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Instant Pot Lemon Thyme Parmesan Chicken

This Instant Pot Lemon Thyme Parmesan Chicken is made with fresh lemons, thyme, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Smooth and creamy garlic butter sauce with lemon and Parmesan smothers these chicken breasts made in the Instant Pot.

Close up of instant pot lemon thyme parmesan chicken topped with Parmesan and Parsley.

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Thyme

This chicken breast recipe is sautéed in the Instant Pot with salt, pepper, and garlic before being pressured cooked with the freshly sliced lemon and fresh thyme.

When using the Saute feature on the Instant Pot it is important to deglaze the inner liner before pressure cooking anything in it.

To deglaze, use a cooking utensil such as a spoon to scrape off any stuck-on bits from the bottom of the liner. If there are any bits stuck on the bottom of the liner then it can result in a “BURN” notice and no one wants that.

Sautéing the chicken before pressure cooking locks in the juiciness of the chicken as well as gives the chicken more flavor. If you wanted to skip this step because you’re cooking your chicken from frozen, you can. Just add the salt, pepper, and garlic to the inner liner along with the other ingredients.

RELATED: Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Top view of a plate of lemon thyme parmesan chicken served with a garlic butter sauce.

Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

The chicken sits in a bed of lemon garlic butter sauce that is made right in the pot after pressure cooking the chicken. Milk, Parmesan, and a cornstarch slurry are added to create a rich, creamy, and flavorful lemon garlic butter sauce. There is enough leftover in the pot to drizzle sauce on top of the chicken breasts before serving.

Instant Pot Parmesan chicken served with fresh lemons, parsley, and thyme.

Ingredients in Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce

Fresh ingredients will bring out the most flavor in this dish but you can use dried thyme when in a pinch when making this lemon thyme chicken. Freshly squeezed lemons also creates a fresh lemon flavor but you can also opt to use bottled lemon juice as well.

The ingredients with their measurement amounts can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post! Here’s a breakdown of what is needed to make this Instant Pot Lemon Thyme Parmesan Chicken:

  • Skinless boneless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Fresh Thyme – if using dried use 2 teaspoons
  • Lemon Juice – from freshly squeezed lemons or bottled lemon juice
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Garlic Cloves – minced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chicken Broth
  • Lemon Slices
  • Parsley – for garnish (optional)
Moody picture of lemon thyme parmesan chicken served with parsley and freshly sliced lemons.

Make Instant Pot Lemon Thyme Chicken

To lock in flavor of the lemon thyme chicken, set the Instant Pot to Sauté and add the olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic. As the chicken is searing, add the onions so they can cook to a translucent color. Brown each side of the chicken and move the chicken to deglaze the inside of the pot.

Once the chicken is seared on all sides, the broth is poured in around the chicken and the thyme is sprinkled on top of the chicken. The lemon juice is added to the pot as well as the sliced lemons.

The lid and vent are then closed and the Instant Pot is set to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK for 10 minutes. If using frozen chicken, increase the pressure cook time to 12 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure. If you rush the pressure release it will result in dry or rubbery chicken.

Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken with lemon served with lemon slices and fresh thyme and parsley.

RELATED: Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Beef & Rice

Make Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

The smooth and creamy lemon garlic butter sauce for this dish is easy to make. To make this sauce, transfer the chicken to a perving platter and set the Instant Pot to Sauté.

Milk and Parmesan are then stirred into the broth. Once the ingredients are mixed well, create a cornstarch water by mixing water and cornstarch together before adding it to the sauce. Creating a slurry will prevent any clumps from forming by using the cornstarch. Press cancel on the Instant Pot and allow the sauce to thicken before serving over the lemon thyme chicken.

If you want your sauce thicker, add a little more cornstarch slurry at a time.

Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Lemon Thyme Parmesan Chicken

top view of a plate of lemon thyme parmesan chicken

This Instant Pot Lemon Thyme Parmesan Chicken is made with fresh lemons, thyme, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Natural Release Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 1 cup chicken broth, low sodium
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch + 4 tbsp water, to create slurry
  • Freshly sliced lemon
  • Fresh Thyme, for garnish
  • Fresh lemon slices, for garnish
  • Parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté and add the olive oil and butter.
  2. Add the garlic and onion, sauté until fragrant.
  3. Salt and pepper the chicken and add them to the pot.
  4. Sear the chicken on all sides.
  5. Deglaze the pot to remove any stuck on bits to avoid a "burn" warning.
  6. Pour the broth in around the chicken and add the lemon juice.
  7. Sprinkle the chicken with fresh thyme and add a few lemon slices into the pot.
  8. Close the lid and the vent.
  9. Set the pressure cooker to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK for 10 minutes. If using frozen chicken, increase the pressure cooking time to 12 minutes.
  10. Allow the pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure and removing lid.
  11. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish.
  12. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté again and pour in the milk and add the Parmesan.
  13. Create the cornstarch slurry by mixing the water and the cornstarch together before adding to the pot. (This prevents clumps.)
  14. Stir the cornstarch into the sauce and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.
  15. Press CANCEL and allow the sauce to thicken.
  16. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with fresh lemon slices, thyme, and parsley.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 867mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 44g

Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Jean

Wednesday 19th of May 2021

How much lemon juice?? The recipe fails to mention that even once!

Dana

Thursday 20th of May 2021

Hi Jean,

It is 3 tbsp of lemon juice, I have reflected the ingredient list to show that ingredient. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. :)

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