Instant Pot Creamy Lemon Chicken—tender seasoned chicken breasts enveloped in a creamy lemon sauce.
Instant Pot Creamy Lemon Chicken
I am a fan of lemon. Lemon desserts and lemon dinners. Both are good. Both have that amazing tartness and flavor that comes from a freshly squeezed lemon and a bit of lemon zest. This dish has a creamy lemon sauce that is good enough to lick off your plate. In fact, that’s what I did.
How to make Instant Pot Creamy Lemon Chicken
- Start by seasoning your chicken breast. I do this by combining the seasonings in a ramekin* and then patting the seasonings all over the chicken breasts. I used 3 large chicken breasts that totalled about 2 pounds. They were just over 10 ounces each.
- Then press the saute setting on your Instant Pot. Make sure the saute setting is adjusted to the “more” setting, which is the highest heat setting. You can see how to do this by watching this video starting at around 9 minutes:
- Add in some butter and swirl it around until it is melted. Then add in the chicken breasts and place them in one layer so they each get as much surface area of the bottom of the pot as possible. This part is so easy because all you do is set a timer for 3 minutes and let the chicken sit there. Don’t move them or touch them. After the 3 minutes is up you can use tongs to turn the chicken breasts over and do another 3 minutes on the other side. Move the chicken off the bottom of the pot with some tongs and place them on a plate.
- Pour some broth into the bottom of the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze it. You can watch how to do this here:
- Add the chicken back into the pot in a single layer and cover the Instant Pot. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Touch the button labeled manual or pressure cook (depending on the model) and use the + or – buttons to adjust the time to 12 minutes.
- The pot will take about 5 minutes to reach pressure (it’s quicker than normal because it’s been hot from the saute setting). Then it will start counting down from 12 minutes. After the 12 minutes is over the display will start counting up (usually it has an L in front of the time indicating “lapsed time” since the pressure cooking time has been over). When the lapsed time reaches 10 minutes then move the valve to venting and remove the lid.
- I like to check the chicken for doneness by using a digital thermometer.* Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast. It should read at least 165° F. If it’s cooked through use tongs to place the chicken on a platter.
- Now the sauce needs a bit of thickening and dairy. Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting. Then stir some half and half and cornstarch together until it’s smooth and creamy. Dip a measuring cup into the instant pot and get about ¼ cup of the hot liquid. Mix this hot liquid in with the half and half. This process tempers the dairy so that it isn’t “shocked” when you add it into the hot pot. This will prevent the dairy from curdling. Stir the half and half mixture into the pot and the sauce will thicken up quickly. Once the sauce is thick turn off the pot by clicking the warm/cancel button. Taste test the sauce and then add a bit of salt and pepper to taste if it’s needed.
- Slice the chicken and serve it drizzled with lots of the creamy lemon sauce. You can serve this chicken and sauce with rice, cauliflower rice, pasta or just by itself. Yum yum! Enjoy!
I don’t eat low carb (clearly). But for those of you who do I think this recipe might be a good candidate for you. For those trying to eat keto or low carb I would make the following changes: Use heavy cream instead of half and half and boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. Leave out the cornstarch and thicken with a low carb alternative.
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Tender seasoned chicken breasts enveloped in a creamy lemon sauce.
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 pounds fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 heaping tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 3 Tbsp butter (cut into 4 pieces)
- 1 cup half and half
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting and let it heat up. In a small bowl mix together the kosher salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Pat the mixture over the chicken breasts.
- When the display says HOT add in 1 Tbsp of butter and let it melt. Then place the chicken breasts on the bottom of the pot in one layer. Let them sit there for 3 minutes. Then use tongs to turn over the chicken breasts and brown on the other side for 3 minutes. Move them to a plate.
- Pour the broth into the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot. Turn off the saute setting. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and the 3 Tbsp of butter. Place the chicken back into the pot.
- Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 10 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit for 10 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Use a digital thermometer* to make sure the middle of the chicken is at least 165° F. Move the chicken to a platter.
- Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting. Stir the half and half and the cornstarch together until smooth and creamy. Stir ¼ cup of the hot liquid into the half and half to temper it. Then stir the mixture into the pot. The sauce will thicken up quickly. Once it’s thick turn off the pot. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice the chicken and serve it drizzled with lots of the creamy lemon sauce. You can serve this chicken and sauce with rice, cauliflower rice or pasta.
Recipe adapted from Dinner then Dessert.
For keto: use heavy cream instead of half and half and boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. Leave out the cornstarch and thicken with a low carb alternative.
I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. You can make this in your 3 quart pot with no changes. For the 8 quart pot increase broth to 1 ½ cups.
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Instant Pot
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.