This easy Instant Pot Chicken Stew recipe is just the ticket when you're looking for the ultimate comfort food the whole family will love -- without the fuss. Make this hearty dinner even easier with frozen, pre-cut vegetables.
When it's soup season, there are few foods as comforting and nourishing as chicken soup. And while we love making Instant Pot chicken recipes like Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup, there are days that call for a richer, creamier, hearty Instant Pot Chicken Stew.
Imagine chunks of tender chicken, bathed in a rich, aromatic broth, alongside an array of vibrant vegetables, all harmoniously united in one pot.
The magic of this pressure cooker chicken stew lies not only in its mouthwatering taste but also in how easy it is to prepare. This makes it a great option for both beginning home cooks and seasoned chefs alike.
As it simmers away, the Instant Pot transforms humble ingredients into a symphony of flavors, while the pressure cooking method infuses every spoonful of this hearty stew with wholesome goodness.
Whether you're seeking comfort on a chilly evening or a wholesome, hassle-free meal to nourish your body, I hope you'll find this is the best Instant Pot Chicken Stew! It's a delicious meal that's sure to become a family favorite!
🌟 Why this recipe works
Instant Pot Chicken Stew is the quintessential recipe for weeknight dinners.
- Fast - With the Instant Pot's fast cooking capabilities, you can make a rich stew in less than 30 minutes instead of what would typically take hours to simmer and tenderize on the stovetop. This means you can enjoy a hearty, home-cooked stew without dedicating the better part of your evening to the kitchen.
- Minimal prep work - While you could chop all of the veggies from scratch, using frozen pre-cut vegetables saves so much time. Just toss your ingredients into the Instant Pot, set it, and forget it — no constant stirring or monitoring required.
- Easy to customize - Another notable advantage of this recipe is its versatility. You can customize the ingredients to suit your preferences or make use of whatever ingredients you have on hand. See the Ingredient Notes for some ideas.
- Nourishing - Every bite of this easy chicken stew has protein-packed chicken and so many vegetables full of nutritions vitamins and minerals.
Perhaps most importantly, this comforting stew doesn't compromise on taste or nutrition. The high pressure cooking method locks in flavors, resulting in a deeply flavorful and rich broth.
With minimal effort and maximum flavor, this is a good stew that embodies the essence of convenience and satisfaction. That makes it the perfect choice for those busy weeknight dinners when you crave both comfort and efficiency.
🛒 Ingredient notes
- Chicken - This recipe calls for chopped skinless, boneless chicken thighs, which add big flavor to the stew. You can substitute chicken breasts if you prefer.
- Broth - You'll need chicken broth or chicken stock, and you can use either store-bought or homemade stock.
- Herbs - Rosemary, thyme, and sage add an herbaceous depth of flavor to the stew.
- Heavy cream - Start with at least half a cup of heavy cream, but keep it handy. You may need more if you want a stew that is creamier.
- Cornstarch - You'll whisk cornstarch together with water to create a cornstarch slurry. Added after pressure cooking, this helps thicken the stew.
- Vegetables - This stew has potatoes, spinach, peas, carrots, and celery. To save time, I recommend using as many frozen vegetables as you can. I love Stahlbush Farms frozen peas and spinach; they're perfect to toss in at the end before serving. No need to thaw!
- Aromatics - Fresh garlic and onions are the flavor foundation for this yummy chicken stew. Stahlbush Farms even sells frozen onions that are already pre-diced, which makes the recipe go even faster! (And no watery eyes from chopping onions!). This is the most ingenious frozen food offering, if you ask me. I love it!
✅ Step-by-step instructions
You'll find detailed instructions for this Instant Pot recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here's a photo step-by-step guide for all of you visual learners out there!
- Sauté the fresh garlic and the frozen diced onions in olive oil.
- Add the chopped carrots and celery, and stir.
3. Add the chopped chicken and cook, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that may be at the bottom of the pot.
4. Add in the chicken broth and potatoes. Then sprinkle in the herbs and bay leaf.
5. Secure the pressure cooker lid, making sure the pressure release knob is in the SEALING position. Select Pressure Cook/Manual, high pressure, and 4 minutes. After a few seconds, the Instant Pot will start coming to pressure, and will take anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes to come to pressure.
