Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

I only just recently jumped on the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker train.  So, I’m still getting my feet wet with using it to its full potential.  However, this delicious, healthy, honey garlic chicken turned out perfectly on the first attempt!  I love love love just about anything that combines sweet, spicy, umami flavors, and this recipe is no exception!  Combine it with the fast cooking power of the Instant Pot and it’s a match made in kitchen heaven!

Honey Garlic Chicken Bowl

This chicken is so flavorful – with the delicious combination of garlic, ginger, honey, tamari, sesame, and a little spice.  It also includes a secret ingredient…fresh blackberries! It might sound crazy, but trust me, it adds just that little something extra .  I got the idea from a similar recipe over at Just a Taste.  She uses blackberry jam, which you could certainly substitute in this recipe as well, but it will add more sweetness than the fresh blackberries so you may want to cut down on the honey just a touch.  Funny enough, when my husband was eating this, he actually asked if it had jelly in it.  I was actually highly impressed his palate picked up on the addition of the berries!

Anyways, back to the recipe.  Using the Instant Pot allows for this to come together quite quickly.  First you utilize the pressure cooker mode to cook the chicken in the super tasty sauce, then switch it to saute mode to let it thicken up and for all the flavors to meld together and infuse fully into the chicken.  Once it’s cooked and ready to serve, just top it with some sliced green onions and sesame seeds if you like!  Serve it alongside your favorite stir fry veggies, rice, or like we did with a mix of quinoa and riced cauliflower!

Honey Garlic Chicken Meal Prep

It’s a great meal any time of the year, and perfect for meal prep.  It’s super flavorful, nutritious, delicious, healthy, and sure to please just about anyone you serve it to!

Honey Garlic Chicken Bowls

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

Servings:  8      Time: 30 minutes


  • 4 chicken breasts, about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C low sodium tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 12 – 15 blackberries, about 1 C, lightly mashed with a fork
  • 1 tbsp. ginger powder
  • 1-2 tbsp. sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • sesame seeds, to top, as desired


  1. Place chicken breast, onion, garlic, tamari, honey, mashed blackberries, ginger powder, and sriracha in Instant Pot.
  2. Lock lid on pot and ensure knob is turned to sealing.  Select Manual mode and set time to 15 minutes.
  3. Once it has finished, move knob to venting and allow pressure to let out.  Remove lid.
  4. Remove chicken pot and select Saute mode and select Adjust until Medium heat. Heat sauce to allow to thicken, stirring frequently.
  5. While sauce continues cooking, shred chicken.
  6. Make a slurry with corn starch and 3 tbsp. cold water.  Add to sauce and stir to combine.  Allow to continue thickening for a few minutes, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom, another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add shredded chicken back to sauce, add sesame oil, and stir to combine.  Select Cancel to turn Instant Pot off.
  8. If cooking sides, turn Instant Pot to Saute mode on Low heat while preparing sides.
  9. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

For quinoa and riced cauliflower:

  1. Cook quinoa in chicken broth, according to instructions.  Generally, it is a 1:2 ratio, or 1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups broth.  Add a few good shakes tamari while quinoa cooks.
  2. Just before it is completely cooked, add partially thawed, frozen riced cauliflower (microwave 12 – 16 oz frozen riced cauliflower for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then add to pan).
  3. Stir to combine and continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed.

For stir fried snow peas:

  1. Heat about 1 tbsp. ghee or cooking oil over medium heat in a large saute pan.
  2. Add 2 pounds cleaned snow peas, stirring/tossing frequently.
  3. Season with garlic and onion powder, pepper, and a couple shakes tamari sauce towards the end of cooking.

Recipe notes:

  1. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you could prepare this using a traditional pressure cooker.  Just lock the lid on you pressure cooker, bring it pressure on your stove top (the topper will begin to wobble and spit a little), and let cook for 12-15 minutes.  Allow pressure to release naturally, or run under cool water until lid can be easily removed.  Then remove chicken, place pot, uncovered, back on stove top and simmer while shredding chicken.  Add corn starch slurry, shredded chicken, and sesame oil as per above.
  2. Alternatively, you could cook the chicken in the sauce in a slow cooker over low for 4-5 hours, remove chicken and shred, place sauce in a sauce pan on stove top, bring to a simmer, add corn starch slurry, chicken, and sesame oil as per above.
  3. If you need to avoid soy or are following a Paleo diet, you can substitute coconut aminos for tamari.  However, coconut aminos tends to be a bit sweeter so you may want to reduce the amount of honey and add a bit of salt.
  4. For Paleo, you will need to substitute for the cornstarch.  I’ve read that arrowroot flour or tapioca flour can be used instead but I haven’t personally tried these substitutions.
  5. You can also substitute crushed red pepper flakes in place of the sriracha.  I’d recommend starting with 1/4 tsp. and adding more as desired.
  6. Tamari is a gluten free version of soy sauce so is great for those who can’t tolerate gluten.
  7. I’ve mentioned before that a garlic press makes mincing fresh garlic so much easier and this recipe is no different! I highly recommend purchasing one if you haven’t already!  I use mine regularly! (note:  the one I linked is not the one I own, however it is highly rated)

