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Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks In Italian Sauce

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian


Bathed in tasty garlic and thyme tomato sauce and with meat falling off the bone, these Italian chicken drumsticks make are a fabulous family meal. Making this dish in an Instant Pot pressure cooker means you can have it done and dusted in no time. It’s healthy and budget friendly, too.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 red onions, peeled, halved and cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (skin on)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder or flakes (optional)
  • Handful of thyme sprigs or dried thyme leaves (about 1.5-2 tablespoons of leaves)
  • Zest of 1/4 lemon
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2/3 cup diced tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sweet balsamic vinegar (see notes)


  1. Press the Sauté key on the Instant Pot (it should say Normal, 30 mins). Add the oil and once hot, add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times, until lightly golden.
  2. Add the chicken drumsticks and sprinkle with the rest of the salt, pepper and chilli, then add the thyme, lemon zest and whole garlic cloves. Follow with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Spread ingredients evenly between the chicken drumsticks. Cancel the Sauté function by pressing Keep Warm/Cancel button.
  3. Place and lock the lid, make sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing. Press Poultry (High Pressure, 15 minutes). After 3 beeps the pressure cooker will start going.
  4. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release for 2-3 minutes and then use the quick release method before opening the lid.
  5. Serve the chicken and the sauce over rice, pasta or potatoes or with a side of vegetables. I like to peel the meat off the bone and mix it in with the broth it cooked in.


  • Serving Size: 2 drumsticks
  • Calories: 546
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 911.7 mg
  • Fat: 28.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.8 g
  • Protein: 51.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 244.7 mg