Instant pot chicken legs! This quick and easy instant pot lemon garlic chicken is packed full of flavour and so delicious. It is ready under 30 minutes and minimal prep is needed to make this pressure cooker chicken leg recipe.
Let me show you how to make chicken legs in your instant pot using fresh or frozen chicken. Serve with salad, steamed vegetables, rice or baked potatoes.
I love chicken and I honestly don’t get tired from eating it. My opinion of chicken is that no two chicken tastes the same because you can make it taste as you want. You are guaranteed flavourful chicken recipes on this blog, no faffing about, one-pan. One-pot, simple marinades but great flavour.
If you don’t own an instant pot yet, I have these easy stovetop chicken recipes you would love, this stove top chicken thighs use boned in and skin-on chicken thighs while this garlic chicken thighs is made using skinless chicken thighs. If you are looking for a baked version, then this oven-baked chicken drumsticks is for you.
Instant pot lemon garlic chicken legs recipe
Back to my instant pot lemony chicken legs or quarters as also called is basically the part of the chicken that consist of chicken thighs and drumsticks together. These chicken parts would cook differently in a pressure cooker but if you are using the leg (which today’s recipe is about) then the cooking time would be subjected to the thickest part of the chicken, in this case, the thighs. that way you are sure the chicken is safe to eat without further broiling or baking.
Unlike this instant pot chicken thighs that were cooked on a trivet, this chicken legs recipe is cooked in chicken broth, spices and aromatics. This cooking method works perfectly with frozen chicken, while the chicken thaws and cook in the pressure cooker, it soaks up all the garlicky lemony flavour from the marinade. Although it takes longer to cook than fresh chicken, you end up with a great tasting fall off the bone chicken
Frozen chicken typically would take between 4 hours or overnight to thaw, thanks to the pressure cooker, you can have this instant pot chicken legs (thighs or drumstick) on the table in less than 45 minutes. All you need is add 10 minutes to time this recipe called for. Please note that if using frozen chicken, you won’t be able to brown it before cooking.
You don’t have to have a pressure cooker to enjoy this recipe, although I would recommend it as it is a lifesaver. Make this lemon garlic chicken on the stovetop in a skillet using the same method as the instant pot. Follow this recipe here for how to. Right let us get on with it, you have got dinner to serve.
A detailed list of ingredients used is in the recipe card at the bottom of the page!
Chopped garlic cloves
Lemon juice and lemon zest
Salt and ground black pepper
How to make instant pot lemon garlic chicken
Prep the chicken legs and season with salt and black pepper.
Turn on your instant pot and push the saute button, add olive oil and leave until hot. What the oil starts shimmering or instant pot reads hot, add the chicken legs skin side down and brown until the skin is browned and crispy repeat the same for the other side (about 3 minutes on each side). Please be careful as the chicken would splatter if it gets out of hand, reduce the saute function to less from more. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside
Reduce the oil in the pan, still continuing on the saute function, add chopped onions and saute until soft, add the chopped garlic and cook for a few seconds then add the butter and stir until it melts in the pan.
Add lemon zest, Italian seasoning, lemon juice and broth and stir to combine whilst you deglaze the pot at the same time. Return the chicken legs into the pot, you can stack them if need be.
Lock the lid of the IP to safety, turning the valve to the seal position. Select the manual or pressure cook button and cook the chicken on high pressure for 15 minutes (25 minutes for frozen chicken legs), after the cooking cycle is completed do a 5 minutes natural pressure release then carefully do a quick release.
Open the lid and spoon the pan sauce on the chicken and serve as desired. If you want a crispy skin, broil the chicken for another 5 minutes and serve.
- If you don’t have a need for the pan sauce immediately, save it and use in other dishes. The pan sauce is great as a base for rice dishes, serve over steamed veggies or salad. Skim off the oil if it is too much.
- This recipe uses 3 large chicken legs, you can double the recipe but make sure that leave some spaces in between the chicken so they can cook evenly.
- If using frozen chicken legs/quarters make sure they are separated before cooking.
- Not sure your chicken is cooked, use an instant thermometer, insert it in the thickest part of the chicken and if the internal temperature reads 165F/75C then it is safe to eat.
- Use any chicken parts for this recipe, if using chicken drumsticks, pressure cook on high for 10 minutes and 15 minutes for thighs and 5 minutes for fresh chicken breast.
How to store this recipe
Cooked chicken would stay in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days and up to 3 months in the freezer. Make sure it cools completely before storing.
To reheat: I prefer to reheat chicken in the oven but you can use the microwave as it is faster than using the broil or oven.
