Instant Pot Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes is a complete, delicious, and flavourful meal made with just one pot and a little bit of broiling in the oven. Succulent, juicy chicken, soft and tender potatoes, and amazing lemon gravy. It’s the ultimate chicken dinner that is 100% better than take out!
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This Lemon Chicken and Potatoes is one of my favourite meals to make, yet I don’t cook it too often. Unlike most of my recipes, and specifically Instant Pot Recipes, this meal has quite a few steps. Mind you, the steps are easy but the recipe is not by any means fast.
If you have been following Imagelicious recipes for a while and specifically if you read the 7 Things You Need To Know About Instant Pot article, you’ll know that I don’t consider speed to be the selling feature of Instant Pot. Contrary to what the brand name suggests, many recipes aren’t instant and not even faster than the conventional cooking methods.
But, and this is the reason why I am such a huge Instant Pot fan, cooking in an electric pressure cooker is very often much more convenient than the conventional stove-top cooking. There’s no need to use many pots and pans, no need to watch the stove, no need to constantly check for doneness.
This Instant Pot Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes recipe is not fast (although I’d argue it is still faster than if it was cooked in the oven) but it is undoubtedly much more convenient!
The meal is delicious and flavourful. Chicken thighs are juicy, soft, and have crispy skin from broiling. Potatoes are tender and bursting with lemon flavour. Gravy is smooth and absolutely delicious.
Ingredients to make Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes
Exact quantities are in the actual recipe card at the bottom. If you’d like to skip tips and suggestions then click Jump to Recipe.
- Chicken thighs
- Small potatoes
- Seasonings (I use salt, pepper, garlic salt, Greek Seasoning Mix, paprika. You can use your own spices if you’d like)
- Soy sauce
- Also, fresh oregano for serving
How to make Greek Chicken and Potatoes in Instant Pot
There are a few steps and they require a bit of time but trust me, the result is worth it!!
- Sear the chicken thighs in Instant Pot in batches. I do 4 chicken thighs at a time.
- Add the onions, lemon, some water to deglaze. This step of deglazing is very important as otherwise Instant Pot may show a burn notice if there’s something stuck to the pot.
- Add the potatoes, garlic, seasonings, lots of lemon juice, and soy sauce. Yes, soy sauce but see my notes below if you don’t want to use it for a Greek-inspired recipe.
- Place the seared chicken on top of the potatoes and cook for 8 minutes on High Pressure. Do a natural pressure release of another 8 minutes and finish with a quick release.
- Place the chicken thighs and potatoes with onions and lemons on a sheet pan and broil until the skin is crispy, about 8-10 minutes depending on your oven. See notes on timing.
- Strain the remaining liquid from Instant Pot, remove the fat using a fat separator, then cook for a few minutes in Instant Pot to reduce. Lemon gravy thickens naturally because of all the potato starches.
So, as you can see, there are quite a few steps and they aren’t as simple as just adding all the ingredients to a pressure cooker but it’s still easier than cooking in the oven or on the stove.
Questions and answers about making this recipe
Is soy sauce necessary?
If you are a purist in terms of Greek-inspired recipes then you might try to avoid using soy sauce. Also, if you are on a gluten-free diet then soy sauce might be something you don’t want using, although there are gluten-free soy sauces available.
Soy sauce plays dual role in this recipe. First, it adds salt. Second, I use it as part of the liquid that is needed to help pressurize Instant Pot.
If you don’t want to use soy sauce, then use extra salt and equivalent amount of water or broth.
Can you use different seasonings?
Of course, you can! I used Greek Spice Mix and fresh oregano for serving to play up those traditional Greek flavours. I’ve also made this same recipe with just dried oregano instead of Greek Spice Mix. Both were delicious.
You can use dried thyme, rosemary, tarragon, marjoram, or omit any strong herbs and spices altogether if desired.
How to prep chicken thighs?
Bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs often have a large flap of skin on the inside of the thigh that is just there. It is leftover from separation of the drumstick from the thigh. It is also quite difficult to make that piece of skin deliciously crispy.
Every time I cook bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs, I take kitchen shears and cut that flap of skin off. It makes the thighs a bit less fatty and the gravy less greasy.
TIP: you can then cook all those extra pieces of skin in a saucepan to make delicious crispy chicken skin and also schmaltz.
Can you use other cuts of chicken?
Most likely yes, however I have not tested this recipe with other cuts so I cannot be sure about the specific cooking times. If you try other cuts of meat, please let me know how they turn out.
Can you double or halve the recipe?
I have a 6-qt Instant Pot, so this recipe wouldn’t fit in it if it was doubled.
You can halve the recipe if you’d like. Use the same cooking time and directions.
