Instant Pot Whole Chicken One-Pot Meal (Paleo, Whole30, Low FODMAP)
My favourite thing to cook in the Instant Pot is a whole, rotisserie-style chicken. It comes out super tender, juicy, and fall-off-the-bone delicious. For a long time, I cooked the chicken alone in the Instant Pot while cooking the potatoes in an air fryer and steaming the green beans in a saute pan. This set-up makes an awesome dinner but also generates more dishes and involves three separate appliances. I eventually started wondering: can I cook all three – the chicken, potatoes and green beans – together at the same time in the Instant Pot?
Instant Pot One-Pot Meals
One-pot meals are one of the things I love most about the Instant Pot. You more or less throw everything into the pot and get a whole meal that tastes like it’s been slow cooking for hours but has actually cooked for a small fraction of that time in the Instant Pot. I will be posting more Instant Pot one-pot meal recipes on the blog in the near future, so subscribe to stay tuned!
Certain vegetables withstand pressure cooking better than others. Potatoes, carrots, and other root vegetables are ideal as they can cook for a longer period of time without turning to mush. Green beans…not so much. Since I’m pretty stubborn and like my green beans with my whole chicken, I was determined to figure out how to cook them together in the Instant Pot along with the potatoes.
Recipe Development: Instant Pot Whole Chicken
This recipe underwent more tests than usual. First, I focused on how to best sear the chicken so that all the seasonings don’t just fall off when it’s pressure cooked. Also, as my Instant Pot has undergone some pretty heavy use over the last few years, the surface of the inner pot tends to rip the skin off the chicken if it’s not oiled properly and/or seared long enough; however, if you sear it too long, the seasoning will burn and give the broth and anything in it a burnt taste (yuck). After trying many different variations, I determined mixing the oil with the seasonings and then rubbing them both on the chicken and underneath the skin was the way to go.
Recipe Development: Red Potatoes
Second, I focused on figuring out how to best cook the potatoes. Due to the minimal amount of broth in the pot (1 cup) and the amount of room the chicken consumes in the pot, simply squeezing them in along the sides of the chicken didn’t work. As some potatoes were in the broth and some weren’t, they didn’t cook evenly. Increasing the amount of broth increased the amount of seasoning that washed off the chicken as well as made its skin soggier. I eventually determined that putting them underneath the chicken was the best way to cook them evenly. Having cooked in the broth and chicken juices, they come out so flavourful and just sort of melt in your mouth.
Recipe Development: Green Beans
The biggest challenge of developing this recipe was figuring out how to cook the green beans. I first put them along the sides of the chicken on top of the potatoes, and they turned out mushy and way overcooked. In fact, putting them anywhere near the broth just turned them to mush. I tried balancing them on the trivet on top of the chicken, but they fell through. I tried making a net of sorts with the trivet by covering it with tin foil, but it was too hard to keep level on top of the chicken, and they fell off. There wasn’t enough room to put a commercially-made steamer basket, so those weren’t an option.
Green Beans “En Papillote”
In the end I decided to cook the beans en papillote. French for “enveloped in paper,” en papillote is a cooking technique in which food is placed in a pouch of parchment paper or tinfoil and then baked to steam the food within the pouch. En papillote might sound way fancier than it is in my recipe as I simply place the beans in tinfoil, wrap it up so that there is no foil overlapping any of the sides, and then poke six holes evenly on each side with a fork. This is probably more of a Macgyver move than a fancy French cooking technique, but as long as it’s executed properly, it works. If you don’t poke holes in the foil or don’t poke them evenly, some of the beans might stay frozen. If you don’t cover all sides of the beans with foil and just put them in a foil bowl of sorts, they might overcook. If you put more than a 1/2 pound of beans in the pouch, some of them might undercook. There is unfortunately not much room for error, so I took some cooking process shots of the green beans specifically, which are below.
If you are looking for tender-crisp green beans at the end of this, leave them out of the Instant Pot and steam them separately on the stove. Cooking them in the Instant Pot per this recipe keeps them in-tact and fully-cooked, but they do not come out tender-crisp.
