Instant Pot Thai Coconut Lime Chicken

This Thai-Style Instant Pot Coconut Lime Chicken is bursting with tangy, sweet and aromatic flavors. It’s quick and easy to make, perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. Serve over rice, noodles or vegetables.


THAI COCONUT LIME CHICKEN

Tangy, sweet and aromatic, this Instant Pot Thai Coconut Lime Chicken will become your new favorite dinner recipe.

For something that’s so quick and easy to make, it packs in a lot of flavor. Chicken is succulent and tender, coated in a fabulous sweet chili, lime and coconut sauce.

It’s inspired by flavors of South-East Asia but when it comes to ingredients, you can get all of them from your local Asian grocer or the supermarket.

Coconut lime chicken is best served over rice or plain noodles so they can soak up the robust tangy, sweet and savory sauce. You can add steamed vegetables or shredded fresh vegetables to compliment the final meal. For a lower-carb version, you can serve this chicken dish over cauliflower rice or zoodles.

Instant Pot Coconut Lime Chicken
Ingredients Icon

INSTANT POT THAI COCONUT LIME CHICKEN INGREDIENTS

You don’t need too many fancy Asian ingredients to make this Instant Pot coconut chicken. Most of these are available from the supermarket and you might already have some of them in the pantry. Many of these are already used in Asian recipes using the Instant Pot. 

Chicken. We use skinless boneless chicken breast, however, feel free to use skinless boneless chicken thighs or tenderloins. You will need either 2 large chicken breasts or 3 smaller ones for 4 servings of this dish. Because chicken breasts have an uneven thickness, we slice them into 3 pieces instead of cooking them whole.

Chicken seasoning: the meat is rubbed with a few simple spices like turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. This will seal a bit of flavor in the chicken pieces.

Aromatics: Onion, garlic and ginger are very common in Asian recipes, they add a lot of flavor, sharpness and aroma to the dish. Adding cilantro/coriander fresh when serving the dish will add to those Thai aromas.

Coconut milk: You’ll get best results using full-fat coconut milk from a can. Give the can a good shake. Using coconut cream is also possible but will give you a much thicker consistency so you may need to dilute it with a little water.

Lime juice: Use fresh lime juice for the best flavour.

Fish sauce:  A classic in Thai recipes, the fish sauce adds a hit of salt and umami.

Sweet chili sauce and sugar: There are many varieties on the market but pretty most sweet chili sauce brands will work in this recipe. A little extra sugar is added to balance the sweetness without the extra chili.

Flour/corn flour: starch helps to thicken the sauce right at the end.

Swaps: You can swap fresh ginger and garlic with ground powders. The common swap is to use about 1/4 teaspoon of ground powder for every 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger or garlic. 

HOW TO MAKE THAI COCONUT LIME CHICKEN IN INSTANT POT

You will find the full recipe with ingredients and nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below. Here are some handy step-by-step photos of how to make Thai coconut lime chicken in the Instant Pot. You can use a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot.

PRESSURE COOKING THE CHICKEN

Step 1. Season chicken with salt, turmeric and garlic powder and rub with hands.

Step 2. Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Saute function more than once to cycle to MORE mode (hotter setting).

Step 3. Add the olive oil and cook the chicken pieces, in batches if needed, for 2-3 minutes on one side and 30 seconds to 1 minute on the other. Don’t overcrowd the pot. Remove to a plate or cutting board.

Step 4. Once the chicken is seared, press the Saute button to change the setting to LESS.

Step 5. Add the onions, ginger and garlic along with another tablespoon of oil. Stir for 20-30 seconds and then pour in 1/4 cup of water to deglaze the pot. Stir through, scraping the bottom of the pot with a spatula to remove any burnt bits; everything should come off clean and be incorporated into the sauce. Cancel the Saute function.

Step 6. Pour in the coconut milk, lime juice and fish sauce and stir. Nestle the chicken pieces back into the sauce, facing the more cooked side up. 

Step 7. Secure and lock the lid. Set to Pressure Cook for 10 minutes on HIGH pressure. Once done, leave on natural release for 10 minutes, then use the quick release to let off the remaining steam and open the lid.

ONCE CHICKEN IS COOKED

Step 8. Remove the chicken pieces, then add the sweet chili sauce and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the sauce. Press the Saute function on Normal and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, allowing the sauce to reduce by a third; make sure to stir frequently.

Step 9: In the meantime, combine 2 teaspoons of plain flour or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold or lukewarm water and whisk into a smooth slurry. 

Step 10. Press Cancel to stop the Saute. While the sauce is bubbling hot, stir in the flour and water slurry and whisk the sauce. It should thicken instantly.

Step 11. Finally, pour in and stir another 1/3 cup of coconut milk (you should have some leftover in a can)

Step 12. Return the chicken and stir through the sauce. Serve the chicken and sauce with chopped green onions and cilantro on top. You can add a few sliced red chilies for those who like extra heat.

