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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  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)

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately, both for work and for fun, and with the warmer weather and eating out constantly while traveling, basically all I’ve wanted to eat while home is salads!  Most restaurants don’t serve enough vegetables, in my opinion, so I always crave all the vegetables upon returning home!

This salad has been a repeat offender, in the best possible way, over the past week!  It’s full of fresh, crunchy vegetables, easy to prepare boiled chicken, and the most flavorful and delicious Thai peanut dressing.  The dressing is inspired by a Thai peanut sauce that I’ve put over swoodles (sweet potato noodles) in the past.  It’s also partly inspired by one of my favorite noodle dishes (called Rainbow Peanut Noodles) at a local Thai fusion restaurant.  P.S. if you’re in the Kansas City area, I highly recommend you check out Lulu’s Thai Noodle House!  You really can’t go wrong with much on their menu, but I especially love the Rainbow Peanut Noodles, the Drunken Noodles, Pad Se Eu, or of course Pad Thai.

Anyways, back to this SALAD 🙂

It’s super easy to prepare and really allows for various combinations of vegetables to be tossed in to your liking!  I made this a second time using a slightly different mix of vegetables than the first based on what I had on hand and what I could easily find at the store, so like I said, if any of the vegetables listed below don’t appeal to you, feel free to mix it up!  Any vegetables found in Asian dishes could be tried with this – sugar snap or snow peas, cucumber, cauliflower, celery, even canned water chestnut!

The dressing is really the star here, and putting it all in a blender to mix makes it super easy.  I used fresh ginger and garlic but this could easily be made with dried or powdered garlic and ginger as well.  You’ll just need to reduce the amounts to probably around 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. to be equivalent to the amounts of fresh used in this recipe.  Since it’s a smaller amount, I’d recommend using a personal size blender or small food processor.  I’ve used Ninja brand blenders for several years with success.  And in my opinion, you really can’t beat the price.  Either of these models would work well for this recipe – blender, personal blender, and food processor combo or for less money, 2 sizes of personal blender cups combo.  Also, the heat level from the crushed red pepper can be modified or removed all together depending on your liking.

This makes quite a large amount of salad, but since all the vegetables are pretty hearty, they can hold up well to being saved for leftovers, even with the dressing on!  Below is a picture of it being mixed up in the biggest bowl I own :).

Thai Chicken Salad Bowl

This salad can easily be made Whole30 or Paleo as well if you follow those food plans.

So, give this recipe a shot and let me know how it goes!  I’d love to hear what kind of delicious veggie combos you come up with!

Thai Chicken Salad Side Shot

Ingredients:

Servings:  6            Time:  30 minutes

Dressing:

  1.  1/4 C coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  2.  2 T natural, no sugar added peanut butter (or almond butter for Whole30 or Paleo)
  3. 2 T Rice Wine Vinegar
  4. 2 T Olive Oil
  5. 1 t Sesame Oil
  6. 1 large clove garlic, peeled (or approximately 1/4-1/2 t powdered)
  7. 1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, peeled (or approximately 1/4-1/2 t powdered)
  8. 1 dried date, softened in 1-2 T warm water for a few minutes (or 1 t sweetener of choice)
  9. 1/8 t crushed red pepper to taste
  10.  Salt and pepper to taste (use less salt or omit if using soy sauce)
  11. Warm water as needed to thin (use the leftover water from the softened date)

Salad:

  1. 1 14-16oz bag coleslaw mix
  2. 1 14-16oz bag shredded purple cabbage
  3. 1 14-16oz bag broccoli slaw
  4. 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  5. 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  6. 1 orange, red, or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  7. 1/2 C slivered almonds
  8. 4 large chicken breasts, about 2-2.5 pounds, cooked and shredded
  9. Fresh cilantro and sesame seeds to top, optional

Instructions:

  1. Cook and shred chicken.  I use the method described in my Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe.
  2. While chicken cooks, throw all ingredients for the dressing into a blender and blend until smooth, adding small amounts of warm water as necessary to thin to typical dressing consistency.
  3. Chop bell pepper, radish, and green onion and mix with coleslaw, purple cabbage, and broccoli slaw in a large bowl.
  4. Dish up about 1/6 of the rainbow of vegetables mix, 1/6 of shredded chicken, and top with approximately 2 T of dressing, slivered almonds, cilantro and sesame seeds if desired.
  5. Enjoy!

