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Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

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Love chicken adobo, but don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen? Instant Pot chicken adobo is SO much easier and faster. It cooks up tender and delicious every time, and the best part is you don’t have to hang out in the kitchen all day to make a fabulous meal.

instant pot chicken adobo with rice on a plate

With its famous tangy, flavorful sauce and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken, this Instant Pot Chicken Adobo recipe is a favorite in our house. 

I love using affordable chicken thighs, and the kids love chicken legs. Plus, it cooks so quickly that I can have sides ready to serve in the time it takes to cook in the Instant Pot!

Traditional Filipino adobo recipes call for cooking low and slow for hours, but I’m going to show you how to get the same flavors in a fraction of the time! 

chicken adobo in the instant pot

What is Chicken Adobo?

Chicken Adobo is a traditional Filipino recipe. Named from the Spanish word adobar, which means a marinade or pickling sauce, the name stuck and is still used today. 

It’s a meaty dish that’s flavored with soy sauce and vinegar. Something magical happens when the flavors of this dish come together – it’s rich, savory, and so crazy good. It’s not vinegary at all, and the meat is always so tender. It’s a great recipe.

What You Need to Make Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

(Full recipe instructions and ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post)

  • Cooking oil – Use a neutral-flavored cooking oil like vegetable oil or peanut oil. Avocado oil works well also.
  • Chicken – I like a combination of chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks, but you can use chicken breasts or any or any other chicken pieces you’d like.
  • Onion – Sweet Maui onions are my favorite. Fresh yellow or white onion will also work.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic is better than the pre-minced stuff any day.
  • Shoyu – A Japanese-style soy sauce available in the Asian aisle at most grocery stores. You also need some liquid for this pressure cooker adobo recipe. 
  • Vinegar – I use white vinegar to give the sauce its signature tang. You can use rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or any other variety you’d like.
  • Peppercorns – A few black peppercorns will be all you need.
  • Bay leaves – Dried leaves work just fine.
instant pot chicken adobo ingredients

How To Make Chicken Adobo in the Instant Pot

  1. Set your Instant Pot to saute, add the oil, and heat it up.
  2. When the oil is hot, sear the chicken skin side down first. Flip and brown it on all sides. You may need to work in batches.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant when the chicken is brown. 
  4. Return all the chicken (and any pan juices) to the Instant Pot and seal the lid. Cancel the saute setting.
  5. Cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes, then quick release when the cooking time is up. No need for an extended natural release!
  6. Carefully open the lid and set the Instant Pot to saute and simmer the sauce for a few minutes to let the flavors condense and let the sauce thicken. Optionally top with green onions, serve, and enjoy!

This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker or on the stove top.

What To Serve With This Chicken Adobo Instant Pot Recipe

The sauce in this Filipino chicken adobo is so good that you need something to soak it all up. Here are a few of my favorite sides dishes for chicken adobo.

  • Mashed or boiled whole potatoes
  • Steamed quinoa
  • White rice – Good old sticky white rice is the go to in our house. Jasmine rice works well too.
  • Cauliflower rice – This will keep your Instant Pot adobo low-carb

I’ll also add a green vegetable like broccoli or beans. 

instant pot chicken adobo with rice on a plate

How To Store Adobo Chicken in the Instant Pot

If packaged in an airtight container, this pressure cooker chicken adobo keeps just fine in the fridge for a few days. In fact, I think leftovers the next day are better than eating them fresh! 

You can also freeze the leftovers—package portions of the meat in the chicken adobo sauce in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is chicken adobo healthy?

Yes! There’s not much fat in this dish, and it is naturally lower in carbs. It’s a healthy, satisfying, and delicious dish!

Is chicken adobo in the Instant Pot easy?

Yes! If you can sear chicken, then you can handle this easy recipe. The rest is a dump-and-go recipe once you’ve got the chicken browned.

How long does it take to make chicken adobo using the Instant Pot?

Searing the chicken will take a bit of time, maybe 15 minutes, but with relatively little liquid in this recipe, the Instant Pot should come up to pressure pretty quickly. This recipe should take about 30 minutes, from start to finish. It’s an easy weeknight chicken recipe!

What does chicken adobo taste like?

It’s tender, succulent, and the sauce is a bit tangy and full-flavored from the soy sauce. You can taste the onion and garlic, and it’s simply terrific all together.

instant pot chicken adobo with rice on a plate

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Relle Lum
Chicken adobo is the ultimate Filipino comfort food. Just a few simple ingredients and an Instant Pot make this a quick and easy dish that’s sure to please.
4.84 from 56 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Instant Pot
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4 servings
Calories 326 kcal


  • Cooking oil of choice
  • 1 pound chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
  • ½ small onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup shoyu
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Set a 6 quart Instant Pot to saute mode.
  • Add oil and chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides.
  • Then add the onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant.
  • Next add shoyu, vinegar, peppercorn, and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
  • Cover with lid and set to sealing. Cancel saute mode.
  • Cook on manual high pressure for 10 minutes. Once the cooking cycle has completed, carefully quick release remaining steam by turning the knob to venting.
  • When the pin has dropped, open the lid and set to saute. Saute for a few minutes until the sauce thickens up and ENJOY!


Serving: 1gCalories: 326kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 32gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 221mg
Keyword chicken adobo, chicken recipes, dinner recipes, easy recipes, filipino food, Instant Pot, instant pot chicken adobo, instant pot recipes, keeping it relle, kid friendly
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instant pot chicken adobo

By on April 10th, 2022

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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7 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chicken Adobo”

  1. 5 stars
    This is one of my “go to” recipes after a busy day. I am a 5 o’clock cook and this recipe helps me achieve getting dinner on the table fast.
    The recipe is easy, the chicken is tender and so delicious. It is a winner!


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