Instant Pot Coconut Lime Chicken

WHAT GOES WITH THAI COCONUT LIME CHICKEN

This Thai coconut chicken is a versatile dish that can be served in many ways:

  • Instant Pot Coconut Lime Chicken & Rice. You can use regular white rice or brown rice here; Jasmine rice is classic Asian rice with a nice aroma and flavor that goes well with this chicken. You can make the rice ahead of time in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop while the chicken cooks. Another speedy option is to use pre-cooked 2-minute rice packets. 
  • Coconut Lime Chicken with Noodles. Rice noodles, egg noodles or soba noodles will work with this saucy chicken dish. You can stir-fry some vegetables and toss the chicken and teriyaki sauce through with the noodles. 
  • Thai Coconut Lime Chicken Salad. Make a coleslaw-like salad with shredded cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, plenty of cilantro, mint and red onions. Toss with a little lime juice, salt or fish sauce, honey, and sesame oil. Serve with warm coconut lime chicken and drizzle all that delicious sauce over the top as a warm dressing.
  • Thai Chicken & Cauliflower Rice. For a lower-carb meal, serve the chicken and sauce over pan-fried cauliflower rice or with zucchini noodles.
  • Serve with a vegetable stir-fry. Make a quick and easy stir-fry of carrots, snow peas, green beans, red peppers, cabbage or broccoli with a little garlic and sesame oil. 
  • Coconut Lime Chicken Wraps: Serve shredded chicken and a spoonful of teriyaki sauce in a sandwich, wraps or in sliders for a fun take on this dish. A little fresh coleslaw with cilantro would be a great addition.

STORAGE & FREEZING

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, with a splash of water or chicken broth to dilute the sauce if it gets too thick
  • To Freeze. Instant Pot Thai coconut chicken is great for freezing and can be kept for up to 3 months. Thaw out overnight in the refrigerator before reheating to piping hot as above.

MORE INSTANT POT CHICKEN RECIPES


FULL RECIPE & NUTRITION

Below is the full list of ingredients, instructions, notes, tips and nutritional breakdown. Don’t forget to rate this recipe and leave a comment with feedback or any questions.

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Instant Pot Thai Coconut Lime Chicken

Instant Pot Thai Coconut Lime Chicken

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Tangy, sweet and aromatic, this Instant Pot Thai Coconut Lime Chicken will become your new favorite dinner recipe. It’s quick and easy to make and can be served over rice, noodles or vegetables.


Ingredients

Scale

For chicken: 

  • 2 large or 3 medium chicken breasts, cut into 34 pieces each
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For pressure cooking:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated or minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1 cup (250 ml) full-fat coconut milk (make sure to stir the can)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 1.52 tablespoons)

To finish: 

  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch or plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (remaining milk from the can)

For garnish: 

  • A handful of cilantro/coriander
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 1/2 long red chili, sliced thinly

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Saute function more than once to cycle to MORE mode (hotter setting). Add the olive oil and cook the chicken pieces, in batches, for 2-3 minutes on one side and 30 seconds to 1 minute on the other. Don’t overcrowd the pot. Remove to a plate or cutting board. 
  • Once the chicken is seared, press the Saute button to change the setting to LESS.  
  • Add the onions, ginger and garlic along with another tablespoon of oil. Stir for 20-30 seconds and then pour in 1/4 cup of water. Stir through, scraping the bottom of the pot with a spatula to remove any burnt bits; everything should come off clean and be incorporated into the sauce. Cancel the Saute function. 
  • Pour in the coconut milk, lime juice and fish sauce and stir. Nestle the chicken pieces back into the sauce, facing the more cooked side up. 
  • Secure and lock the lid. Set to Pressure Cook for 10 minutes on HIGH pressure. Once done, leave on natural release for 10 minutes, then use the quick release to let off the remaining steam and open the lid. 
  • Remove the chicken pieces, then add the sweet chili sauce and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the sauce. Press the Saute function on Normal and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, allowing the sauce to reduce by a third; make sure to stir frequently. 
  • In the meantime, combine 2 teaspoons of plain flour or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold or lukewarm water and whisk into a smooth slurry. 
  • Press Cancel to stop the Saute. While the sauce is bubbling hot, stir in the flour and water slurry and whisk the sauce. It should thicken instantly. 
  • Finally, pour in and stir another 1/3 cup of coconut milk (you should have some leftover in a can)
  • Return the chicken and stir through the sauce. Serve the chicken and sauce with chopped green onions and cilantro on top. You can add a few sliced red chilies for those who like extra heat. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2-3 pieces of chicken and 1/4 cup sauce
  • Calories: 495
  • Sugar: 8.5 g
  • Sodium: 876.1 mg
  • Fat: 28.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.6 g
  • Protein: 41.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 124.1 mg

Keywords: Thai, Chicken Recipes, Coconut Milk, Lime, Dinner, Asian,

By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

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