Chipotle Picadillo with Chili Lime Cauliflower Rice

I’m sure at this point in the year, most people are tired of hearing about how cold it’s been and how ready everyone is for warmer weather!  I recently took a VERY brief trip to San Antonio for work (<24hrs!) and thought I was going to get a little reprieve from this cold, but was I ever surprised!  Of course the day I arrived the cold front had moved in and made the temperatures plummet from 70’s-80’s the day prior to windy with highs in the low 40’s while I was there!  And of course, silly me all I packed was a leather jacket.  BRRRR!

Not only was I very disappointed by the weather, I was almost more disappointed when the restaurant we visited for dinner explained that their picadillo was just plain old ground beef taco meat.  I was expecting a delicious flavor mash up of spices, vegetables, and tomatoey sauce to coat the beef.  So, upon learning this was not the case, I ordered shrimp instead!!! LOL

Ever since then, I have been thinking about it so over the weekend, I used whatever I could scrounge up to create my own! I didn’t expect it to turn out super great since I literally only used things I already had at home.  But, oh my, I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised!  Another great thing about this recipe is that it just proves that you can really use just about anything, depending on what you routinely keep around or whatever you flavor preferences or dietary needs are!

My version starts with the typical starting point of ground beef, seasoned with some traditional spices such as cumin and paprika.  I would have used oregano, but I was out at home so I did without.  Then I added in the vegetables aka FLAVOR.  Again, started pretty traditional with onions, garlic, jalapenos, and tomatoes.  But then, to kick things up some more, I added some additional frozen vegetables along with some chipotle peppers that I had in the freezer! Let it all simmer together and get nice and cozy, and dang, let me tell you, the flavors were on point!

To serve it, I went with some frozen riced cauliflower which I pretty much always keep on hand.  Then seasoned it with some dried spices, such as dried cilantro, chili lime seasoning, and jalapeno seasoning.  I also happened to have an errant lime in the fridge so I squeezed that over top as well!  I probably would have used fresh cilantro if I’d have had any on hand, but using the dried kind worked out well and really cut down on prep time since I didn’t have to chop it up!

Chipotle Picadillo Pot

Finally, I topped it with some diced avocado and it was dang delicious!  Minimal chopping involved, uses a lot of things you probably have on hand, but if not, feel free to improvise!  Smoky, a little spicy, and super flavorful!  The meat mixture can be made in one pan so clean up is easy peasy as well!

Make this tonight.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Chipotle Picadillo Topped

Chipotle Picadillo with Chili Lime Cauliflower Rice

Servings:  6 (smallish) or 4 (larger)         Time:  30-45 minutes


  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I used ~95%)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, butter, ghee, or cooking oil of choice
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos (more or less to taste), ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, canned, diced
  • 1 14.5oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 – 1.5 C frozen, mixed vegetables (such as carrots, peas, corn, and green beans)
  • 1/4 C quick oats, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Avocado, for serving, if desired
Cauliflower Rice


  1. For picadillo, in a large sauce pan or stock pot, heat oil or ghee over medium-low heat.  Add onion and a little salt and saute for a few minutes until slightly softened. Add minced garlic and jalapeno and saute a little more, about 1 minute.
  2. Add ground beef and  cook until slightly browned.  Break it up into smaller crumbles while cooking.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika.  It doesn’t need to be fully cooked as it will continue cooking as remaining ingredients are added.
  3. Once mostly browned, add in frozen vegetables, chipotles, and canned tomatoes. Stir thoroughly to combine.  Cover, reduce to low, and let simmer while preparing the cauliflower rice.
  4. For cauliflower rice, heat oil or ghee over medium-high heat.  Add riced cauliflower and saute, stirring frequently for several minutes until warmed through.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Optional:  check on picadillo mixture.  If it is still quite liquidey, add 1/4 C quick oats, if desired.  Stir thoroughly to combine and recover pot until ready to serve.
  6. To serve, spoon out cauliflower rice onto plate or bowl, top with picadillo mixture, and diced avocado, if using.  Enjoy!
Nutrition Info (approximate based on 6 servings and excludes avocado or other toppings):
250 total cal, 8.9g fat, 21 g carb, 21g protein

