Instant Pot Chicken Adobo, along with our Pork Adobo recipe, is a savory and traditional Filipino recipe, containing only 6 ingredients. Tender chicken is cooked in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic to produce a flavorful tangy and sweet sauce.
This Chicken Adobo Instant Pot Recipe can be easily adapted for those on a Low Carb, Keto, Paleo or Whole30 diet.
Many of you have sent messages my way asking for more easy instant pot dinner recipes. It’s only fitting that we kick off our series with one of my favorites – Instant Pot Adobo Chicken. It’s a chicken recipe the entire family will love and requires minimal time, effort and ingredients. If you’re not familiar with Filipino recipes, you’re in for a treat.
For this recipe, I used the popular Instant Pot Duo Plus, which has a 6 qt capacity. Any model of instant pot will work with this chicken recipe, with no adjustments.
What is Adobo?
Adobo originated in the Philippines and is the unofficial national dish. The term “adobo” is used in Mexican and Caribbean cooking as well, however not in the same manner. Adobo elsewhere is a mix of spices. Adobo is actually a cooking technique in the Philippines, hence why it’s named Chicken Adobo (also referred to as Filipino Chicken Adobo).
Authentic Filipino Chicken Adobo Recipes are prepared with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. You’ll find other Instant Pot Adobo Chicken Recipes include onions or vegetables, to add flavor and texture, but they aren’t traditional. Chicken is cooked in the flavorful marinade and browned before serving. Although our Filipino Adobo browns the chicken prior for ease.
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo Ingredients
CHICKEN – Skinless, bone-in thighs and drumsticks work best. Feel free to keep the skin on if you prefer. Do not use chicken breasts with this Adobo Recipe. You’ll end up with dry white meat chicken vs tender dark meat.
OIL – Use any oil of your choosing.
VINEGAR – white vinegar is what I use. Feel free to use Apple Cider Vinegar.
SOY SAUCE – I highly recommend low sodium or all purpose soy sauce. Light soy sauce will leave you with an overly salty dish. Use Coconut Aminos if on a Keto, Low Carb, Paleo or Whole30 diet.
GARLIC – Add in a few extra cloves for an added punch of flavor.
SUGAR – white or brown sugar can be used. Use Golden Monk Fruit or granulated erythritol if on a Keto or Low Carb Diet. Omit completely if on a Whole30 Diet.
BAY LEAVES – added depth of flavor.
How to Make Chicken Adobo in Instant Pot
This Filipino adobo recipe is truly the best chicken adobo recipe. Why? Thanks to the use of the Instant Pot, this traditionally labor intensive Filipino recipe is cut down to just 30 minutes. The short and sweet steps include: searing the chicken, mixing the marinade and pouring it over the chicken, pressure cooking for 15 minutes (10 minutes + 5 minutes NPR), then simmering the sauce until a flavorful glaze is produced.
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo Recipe Variations
Pork Adobo Recipe
See our delicious Pork Adobo recipe for details.
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo With Coconut Milk
Replace the olive oil with coconut oil, replace the white vinegar with coconut vinegar and add a cup of unsweetened coconut milk with the vinegar/soy sauce mixture.
What Does Chicken Adobo Taste Like?
Filipino Chicken Adobo is savory, tangy and sweet all in one thanks to the mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. The garlic, bay leaves and peppercorn add a complex flavor with minimal ingredients.
What To Serve With Chicken Adobo
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
Air Fryer Mushrooms
Easy Cucumber Salad
Ensalada de Coditos
Sushi Rice Instant Pot
Instant Pot Coconut Rice (Recipe Coming Soon!)
Veggies – think Sous Vide Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, bok choy.
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo
- 1 tbsp Oil (Olive or Vegetable)
- 4 lbs Bone-in Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks ((*Note 1))
- ¾ cup White Vinegar
- ¾ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce (or coconut aminos) ((*Note 2))
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar ((*Note 3))
- 8 cloves Garlic, Smashed
- 2 Whole Bay Leaf
- 1 tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
- Steamed Rice, For Serving
- Pat dry the chicken pieces.
- Press the sauté button on the instant pot (followed by "start" if your model requires it) and pour in the oil. Let it get warm, then add 3 pieces of chicken. Sauté each side for a couple of minutes until slightly browned. Remove chicken and repeat until all chicken has been browned.
- In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, bay leaf and black peppercorns.
- Place all the chicken back in the instant pot and pour the vinegar mixture over everything. Close and seal the lid.
- Set the manual/pressure cook button to high for 10 minutes plus 5 minutes of natural release (after pressure cooker has finished cooking, wait 5 minutes then manually release the remaining pressure).
- Remove the chicken and cover to keep warm.
- Click the sauté button and reduce the vinegar till it is a little thickened, about 12-15 minutes. (*Note 4)
- Serve the chicken over steamed rice and pour a little of the sauce over the chicken and rice.
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