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. (Just like with this Teriyaki Salmon.)

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), Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry, 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.

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

4.63 from 43 votes
How to make easy, healthy Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken from scratch! Made with simple ingredients and so much better than store bought.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins

Servings: 4 servings


  • 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


  • Lightly coat the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot with nonstick spray. Arrange the chicken breasts in the bottom.
  • In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. Pour over the chicken.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.


Serving: 1of 4, about a heaping 3/4 cupCalories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 36gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 83mgSugar: 27g

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.


Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article


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

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


Leave a comment

  1. HIGHLY recommend this recipe! It was a really easy recipe to follow and dish came out perfectly. I know some people mentioned it was too sweet or too salty, but for my husband and I we thought it was the perfect balance. I used low sodium soy sauce so I’m not sure if that played a part in it not being too salt. We did add a small amount of sriracha when we plated it just to add a kick, but that was out of personal preference.
    I also had the leftovers for lunch and thought it heated up perfectly!

    We will definitely be making this recipe on a regular basis!5 stars

  2. I enjoyed this recipe but next time I make it, I would probably put half the amount of ginger. It kind of overpowered the dish.

  3. Can I use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce? If so, do you recommend any adjustments to amounts of the sauce or any other ingredients? Thanks!

    1. Hi Erika! I haven’t tried the recipe with coconut aminos, but I think it would work fine as a direct swap. I hope you enjoy it!

  4. I’m thinking about making this recipe, but just want to know if the nutrition information includes rice or not. I track my macros so just want to be prepared!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Danielle! The nutrition estimate does not include any rice. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  5. I would say this is a decent meal. I’ve tried others and they work just as well but tried this one specifically due to it primarily calling for the use of chicken breasts as they are cheaper than chicken thighs. Going forward I will go back to using thighs as they are more tender and have more fat vs. breast meat. Just gives better flavor in my books.4 stars

    1. Hi Dottie! Yes you can. There is a section right above the recipe card called “Using Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot” and helps explain how to cook it. Hope this helps!

  6. This was really wonderful. I see now why low sodium soy was recommended. I used Braggs Aminos because I have celiac and BOY was the sauce salty. I made some pineapple fried rice to go with this chicken and it was a fabulous meal. I used breasts and cut them in half into cutlets because they were so thick. After taking them out of the intant pot I sautéd them for a few minutes on each side in a bit of oil before adding them back into the sauce. Will make this again if I can find low sodium GF soy sauce.5 stars

    1. Hi Dawn! So glad you enjoyed the chicken recipe! Thank you for this kind review! I believe Kikkoman has a low sodium GF soy sauce! Hope this helps!

  7. This recipe is now one of my favorites! Easy, quick to fix, healthy, and everyone in my family loves it! Put leftovers on Hawaiian rolls for a great slider.5 stars

  8. Just made this last night and the family loved it! It really tasted just like the restaurant version and it was super easy to make!5 stars

    1. Hi Katrina! I’ve only tested this recipe as written, but you could probably use the tenderloins. It would impact the amount of time slightly. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

Load More Comments