Recipe notes:

  • I like the picadillo meat mixture to be thicker, not soupy, which is why I add the oats.  If you prefer not to use oats, you could first drain the canned tomatoes before adding them to the mixture.
  • Most picadillo recipes includes potatoes.  I didn’t have any so I didn’t use any.  But feel free to experiment with either fresh or frozen diced potatoes.  If you use fresh, I would dice it small to ensure they cook all the way through or microwave slightly first.
  • I initially just intended to use a carrots and peas frozen mixture, but upon searching my freezer, only found the mixture mentioned above (carrots, peas, corn, and green beans) which I happened to quite enjoy!
  • For canned chipotles in adobo, rarely does a recipe call for the whole can.  In order to reduce waste, if I open a new can, I’ll generally divide any remaining peppers into baggies with 2-3 peppers each and freeze them for future use.  These can be quickly defrosted by submerging the baggy in a room temp/slightly warm bowl of water.
  • If you prefer things on the spicier side, you can add additional chipotles or leave the ribs and seeds in the jalapenos, since that’s where most of the heat lives!
  • I’ve mentioned this before, but a garlic press makes mincing garlic soooo much easier!  This isn’t the brand I have (mine is Pampered Chef, which was a gift from my mom for Christmas one year), but here’s a link to a highly rated one from Amazon:  garlic press.  You don’t even have to peel the garlic first!  But if you’re mincing several cloves at once, peeling it first helps.
  • This recipe is easily modifiable for various dietary needs.  For instance, if keto, use less starchy or lower carb vegetables, less lean (higher fat) ground beef, and omit the oats.  For paleo or whole30, again, adapt the vegetables used and be sure to utilize compliant spice mixes and omit the oats.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave me a comment letting me know how you like it!  Also, tag @ceceonthego and #ceceonthego on social media!  I love seeing your recreations!


Note:  CeceOnTheGo participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.  The products linked are products actually used by the author or are recommended based upon reviews, as indicated.

Chicken Quinoa Chili

Since snowmageddon hit Kansas City this weekend, it seemed like a great time to make our favorite chicken quinoa chili!  And then I realized that some time ago I said I would get this one up on the blog, but never did!  Whoops!  Better late than never right?!?

So, I’m not a huge fan of beans in general, so this chili is pretty light on the beans (only 1 can!), but definitely not light on flavor!  Salsa verde adds a bright pop of flavor and a variety of green peppers adds plenty of filling vegetables! And of course, all the best toppings typical of chili, such as avocado, cilantro, and lime juice! Or, maybe those aren’t so typical…well regardless, delicious!

This chili starts out with a base of sauted onions, garlic, and toasted spices including cumin and oregano.  Then layer in the multiple green peppers – bell pepper, jalapeno, and canned diced green chilies.

Then comes the flavor – salsa verde and chicken broth.  Lastly, to make it filling, add in some quinoa, white beans, and chicken breast!

It’s filling, flavorful, slightly spicy, a little tangy, and perfect for a cold winter night!

Chicken Quinoa Chili

Servings:  6          Time: ~45 minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Couple grinds black pepper
  • 4 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced, ribs and seeds removed
  • 8 oz canned, diced green chilis
  • 12 oz salsa verde
  • 15 oz can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 C quinoa, rinsed
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs chicken breast, diced
  • 2 limes
  • Toppings:  diced avocado, lime juice, fresh cilantro, corn chips


  • Heat olive oil in large soup pot over low heat
  • Add onions and salt, sauteing until softened and translucent
  • Add minced garlic, cumin, and oregano and saute a minute longer
  • Add bell peppers, green chilis, and jalapenos and stir to combine
  • Add salsa verde, chicken broth, beans, chicken, and quinoa
  • Cover and bring to a simmer.  Let simmer about 15 minutes until chicken and quinoa are fully cooked
  • Ladle into bowls, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice (about 1/4 lime per bowl) and top with avocado and cilantro if desired
Nutrition Info:
475 total Cal, 13 g fat, 43 g carbohydrate, 42 g protein