Instant Pot Whole Chicken One-Pot Meal: Paleo, Whole30 and Low FODMAP
Making this Instant Pot Whole Chicken One-Pot Meal a Paleo/Whole30 compliant recipe wasn’t difficult as it’s basically just chicken, veggies, broth and seasonings. To add some garlicy flavour, I used garlic-infused olive oil to sear the chicken. If you aren’t worried about FODMAPs, you could use regular olive oil or avocado oil and add 1 tsp of garlic powder to the chicken seasoning mixture for a similar flavour effect.
Green beans can be problematic for people concerned with FODMAPs, but the Monash Univeristy Low FODMAP Diet app lists green beans as tolerable by most individuals with IBS in servings of 15 beans (75 grams) or less.
- Instant Pot Duo 6-qt (I use this one)
- Trivet that comes with the Instant Pot
- Kitchen scale (I use this one) unless you already know the weight of your chicken
- Small bowl
- Silicone basting brush
- Whisk or fork
- Tongs (I find this style works best for chicken wrangling)
- Plastic spoon for scraping
- Tin foil – about 1′ in length
- Instant read or meat thermometer
- Slotted spoon for scooping
- Fat separator (I use this one) – optional
- Gravy boat or measuring cup – optional
Chicken: If you’re not sure how much your chicken weighs, you should find out by weighing it on a kitchen scale. I have tested this recipe with chickens ranging in weight between 3 and 4 pounds – chickens closer to 3 lbs require 24 minutes of total cooking time and chickens closer to 4 lbs require 32 minutes of total cooking time.
Pat the chicken’s exterior dry with paper towels and place on a plate. Press the “Saute” button on the Instant Pot. While the Instant Pot is heating up, add garlic-infused olive oil and seasonings to a small bowl and stir with a whisk or fork to combine. Using a silicone basting brush, put about half of the mixture onto the breast side of the chicken, covering the exterior of the skin as well as pushing the mixture underneath the skin of the breasts. Leave the back side of the chicken unseasoned for now.
Once the display on the Instant Pot reads “Hot,” place the chicken in the pot, breast side down. I typically do this using tongs, gripping it underneath one of the legs with one side of the tongs on the chicken’s interior and the other half on its exterior. I find this grip provides the best chicken wrangling maneuverability as well as prevents the skin on the breasts from ripping.
While the breast side is searing, use the basting brush to cover the rest of the chicken with the seasoning mixture. After 2 minutes, turn the chicken to one of the remaining sides and sear each of the leg sides as well as the back for 1 minute each. Once all sides are seared, hit the “Cancel” button, remove the chicken from the pot and place it back on a plate. Pour in the chicken bone broth, wait 15 seconds, and scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon or other scraping device.
Put the trivet in the pot and place the chicken on top. Close the lid, set the pressure release valve to sealing, hit the “Poultry” button, and set the timer for 22 minutes for a 3-lb chicken and 30 minutes for a 4-lb chicken. I’ve used the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” button to cook this chicken as well and haven’t noticed a difference in the cooking quality of the chicken.
Potatoes: As the chicken cooks, chop the red potatoes into 1/2″ inch pieces. Depending on size, I typically halve the potatoes lengthwise and cut both halves together 4 times, making 8 pieces total per potato.
Once the cooking cycle for the chicken completes, quick release the pressure. Using hot pads and the trivet, remove the chicken from the pot to a clean plate, keeping it on top of the trivet. Carefully add the potatoes to the broth and spread them evenly in one layer at the bottom of the pot with a spoon. Put the chicken back into the pot, resting the trivet directly on top of the layer of potatoes.
Green beans: As previously mentioned, there isn’t much room for error when it comes to setting up the beans. To cook the beans en papillote or perhaps like MacGyver would, roll out about 1 foot of tin foil lengthwise onto a clean surface. Place the frozen beans onto the foil lengthwise with them generally facing the same direction, parallel to the foil.
Before closing the pouch, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle 1/2 tbsp ghee on top. The ghee keeps the beans from squeaking against your teeth when you chew. If you don’t have ghee, olive oil can also be used.
Wrap the beans in the foil to create a pouch and seal it by bending the foil over itself. Make sure the foil is not overlapping any of the sides and that there is only one layer of foil on each side of the beans.
Using a fork, punch 6 holes on the front and back sides of the pouch, spacing them as evenly as possible.
