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Instant Pot Pesto Chicken

This Instant Pot Pesto Chicken is the perfect meal to throw together if you need to cook, but don’t have a lot of time. It requires about 10 minutes of active effort at the beginning, and then all you need to do is press the right buttons on your Instant Pot and wait. You’re left with a pesto-y, tomato-y, cheesy dish that you’re going to LOVE
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Pressure Building 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 519kcal


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ Cup basil pesto + 2 tbsp
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese


  • In a bowl, season 4 chicken thighs with salt and pepper to personal preference. Then add 2 tablespoons of pesto into the bowl and mix to coat.
  • Turn your Instant Pot (or other Pressure Cooker) to the Sauté setting. Coat the bottom of the pot with 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Add chicken into the pot and allow it to brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Use tongs to flip the chicken thighs, browning on the other side as well. Do not cook all the way through, but allow the outside to brown. Remove thighs and place on a separate plate.
  • With the saute setting still on, add the ½ cup chicken broth into the pot to deglaze. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any chicken bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add ½ cup pesto and ½ cup cherry tomatoes into the pot, then add chicken thighs back in. Turn off the saute function.
  • Close the pressure cooker and seal. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. When complete, allow a Natural Release for 5 minutes, and then use an instant release to release the rest of the pressure.
  • Open the lid. Quickly place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each chicken thigh. Then, close the lid to the pot and seal again (but do NOT turn on the pressure cooker). Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes until the residual heat melts the cheese slices.
  • Remove the lid and serve with pasta or potatoes. Enjoy!


Recipe Copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.
  • Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I used 4 chicken thighs, but you can always use 6 or even double the recipe! The cook time should remain the same.
  • Basil Pesto: You can buy this jarred or make your own pesto. This is my favorite Easy Pesto Recipe. You could also experiment with this Pistachio Pesto Recipe!
  • Chicken Broth: I like using chicken broth because it adds extra flavor to the dish, but you can also substitute this with ½ cup of water.
  • Tomatoes: Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes work just fine. You can also use larger tomatoes if that is all that you have.
  • Mozzarella: I prefer using a chunk of mozzarella that I slice into the right size. Mozzarella pearls also work, but they’re a little harder to get to melt correctly on the chicken
  • Olive Oil: I used olive oil, but you can also use avocado oil, butter, or anything else you have on hand.
  • Extras: Salt, pepper
  • You can use any electric pressure cooker to make this recipe, not just an Instant Pot!
  • Add some Italian seasoning for extra flair.
  • Parmesan cheese makes everything better, don't you agree? You can top your Instant Pot Pesto Chicken with Parmesan cheese for some extra flavor! You can also top your final dish with fresh basil.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 666mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 996IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 1mg