Quick and Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs that are cooked, start to finish, in the Instant Pot and bathed in a delicious six-ingredient homemade honey mustard sauce. A perfect balance of sweet, savory, and spicy, this mouthwatering chicken thigh recipe is guaranteed to be a new dinnertime favorite.
Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs Recipe
While I’m usually more of a chicken breast kinda gal, sometimes exceptions must be made- especially when the cooking method is the Instant Pot. Now, don’t get me wrong, my baked honey mustard chicken breasts are amazing and one of my favorite chicken recipes, but when it comes time to use the Instant Pot, juicier, fattier, dark cuts of meat are best.
Juicy and so full of flavor, these honey mustard chicken thighs will practically melt in your mouth. A perfect weeknight dinner, it’s super easy to make with just a handful of simple pantry ingredients.
Best Chicken to Use?
This recipe tastes best when it’s made with chicken thighs. With chicken breasts, you run a greater risk of ending up with dry, chewy meat. Chicken thighs, higher in fat, have an extra layer of protection against drying out in the Instant Pot.
Bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs? This is a personal preference, of course, but I say yes to both. Or, at the very least, leave the bone in. Just another preventative measure against drying out. No chicken thighs? Drumsticks make a great substitute.
How to Make Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs (Instant Pot)
1. Season the chicken thighs: Transfer the chicken thighs to a large plate and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper and sprinkle with garlic powder. Set aside.
For best results (especially when using skinless chicken thighs) allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before browning. This will help prevent your chicken from sticking to the surface of your pot, pan, or skillet.
2. Make your honey mustard sauce: Making homemade honey mustard sauce is super easy to do and requires just six simple ingredients (soy sauce, honey, spicy brown mustard, fresh lemon juice, and minced garlic). To prepare, simply add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk well until combined.
3. Brown the chicken: Set your Instant Pot to sauté “high”. Once your pot is hot, add the remaining olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of your pot. Add the chicken, skin-side-down, and cook until the skin is golden brown and crispy (approximately 2-4 minutes). Carefully flip each chicken thigh over and repeat on the other side. Depending on the size of your chicken thighs, you may need to do this in two batches as we don’t want to overcrowd the Instant Pot.
4. Add the sauce and cook: Turn OFF saute mode. Pour the premade mustard mixture directly over the chicken thighs and secure the lid, remembering to check that the steam release is set to “sealing”. Cook chicken on MANUAL mode at HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. As soon as the 10 minutes is complete, carefully quick-release the pressure and remove the lid.
5. Thicken the sauce (optional): Remove the cooked chicken thighs from the pot. Combine 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce, mixing well to combine (I did not do this step). Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken registers 165 degrees as measured by a digital meat thermometer and return the chicken back to the pot.
Tips and Tricks
- Mustard: Any mustard will work, but my favorite is simple brown mustard. Second favorite? Whole grain brown mustard or dijon mustard. Least favorite? Yellow mustard. In fact, I wouldn’t even entertain yellow mustard as an option.
- Sauce: After your chicken has finished cooking it will be resting in a delicious pool consisting of your homemade honey mustard sauce mixed with the juices and fat from the chicken. Don’t toss this out! Spoon it directly over rice or mashed potatoes and store with any leftovers.
- Thicken: Thicken the sauce by combining 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Add to the sauce, mixing well to combine. You may also thicken your sauce with additional honey, keeping in mind that this will also sweeten your sauce.
- Gluten-free: To make this recipe gluten-free you’ll need to swap the soy sauce for either Tamari (gluten-free) or Coconut Aminos (gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan).
- Storage and leftovers: Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through.
What to Serve with Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
Have you tried making these Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs (Instant Pot)
- Transfer chicken thighs to a large plate and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper and sprinkle with garlic powder. Set aside.
- Add the soy sauce, honey, spicy brown mustard, lemon juice, and minced garlic to a small mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
- Set your Instant Pot to SAUTE “high”. Once your pot is hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of your pot.
- Add the chicken, skin-side-down, and cook until golden (approximately 2-4 minutes). Carefully flip each chicken thigh over and repeat on the other side.
- Turn OFF saute mode. Pour your premade sauce directly into your Instant Pot over your chicken thighs and secure the lid, remembering to check that the steam release is set to “sealing”.
- Cook chicken on MANUAL mode HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. As soon as the 10 minutes is complete, carefully quick-release the pressure and remove the lid.
- OPTIONAL: Thicken your sauce by combining 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Add to the sauce, mixing well to combine (I did not do this step).
- Serve chicken with rice or mashed potatoes and your favorite veggie sides! Enjoy!
- Chicken: If you’d like to make this recipe using chicken breasts, I recommend skipping the pressure cooker and baking them instead. Skip over to this, Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Recipe, for full details and instructions.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)