This Instant Pot Chicken Stew is loaded with chunks of tender meat, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery in a tomato-based broth and topped with bacon. It is a quick one-pot dinner that’s comforting, nourishing, and family-approved.
When cooler weather rolls around, I tend to gravitate toward warm and filling soups and stews. I love making these in my Instant Pot because I don’t need to run back and forth to the stove to stir and adjust the temperature. Plus, I find that by pressure cooking the ingredients, they’re more tender and seem to be infused with more flavor.
I think you’ll love this meal that I consider the best chicken stew made in the Instant Pot! It’s easy and, best of all, my kids love it, too. It’s a delicious and hearty combination of chicken and vegetables that are flavored with aromatic herbs such as parsley, oregano and thyme. The stew is also flavored with onions, garlic, and a little bacon which makes it positively irresistible in the taste department.
Fire roasted tomatoes, celery, carrots and potatoes round out the veggies and are the perfect accompaniment to this pressure cooker chicken stew, making it a true comfort food meal.
ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
- Olive oil – to sauté the chicken
- Skinless chicken thighs – can also use chicken breasts, but I find the thighs are more tender and tasty in this particular recipe.
- Bacon stripes, diced – an important flavor component that makes this stew irresistible
- Onion and garlic, diced and minced – adds a delicious savory flavor
- Carrots and celery – chop these vegetables for general deliciousness
- Potatoes – use baby yellow or red, cut in half
- Chicken broth – for a flavorful liquid base
- Fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juices – outrageous flavor and vegetable component
- Paprika, parsley, dried oregano and thyme – aromatic spices and herbs
- Salt, pepper, bay leaf – for seasoning and flavor
- Flour – used as a thickening agent for the stew
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN STEW
Full details are provided in the recipe card down below.
Prep the ingredients: Wash and cut vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, potatoes). Mince the garlic and bacon.
Step 1: In your Instant Pot, sauté the seasoned chicken thighs in a little oil until golden. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Step 2: Sauté the diced bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and set it aside.
Step 3: Using the leftover oil and bacon drippings, sauté the onions and garlic, scraping with a rubber spatula to make sure the bits don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Press ‘cancel’ to stop the sauté function.
Step 4: Deglaze the pot by stirring in chicken broth, continuing to use the spatula to loosen anything stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Step 5: Stir in the can of roasted tomatoes, including the juice. Add in the chicken and vegetables.
Step 6: To the top, add the dried parsley, dried oregano, dried thyme, and 2 bay leaves. Do not stir.
Step 7: Place and lock the lid on. Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes, When done, naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes, followed by a quick release.
Step 8: Remove chicken and shred it. Set aside.
Step 9: To thicken the stew left in the Instant Pot, in a separate bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of flour. Stir this mixture in with the ingredients in the Instant Pot and set to sauté and let it simmer for a few minutes. If the veggies look like they’re like they’ll be overcooked, take them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside while you thicken up the stew. If you don’t want to use the flour method, you can also just remove the potatoes, mash them up and return them to the pot and let the starch from the potatoes act as a thickening agent.
Step 10: Return shredded chicken to the pot and stir to combine before serving. Garnish with bacon.
While potatoes and carrots are the classic veggies to add to chicken stew, feel free to add and combine other ingredients for a different flavor profile. Here are some that you might want to try:
- Frozen peas
- Frozen green beans
- Frozen corn
- Fresh spinach, stirred in at the end, as it will wilt on its own from the heat
I like to use chicken thighs because the meat is more tender and stays moist when cooked. It’s a little more forgiving than chicken breast and can tolerate a few extra minutes under pressure. However, you can also use chicken breasts. I would suggest using thicker breasts rather than the thin cuts.
You can also skip the cooking of the chicken by using rotisserie chicken. Just shred it and stir it in at the end when the cooking process has finished. This way it will get heated through but not cooked, which would dry it out.
HOW DO I THICKEN THE STEW?
To thicken the stew, whisk together 3 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of flour. Stir this mixture in with the ingredients in the Instant Pot and set to sauté and let it simmer for a few minutes.
If you don’t want to use the flour method, you can also just remove the potatoes, mash them up and return to the pot and let the starch from the potatoes act as a thickening agent.
HOW DO I THIN THE STEW?
Simply stir in additional broth or water until the desired consistency is achieved.
Even though this stew is a complete one-pot meal, sometimes you might want to serve it with a little something extra. Here are some suggestions.
We love serving this with a crusty bread slathered with butter. Garlic bread is also a great option. Warm yeast rolls are also a favorite.
A simple green salad or a wedge salad is an easy accompaniment to this chicken stew.
Cool the cooked stew completely before you seal it for storage in either the refrigerator or freezer.
- For the refrigerator, store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop.
- For the freezer, store in a freezer-safe container or ziplock plastic bags for up to 3 months. Thaw completely overnight in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop.
This Instant Pot Chicken Stew recipe will be one of your go-to pressure cooker chicken meals, especially during fall and winter when you need an easy and flavorful meal that the whole family will enjoy.
Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- Instant Pot, 6 quarts or larger
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry with paper towel
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 bacon stripes, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 carrots, chopped ⅔ inch thick
- 1-2 rib celery, chopped ½ inch thick
- 1 pound baby yellow or red potatoes halved (about 1 ½ inch thick)
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 14oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juices
- ½ teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Press the [SAUTE] function. Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then sear until golden, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate.
- Add diced bacon and cook until crispy for 3 minutes. Add more oil if needed so that the bacon doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Remove the bacon from the pot but leave the drippings.
- Add onions; saute for 3-4 minutes scraping up the golden bits on the bottom of the pot. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Press [CANCEL].
- Deglaze the pot by stirring in chicken broth. Using a rubber spatula, scrape any golden bits stuck to the pot. Stir in the fire roasted tomatoes and it's juice.
- Add the chicken back into the pot. Add dried parsley, dried oregano, dried thyme, and 2 bay leaves on top. Place the lid on. Press [PRESSURE COOK] (or MANUAL) and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- When it is done cooking, let it natually release pressure for 5 minutes and then quick release the rest of the pressure. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred it. Do not add it back to the pot yet.
- Stir in shredded chicken. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with bacon and serve.
To thicken up the stew
- Method 1: Remove all the ingredients with a slotted spoon and leave just the broth if it looks like it will overcook from additional cooking time. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of flour. Press [SAUTE] and set for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture and let it simmer. Add more flour mixture using a 1:1 ratio of water and flour, if desired.
- Method 2: take some of the potatoes out, mash it up and add it back into the stew. Let the starch from the potatoes act as a thickening agent.
To thin out the stew
- Stir in additional broth or water