You might love these Instant pot recipes
Instant pot meatloaf and mashed potatoes
If you made this easy pressure cooker lemon garlic chicken recipe, don’t forget to leave me feedback and rate it 5 stars. Tag me @thedinnerbite on Instagram and save away to your Pinterest. Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t for free new recipes in your inbox
Instant Pot Chicken Legs (Lemon Garlic Chicken)
- Instant Pot
- 3 large chicken legs (chicken quarters)
- ½ medium onions chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Prep the chicken legs and season with salt and black pepper.
- Turn on your instant pot and push the saute button, add olive oil and leave until hot. What the oil starts shimmering or instant pot reads hot, add the chicken legs skin side down and brown until the skin is browned and crispy repeat the same for the other side (about 3 minutes on each side). Please be careful as the chicken would splatter if it gets out of hand, reduce the saute function to less from more. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside
- Reduce the oil in the pan, still continuing on the saute function, add chopped onions and saute until soft, add the chopped garlic and cook for a few seconds then add the butter and stir until it melts in the pan.
- Add lemon zest, Italian seasoning, lemon juice and broth and stir to combine whilst you deglaze the pot at the same time. Return the chicken legs into the pot, you can stack them if need be.
- Lock the lid of the IP to safety, turning the valve to the seal position. Select the manual or pressure cook button and cook the chicken on high pressure for 15 minutes (25 minutes for frozen chicken legs), after the cooking cycle is completed do a 5 minutes natural pressure release then carefully do a quick release.
- Open the lid and spoon the pan sauce on the chicken and serve as desired. If you want a crispy skin, broil the chicken for another 5 minutes and serve.
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE RATE IT AND LEAVE ME A COMMENT. USE #THEDINNERBITE OR TAG @THEDINNERBITE ON INSTAGRAM SO I CAN SEE YOUR PHOTOS, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR CREATIONS. THANK YOU!
Thank you for this delicious recipe! Very moreish and that sauce warrants its own recipe card for sure! Look forward to trying out more of the IP recipes…I’m new to it 🙂
Peter H says
Really enjoyed this recipe, thank you! Like others I’ve used what ever fresh herbs I had on hand and it’s always been delicious.
I’ve had great success removing the chicken at the end and using an immersion blender to turn the drippings, herbs, onions and garlic into a gravy. Spoon that back on top of your chicken and any other veggies you put on your plate. If I could drink it through a straw I would… and have 😉
This is on weekly rotation at my house. Comes out perfect every time! Delicious, flavorful and most importantly —quick and easy 🙂 it never disappoints! A++
Hello! I made this recipe in the instant pot several times. This time I cut some potato wedges and added them on top of the chicken and used the same cooking time. Then I broiled everything for 8 minutes. It was absolutely perfect! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe ❤
Thank you, Reem, this just made my day.
Kim W says
My 6 year old and I really enjoyed this. The meat was so tender with just that hint of lemony goodness. I'll definitely be making this again.
Happy days! thank you for your feedback, I am you both enjoyed this recipe.
I was worried...I didn't have Italian Seasoning and I really don't like black pepper. But. I used seasoned salt and Herbs de Provence and boy, were we happy diners!! Great recipe and thanks for posting!
Thank you so much, Carolyn, I am glad you all enjoyed it. I have been using more of Herb de Provence in my recipes lately and I am loving it.
Hân Nguyen says
Honestly this recipe was great! I used it two different ways... I use the original recipe with the instant pot and pressure cooking. It came out delightful and fall off the bone.The broth went well over rice, it's like chicken soup with rice instead. I decided not to use any butter since I had sautéed a few extra chicken pieces so there was a bit of fat left over in the pot. The extra chicken that I sautéed, I threw into a air fryer at 400F for about 12 minutes. Used a temperature probe to make sure the chicken was cooked all the way through in both situations and it worked perfectly! Thank you so much for this recipe!!
Oh Hân, thank you so much for your feedback, I think the broth needs a full written recipe on its own, it is perfect and I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for trying it out in the air fryer too.
I love lemony chicken and this was wonderful! I've only has my Instant Pot a short time . . . well, let's say I haven't used it much in the time I have owned it, but with recipes like this one, it's sure to get more use! I'm going to save the broth for soup . . . In my good old crock pot.
Hi Liz, I am glad this recipe is giving you a whole reason to start using your instant pot. Trust me, you would not regret that decision. More importantly, you got me at saving the broth for your soup. It is a game changer. Thank you for the feedback.
Karen Dinger says
My son and I loved this! The sauce is so flavorful. He usually never eats the skin on chicken but decided to taste it before putting it to the side on his plate. He gobbled it up. It was fall off the bone tender.
We'll be making this again soon. Thanks for the recipe.
Aw Karen, thank you so much for your feedback, it makes a whole difference when the children approve.