These Garlic Sesame Instant Pot Chicken Thighs are perfect for your weekly meal prep and they've got the best sticky, sweet sauce!
How to make this recipe
Add sesame oil to an Instant Pot put it into saute mode. Saute chicken thighs, then add soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and ginger and stir slightly amongst thighs.
While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice. While the rice is cooking, mix rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, dry ginger & salt in a small bowl until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Toss with broccoli slaw then set aside.
Mix water and cornstarch together. At this point, do a quick release of the pressure when Instant Pot is done. When it is safe stir in the cornstarch slurry.
Add two chicken thighs to each meal prep bowl and drizzle a little bit of sauce overtop, garnishing with sesame seeds if desired.
Divide the rice and broccoli slaw evenly among bowls. Serve and enjoy!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Sesame oil – olive oil, perilla oil or canola oil will work in place of sesame oil. Note that it won’t be as aromatic as the sesame oil.
- Chicken thighs – if you’re looking for a leaner cut of meat use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs.
- Soy sauce – tamari or coconut aminos are great alternatives to soy sauce.
- Brown sugar – coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup or white sugar with molasses can be used in place of brown sugar.
- Garlic – fresh or jarred minced garlic can be used.
- Ginger – freshly grated ginger or dry ground ginger powder can be used.
- Broccoli slaw – in a pinch, regular coleslaw mix will work in place of broccoli slaw.
- Rice vinegar – white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or lemon/lime juice will also work.
- White sugar – honey, maple, agave syrup are great alternatives to white sugar.
- Sesame oil – canola oil will also work in place of sesame oil for the broccoli slaw
- Ground dry ginger – allspice, nutmeg, or cinnamon can work as a substitution.
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- White rice – any variation of white rice, brown rice or long grain rice can be used.
- Butter (optional)
- Cornstarch – wheat flour, arrowroot, potato starch or rice flour can be used in place of cornstarch.
Storing and reheating
Store these meal prep bowls in the fridge up to 5 days. You have the option to eat the bowls cold to opt out of having warmed up coleslaw, but you can always pack the coleslaw separately so you can microwave the chicken and rice.
To reheat the chicken, sprinkle water over the chicken and rice to avoid the chicken and rice from drying out, then heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Freezing the chicken
You can freeze any of the leftover chicken for up to 3 months. Use freezer-safe bags or air-tight containers to keep the chicken free of freezer-burn. When you're ready to make this recipe, thaw the chicken in the fridge overnight, and then reheat in the oven or in the microwave for a few minutes.
More Chicken Thigh Recipes
Meal prep tools
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning these Instant Pot Chicken Thighs into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Get a rice cooker for hands-off cooking time here (they're cheap!)
- This is the brand of tamari I like, and I love this low-sodium soy sauce!
Garlic Sesame Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp gingerroot, grated
- 1 package broccoli slaw
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil (or canola oil)
- 1 tsp ground dry ginger
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 cup dry white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- Add sesame oil to Instant Pot and turn Instant Pot into saute mode. Saute chicken thighs for 1-2 minutes per side, then add soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and gingerroot and stir slightly amongst thighs.
- Place the lid on and press the pressure cook button. Select the high setting, then set to cook for 3 minutes - Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to preheat then the 3 minutes to pressure cook.
- While chicken is cooking, cook rice with water and butter in a rice cooker and then mix together rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, dry ginger & salt in a small bowl until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Pour over and toss with broccoli slaw then set aside.
- Make the cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Do a quick release of the pressure when Instant Pot is done by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon, then open lid when safe to do so. Gently stir in the cornstarch slurry.
- Add two chicken thighs to each meal prep bowl and drizzle a little bit of sauce overtop, garnishing with sesame seeds if desired. Divide the rice and broccoli slaw evenly among bowls. Serve and enjoy!