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Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo is a savory chicken dish with soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorn, garlic and bay leaves. A classic Filipino dish made easy in the Instant Pot. 

I have been loving my Instant Pot lately. I’ve made Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese, artichokes and herb potatoes. And not to mention all the hard boiled eggs. And I thought it was high time I try some filipino instant pot dishes.

Overhead photo of chicken adobo in instant pot.

What is Filipino chicken adobo?

Thanks to my Filipino heritage, chicken adobo has always been a staple around these parts. If you are unfamiliar with Filipino Chicken Adobo, it is chicken simmered in a savory sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, pepper and bay leaves. Traditionally, adobo takes at least an hour to make and, don’t get me wrong, it’s totally worth every minute. But for those nights when you have a little less time Instant Pot Chicken Adobo can be done faster and is every bit as delicious.

And can we just talk about all the garlic for a second. Because seriously, it is my favorite part. Because garlic.

Close up side photo of chicken adobo in a bowl with rice.

How do you make Chicken Adobo in the Instant Pot?

Despite trying many different dishes in the Instant Pot, I have been a little hesitant to try chicken. I was hesitant because, to be totally honest, I am not a huge fan of chicken in the slow cooker. It always seems to be a bit dry. I thought the instant pot would produce the same results. But guys, it does not. Not at all. The chicken in this Instant Pot Chicken adobo is super succulent.

Step 1: To make Filipino Chicken Adobo in the instant pot, start by seasoning both sides of the meat liberally with salt and pepper. 

Step 2: Brown the chicken on all sides. You will likely need to do this in batches so that you don’t over crowd the bottom of the pot. 

Step 3: Place all the chicken and remaining ingredients in the instant pot and seal. 

Step 4: Cook 9 minutes, do a natural release and then simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce thickens just a bit. 

Step by step photos for how to make adobo. Seasoning chicken, browning chicken, adding ingredients to instant pot and chicken after cooking.

DES’ TIP: One of the reasons that the chicken stays so succulent is that I chose to use chicken drumsticks in this recipe. I chose to use chicken drumsticks instead of chicken breasts because they are often more tender and do not dry out as quickly. A mix of chicken drumsticks and bone-in chicken thighs would be a great combination as well. 

Overhead photo of chicken adobo in a white bowl with rice.

If you are wondering what to serve with chicken adobo, I always serve chicken adobo over jasmine rice with some roasted vegetables on the side.

Spooning sauce over the top of chicken adobo.

More Filipino Family Recipes: 

Filipino Lumpia 

Slow cooker Pork Adobo

Pancit Recipe 

More Instant Pot Recipes: 

Instant Pot Chili 

Instant Pot Chicken Stock

Kalua Pork in the Instant Pot

More Chicken Recipes:

Dill Pickle Chicken Wings

Brined Fried Chicken

Chicken Curry

Note: This post was originally written in 2018. It was updated with step by step photos, nutrition facts and a video in 2021. 


Instant Pot Chicken Adobo Recipe

Serves 4 - 6 Prep Time: Cook Time:
5 based on 13 reviews


  • 10 chicken drumsticks
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other higher heat oil such as canola)
  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced
  • 10 - 12 garlic gloves peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar (apple cider vinegar is also a good alternative)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper



Season chicken drumsticks liberally with salt and pepper.


With the saute feature on, heat oil and cook chicken pieces, in batches if necessary, until browned on all sides.


If you cooked the chicken in batches, return all chicken to the pot. Add in remaining ingredients. Put lid on the pot and seal.


Cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. Do a manual release.


With the lid off, simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.


Remove bay leaves. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and top with sauce. Serve with rice.


Nutrition facts are for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 265 , Total Fat: 7.6g , Saturated Fat: 2g , Cholesterol: 101mg , Sodium: 1895mg , Carbohydrates: 11.7g , Fiber: 1.3g , Sugar: 1.8g , Protein: 35.3g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Dale Shillings
    April 5, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    I am confused. There is no adobo chilies or adobo sauce in the recipe?

    • Reply
      April 6, 2021 at 9:22 am

      Hi Dale! This is Filipino Chicken Adobo which doesn’t have either :)

  • Reply
    Catherine Lee
    March 26, 2021 at 11:03 am

    I love chicken adobo, my Phillipines step mother taught me to make it and now I’m so happy to find a pressure cooker version! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Susie Q
    February 24, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    I made this a couple of times, and it was a huge success both times—even my picky kids ate it up! This will become a regular on our menu rotation. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      February 28, 2021 at 7:49 pm

      So happy to hear that! It is definitely one of our favorites too!

  • Reply
    Susie Q
    January 6, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    I made this tonight — and even my pickiest kid ate up his chicken leg! As a result, we actually had no leftovers, which is a rarity in our home. We will definitely do this again — thank you so much for sharing!

    • Reply
      January 6, 2021 at 10:12 pm

      Susie, yay!! You are so welcome! My kiddos love this too, it’s a family favorite around here :)

  • Reply
    Michelle N.
    December 4, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    This recipe is the epitome of instant yumminess! Not only does it look delicious, but it is scrumptious. Super easy and quick to prep and cook. I made 10 chicken thighs for 6 people and it wasn’t enough. Definitely a family favorite!

    • Reply
      December 6, 2020 at 9:21 pm

      I am so happy to hear that, Michelle! So glad you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Irma brennan
    February 21, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Can this dish. Be made on stove top??

    • Reply
      February 21, 2020 at 4:10 pm

      Yes, Irma! You certainly can. To do that simply brown the chicken in a large pot on the stove like you do in this recipe. Then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. It should be falling off the bone. I’ve made it many many times on the stove top! :)

  • Reply
    Dorothy Reinhold
    February 11, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    This is exactly the type of dish that makes me love my Instant Pot! Dinner tomorrow will be a snap!

  • Reply
    Sara Welch
    February 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Another great recipe for my Instant Pot! Definitely adding this to my dinner line up for the week!

  • Reply
    Katerina @ diethood .com
    February 11, 2020 at 1:11 am

    This sounds incredibly delicious! So many amazing flavors! YUM!

  • Reply
    Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    February 11, 2020 at 12:26 am

    This Instant Pot Chicken Adobo is couldn’t look any more perfect!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    This looks so good, I’m looking forward to trying it!

  • Reply
    Carrie Robinson
    February 10, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    How have I not bought an instant pot yet?? This looks amazing! :)

  • Reply
    Sandra | A Dash of Sanity
    March 18, 2018 at 8:59 am

    This looks really tasty! A great addition to our dinner rotation!

  • Reply
    Cathy @ Lemon Tree Dwelling
    March 17, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    This looks so inviting….I want to sit down at your table and enjoy it with you!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2018 at 5:50 am

    The flavors sound amazing! I love garlic!!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2018 at 5:48 am

    This really couldn’t get any easier! Love it!

  • Reply
    Delaney | Melanie Makes
    March 14, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    This is a wonderful dinner!

  • Reply
    jessica | novice chef
    March 14, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    I love everything about this! Cannot wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet
    March 14, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    That looks so yummy and flavorful!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.