Instant Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish served with rice, made faster with the help of your modern pressure cooker.
Growing up, the scents of vinegar, fish, and eggs permeated the air of our house seemingly 24/7.
The stove and oven were constantly working to help my family produce some large feast or another, and I’m sure that everywhere I went, my hair, my clothes all told the tale of my day’s meals.
One of the fragrant dishes that I remember eating frequently is chicken adobo.
Filipino Chicken Adobo
Filipino chicken adobo has a deliciously strong, beckoning aroma, thanks to its vinegar and garlic base.
It’s fantastic and AMAZING, and I am pretty sure that if your hair does NOT smell like vinegar and garlic after cooking this dish, you’re doing it wrong. Trust me: smelling like this dish is TOTALLY WORTH IT. It’s so good!
Using your Pressure Cooker to Make Adobo
Traditional Filipino chicken adobo can take hours to make. If you don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you would marinate the meat for a few hours and up to overnight.
Thanks to the Instant Pot, this meal can be on the table in about 45 minutes. No marinating needed!
I use a combination of skinless, boneless chicken thighs and skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, but you can also use a combo of chicken thighs and drumsticks.
I use a bit of chicken stock or broth to cut the vinegar a bit in my recipe. You still get that signature garlicky, vinegar scent and taste, though.
This Instant Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo is garlicky, sweet and salty, and tangy. It’s perfect served with a side of white rice.
Chicken adobo was a meal my family would make as a child at least once a week, if not a few times each week. It’s a great recipe to double and reserve some leftovers to enjoy the following day. Try it with some noodles or even with a salad the next day!
This Instant Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe brings back such happy memories from my childhood, and now I love cooking it for my family, too. I hope it brings you and your family as much joy!
Instant Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipe
- 5 pieces chicken – (I use a mix of skinless, bonless chicken thighs AND skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp ground paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 scallions, sliced thinly
- Season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and paprika evenly on both sides.
- Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE, on high. Add oil, and allow the oil to heat for about a minute.
- Working in batches, add chicken to the Instant Pot and saute until brown on both sides. This takes about 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken pieces.
- Once all chicken pieces are browned evenly on both sides, add the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, chicken stock or broth, garlic, bay leaves, onions, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir ingredients together.
- Follow the manufacturer instructions for properly placing the pressure cooker lid on and setting it to seal. Set to PRESSURE COOK (or MANUAL, depending on your IP) on high for 9 minutes. After the pressure builds, the IP count down from 9 minutes. At the end, when it beeps, carefully use tongs or a thick kitchen towel to turn to Quick Release. Once the float valve is completely down and all steam has been released (mine takes about 2-3 minutes for quick release; your time may vary), carefully unlock and open lid.
- Press the SAUTE setting and bring the remaining sauce to a boil, then allow it to reduce until it turns a nice dark brown color. This takes about 15 minutes.
- Once the sauce is reduced to your liking, remove bay leaf and hit CANCEL. Transfer chicken to a serving plate and garnish with scallions. Serve inmediately.
Using Frozen Chicken Thighs? No problem!
A few readers have asked about using frozen chicken thighs, so I thought I would add the note here. You can absolutely start with frozen! You’ll just need to adjust cooking times.
Skip the browning section of the instructions, and simply allow them to pressure cook longer. A general rule of thumb for frozen thighs: cook on high pressure for 20 minutes for boneless, and 25 for bone in. Always check the chicken with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s at 165 and completely cooked.
Have you ever had Filipino chicken adobo?
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