Keep your house cool in the summertime by making this delicious and super simple keto- and Whole30-friendly Instant Pot Summer Italian chicken stew! It’s a quick blast of summer,  with tender chicken, juicy cherry tomatoes, fragrant fresh herbs, and buttery, briny green olives.
A ladle placing Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken into a light blue bowl. The red banner at the bottom states that the dish is paleo, Whole30, keto, and gluten-free.

Instant Pot Keeps Your House Cool!

One of my favorite cooking appliances to use in the summer is my handy dandy Instant Pot.  At the end of a hot summer day, I’m sweaty and tired, and in no mood to cook.

Thankfully, I’ve got this wonder appliance! With this indispensable electric pressure cooker, I can throw in a bunch of seasonal ingredients and presto change-o!: a flavor-packed dinner is ready in no time at all, and my kitchen stays cool. Plus, you can take advantage of summer produce and make this fantastic Italian chicken stew in a flash!

Want more Instant Pot recipes? I’ve got ’em all right here!

An Asian woman is using tongs to stir Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken while a small boy watches.

Can you use other Chicken Parts?

As always, I highly recommend that you use chicken thighs instead of boneless, skinless chicken breasts because they won’t dry out as easily. Plus, chicken thighs simply taste better (see Exhibit A: Cracklin’ Chicken).

But yes, you can definitely use other chicken parts and my recipe below has cooking times for boneless chicken breasts, drumsticks, bone-in thighs, etc.

A collage of the cooking steps to make Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken, a Whole30-friendly weeknight stew.

Do you need to add extra liquid?

Nope! Everyone always asks me why I don’t add at least a cup of liquid to this Instant Pot recipe and it’s because it’s not necessary—the mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, and chicken release enough liquid for the contents to reach high pressure. Adding extra liquid will only dilute the flavors more. Trust me!

What can you serve with it?

This summer stew tastes great ladled over Cauliflower Rice, Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash, or Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes.” I also love to serve it with a big green salad, Roasted Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic or Whole Roasted Cauliflower. You can totally toss it with gluten-free pasta or even regular pasta—your secret is safe with me!

Can you make this in a slow cooker or on the stove?

Yep! If you are cooking this Italian chicken stew in the slow cooker, sauté the veggies in a skillet before transferring it to the slow cooker. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 2 to 4 hours.

Making it on the stove? Cook everything in a large sauce pan or deep skillet and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the chicken thighs reach 165°F and are tender. (Chicken breasts will cook quicker, so start checking them at the 20 min mark.)

Time to make Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken!

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, avocado oil, or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • ½ pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted green olives (I love Castelvetrano olives)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

Equipment

  • All of my recommended kitchen tools are listed here.
  • My favorite Instant Pot models are listed here.

Method

Grab your chicken thighs and sprinkle ¾ teaspoons kosher salt all over them. You can do this part up to two days in advance, and keep the chicken covered in the fridge.

Someone is sprinkling kosher salt on boneless, skinless chicken thighs to make Whole30 Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken stew

Press the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot or heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat. Add your fat of choice.

A finger is pressing the Sauté button on an Instant Pot to make Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken stew

When the fat is shimmering, add the onions, carrots, and mushrooms, and a ½ teaspoon kosher salt.

A hand is adding the vegetables to an open Instant Pot to make paleo Summer Italian Chicken stew

Sauté the vegetables until the softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Sauteing the vegetables in an open Instant Pot to make Whole30 Summer Italian Chicken

Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Sauteeing the ingredients of Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken with some tomato paste.

Add the salted chicken, cherry tomatoes and green olives to the pot.

Adding the chicken thighs, cherry tomatoes, and green olives to an instant pot.

Give it all a good stir.

A person is stirring the raw ingredients for the Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken stew before putting on the lid.

Turn off the sauté function, and lock the lid on the pressure cooker.

A finer is pressing the Keep Warm/Cancel button on an Instant Pot

I position my Instant Pot under my stovetop exhaust vent before I program the pressure cooking so that when the chicken’s done and I immediately release the pressure, the vent will suck up all the steam. Your kitchen cabinets will thank you. (Stick a cutting board underneath your cooker if your stovetop grates aren’t even—and remember not to turn on your stove!)

A person is putting an Instant Pot filled with Summer Italian Chicken stew under a vent.

If you’re using an Instant Pot, press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button and set the cooking time at 10 minutes for boneless thighs. Other chicken cuts? Program 7 minutes under high pressure for boneless chicken breasts (if your chicken boobs are bigger than 8 ounces each, you can cut them in half or increase the cooking time to 9 minutes) and 15 minutes under high pressure for bone-in thighs and drumsticks.

