Instant Pot Lemon Olive Greek Chicken

January 21, 2019

Instant Pot Lemon Olive Greek Chicken


Instant Pot Lemon Olive Greek Chicken is a quick, delicious dish full of fresh flavours reminiscent of Greece.   We love the combination of  salty from the olives, sour from the lemon, and just a hint of sweet from the honey.    The chicken is nicely seared before being cooked which brings out a nice rich flavour, and the pressure cooking in the broth ensures you get nice moist pieces of chicken.

After cooking, you add a bit of cream, and a cornstarch slurry to make a delicious sauce to pour over the top.  I have to admit, I have a thing for sauce…

What is Greek Seasoning Blend?

I use a homemade Greek Seasoning Blend, but you can use any commercially available blend, or if you have neither, just use Oregano, Parsley, and Dill.  These are classic Greek seasonings that you are likely to have on hand in your pantry.  It won’t be quite as savoury, but it will still be good, promise.  My homemade version has a few “secret” ingredients, like a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg that are often found in Greek dishes, that we don’t normally think to use in savoury dishes.  Trust me, you won’t know it’s there, but it really adds just that special something to the dish.

As with most seasoning blends, I like to make my own.  Why?  I like that I can control the salt, and the balance of the seasonings. It’s also perfect for those who have allergies, or are looking to be gluten free.  It’s amazing how many store bought blends have flour as a thickener.  Also,  homemade seasoning blends are  much cheaper than those you buy in the stores, and I often double or triple those I use often so they are always on hand.

What to Eat with Greek Lemon Olive Chicken?

While the chicken is cooking, you can easily prepare a Greek Rice Pilaf, and heat some pita bread if you want.  A fresh Greek Salad with crisp lettuce, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers and chunks of salty, creamy feta, homemade Hummus, and incredible Tzatziki turns this into a feast.

Not a rice fan?  Roasted Greek Potatoes make an excellent option, or try cooking Orzo with melted butter and a little Greek Seasoning Blend.  Delicious and simple.


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Marinate the chicken:

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Greek Seasoning
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp honey

On Cooking Day:

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives pitted
  • zest of half a lemon optional
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

For the Sauce:

  • 1 whole lemon juice only
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch to make slurry
  • 1 Tbsp water to make slurry
  • Chopped fresh rosemary for garnish


  • Place chicken thighs in a large ziplock bag, add all seasonings, olive oil, lemon juice, honey. Seal bag and squish to ensure all the thighs are well coated.
  • In a separate small bag place sliced onions and kalamata olives.
  • On cooking day:  Set your instant pot to saute on low, add butter, sliced onions, and olives.  Cook 1-2 minutes until just beginning to soften.   Add chicken thighs in a single layer and sear on each side until browned, about 3-4 minutes.   Remove cooked chicken to a plate until all chicken is cooked. 
  • Once all chicken is seared, return to chicken and juices to the Instant Pot. Squeeze in lemon juice to de-glaze pan.  Pour in chicken broth, place on lid and close.  Make sure steaming valve is sealed and set to cook on HIGH pressure for 7 minutes.  Let chicken sit on no pressure release for 3 minutes, then carefully open the valve and quick release remaining pressure.
  • Remove chicken, onions and olives to a platter leaving juices in the Instant Pot.  Set to medium saute, add in cream.  Bring to a low boil, stir in cornstarch/water slurry.  Return chicken to the instant pot, let cook approx 3 minutes until sauce has reached desired consistency.
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