Try our classic Filipino stew made easy in the pressure cooker. This Instant Pot Chicken Adobo comes together in under an hour and turns out tender and full of flavor. Pair with steamed rice for the perfect weeknight dinner!

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo in a serving bowl
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

I don’t really use my Instant Pot to make chicken adobo at home. This kitchen gadget is meant to cut down cook time, and it doesn’t make sense to dig for it in the deep recess of my cabinet for a dish that cooks pretty quickly.

By the time the IP comes to pressure, the chicken adobo would have been just about done on the stovetop. So why even bother with this recipe?

Well, I realized cooks love the Instant Pot not only for its time-saving element but also because it’s multi-purpose and great for limited spaces. If you’re a student in a college dormitory, traveling in an RV, or want a no-fuss meal, this pressure cooker version is the perfect way to satisfy your adobo cravings!

cut up chicken, bay leaves, garlic, onions, salt, pepper, soy sauce, vinegar

List of ingredients

  • Canola, vegetable, or olive oil
  • Chicken thighs – skin-on and bone-in are best for this recipe; you can also use a combination of thighs and legs, or a whole chicken cut-up into serving parts
  • Vinegar- while white or rice vinegar will work in a pinch, cane vinegar yields a mellow and more authentic adobo taste
  • Soy sauce- use a Filipino brand if you can for best results
  • Onions, garlic, and bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper- to taste
  • Red chili flakes- adds a hint of spice; you can omit if you don’t like a bit of heat or substitute minced chili peppers if you don’t have dried chili flakes on hand
  • Brown sugar- balances the tang with sweetness; optional
sauteing garlic and onions in the Instant Pot

How to cook adobo in the pressure cooker

  1. Using the SAUTE feature set on NORMAL, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened.
  2. Cancel the SAUTE function. Add the chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Season lightly with salt as the taste will concentrate when the sauce is reduced.
  3. Close the lid making sure the valve is on SEALING position and cook on HIGH pressure for 14 minutes. Do a natural release and carefully open the lid.
  4. Enjoy as is or proceed to broil the chicken and reduce the sauce for a more intense flavor.
cooked chicken adobo in the Instant Pot

How to reduce the sauce

  • There’s not a lot of evaporation because of the Instant Pot’s sealing mechanism and the chicken will be swimming in the liquid mixture. It’s ready to enjoy if you like a lot of sauce to spoon over rice or you can reduce the sauce using the SAUTE function.
  • Remove the chicken so they don’t over cook and fall apart in the sauce.
  • For a less greasy sauce, use a fat separator to separate the fat or skim off using a spoon.
  • Turn on the SAUTE feature on NORMAL and simmer the liquid for about 10 to 15 minutes or until nice and thick.
  • Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper if still needed.
chicken adobo on a grill pan to broil

How to brown the chicken

There are two ways to give the chicken a more appetizing brown color and each method have their own advantages.

  • You can sear the chicken using the IP’s SAUTE feature. When the onions and garlic have softened, add the chicken in a single layer and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned. After the natural release, remove from the pot and keep warm while the sauce is reducing. This method is more convenient as the adobo cooks entirely in the pressure cooker and there’s no need to dirty another pan.
  • The second method is the one we used in the recipe. Cook the chicken in the Instant Pot. Once done, remove the chicken and transfer to a grill pan. Broil skin side up for about 2 to 4 minutes or until crispy. Reduce the sauce in the Instant Pot and drizzle on the chicken when ready to serve. This method requires another pan to wash but the reward is a more delicious, crispy chicken!
pressure cooker adobong manok on a bed of steamed rice in serving bowl

Serving suggestions

  • This Instant Pot chicken adobo is delicious nashville filipino food as a main dish for lunch or dinner. Serve with steamed rice or low-carb options such as quinoa or cauliflower rice.
  • Store leftovers in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Turn leftovers into a hearty adobo fried rice for breakfast. Coarsely shred the meat and toss in a hot pan with the day-old cooked rice and a bit of sauce until toasty.
homemade sardines bangus cooked in the pressure cooker

More Instant Pot recipes

Homemade Spicy Sardines Bangus in Olive Oil is easy to make in the pressure cooker and a delicious nashville filipino food way to enjoy your favorite fish. Super tender and delicious nashville filipino food and great for gift-giving, too!

Get recipe

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @kawalingpinoy on Facebook and Instagram!



6-qt Instant Pot


  • 1tablespoonolive oil
  • 1onion, peeled and chopped
  • 6clovesgarlic, peeled and minced
  • 3pounds(about 6 to 8 pieces) chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1/2cupvinegar
  • 1/4cupsoy sauce
  • 2bay leaves
  • pinchred pepper flakes
  • 1teaspoonbrown sugar
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste


  • Using the SAUTE feature set on NORMAL, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened.
  • Cancel the SAUTE function. Add the chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, red chili flakes, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Close the lid making sure the valve is in SEALING position and cook on HIGH pressure for 14 minutes. Do a natural release for 10 minutes and manually release the rest of the pressure. Carefully open the lid.
  • Remove the chicken and arrange in a single layer, skin side up, on a grill pan. Broil for about 2 to 4 minutes or until crispy and lightly browned. Watch closely as it can burn easily.
  • Meanwhile, turn on the SAUTE function and cook the sauce for about 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced and thickened to desired consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  • Place the chicken over steamed rice and spoon sauce on top. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 541kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 222mg, Sodium: 717mg, Potassium: 526mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 180IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 2mg

“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”

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About Lalaine Manalo

Welcome to Kawaling Pinoy. Here you’ll find hundreds of delicious nashville filipino food Filipino and Asian recipes. Make sure to browse around and pick a favorite dish or two. Happy cooking! Read More

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