featured photo lemon garlic chicken

Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken (Gluten Free, Keto, Whole 30, Paleo)

(Last Updated On: August 26, 2020)
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Easy Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken

This Instant Pot Lemon Chicken is a favorite recipe of mine for so many reasons. First off, it’s cooked in the instant pot, so it’s quick and in one pan, making clean up a breeze. Secondly, not only is it packed with flavor, but it’s a healthy dish that is Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 friendly. I try and make all my recipes with minimal ingredients from real, unprocessed foods, and this recipe is a shining example of that philosophy.

lemon garlic chicken in the instant pot

Winner Winner One Pot Chicken Dinner

I love one pot meals. Even better, I LOVE one pot instant pot meals because the instant pot is entirely dishwasher safe AND super quick. Did you know you can cook pasta in it in just two minutes? It really is a magical appliance. I also love that unlike the slow cooker that can sometimes leave all your food with the same texture, the instant pot allows you to change things up a bit. By giving the thighs a good sear on the outside, we keep the skin from getting soggy and the garlic nice and roasted without needing an extra pan. What’s better than that? Maybe the fact that it’s also Keto, Paleo & Whole 30 friendly, AND is ready in under 20 minutes?!

Fresh lemon is key to bring some brightness and acidity to this dish, and the bone broth keeps the Chicken super juicy. The fresh basil at the end is like the cherry on top of the sundae, just the right amount of a little something, something. If you need other instant pot chicken dishes, check out my Instant Pot Pineapple Shredded Chicken and Instant Pot 10 Minute Shredded Chicken. One of my favorite recipes is this Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole, and I prep the spaghetti squash and Chicken ahead of time, in you guessed it … the instant pot!

plated pic of lemon garlic instant pot chicken

What Makes This Dish Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 Friendly?

I usually take a minute to explain what makes each recipe on this site fall into the dietary categories so my readers a better idea of what each diet is about. Keto is a diet focused on keeping the body in a state of ketosis. In this state, the body starts to burn fat for fuel. You do this by consuming under a certain number of carbs per day, typically 20G or less. Chicken thighs have 0 carbs, juice from a lemon typically has around 3G of carbs, but we use the juice from the lemon to cook for the entire and get rid of most of the juice at the end, so it’s a minimal amount of carbs. 


Both Whole 30 and Paleo diets focus on eating whole foods that are minimally processed, avoiding any inflammatory ingredients, like gluten, grains, dairy, and legumes. This dish has very few ingredients, and all of them fall into the category of Paleo/Whole 30 approved. However, you do want to make sure you use a high quality, trusted brand of Chicken. 

What Ingredients Do You Need?

  1. Olive Oil – Keeps chicken from sticking to the pan
  2. Garlic – Can’t have Garlic Lemon Chicken without Garlic
  3. Lemon – (See above) Fresh squeezed and save the rinds to zest at the end
  4. Bone Broth- Adds more flavor than water, keeps chicken juicy
  5. Italian seasoing- Adds flavor
  6. Fresh Basil- Optional topping at the end
close up of chicken and basil

How To Make It

  1. Set your instant pot to saute, add olive and garlic let cook. Add Chicken Thighs to give them a good sear so skin doesn’t get mushy.
  2. Add lemon juice and bone broth.
  3. Cook for 8 minutes. Plate add lemon zest and basil. Serve! 

That Simple!!!

Helpful Equipment and Ingredients (Directly From Amazon)

instant pot
The Instant Pot I use and love
oxo zester
Oxo Zester (Under $12)
Essential Kitchen Tongs!
Digital meat thermometer under $10

What Are Some Good Sides?

The sides you can serve with chicken are never ending! Below are a few of my favorites

  • A simple side salad. Almost every night with dinner we have a very simple of spring mix, salt pepper and a dressing of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Simple, easy, low calories and helps keep you full. 
  • Carrot Fries – Not Keto, but Paleo & Whole 30 Friendly
  • Cilantro Lime Rice – Can make with a bag of Frozen Cauliflower rice for a Keto, Whole 30 & Paleo compliant version
  • Simple Sesame Roasted Asparagus
lemon garlic instant pot chicken plated with fries and salad

Tips, Recs, Subs

  • Make sure you salt and pepper your chicken, WELL. Don’t under season this dish, and don’t underestimate the power of a good amount of salt and pepper. 
  • You can use fresh garlic or chopped garlic. 
  • If you roll the lemon under your hand on the countertop a few times, it helps you get more juice out of it. 
  • Make homemade bone broth in the instant pot in 2 hours with this recipe. If you don’t have it on hand, this is my go-to brand, Bare Bones. Order directly from Amazon. 
  • When you sear the chicken a good way to know if it’s done is if it flips easily. If it’s sticking to the pan, it probably isn’t finished cooking yet. 
  • Before you eat, you can always use a thermometer to ensure the internal temp is 165 before eating chicken.
  • Let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure for at least 5 minutes, then open the quick release valve.
  • See my section above for side dishes to serve. 

Save Instant Pot Garlic Lemon Chicken to Pinterest For Later

lemon garlic chicken pinterest pin

Other Chicken Recipes You'll Enjoy

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Keto/Whole 30/Paleo Chicken Piccata
Keto Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad
instant pot pineapple shredded chicken
Instant Pot Pineapple Shredded Chicken
Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole Whole 30, Keto, Paleo
featured photo lemon garlic chicken

Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken

Danielle Musella
A quick and easy chicken dish made the instanpt in under 20 minutes. Keto, Paleo and Whole 30 Friendly.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian, keto, paleo, whole 30
Servings 4 People


  • Instant Pot


  • 4-6 Bone in Skin on Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Chopped Garlic (or 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 Small-Med Juiced and save the rinds for zest (can use 1 large juicy lemon)
  • 1 Cup Bone Broth
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning


  • Salt and pepper chicken on both sides, sprinkle chicken with Italian seasoning.
  • Set Instant pot to "saute" mode, add olive oil and garlic. Cook for a minute or two until the pan is hot. Scrap garlic with a wooden spoon so it is not stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add Chicknen, skin side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes, flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Make sure you continue to scrape garlic from pan so it does not burn.
  • Add the lemon juice and broth to the pan. Cover with lid, make sure it is set to "sealing" mode. Set to "Pressure Cook" mode on High pressure for 8 minutes. Let it naturally release (when the timer goes off it will start counting up this is natural release phase) for 5-7 minutes. Before popping using the quick-release valve. (Top of the instant pot that says "sealing/venting" flip to venting mode). Plate, top with fresh lemon zest and basil. Enjoy
Keyword 30 minutes or less, buffalo chicken, garlic, instant pot, lemon

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