Filipino Chicken Adobo Instant Pot – a delicious Filipino comfort food cooked with chicken in a savory, slightly tangy & mildly sweet, soy sauce based sauce. Instant Pot Adobo Chicken won’t take much of your time & would be ready with pantry staples.
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Chicken Adobo Recipe Instant Pot
This is the best Filipino chicken adobo recipe instant pot just like this Instant Pot Pork Adobo. You will have extremely tender, juicy and flavorful chicken doused in a uber delish sauce. All you need is a bowl of steamed fluffy white rice to enjoy every bit of that sauce!
You can also make Chicken Adobo recipe instant pot with chicken breasts, chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks or even leg quarters. Refer the cook time for each in the NOTES section of this post at the bottom of the page.
Tips & Tricks
- Sear Chicken: Marinate the chicken in soy sauce and than sear the chicken. This will build all those magical flavors and it’s the only secret to a fabulous Adobo chicken recipe. Do not skip this step!
- The best chicken for adobo: For best flavor use bone in and skin on chicken thighs & drumsticks.
- Thicken Sauce: Once, the pressure cooking cycle is over, fish out the chicken and simmer the sauce to thicken it to the desired consistency that you prefer. We love a flowy sauce and not too thick.
- Go heavy with garlic: Add more garlic! Believe me this will enhance the filipino adobo flavor so much that you’ll totally love every drop of that awesome sauce. Totally worth it!
- Chicken Adobo with Cider vinegar: I would not recommend to replace cider vinegar with regular vinegar.
- That tad bit of sweetness: The brown sugar totally ties up the amazing flavors. We love that subtle sweetness in the instant pot chicken adobo. You can also replace the brown sugar with palm sugar (same amount).
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Chicken: Bone in skin on chicken works best for the recipe. However, you can also use boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
- Cider Vinegar: It’s the best sub for Filipino vinegar.
- Soy Sauces: Use regular soy sauce or a mix of regular and dark soy sauce. Exact quantities at the bottom of the post.
- Garlic: Use more garlic and use whole cloves. Mash the cloves lightly with the back of your knife to release the extreme good flavors. This is the secret trick to spike the adobo sauce with amazing good flavors.
- Black Peppercorns
- Bay Leaf
- Brown sugar: You can also sub the brown sugar with palm sugar. Use same quantity.
- Liquid: Water.
- Cooking fat: We used avocado oil. You can also use any neutral oil of your choice. Refer the neutral oil list at the bottom of the post in the “notes” section.
How to make Chicken Adobo in Instant Pot?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Marinate & sear chicken
- Marinate Chicken: Marinate chicken with soy sauces, cider vinegar, brown sugar, black peppercorns, garlic and bay leaf. Set aside either – over night in the fridge or for at least 1 hour. Mix the brown sugar in the soy sauce first and than add it to the chicken.
- Sear Chicken: Set instant pot on SAUTE & set it on HIGH heat. Add oil and sear the marinated chicken (shaking off excess marinade) until golden. Set aside.
Step #2 Pressure cook & thicken sauce
- De-glaze pot: Throw in garlic & saute for just 30 secs. Add water and de-glaze the pot very well scrapping the sides & the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and will prevent the BURN error. Cancel the Saute function.
- Pressure Cook chicken: Add back seared chicken, rest of the garlic, bay leaves and the saved marinade. Secure lid and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 6 mins followed by 10 mins natural pressure release. Release the rest of the pressure manually & open the lid carefully.
- Thicken Sauce: Fish out the cooked chicken & keep them in a serving bowl. Hit back SAUTE function & set it on HIGH heat. Simmer the sauce to thicken it to your preferred consistency.
- Serve Chicken Adobo: Pour the adobo sauce all over the cooked chicken and serve the Filipino chicken Adobo instant pot recipe with a bowl of steamed white rice. That’s how it’s served back in Philippines.
What should I serve with Chicken Adobo?
Steamed White rice tastes absolutely amazing with Filipino Chicken Adobo. You can also serve mashed potatoes.