6. While the ingredients are cooking in the Instant Pot, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to create a cornstarch slurry.
7. Once the pressure cooking is complete, do a Quick Release by carefully moving the valve over to VENTING position. Once all pressure is released, and the pin on top of the unit has fallen all the way down, carefully twist the lid open.
Find and discard the bay leaf.
8. Stir in the frozen peas and frozen spinach, and press SAUTÉ to cook for another 1-3 minutes to allow the liquid to thicken and the peas and spinach to cook in the liquid.
9. Pour in the cornstarch slurry and heavy cream. If you want Then press CANCEL to turn the unit off.
👩🏻🍳 Substitutions, cooking tips, and recipe FAQs
- Substitute your favorite dairy-free heavy cream for regular heavy cream to make this dairy-free.
- Substitute half and half or whole milk for heavy cream.
- Substitute diced boneless skinless chicken breast for boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Substitute fresh chopped herbs for dried.
- Substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.
- Add your favorite vegetables. Stahlbush Farms has many more frozen vegetables you can add, including frozen sweet potatoes, sweet corn, crazy corn (tri-colored corn), frozen broccoli, frozen kale, and more!
- Use frozen, pre-cut veggies where you can to save time!
- Don't forget to discard the bay leaf after pressure cooking is complete.
- You could skip the sautéing chicken step and add one more minute to pressure cooking time. However, sautéing the chicken is part of what gives this stew its rich, aromatic flavors.
- If your stew is too thin for your liking even after adding the recipe measurements for heavy cream and cornstarch slurry, don't be afraid to add a little more of each!
- Avoid the burn notice on your Instant Pot by ensuring you have enough liquid. If you use a little more chicken, you'll need to add a little more chicken stock or broth.
With soups, the focus is on the liquid. Like this the creamy vegan pumpkin soup. Stews are typically thicker than soups, with chunks of meat and vegetables.
Allow the stew to cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days.
Yes! Allow the stew to cool, then store in a freezer safe airtight container in the freezer for up to one month. Because there is dairy involved, you may need to add more heavy cream or cornstarch slurry after thawing and reheating the stew.
🍽 Serving ideas
This chicken stew is absolutely divine when served with some crusty bread and some more vegetables.
🍳 Kitchen tools and equipment
You just need a few kitchen tools to make this recipe:
- Pressure cooker - You'll need an electric pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or other brand.
- Wooden spoon - Use a wooden spoon to sauté the vegetables, chicken, and stir in the liquids and herbs.
- Ladle - A large ladle makes it easy to scoop and serve the chicken stew.
More chicken recipes to try
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup diced onion (fresh or frozen)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- ½ cup diced celery stalks (about 2 stalks)
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1 to 2-inch pieces
- 2 cups diced potatoes
- 3 cups chicken stock or broth
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 3 Tablespoons water
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- Turn the pressure cooker to SAUTÉ mode on high. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly just until the chicken is cooked on all sides. Press CANCEL to turn off the SAUTÉ mode.
- Add the potatoes, chicken stock or broth, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper.
- Secure the lid and make sure the top valve is set to SEALING.
- Select PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL on high pressure for 4 minutes. The pressure cooker will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before it starts cooking.
- Meanwhile, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking together the cornstarch and water. You may need more depending on how thick or thin you want your stew, so keep more cornstarch and water handy for later. Set aside.
- Once the pressure cooking is done, carefully use a wooden spoon or tongs to move the valve over to VENTING position for a Quick Release.
- Once all pressure is released, and the pin on top of the unit has fallen all the way down, carefully twist the lid open.
- Find and discard the bay leaf.
- Stir in the cornstarch slurry, heavy cream, peas, and spinach, and press SAUTÉ to cook for another 1-3 minutes to allow the liquid to thicken and the peas and spinach to cook in the liquid. Then press CANCEL to turn the unit off.
- Use water or vegetable broth instead of chicken stock or broth.
- Substitute diced sweet potatoes for white potatoes.
- Substitute half and half or whole milk for the heavy cream.
- Substitute your favorite dairy-free heavy cream to make this dairy-free.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.