Instant Pot Karen’s Killer Chicken–tender chicken thighs with an addicting sauce drizzled over the top, bacon and cheddar. It’s sure to become a family favorite. This recipe is keto friendly!
Instant Pot Karen’s Killer Chicken
I’ve been making iterations of this recipe for years. We didn’t have a name for it so Greg suggested Karen’s Killer Chicken. After all, if Dave can have Dave’s Killer Bread I can have Karen’s Killer Chicken. Although, maybe it should be Greg’s Killer Chicken because I think he makes it more than me! We love it and eat it often when we have company over. Sometimes we make the chicken on the grill but this version of the recipe is cooked in the Instant Pot, of course. I think you should put it on your menu this week!
Some notes about the recipe:
- The chicken shrinks down a lot. So even though it seems like a lot of chicken just realize it’s not as much as you think!
- The sauce is so tasty and should not be skipped! Try dipping tortilla chips in the sauce…then try to stop, I dare you!
- For sake of ease I used bacon crumbles from the big Costco bag. If you want you can cook up some bacon and crumble it yourself.
- We love moist, tender chicken thighs. If you prefer you can use chicken tenderloins instead. For chicken tenderloins you’ll only need to pressure cook for 5 minutes. Large chicken breasts don’t do as well because they are so thick. If you do want to use chicken breasts I suggest cutting them across the grain into the size of chicken tenders and pressure cooking for 5 minutes.
- If you’d rather use an air fryer lid to do the melting of the cheese than your oven’s broiler you can. Just dump out the liquid remaining in your Instant Pot first.
- This recipe is low carb. Serve with cauliflower rice if you’re trying to eat keto-friendly. Or if you aren’t then serve with mashed potatoes.
More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes…
Instant Pot Smoky Mountain Chicken
Instant Pot Million Dollar Chicken
Instant Pot Mexican Queso Chicken and Rice
Want More Tried And True Instant Pot Recipes?
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Instant Pot Karen’s Killer Chicken
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes (plus 10 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 27 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 1/2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp Montreal steak or chicken seasoning
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Pace Picante Sauce (mild)
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, of choice
- 1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- 1/2 cup bacon crumbles
- Pour chicken broth into Instant Pot. Place chicken into Instant pot and pour the soy sauce and steak seasoning over the chicken.
- Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 12 minutes for fresh or frozen chicken. When time is up let the pot sit for 10 minutes and then move valve to venting to release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid.
- Make the sauce by stirring together mayo, sour cream, picante sauce, cajun seasoning, parsley, hot sauce, dill and cumin.
- Use tongs to place the chicken on a baking sheet. You can discard the liquid in the Instant Pot. Spoon about a tablespoon or two of sauce over each piece of chicken. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp or cheese and 2 Tbsp of bacon over each piece of chicken. Place under the oven’s broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.
You can also make this recipe with chicken tenderloins in the place of chicken thighs. Pressure cook for 5 minutes with a 10 minute natural pressure release.
- 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.
Delicious!! Used coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce to make it a little healthier, but slathered on the bacon bits. Should average out right? LOL. It’s amazing how great chicken thighs turn out in the Instant Pot. Thanks for another winner Karen.
You’re welcome Nick!
Oh Karen, this was AMAZING!! the first time I made with decent chicken thighs. The second time? Now I know why you only recommend FRESH Winco thighs. Unfortunately my hubby grabbed two bags of the frozen thighs not knowing they were NOT skinless, boneless and tiny and strange. Fatty with mystery bones…they ruined your wonderful dish. My question is, what would you suggest I do with the rest? Hubby won’t go near them again LOL. I need to get them out of my freezer. Maybe just IP them until all meat just falls off and pick it out?
Oh shoot! Yes you could do that. And the broth would be good for a chicken noodle soup!
Marla Burns says
Made it! Pretty good! Good variety of flavors! Husband & teenagers & I liked it! Tasty! Used sliced up chicken breast.
WOO HOO Marla!!!
The family loved it! I just grilled the chicken though because I don’t have an instant pot. But it was delicious! This is the first of your recipes I’ve tried. Got a whole list to make. Thanks!
Grilled chicken is awesome!
Karen Henderson says
Oh my goodness, this was the best chicken I have ever made. So flavourful and absolutely delicious! Thank you again for a great recipe
YAY! And since your name is Karen it’s yours now too!
Jennifer Nelson says
Could this work with frozen chicken tenderloins instead? If so, how much cooking time would I add?
Yes it would. I’d do 6 minutes
Eve Zavelo says
Can you use chicken breast in this recipe?
We love moist, tender chicken thighs. If you prefer you can use chicken tenderloins instead. For chicken tenderloins you’ll only need to pressure cook for 5 minutes. Large chicken breasts don’t do as well because they are so thick. If you do want to use chicken breasts I suggest cutting them across the grain into the size of chicken tenders and pressure cooking for 5 minutes.
Awesome recipe…my husband and I both enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
How long should you cook in instant pot if using ?bone in thighs
I’d use a 15 minute cooking time!
Paula D says
It is waaay too much sodium for this household so I’m going to try it with no added salt chicken broth, both the low sodium soy & picante sauces are high sodium so I’m leaving one of those off…same on the Montreal or chicken seasoning. and the Costco bacon bits are processed with a lot more sodium than my low sodium bacon so I’m going to fry it up and crumble it on top. I’ll let you know how it tastes. It’ll def be less briny! 😂 But this is a great recipe to adapt!!
good ideas…A lot of the sodium comes from the cajun seasoning. You could make your own cajun seasoning and limit the salt in it.
Jamie Blankenship says
thats alot of sodium at 42% what can i do different to lower that and still get same great taste
I agree …that is a whopping amount of sodium. I guess you could use home made picante sauce if that is the culprit….
There are quite a few possible “culprits,” including cheese, bacon, and soy sauce. You can use lower sodium soy sauce (or tamari) and bacon. But, it may not be the best recipe for those really watching sodium intake.
A lot of the sodium comes from the cajun seasoning. You could make your own cajun seasoning and limit the salt in it.
Laura Semmens says
Karen, I am so excited to see a keto recipe in your awesome blog! I recently switched and am loving how I look and feel but really miss your recipes. Hope we will see more, thanks!
This is a good one to try Laura! Here are my low carb recipes: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/recipes/?fwp_method=instant-pot&fwp_dietary_restrictions=low-carb
Laura Semmens says
Thanks! And I LOVE salt 🙂