Pesto chicken with carrots and potatoes - 11 minutes to tender, fall apart chicken goodness. It reminds me of a roast, but with chicken.

It’s just so easy, but the taste yield is ridiculous! It actually reminds me, tastewise, of a roast. It’s like eating your favorite pot roast but it’s chicken.

I know there are Instant Pot obsessed people out there, and I’m glad for it, but the recipe book that comes with that machine sucks. Big ones. You guys are always looking for recipes for the IP and I encourage you to go to the Cuisinart website and look at their recipes. It won’t make you an IP traitor. 😉 I’ve tried lots of them and they are all delicious, especially this one!  If you don’t find what you’re looking for over at Cuisinart’s house, check out IP Recipes Finder, they have thousands of recipes!

Tender chicken thighs coated with pesto, seasoned carrots and potatoes all come together to make a "roast-like" experience. Easy weeknight meal that will quickly become a family favorite.
5 from 1 vote

Pesto Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes


  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1.5 pounds baby potatoes or fingerlings, cut in half if needed to achieve uniformity
  • 1 pound carrots, chunked or sliced, about 1-1.5″
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste keep in mind your pesto and broth will also have sodium
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Put potatoes and carrots in a large bowl/bag/dish and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss it about to coat. Set aside.
  2. Toss chicken thighs with olive oil to coat. Select the browning or sauté setting and when hot, add 4 thighs to the pot. Brown three to four minutes on each side. Remove to a large bowl and repeat with the rest of the thighs. When you get to the last round of chicken thighs, toss the chopped onions in there and let it sauté with the thighs. When you remove the last of the chicken, leave the onions in there. 

  3. Once all the chicken is browned and in the bowl, add pesto to the chicken and toss it about to coat.  Add chicken stock to the pot and give a little stir, making sure there are no brown bits stuck to the bottom. (Deglaze your pot.) 

    Insert the trivet into the pot and add the pesto coated chicken on the trivet. Top with potatoes and carrots.  

  4. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.  When done, use quick pressure release. When pressure is released, remove lid carefully. 

    I like to remove the veggies and chicken on to a serving dish. It makes it much easier to serve since the veggies are all on top of the chicken. Serve with rice, polenta, or even mashed potatoes.

Recipe Notes

Before anyone freaks out about the quick release of the pressure and meat, please, relax. You can quick release meat. Trust me. There will be no negative outcomes to quick release. You will actually have a negative outcome if you let it come down naturally. You have carrots and potatoes in there that don’t want to hang out any longer than necessary. Don’t abuse your veggies. The meat is incredibly tender and moist.

Tender chicken thighs coated with pesto, seasoned carrots and potatoes all come together to make a "roast-like" experience. Easy weeknight meal that will quickly become a family favorite.
Instant Pot Pesto Chicken with Carrots & Potatoes

46 thoughts on “Instant Pot Pesto Chicken with Carrots & Potatoes”

  1. I haven’t fixed this yet. I have read many recipes that say you need at least 1 Cup of water to pressure cook. Does this not have enough liquid??? This recipe sounds delicious and I have all of the ingredients but am concerned about not having enough liquid and getting the dreaded “Burn” note.

    1. I love busting Instant Pot myths!! 1 cup of liquid is recommended but that does not always mean “1 cup of liquid”. You must always take into account how much liquid will come off your veggies and meat. I have been making this dish for oh, about 15 years. Never has it not come to pressure or have I gotten the dreaded burn notice.

      If you ALWAYS add 1 cup of liquid to your pot, not taking into account what else is in there and how much liquid it will throw off, you will assuredly have a soup, 90% of the time.

      My recommendation is try the recipe, it’s delicious! If you feel unsure about how it’s written, use 1 cup of liquid. I’ve never tried it that way, so I cannot attest to how that will come out but I’m sure it won’t be disastrous. You may have to thicken the liquid in the pot afterwards with a cornstarch slurry.

    1. Glad to hear it Kandis! It’s always on rotation here because it is so quick and tasty!
      You can cook jasmine rice along with it – You’ll need a tall trivet, I use a stackable stainless steel pan, 1:1 rice and water, salt and a pat of butter. Set that on top the trivet and let it do its magic while the chicken is down at the bottom.

    1. It’s one of our favs. It’s so easy and few ingredients. I bet homemade pesto sauce would make it extra delicious. Hope you dig it Victor!

  2. If the pesto is on the chicken…when you remove it after the 12 minutes…do you spoon the broth over everything? I am thinking that would wash the pesto off…?

    1. Sorry, your comment must have passed me by. You just combine everything. The pesto flavor just melts into everything rather than a strong pesto flavor. That broth is great over rice !

  3. I’m confused… if there’s mini potatoes in the recipe, why would you serve it with mashed potatoes or rice?

    1. You certainly don’t have to Andrea. You can still cook and eat this dish without the side of mashed potatoes or rice. Please, eat what you and your family likes. I like potatoes. I like rice. That’s what I do. Feel free to serve whatever side you and your family enjoy!

    1. I haven’t tried it with breasts just because it’s not my cut of choice. But sure, if you want to use breasts, go for it! Reduce cook time to 10 minutes and then check for doneness.

  4. Happy New Year, Jaxx! I don’t have an instant pot or a pressure cooker but your recipe looks fantastic! It’s almost enough to make me buy one! Pinning and sharing. Thank you for bringing this recipe to the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope to see you at the first party of the year on Monday.

    1. Thanks for checking it out April! You should look into getting you one. It makes meal prep a breeze!

  5. Okay, I’ve just made a resolution to start using my Instant Pot, and this recipe looks delicious! I’ve pinned it for future reference. Thanks also for the tip to check out Cuisinart’s recipes; I’ll do that.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    1. Thanks for checking it out Ann! A pressure cooker won’t take the place of a nice cast iron pot sometimes, but it sure saves time!

  6. My IP didn’t even come with a cookbook…I don’t know if they left it out, or what. I appreciate the link for the cuisinart site. This Chicken Pesto sounds delish, btw. About the only thinks I worry about quick release is pot roast and beans – I always try to baby my beans a bit!

    1. If you didn’t get one, you didn’t miss anything. At all.

      Yeah, I’ll usually natural release everything except things I don’t want to keep on cooking. I wouldn’t natural release salmon or you know, veggies, or pasta. But I belong to some Facebook groups for EPC and these people are crazy with the no quick release on meat – EVER. It’s pretty simple. The food keeps on cooking when you NPR. If you don’t want your food to keep doing that you have to get rid of the pressure.

      And you’re right about beans, you gotta baby them things to get the perfect bean with the perfect pot liquor. I love the speed of beans in the pressure cooker, but it doesn’t come anywhere near simmering on the stove. 🙂

  7. Looks delicious! I love pesto. Also, I have been wondering about those insta pots. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  8. delicious! I recently began making pesto – I’ll have to try this!
    thanks for sharing this week at Encouraging Hearts & Home blog hop 🙂

  9. This recipe looks delicious! I love all of the ingredients! I’m guessing this recipe has to be a winner! This is perfect for the cold days we are having! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  10. Hahaha! I’m a late adopter on the whole pressure cooker scene (aka I STILL don’t have one). It’s good to know which version has a better cookbook. This recipe looks delicious too. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

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