This delicious Instant Pot Chicken and Broccoli recipe is a new, easy, healthier twist on the traditional take-out favorite. In addition to being insanely delicious, this instant pot chicken broccoli recipe also happens to be low carb, and completely dairy-free!
This low carb chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe is bursting with flavor yet super easy to make in your instant pot, which is perfect after a busy day. Utilize your pressure cooker for a perfectly balanced one pot meal in less than 25 minutes of your time!
Chicken that’s cooked in the instant pot comes out juicy, tender, and packed with flavors, and the broccoli is cooked to perfection. The stir fry sauce cooked right in the pot is light and delicious too, and goes perfectly with the chicken and broccoli, even better served with rice!
The flavor of this chicken pressure cooker recipe is based on traditional Chinese stir fry, which involves some combination of protein and vegetables cut into bite size pieces and sautéed in a large pot or wok, often served with rice.
Stir fries are flexible recipes by nature—feel free to add more vegetables along with the broccoli if you’d like, such as mushrooms or bell pepper. Serve over rice or noodles, use chicken or beef. I like to add a little bit of fresh grated ginger to the pot for an easy additional burst of flavor!
Check out my notes below to see more ways to customize your pressure cooker meal to your liking and make thoughtful substitutions that are sure to turn out great!
- Can I Substitute Chicken Thighs?
- Can it Be Made with Cauliflower?
- Can I Make it with Beef?
- Can it Be Made Spicier?
- Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?
- Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
- Can I Use Low-Sodium Soy Sauce?
- Can I Use Sesame Oil Instead of Olive Oil?
- Side Dishes
- What Does it Mean to Sauté?
- What Does it Mean to Caramelize?
- Can I Add the Onion and Garlic Together?
- What is a Slurry?
- How to make Slurry – video guide
- How Many Teaspoons are in ½ Tablespoon?
- Why is the Broccoli Added at the End of the Recipe?
- How Do You Cut Broccoli Into Florets?
- How To Make Instant Pot Chicken and Broccoli
Can I Substitute Chicken Thighs?
Absolutely! I am a huge fan of using chicken thighs because they’re so flavorful and become so juicy and tender when cooked in the Instant Pot or slow cooker.
Opt for boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe, since you cut the chicken into bite-size pieces prior to adding to the pot.
Can it Be Made with Cauliflower?
You can easily swap cauliflower for the broccoli in this instant pot recipe if you don’t like broccoli or if that’s what you have on hand. It makes for a different flavor dish but tastes just as delicious!
Can I Make it with Beef?
Yes, but then it would not be instant pot chicken and broccoli, it would be a different dish, Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli.
Can it Be Made Spicier?
This instant pot chicken recipe tolerates some changes, so if you like things a bit spicier, adding some red pepper flakes will give you some heat that compliments the dish nicely. For a sweeter version, you can add up to 1 tablespoon of honey.
Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?
I prefer fresh broccoli for this recipe, but you can also use frozen if you don’t have fresh broccoli available. The cook time will remain the same.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
If you are using frozen chicken breasts, you’ll want to defrost them fully before using if possible. If the chicken is already in bite size pieces, the chicken will defrost quickly.
If your chicken is still frozen, you actually can pressure cook it straight from frozen in an Instant Pot. For some recipes, you may need to add on a few extra minutes to make sure the chicken is cooked through.
Can I Use Low-Sodium Soy Sauce?
Of course! Soy sauce contains a lot of sodium, so if you are watching your sodium intake, I would highly recommend the low-sodium variety which typically contains about 1/3 less sodium than its traditional counterpart.
For any recipe with soy sauce, I recommend tasting the sauce before adding any extra salt. Oftentimes it is salty enough with the use of soy sauce alone! Chicken broth also tends to be pretty salty, so make sure to select a low-sodium chicken broth in order to reduce sodium intake.
Can I Use Sesame Oil Instead of Olive Oil?
This instant pot chicken and broccoli recipe calls for olive oil since it’s a pantry staple, but sesame oil will work just as well if you have it on hand.
Sesame oil adds a flavor that complements this chicken dish nicely! For added sesame flavor, try garnishing the final dish with toasted sesame seeds. Delicious!