Nutrition info:  383 tot cal, 14 g fat, 25 g carb, 42 g protein


Immune Boosting Chicken Vegetable Soup

This has been a rough week for several reasons.  After spending a long weekend on an amazing ski trip with friends, I wasn’t able to get on track with my normal weekly activities.

We returned home on Monday evening then returned to work on Tuesday.  Every evening of the week, there was some after-work activity to run to – volunteer group meeting, work related late evening meeting, college basketball game tickets…thus I never made it to the grocery store.  Luckily, I had a few things left over in the freezer to get us through the week food wise.

On top of having something to do every evening, one of my dogs got an upset stomach and threw up on me and in the bed in the middle of the night, I didn’t sleep well due to a headache another night, and then to top it off woke up with a stomach bug Saturday morning, all leading to being pretty exhausted.  Needless to say, I also didn’t make it to my normal workouts this week.

After spending the entirety of Saturday lounging around (and staying close to the bathroom), I started to feel a bit better Sunday so decided to finally get out of the house and to the grocery store.

Whenever I’m not feeling well, I always crave my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup.  However, no matter how many times I’ve attempted and gotten guidance from my mom, it never seems to turn out the same.  I think she’s holding back some of her ingredients from me on purpose 😉 .

This time, instead of trying to mimic my mom’s soup, I decided to give it my own spin and throw in a few ingredients that are touted to help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system.  While I can’t speak to the science behind these claims, I can report that it was pretty yummy and hit the spot, which was welcomed for this very empty stomach!  My husband, who claims not to like chicken noodle soup, even liked it, helping himself to a second bowl.

I used onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, oregano, cayenne, turmeric, and fresh lemon in this soup.  All of these reportedly boost immunity, although I haven’t looked into the research to support that.  Regardless, it can’t hurt, especially when it made for a really tasty end product!

Ingredients:

Servings: 6                             Total Time:  1.5 hrs

  1. 1 whole chicken, approx. 6 lb
  2. 3 bay leaves
  3. 6 C chicken broth, divided
  4. 3 – 5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ rounds
  5. 4 – 6 celery stalks, diced
  6. 1 medium onion, diced
  7. 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  8. 8 oz kluski (egg) noodles, optional*
  9. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 2 t ground ginger
  11. 1 t ground thyme
  12. 1 t ground oregano
  13. 1 t ground parsley
  14. 1 t ground turmeric
  15. 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  16. Juice of 2 lemons
  17. Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1.  Place the chicken, breast side down, along with 2 C broth and 2 bay leaves in pressure cooker.  Lock lid in place and heat over high heat until rocker starts moving.  Reduce heat to medium and cook chicken for approximately 35-40 minutes.  Turn off heat and let pressure release naturally.  Once the pressure is released, remove the chicken and set aside to cool.  Remove bay leaves and discard.  Pour broth into fat separator, such as this one.  Allow to cool and reserve.  Once the chicken has cooled, remove the skin and any visible fat.  Roughly shred chicken meat with hands.  I used mainly the white meat for this recipe (and let my hubby pick over the legs and thighs 🙂 )
  2. While chicken and broth cool, in a large stockpot, heat about 2 cups of broth over medium low heat.  Add the onion, garlic and celery and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add herbs/seasonings and remaining broth (fat removed).  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Bring to a boil and add noodles and remaining vegetables.  Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for about 15-20 minutes.  During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the shredded chicken.  Just prior to serving, add the lemon juice

Notes:  To save time, you could use a pre-bought rotisserie chicken.  However, I find pressure cooking it the best way to keep it moist and delicious!

To keep this lower carb, omit the noodles.  It will still be plenty hearty and filling with all those vegetables and chicken!

Nutrition Info:

350 total cal, 38g protein, 40g carb, 5g fat (including noodles)

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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  The products linked are products actually used when preparing this recipe