(For those of you using a stovetop pressure cooker, crank the heat to high to bring the contents to high pressure. Once high pressure is reached, reduce the heat to low, or just enough to maintain high pressure. Set a timer for 6 minutes for breasts and 9 minutes for thighs.)

When the chicken is finished cooking, turn on the stovetop exhaust fan before turning the pressure cooker valve to release the steam.

A hand is manually releasing the pressure on an Instant Pot.

Remove the lid right away to prevent overcooking. Add the freshly cracked black pepper and adjust the seasoning with additional salt as needed.

A woman is opens and Instant Pot with lots of steam coming out, and adds freshly cracked black pepper

If you want a thicker gravy, remove the chicken and blend up the vegetables and cooking liquid with an immersion blender. Personally, I don’t have time for this step. BECAUSE I’M HOT AND TIRED, REMEMBER?

An open Instant Pot filled with Whole30 Summer Italian Chicken stew.

Stir in the fresh herbs, and serve immediately.

A hand is adding minced fresh herbs to the Instant Pot.

Wondering what to serve with this? This stew tastes great ladled over cauliflower rice or garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes.”

A hand is ladling Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken into a serving bowl.

Or just eat it as-is if you don’t want to dirty any other pots or pans.

A hand is spooning Whole30, keto, Paleo Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken out of a serving bowl.

Toss any leftovers (covered, of course) in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Want more Instant Pot recipes? I’ve got ’em all right here!

[Originally posted on August 7, 2016. Updated with new details and photos on August 10, 2020.]


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Instant Pot Summer Italian Chicken (Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Gluten Free)

4.91 from 42 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
You can keep your house cool in the summer by making this Whole30-friendly Italian chicken stew in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker!

Ingredients 
 

  • pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ghee avocado oil, or olive oil
  • 1 small onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots coarsely chopped
  • ½ pound cremini mushrooms stemmed and quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted green olives (I love Castelvetrano olives)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup  loosely packed fresh Italian parsley coarsely chopped

Instructions 

  • Grab your chicken thighs and sprinkle ¾ teaspoons kosher salt all over them. You can do this part up to two days in advance, and keep the chicken covered in the fridge.
  • Press the "Sauté" button on the Instant Pot or heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat. Add your fat of choice.
  • When the fat is shimmering, add the onions, carrots, and mushrooms, and a ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Sauté the vegetables until the softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the salted chicken, cherry tomatoes and green olives to the pot. Give it all a good stir.
  • Turn off the sauté function, and lock the lid on the pressure cooker.
  • If you’re using an Instant Pot, press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button and set the cooking time at 10 minutes for boneless thighs. Other chicken cuts? Program 7 minutes under high pressure for boneless chicken breasts (if your chicken boobs are bigger than 8 ounces each, you can cut them in half or increase the cooking time to 9 minutes) and 15 minutes under high pressure for bone-in thighs and drumsticks.
    (For those of you using a stovetop pressure cooker, crank the heat to high to bring the contents to high pressure. Once high pressure is reached, reduce the heat to low, or just enough to maintain high pressure. Set a timer for 6 minutes for breasts and 9 minutes for thighs.)
  • When the chicken is finished cooking, release the pressure manually.
  • Remove the lid right away to prevent overcooking. Add the freshly cracked black pepper and adjust the seasoning with additional salt as needed.
  • If you want a thicker gravy, remove the chicken and blend up the vegetables and cooking liquid with an immersion blender.
  • Stir in the fresh herbs, and serve immediately.
  • Toss any leftovers (covered, of course) in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Video

Notes

  • I position my Instant Pot under my stovetop exhaust vent before I program the pressure cooking so that when the chicken’s done and I immediately release the pressure, the vent will suck up all the steam. Your kitchen cabinets will thank you. (Stick a cutting board underneath your cooker if your stovetop grates aren’t even—and remember not to turn on your stove!)
  • When the chicken is finished cooking, turn on the stovetop exhaust fan before turning the pressure cooker valve to release the steam.

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 11g | Fiber: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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Recipe Rating




33 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is delicious and on meal rotation at my house. Not too difficult to make, but prep time is definitely not 5 minutes for me. I add extra Italian seasonings for more flavor.

  2. This is my go to recipe when I am making dinner for someone (when sick, new baby, etc).

    I need to make for a family that is pescatarian. I’m thinking I’ll make it veg and just add more mushrooms. Any other suggestions?