How do you thicken adobo?
You can thicken adobo by cooking down the sauce. The sauce of Adobo chicken is never too thick. A flowy consistency is what you should look for, every drop of that thin stew like sauce tastes amazing with white rice!
Fridge: You can store this Filipino chicken adobo instant pot recipe for 5 days in the fridge. Store in air tight containers.
Can you freeze Chicken Adobo?
Yes, you can freeze Chicken Adobo for upto 2 months. Place the Adobo chicken in portion size freezer safe bags or containers and freeze them. When ready to serve thaw over night in the fridge and re-heat following the re-heating directions below.
You can re-heat the Chicken Adobo in microwave oven until warm or hot. You can also re-heat the dish on the stove top using a skillet set over medium high heat. If you want to thin out the adobo sauce further add about ¼ water and than re-heat.
Filipino Chicken Adobo Instant PotPrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 2 pounds Chicken (**4 thighs & 2 thighs skin on & bone in.)
- 10 cloves garlic (**peeled & lightly mashed with back of knife.)
- 2 tbsp Dark Soy sauce (**optional. Makes the adobo a nice darker color.)
- ⅓ cup Soy sauce (**regular soy sauce)
- ⅓ cup cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 4 Bay leaf
- ½ tbsp Black Peppercorns (**whole)
- 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Avocado oil
- 2 Thai Chilies (**roughly chopped)
- Marinate Chicken: Rinse the bone in, skin on chicken thighs & drumsticks with water. Pat them dry with kitchen tissues and keep them in a clean, dry bowl. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf (broken into pieces), brown sugar and 5 mashed garlic cloves. Stir well with a spatula to coat the chicken with all these ingredients. Marinate the chicken over night in the fridge or for at least 1 hour. Note: Mix the brown sugar in the soy sauce first & than add it to the chicken.
- Sear Chicken: Set Instant Pot on SAUTE function & set it on HIGH heat. Add oil, when the oil becomes hot gently release the marinated chicken (shaking off excess marinade, save the marinade). Sear the chicken both sides very well until golden. Set them aside. Don't worry about the brow bits sticking at the bottom of the pot. We'll be de-glazing the pot later.
- De-glaze pot: Now, throw in the remaining 5 mashed cloves of garlic in the pot and saute for just 30 seconds. Pour water and de-glaze the pot with the help of the spatula scraping the sides & the bottom of the pot so that there are no stuck food particles remaining. This is important and will prevent the BURN error. CANCEL the SAUTE function.
- Pressure Cook Chicken: Transfer the seared chicken into the pot. Pour the saved marinade all over the chicken. Add the remaining bay leaves. Secure the lid, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 6 minutes. Once, the pressure cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep, wait for 10 mins Natural pressure release (NPR) than release the rest of the pressure manually by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully.
- Thicken Sauce: Hit SAUTE function and set it on HIGH heat. Fish out the cooked chicken with the help of a pair of tong and set them aside in serving bowl. Simmer the sauce to thicken stirring often. We prefer a flowy sauce which is not too thick. However, you can keep the sauce the way you prefer – thick or thin! CANCEL saute.
- Serve Adobo Chicken: Pour the thicken sauce all over the cooked chicken and serve the Instant Pot Adobo chicken with hot steamed rice! You may garnish with fresh chopped red Thai chilies if you prefer spicy food. Enjoy!
- Boneless skinless Chicken Adobo breasts/thighs: You can follow this same recipe. The pressure cook time for seared chicken thighs or breasts would be just 4 mins followed by 10 mins natural pressure release.
- Soy sauce: Use sodium free soy sauces. In that case add salt at the end while simmering the sauce to open up the flavor. Add salt according to your preference. If using regular soy sauces with sodium DO NOT add any salt to the recipe. Soy sauces are salty, loaded with sodium.
- Brown sugar: You may sub it with equal amount of palm sugar.
- Cider Vinegar: Use it! And DO NOT replace it with white vinegar.