Is there enough liquid for Instant Pot to pressurize?
Every time I made this Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes in Instant Pot, there was plenty of liquid to pressurize and make a lot of gravy.
If you know that your particular model of Instant Pot gives out burn notices easily, feel free to add another 1/4-1/2 cup broth or water to the pot.
Do you need to broil everything?
Yes, you do, unless you aren’t going to eat the skin on the chicken. However, I’d still recommend broiling the potatoes a bit.
Chicken skin gets really soft after pressure cooking, so it is needed to be broiled to get crisp and golden again. Potatoes also benefit from light broiling along with pieces of lemon and onion.
Broiling time really varies and depends on your oven as well as whether the oven was preheated or not. If my oven is preheated, it usually broils in about 2-3 minutes. If I put a tray of food in a cold oven, then broiling takes anywhere between 6 to 10 minutes. I also often rotate the tray halfway through.
Can you omit or reduce lemon juice?
It’s important to note that it is a recipe for Lemon Chicken and Lemon Potatoes. There’s a lot of lemon flavour in the recipe, specifically in the gravy and potatoes.
Potatoes are cooked in the juice of 1.5 lemon alongside chopped up half a lemon. So yes, lemon flavour is very strong in the potatoes and in the gravy.
If you’d like to reduce lemon flavour, use the equivalent amount of chicken broth.
Usually juice from 1/2 lemon is about 2 tablespoons.
How to make Lemon Gravy?
Lemon Gravy is one of the best part about this whole meal. It is just so super flavourful!
Once the potatoes and onions are removed from the pot, it is important to strain the liquid. If you omit this step, the gravy will not be as smooth and luscious. I usually use the little strainer guard that comes with my fat separator.
Removing fat from the sauce is another important step to making this gravy. There’s a lot fat from searing the chicken and cooking the chicken that otherwise would end up in the gravy.
You can use a spoon and just skim the fat off the top of the strained liquid. However, I like to use my fat separator as it is super easy.
You can read instructions on how to use a fat separator in the post for Cranberry Braised Beef Short Ribs (instant pot or oven).
After the liquid goes through a fat separator, return it to the Instant Pot and saute for a few minutes. The starches from cooking potatoes will act as a thickener. It’ll also thicken more as it cools.
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Instant Pot Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon Canola oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 lemons (divided)
- 2 tablespoons water (or chicken broth)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 pounds small potatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (see notes)
- 1 .5 teaspoon garlic salt (divided)
- 1 teaspoon pepper (divided)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
- fresh oregano for serving
Make Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes in Instant Pot
- Season the chicken thighs with 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper on both sides.
- Press sauté button on your Instant Pot. Add the Canola oil and wait until it heats up. The display should read hot.
- Add 4 chicken thighs skin side down and saute for 5-7 minutes until the skin is golden. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. No need to cook the chicken through, just sear on both sides.TIP: if you can't flip the chicken because the skin is sticking to the pan, don't force it, let it cook more. Once the chicken skin is sufficiently crisp, it'll automatically stop sticking.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and cook the other chicken thighs in the same way.
- While the chicken is cooking, slice one onion. Cut up 1/2 a lemon into wedges. Halve the potatoes.
- Once the chicken is seared and removed from Instant Pot, add the sliced onions and cut up lemon to the pot.
- Add 2 tablespoons of water (or broth) and scrape the bottom of the pot really well to deglaze and make sure that there are no burnt bits stuck to the pan.
- Add the minced garlic, all the spices, and mix well.
- Add the halved potatoes, soy sauce, and juice of 1.5 lemons. Mix.
- Place the seared chicken thighs on top of the potatoes, they will have to be stacked.
- Turn sauté mode off.
- Close the lid of your Instant Pot and turn the valve to Sealing.
- Press Manual or Pressure Cooker button (depending on your model) and use the arrows to select 8 minutes. Use default High Pressure. It will take about 12-15 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot beeps that 8 minutes of cooking are done, do a natural pressure release for 8 minutes (it means that you need to just wait for 8 minutes). Then do a quick release. This should take another 1-2 minutes.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil for easy cleaning.
- Transfer the cooked chicken thighs to the baking sheet.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes with lemons and onions to the baking sheet.
- Broil in the oven until chicken skin is crispy and golden. About 5-8 minutes depending on your oven.
Make Lemon Gravy
- Strain the liquid from Instant Pot into a fat separator, let it sit briefly, and pour back into Instant pot, discarding fat.
- Click cancel to turn off Keep Warm function.
- Press sauté mode on. Bring the liquid to boil and cook until reduced to a sauce-like consistency, about 5 minutes.
- Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve with broiled Lemon Chicken and Potatoes.
- Serve with fresh oregano.
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