Pressure Cooker Pesto Chicken with Carrots & Potatoes [Instant Pot] | The Bearded Hiker

Pesto chicken with carrots and potatoes - 11 minutes to tender, fall apart chicken goodness. It reminds me of a roast, but with chicken.

This pesto chicken recipe was actually the very first recipe I ever cooked in my pressure cooker.

Picture it…Mobile, 2008. I was in my teeny tiny kitchen looking at my new gadget. My friend had just bought one and made me a terrific dinner. After that dinner, I had to go and get one the next day. It was a Cuisinart, I still have this EPC today, and it came with a fantastic recipe book. Cheesecakes, roasts, stews…it was all in there, but for some reason, the pesto chicken recipe called out to me.

That pesto chicken recipe was the first thing I pressured in my EPC and it remains on permanent rotation in my kitchen to this day.

It’s just so easy, but the taste yield is ridiculous! It actually reminds me, tastewise, of a roast. It’s like eating your favorite pot roast but it’s chicken.

I know there are Instant Pot obsessed people out there, and I’m glad for it, but the recipe book that comes with that machine sucks. Big ones. You guys are always looking for recipes for the IP and I encourage you to go to the Cuisinart website and look at their recipes. It won’t make you an IP traitor. 😉 I’ve tried lots of them and they are all delicious, especially this one!  If you don’t find what you’re looking for over at Cuisinart’s house, check out IP Recipes Finder, they have thousands of recipes!



3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup pesto
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 large onion chopped, not finely chopped, maybe 3/4″ in size
1.5 pounds baby potatoes or fingerlings, cut in half if needed
1 pound carrots, chunked or thick sliced, about 1-1.5″, your preference
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 – 1  teaspoon salt *be watchful of how much sodium is in your chicken broth and pesto, use best judgement here
1/2 teaspoon pepper


Put potatoes and carrots in a large bowl/bag/dish and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss it about to coat. Set aside.

READ  Pressure Cooker Spanish Beef

Toss chicken thighs with olive oil to coat. Select the browning or sauté setting and when hot, add 4 thighs to the pot. Brown three to four minutes on each side. Remove to a large bowl and repeat with the rest of the thighs. When you get to the last round of chicken thighs, toss the chopped onions in there and let it sauté with the thighs. When you remove the last of the chicken, leave the onions in there. Once all the chicken is browned and in the bowl, add pesto to the chicken and toss it about to coat.

Add chicken stock to the pot and give a little stir. Insert the trivet into the pot and add the pesto coated chicken on the trivet. Top with potatoes and carrots.

Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.

When done, use quick pressure release. When pressure is released, remove lid carefully. I like to remove the veggies and chicken on to a serving dish. It makes it much easier to serve since the veggies are all on top of the chicken. Serve with rice, polenta, or even mashed potatoes.

NOTE** Before anyone freaks out about the quick release of the pressure and meat, please, relax. You can quick release meat. Trust me. There will be no negative outcomes to quick release. You will actually have a negative outcome if you let it come down naturally. You have carrots and potatoes in there that don’t want to hang out any longer than necessary. Don’t abuse your veggies. The meat is incredibly tender and moist.

Pesto chicken with carrots & potatoes in the pressure cooker!Click To Tweet

Pesto chicken with carrots and potatoes - 11 minutes to tender, fall apart chicken goodness. It reminds me of a roast, but with chicken.

Pesto chicken with carrots and potatoes - 11 minutes to tender, fall apart chicken goodness. It reminds me of a roast, but with chicken.

Pesto chicken with carrots and potatoes - 11 minutes to tender, fall apart chicken goodness. It reminds me of a roast, but with chicken.

Pressure Cooker pesto chicken with carrots and potatoes - Tender deliciousness that is sure to become a family favorite!

Pesto chicken with carrots and potatoes - 11 minutes to tender, fall apart chicken goodness. It reminds me of a roast, but with chicken.

Pesto chicken with carrots and potatoes - 11 minutes to tender, fall apart chicken goodness. It reminds me of a roast, but with chicken.

If you don’t have an instant pot yet and are looking to buy one for yourself, there is a detailed comparison guide at that will help you pick the right one for your needs.

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40 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker Pesto Chicken with Carrots & Potatoes – Instant Pot”

    1. It’s one of our favs. It’s so easy and few ingredients. I bet homemade pesto sauce would make it extra delicious. Hope you dig it Victor!

  1. If the pesto is on the chicken…when you remove it after the 12 minutes…do you spoon the broth over everything? I am thinking that would wash the pesto off…?

    1. Sorry, your comment must have passed me by. You just combine everything. The pesto flavor just melts into everything rather than a strong pesto flavor. That broth is great over rice !

    1. You certainly don’t have to Andrea. You can still cook and eat this dish without the side of mashed potatoes or rice. Please, eat what you and your family likes. I like potatoes. I like rice. That’s what I do. Feel free to serve whatever side you and your family enjoy!

    1. I haven’t tried it with breasts just because it’s not my cut of choice. But sure, if you want to use breasts, go for it! Reduce cook time to 10 minutes and then check for doneness.

  2. Happy New Year, Jaxx! I don’t have an instant pot or a pressure cooker but your recipe looks fantastic! It’s almost enough to make me buy one! Pinning and sharing. Thank you for bringing this recipe to the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope to see you at the first party of the year on Monday.

  3. Okay, I’ve just made a resolution to start using my Instant Pot, and this recipe looks delicious! I’ve pinned it for future reference. Thanks also for the tip to check out Cuisinart’s recipes; I’ll do that.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    1. Thanks for checking it out Ann! A pressure cooker won’t take the place of a nice cast iron pot sometimes, but it sure saves time!

  4. My IP didn’t even come with a cookbook…I don’t know if they left it out, or what. I appreciate the link for the cuisinart site. This Chicken Pesto sounds delish, btw. About the only thinks I worry about quick release is pot roast and beans – I always try to baby my beans a bit!

    1. If you didn’t get one, you didn’t miss anything. At all.

      Yeah, I’ll usually natural release everything except things I don’t want to keep on cooking. I wouldn’t natural release salmon or you know, veggies, or pasta. But I belong to some Facebook groups for EPC and these people are crazy with the no quick release on meat – EVER. It’s pretty simple. The food keeps on cooking when you NPR. If you don’t want your food to keep doing that you have to get rid of the pressure.

      And you’re right about beans, you gotta baby them things to get the perfect bean with the perfect pot liquor. I love the speed of beans in the pressure cooker, but it doesn’t come anywhere near simmering on the stove. 🙂

  5. Looks delicious! I love pesto. Also, I have been wondering about those insta pots. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  6. delicious! I recently began making pesto – I’ll have to try this!
    thanks for sharing this week at Encouraging Hearts & Home blog hop 🙂

  7. This recipe looks delicious! I love all of the ingredients! I’m guessing this recipe has to be a winner! This is perfect for the cold days we are having! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  8. Hahaha! I’m a late adopter on the whole pressure cooker scene (aka I STILL don’t have one). It’s good to know which version has a better cookbook. This recipe looks delicious too. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

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