Instant Pot Chicken and Broccoli is great served over glutinous rice. Rice is a very common side for a stir fry. If you’re looking for a low carb option, it also pairs well with zucchini noodles. Another low carb alternative to rice is cauliflower rice or cauliflower mash.
If you like rice, you could also serve this with Instant Pot Brown Rice. Brown rice contains more nutrients than white rice and takes only 10 minutes to pressure cook in your instant pot! Try cooking brown rice with chicken broth instead of water for rice with more flavor.
Interested in more instant pot cooking tips? I’ll go more in depth below, looking at the science of the recipe and giving you some valuable culinary knowledge that will help you with any pressure cooker recipe!
What Does it Mean to Sauté?
To sauté is to cook an item quickly over high heat. The instant pot sauté feature is used to jumpstart the cooking process and brown food, which adds more flavor.
What Does it Mean to Caramelize?
Caramelization refers to the process of sugars beginning to brown through the application of heat in the pot. Caramelizing onions turns them a brown color and also makes them softer and sweeter.
Can I Add the Onion and Garlic Together?
The reason the garlic is added to the pot after the onion in this recipe is because onion takes a few minutes to soften, while garlic will begin to burn after only a minute or so. Garlic should only be sautéed for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to release its aroma without burning. Burnt garlic will taste bitter and unpleasant.
What is a Slurry?
A slurry is made by combining a starch (usually cornstarch) and liquid (usually water). If you add cornstarch directly to the pan without mixing with liquid first, it’s likely to form clumps. Making a slurry helps prevent this and results in a smooth sauce.
An easy way to create a slurry is to stir it using your finger in a small bowl. Make sure you stir the slurry right before using it—otherwise it may begin to separate over time.
How to make Slurry – video guide
How Many Teaspoons are in ½ Tablespoon?
One tablespoon is equal to 3 teaspoons, so there are 1.5 teaspoons in ½ tablespoon.
Why is the Broccoli Added at the End of the Recipe?
Broccoli cooks more quickly than chicken, so if it was added to the pressure cooker too early it would be overcooked and turn mushy before the chicken is fully cooked. It only needs to be sautéed for about 5 minutes to be cooked to perfection!
How Do You Cut Broccoli Into Florets?
If using fresh broccoli stalks, first remove the end of the thick stem, which tends to be quite tough. Separate the small florets by cutting away from the stem, keeping a small amount of the stem intact. If any pieces are too big, you can cut them into bite size pieces from there. Frozen broccoli is typically sold in bags already cut into florets.
You can also cut the top part of the stalk into bite size pieces to reduce food waste. The top part of the stalk is tender, delicious and nutritious! As you move down the stalk, you can peel away the tough outer layer and utilize the inside part which will be more tender.
Want more amazing Asian-inspired pressure cooker recipes? Try these instant pot favorite recipes! They are all great served with rice:
Instant Pot Sesame Chicken
Instant Pot Orange Chicken
Instant Pot Cashew Chicken
Instant Pot Soy Glazed Bok Choy
How To Make Instant Pot Chicken and Broccoli
Gather your ingredients:
Cook onion in Instant Pot on saute until almost caramelized. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Toss in the chicken and pour in the stock:
Lock lid in place and cook the chicken for 7 minutes on High-pressure. Once the cooking cycle is done, add broccoli and make a slurry. Combine 1/2 cup fo the cooking liquid with starch and pour it over.
On Saute, with the pressure cooker lid closed, cook the broccoli for 5-6 minutes. Season to taste and serve warm, with rice if desired.
- 1 lb chicken breasts skinless and boneless
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 cups broccoli florets fresh or frozen, but thawed
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- olive oil as desired, but not more than 2 tbsp
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
- Set Instant pot to Saute and add olive oil.
- Add onion and cook on "saute" for a few minutes until almost caramelized.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add chicken and toss to coat with oil. Cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the stock and the soy sauce.
- Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Once done, do a quick pressure release and open the lid.
- In a cup, combine cornstarch with 1/2 cup of cooking liquid and make a slurry.
- On the Instant Pot, press "saute" and pour the slurry over the chicken while stirring well.
- Add broccoli and close the Instant pot. Let the broccoli cook for 5-6 minutes on saute. (NO need for pressure cooking).
- Open the lid, mix a bit and serve :]