Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
479 Calories
29g Fat
7g Carbs
49g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 479
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 250mg 83%
Sodium 1905mg 83%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 49g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 676mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Instant Pot chicken adobo is an amazing entrée that should be part of every family's mealtime lineup. Once you taste this delicious Filipino dish, you'll make it again and again. It's easy to make on a budget, too.

Adobo is, by far, one of the Philippine's most famous dishes. Filipino adobo can be made with meat or seafood, and is cooked in a full-flavored sauce made with everyday pantry ingredients—the key to its remarkable flavors. If you have chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and an onion, you can make this delicious adobo dish.

This pressure cooker version of Filipino adobo is made with chicken thighs, though whole chicken legs or a cut-up chicken may be substituted. If you don't have an Instant Pot, any pressure cooker may be used; just make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for liquids and release.

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion

  • 8 cloves garlic

  • 2 medium jalapeño, divided

  • 2/3 cup soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 medium bay leaves

  • 3 medium green onions, thinly sliced, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Instant Pot chicken adobo

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Choose the highest sauté function, and add the vegetable oil to the Instant Pot. Let the oil heat for about 8 to 10 minutes. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add half the chicken thighs to the pan, skin-side down. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the skin is well-browned. Flip thighs over and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove the chicken to a plate, and repeat with the remaining chicken thighs. Alternatively, the chicken may be browned in a large skillet on the stovetop before adding to the Instant Pot.

    chicken cooked in an instant pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Pour off the excess fat, and arrange the browned chicken thighs in the pot. 

    Arrange the chicken thighs in the Instant Pot pressure cooker

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Peel the onion and slice it in half lengthwise, then thinly slice the halves.

    sliced onions on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Press or mash the garlic. Thinly sliced 1 of the jalapeños, removing seeds for less heat if desired. Sprinkle the onion, garlic, and jalapeño over the chicken pieces.

    onions, garlic and jalapeño with chicken in an instant pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and pepper, and pour the mixture over the chicken. Tuck the bay leaves around the chicken.

    chicken adobo ingredients in an instant pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Lock the lid in place and make sure the steam release valve is in the sealing position. Choose the manual setting (or pressure cook button), high pressure, and set the time to 8 minutes. When the time is up, carefully move the steam release valve to the venting position using the long handle of a wooden spoon or another utensil—the steam is hot! Remove the lid and cancel the cooking mode.

    chicken adobo cooking in an instant pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Choose the normal sauté setting and continue to cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce is dark and concentrated.

    chicken adobo cooking in an instant pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Garnish with sliced green onions, if using, and the second jalepeno, cut into thin slices.

    Instant Pot Chicken Adobo served with rice

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Recipe Variations

  • Marinated chicken adobo: Combine the sauce ingredients—soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and pepper—in a nonreactive container or food storage bag. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Cover the container or seal the bag, and refrigerate the chicken and marinade for 1 to 2 hours or overnight. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade mixture; reserve the marinade and pat the chicken thighs with paper towels to dry. Brown the chicken in hot oil following the recipe instructions. Add the sliced onions, garlic, and reserved marinade along with the bay leaves, and cook as directed.