to control the amount of saltiness), and your additions sound so yummy too!

  7. Thanks so much for this DELICIOUSNESS! I made it last night with some friends, and everyone LOVED it! Thank you for this savory, healthy, quick dinner!

  8. Made this tonight, i thought it turned out really well and the Mrs gave it high praise also. I stir fried some red and yellow onion along with a sweet red pepper in the IP before cooking the chicken. These were added back along with the chicken at stage 5. It Involved a little bit extra time, however kept the washing up to a minimum, happy days. Lots left for lunch tomorrow. Thanks again.
    Roddy

  9. So excited to have discovered your website! I’m allergic to garlic and ginger. How do you think the sauce would be without those ingredients? Can you think of something else I could add? I would love to be able to have a teriyaki sauce I can actually eat!

  10. This recipe is absolutely perfect. Everyone with an instant pot should try it!  Thank you! 

  11. I’ve made this wonderful recipe many times with chicken theighs. My question is : Can you double the recipe in a 6 qt. instant pot?  
    🌹

    • Hello! I don’t remember exactly how full the IP was, I’m afraid, but I think that there should be room to double! If in doubt, you can always do 1.5 times.

  12. This is delicious! I’m going to add this into my meal rotation.

  13. I just got my instant pot and this was the first recipe I prepared, now its a family staple for those busy evenings when you need a second self between sports pick up and dinner.
    Thank you for this delicious recipe and making it soo quick and easy

  14. Does the nutritional info include the rice or is this without the rice?

  15. I used low sodium soy sauce and found this to be too salty and too sweet. The instant pot aspect worked perfectly and I liked how much sauce there was…so I will have to tweak to make a little more tonour taste. Thanks!

  16. I made this last night, but only had regular soya sauce. it was very salty but I can tell the flavour base is right. Next time will use low sodium! thanks

  17. Can you cut the chicken into strips prior to cooking? Do you need to adjust the cooking time? 

    • Hi April! You could experiment with cutting the chicken first, but that would drastically reduce the cook time. I can only vouch for the recipe as written, and keeping the chicken in whole pieces lessens the chance it will overcook. But if you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes.

  18. Jessica Fidler Reply

    Made this last night and it was a hit. Just wanted to say thanks for all the delicious recipes! They are always a success and now in my regular rotation of meals.

  19. Thanks for recipe. I just got an instant pot. .  First time I was able to thicken a sauce with corn starch.  But it was not sweet enough for our tastes.  If I add more sugar and honey do I need to add anything else?  Or less soy sauce ?

    • Hi Courtney, you could certainly add more honey to taste. I have not tried it myself, but it may need a little extra salt from the soy sauce, but you can taste it after you add more honey before you decide. I hope you enjoy!

  20. Super yummy and easy to make. Family loved it!

  21. I’ve made this recipe several times. It is out of this world delicious!  I’ve used both chicken breast and chicken thighs.  I just recently acquired a taste for chicken thighs. I never used to eat them. Just a texture thing for me.  In the IP, the thighs are the way to go. I haven’t found a way to cook breasts in in IP yet without them being so dry. Any tips would be helpful.  This dish is fabulous with cauliflower rice and some stir fried veggies. I just throw the veggies into the decadent sauce for a few minutes before serving or drizzle it over the veggies.  This is by far the best tasting sauce of any site that I follow. BTW, your IP beef with broccoli recipe is another favorite. Thanks for always sharing your recipes. I love following your blog.  

  22. Thanks for another great recipe that’s just as delicious as it is quick and easy. I’ve been wanting to try this since I first spotted it, and I finally made it tonight. My husband and I both loved it. It’s eons better than any other chicken teriyaki recipe I’ve ever tried. I’ll definitely be making this again!

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