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Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo takes a traditional Filipino dish and adds the convenience of fast pressurized cooking in an Instant Pot!

The succulent pieces of chicken are cooked in a rich and tangy soy and vinegar sauce that’s both sweet and savory. Serve your chicken with sauce over freshly steamed rice for a complete meal!


Something that many people don’t realize about chicken adobo is that the meat in this dish is traditionally reverse seared, meaning that it’s browned after cooking!

This is an old cooking technique used in Filipino cuisine, despite the trend gaining popularity now around the rest of the globe.

If you’d like to reverse sear the chicken in this recipe, pop the chicken pieces into an air fryer, or place them under a broiler for a few minutes. This will crisp up any skin on your meat and add extra flavor to the dish!


Chicken Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish consisting of chicken or pork that’s stewed in a saucy mixture of typical Thai ingredients such as vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, bay leaves, and peppercorns.

This dish is usually paired with a starchy side such as white rice – great for soaking up all that delicious sauce.

side view of instant pot adobo chicken on a red plate and green napkin


This chicken adobo can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator once completely cool.

You also have the option of making this dish ahead of time and storing it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in a baking dish, covered with foil, in the oven till heated throughout.


This chicken adobo is great alongside a refreshing cucumber salad, vegetable stir fry, or served over freshly steamed rice or quinoa.

For a low-carb option, serve this dish with some steamed bok choy, spiralized zucchini, cauliflower rice, or cauliflower mash!


Yes, you can! If you don’t have an Instant Pot and want to make this dish in the oven, first assemble the sauce in a Dutch oven, add in the chicken and seasoning and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes, flipping the chicken over and baking for another 30 minutes uncovered.

If you’re not going to make this in a pressure cooker, then I would marinate the chicken in the sauce for around 4-6 hours. It’ll be so flavorful!

chicken adobo made in the instant pot with a mound of rice on a blue plate


  • You can use skinless chicken or chicken with skin on for this recipe. Remember that if you do use chicken with skin, the skin will become soggy after cooking in the Instant Pot so then it’s best to crisp it in the air fryer or under the broiler just before serving. In any case, this aligns with the Filipino way of reverse searing meat!
  • I’ve used regular soy sauce for this dish but you could use lite soy sauce (lite in color and consistency) or dark soy sauce (less salty, aged longer, with molasses added).
  • The best cut of chicken meat for chicken adobo is thighs, legs, and drumsticks. These cuts of meat have extra fat on them, adding even more flavor to the dish and resulting in succulent pieces of chicken. While you could also use chicken breast for this recipe, the meat will be less juicy and flavorful.
  • The sauce in this recipe is sweet, tangy, and savory.
Yield: 4-6 Servings

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo takes a traditional Filipino dish and adds the convenience of fast pressurized cooking in an Instant Pot!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 4 chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks separated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced


  1. 1.Season the chicken legs generously with salt and pepper. Turn Instant Pot to the high sauté setting and add oil. Once oil shimmering, 4 pieces of chicken and brown on both sides, about 7-8 minutes. Set pieces aside on a plat, and cook remaining 4 pieces.
  2. Return all the chicken to the Instant pot and add soy sauce, light brown sugar, vinegar, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and onion. Close and lock the lid, and High pressure cook for 8 minutes.
  3. Once done, quick release pressure and carefully remove lid. Turn Instant pot onto high sauté setting, and all sauce to come to a boil and reduce it until dark brown color is achieved and sauce has thickened. Approximately 20-22 minutes.
  4. Remove bay leaves, and transfer the chicken and sauce to a serving platter, sprinkle with scallions and serve over your favorite rice.

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