Lemon Basil Chicken Thighs

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This Instant Pot Lemon Basil Chicken is a refreshing weeknight dinner made with chicken thighs in a flavorful sauce of parsley, shallots, lemon, and cumin. 

Instant Pot lemon basil chicken thighs served over egg noodles in a white bowl, with a slice of lemon and fresh basil on top.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This is a fast and easy family-friendly chicken dinner recipe that’s not too spicy and is packed with flavor from fresh herbs and citrus.

We’re always on the hunt for new flavorful chicken dinner recipes to make in the Instant Pot. We’ve mastered the technique for cooking up juicy, tender chicken thighs in a silky, creamy sauce. 

This is a wonderful Instant Pot chicken recipe recipe to make in the spring and summer. We love to serve it with buttery egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice.

Ingredients for Instant Pot lemon basil chicken, including chicken thighs, lemon juice, spices, shallots, corn starch, garlic, a lemon, chicken broth, and butter.


Here’s what you need for this lemon basil chicken recipe:

  • Chicken thighs. We use boneless, skinless chicken thighs with the fat trimmed away. 
  • Seasonings. Season your dish with parsley, garlic, cumin, and coriander.
  • Shallot. In a pinch, you can use red onion. 
  • Lemon. You’ll need the juice and zest to add tons of brightness to this dish. 
  • Broth. We use low-sodium chicken broth. You can use homemade if you like. 
  • Cornstarch. This helps thicken up the sauce for your lemony chicken. 
  • Butter. Enrich your sauce with a bit of unsalted butter. 
Overhead picture of cooked chicken thighs in an Instant Pot for making lemon basil chicken.

How to Make Lemon Basil Chicken in an Instant Pot

This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

First, season your chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. Then heat the Instant Pot pot with the Sauté setting. Add the oil, and when the oil is hot, work in batches to brown the chicken on one side. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate. 

Then add the shallot and garlic to the pot and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the cumin and coriander for another minute, then stir in the chicken broth and lemon juice, deglazing the pot with your spoon. 

Return the chicken to the pot, along with any juices on the plate. Stir in the salt, pepper, and parsley, then add the lid and cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. When the cook time ends, do a quick pressure release

Remove the lid and use tongs to remove the chicken thighs from the pot. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Next, in a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with cold water to make a cornstarch slurry. Add your slurry to the sauce in the pressure cooking pot, stirring constantly. Turn on Sauté and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.

Return the chicken to the pot and stir to coat them completly in the sauce. Now turn off the pressure cooker and whisk in the lemon zest and butter. If you’d like, season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the lemony chicken with your favorite starch, and enjoy!

Overhead picture of Instant Pot lemon basil chicken thighs served over egg noodles in a white bowl, with a slice of lemon and fresh basil on top.

Important Tips for Making Instant Pot Lemony Chicken

It’s very important to whisk the sauce well after you add the cornstarch slurry. This will prevent lumps from forming. 

Also, be sure to bring the sauce to a simmer after adding the slurry. This ensures that the raw starch gets fully cooked. 

When you add the chicken broth, be sure to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. This deglazing step will add more flavor to your sauce and will prevent anything from burning on the bottom of the pot. 

Instant Pot lemon basil chicken thighs served over egg noodles in a white bowl, with a slice of lemon and fresh basil on top.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lemon Basil Chicken 

How should I store leftovers?

Allow the chicken and sauce to cool to room temperature, then pour into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

What should I serve with this chicken recipe?

My favorite way to serve our lemon-basil chicken is with egg noodles. However, mashed potatoes or white or brown rice, or even traditional pasta will work well. 

Can I use chicken breast?

Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of the thighs and make no changes to the recipe. 

Can I freeze leftovers?

Sometimes chicken that has been cut into small pieces can dry out in the freezer. We didn’t have a problem when we tested it because the sauce coated the chicken and helped keep it tender. Definitely don’t recommend freezing it without the sauce.

Overhead picture of lemon basil chicken thighs served over egg noodles in a white bowl, with an Instant Pot and another white bowl with egg noodles in the background.

MORE Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Try these other quick and easy chicken dinner recipes next:

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Instant Pot lemon basil chicken thighs served over egg noodles in a white bowl, with a slice of lemon and fresh basil on top.

Lemon Basil Chicken Thighs | Instant Pot recipe

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes

Instant Pot Lemon Basil Chicken Thighs with basil, cumin, and coriander is a light and fresh family dinner recipe


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (about 8)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 large basil leaves, washed, dried, and cut into very thin strips
  • Prepared egg noodles or prepared white rice, for serving


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Select Sauté to preheat the pressure cooking pot. When hot, add the oil and brown the chicken thighs on one side in small batches. Do not crowd the pot! Set the browned chicken aside.
  3. When all the chicken is browned, add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring frequently 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cumin and ground coriander and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more.
  4. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine and scrape up any stuck-on bits on the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the browned chicken to the pot, along with any juices that have collected on the platter. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 9 minutes cook time.
  6. When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release. Remove the chicken thighs from the pot, leaving the sauce. Dice into bite-size pieces, then cover.
  7. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce in the pot, stirring constantly. Select Simmer and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
  8. Add the cooked chicken thighs and stir to coat in the sauce. Turn off the pressure cooker.
  9. Whisk in the lemon zest and butter. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Place the chicken on a bed of rice or pasta, drizzle additional sauce to taste, and top with basil. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 631mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 29g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.


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