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This easy Instant Pot Chicken Stew combines tender chicken and savory veggies in a well-seasoned, warming broth, making it your new favorite cold-weather comfort food. Gluten-free and Whole30 adaptable.
Instant Pot recipes don’t get much better than this best-ever chicken stew. It’s not only easy to make with everyday ingredients, but also deeply savory and warming. It’s the ultimate cold-weather meal!
Each bowl of Instant Pot chicken stew features tender chicken thighs, potatoes, simple seasonings, and aromatic veggies enveloped in a thick and incredibly flavorful broth. Making it is as easy as tossing everything in the pressure cooker and sitting back until it’s ready to enjoy! Treat yourself to a bowl during busy weeknight dinners or curl up with it after a long day.
- The Instant Pot does all of the heavy lifting here, giving you a hearty and wholesome chicken stew without the effort.
- Cozy up with a bowl when you need something comforting after a long or cold day. Its warmth and heartiness make it the perfect remedy for the cold weather blues.
- Whether you're gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, Whole30, or just feeling creative, this stew is easy to customize without sacrificing an ounce of satisfaction.
Aromatics - A sautéed mix of celery, onions, carrots, and garlic gives this stew a baseline of savory and nourishing flavors.
Spices - You need a simple mix of Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves.
Soy sauce - The essential umami booster! Worcestershire sauce also works here (see the Variations section for dietary substitutions).
Chicken thighs - I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs because the dark meat stays tender and absorbs flavor beautifully during pressure cooking. Check out the Variations section for more chicken cuts that work in chicken stew.
Potatoes - I used Yukon gold potatoes but you can also use red potatoes, fingerlings, Russets, or new potatoes here.
Frozen peas - For a subtle yet refreshingly sweet flavor and pop of color!
Cornstarch slurry - A mixture of cornstarch and milk thickens the stew and gives every spoonful a creamy and velvety consistency.
Step 1: Sauté the aromatics. Heat the oil in the Instant Pot on Sauté mode. Once hot, add the celery, carrots, and onion and cook until soft and fragrant. Add in the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper next.
Step 2: Pressure cook. Add the soy sauce, chicken, potatoes, and bay leaves to the pot. Close the lid and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Allow 10 minutes of natural release, then manually release the remaining pressure.
Step 3: Add the peas and slurry. Stir the frozen peas into the stew. Whisk the milk and cornstarch in a small bowl, then stir the mixture into the stew.
Step 3: Let it thicken, then serve. Turn the Sauté function back on and simmer the stew until it thickens. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Consider browning the chicken thighs in the Instant Pot before sautéeing the aromatics to give the stew a richer flavor.
- Swap the fresh chicken for leftover pre-cooked shredded chicken to save a little time. Just stir it into the stew with the peas.
- Layer the potatoes in the pot last. This will help them hold their shape and prevent them from becoming overly mushy.
Don’t add the peas too soon! The frozen peas only need a minute to thaw and heat through, which is why they’re added AFTER pressure cooking. This also helps maintain their vibrant color and fresh flavor.
- Instead of boneless chicken thighs - Use bone-in chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks. Chicken breasts work, too, but you’ll need to adjust the pressure cooking time slightly to prevent overcooking.
- Gluten-free - Substitute gluten-free soy sauce or tamari for the regular soy sauce.
- Dairy-free - Substituting coconut or almond milk in the slurry will make the stew just as creamy and luxurious (it works perfectly in my slow cooker chicken stew!).
- Paleo/Whole30 version - Swap the soy sauce for coconut aminos and the cornstarch for arrowroot or tapioca scratch, and you’re good to go!
- Optional extra veggies - Bulk up the stew with diced tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, chopped kale, or spinach.
- Upgrade the flavor - Season your stew with a mix of dried herbs like parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, sage, and rosemary. If it needs more warmth, add a pinch of paprika, cumin, turmeric, or red pepper flakes.
Chicken stew with vegetables is hearty enough to enjoy on its own but also pairs well with a medley of sides. Consider serving every scoop over rice, quinoa, couscous, or cauliflower rice with braised greens or steamed broccoli on the side. A hunk of crusty bread on the side is always a must for soaking up the flavorful broth!
How long does it take to cook chicken stew in the Instant Pot?
It typically takes about 10 minutes under high pressure with 10 minutes of natural release to pressure cook chicken stew with boneless chicken thighs. Remember, the time may vary if you use a different cut of chicken.
Can I just use the “Stew” setting?
I recommend sticking with the manual pressure cooking instructions in the recipe card because I can’t promise that the “Stew” setting’s default time and pressure level work as well.
Can I use frozen chicken?
Yes, you can make chicken stew in the Instant Pot with frozen chicken. You’ll just have to increase the pressure cooking time to ensure the chicken cooks through.
Refrigerator: Once it’s cooled to room temperature, transfer the stew to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: The stew also freezes well for up to 3 months. Remember to let the leftovers thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Reheating: Quickly reheat the leftovers in the microwave or warm them in a pot on the stove.
More comforting soups and stews
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 celery chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped (1 ½ cups)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or worcestershire
- 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 4 yukon gold potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- fresh parsley for garnish
- Pour the olive oil into your instant pot, then press “saute” and set it for 7 minutes. Allow 1 minute for it to heat up, then add the celery, carrots and onion and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the garlic, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the soy sauce, chicken, potatoes and bay leaves. Close the lid, ensuring the valve on top is in the “seal” position. Pressure cook for 10 minutes, then natural release for 10 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
- Add the peas and stir for 1 minute.
- Whisk the milk and cornstarch together, then pour into the stew. Set the “saute” function for 6 minutes and allow the soup to simmer so it thickens a bit. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!