Depending on how large your chicken is, place the pouch on top or slightly to the side of the chicken, ensuring that it is not obstructing the vent pipe on the lid of the Instant Pot. It shouldn’t even come close, but check, just to be safe. Once this safety check has been completed, close the lid, set the pressure release valve to sealing, press the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” button, and set the timer for 2 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure. Open the lid, and using a clean set of tongs, remove the foil pouch from the pot and place on a plate or in a bowl to cool. Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a cutting board. Check the chicken’s temperature by sticking an instant read or meat thermometer in the thickest part of one of the thighs, careful not to touch the bone. The chicken’s temperature needs to be at least 165 ° F (75° C) to be safe to eat.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the pot into a bowl and cover with a plate to keep warm. Completely optional, but I highly recommend putting the pan juices through a fat separator (ideally) and then into a gravy boat or measuring cup and serving them over the chicken and potatoes. If you don’t have a fat separator, you can just scrape the fat off the top of the juices using a dinner spoon.
Carve the chicken and serve with the potatoes, beans and pan juices (if using).
- 3-4 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
- 2 ½ tbsp garlic-infused olive oil*
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 2 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup Paleo, low FODMAP chicken bone broth
- 1 lb red potatoes, cut into ½ inch pieces
- ½ lb frozen fine green beans, left in the freezer until ready to go in the pot**
- Salt and freshy-ground pepper (to taste)
- ½ tbsp ghee or olive oil
- If you are unsure of the weight of your chicken, use a kitchen scale to find out its weight. Pat the exterior of the chicken dry with paper towels (do not rinse).
- Press “Saute” on the Instant Pot. While the Instant Pot is heating up, in a small bowl, whisk together garlic-infused olive oil and chicken spices thyme through black pepper. Using a silicone basting brush, coat the breast-side of the chicken with half of the spice mixture, coating the skin as well as pushing the mixture underneath the skin on the breasts.
- Once the display on the Instant Pot reads “Hot,” place the chicken, breast side down, into the Instant Pot, and set a timer for 2 minutes. While searing, use a basting brush to coat the back side of the chicken with the rest of the spice mixture. Once 2 minutes are up, sear the leg sides and back of chicken for 1 minute each, rotating with tongs.
- Once seared, hit “Cancel” on the IP and remove the chicken to a plate. Pour chicken bone broth into the pot and scrape the bottom clean with a plastic spoon. Place the Instant Pot trivet into the pot and place the chicken on top, breast side up. Use a spatula to scrape from the plate any leftover juices from the chicken into the pot (leave no flavour behind!). Close the lid and set the pressure release valve to “Sealing.” Press the “Poultry” button on the Instant Pot and set timer for 22 minutes for a 3lb chicken and 30 minutes for a 4lb chicken.
- While the chicken is cooking, chop the potatoes. Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure. Using the trivet and hot pads, remove chicken from the pot to a clean plate, keeping it on top of the trivet. Carefully add potatoes to the broth and spread evenly in one layer at the bottom of the pot. Put the chicken back into the pot, placing the trivet directly on top of the potatoes.
- Spread 1 foot of tin foil on a clean surface lengthwise. Place green beans on top of the foil, lined up in the same general direction (see photo above for reference). Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste) and drizzle with ½ tbsp ghee. Wrap beans in the foil to create a pouch so that the foil is sealed but that there is no foil overlapping any of the sides; in other words, the beans should be wrapped in one layer of foil on all sides. Using a fork, poke the foil pouch 6 times on each side with the holes relatively evenly spaced (see photo above). Place the pouch on top or slightly to the side of the chicken (depending on how large your chicken is), ensuring that it is not obstructing the vent pipe on the lid of the Instant Pot (it shouldn’t even come close, but check, just to be safe). Close the lid, set pressure release valve to “Sealing,” hit the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” button, and set timer for 2 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle completes, quick release the pressure. Open the lid and carefully remove foil pouch of beans with a clean set of tongs, and place on a plate or in a bowl to cool. Remove chicken using the trivet and hot pads and place on a cutting board. Insert an instant read or meat thermometer in the thickest part of one of the chicken's thighs, careful not to touch the bone. The chicken's temperature needs to be at least 165° F (75° C) to safely consume.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the potatoes to a serving bowl. Cover to keep warm. Optionally (but highly recommended), put the chicken drippings through a fat separator (ideally) and then in a gravy boat or measuring cup to pour over the chicken and potatoes.
- Carve the chicken and serve with the potatoes, beans and drippings.
*If you aren't worried about FODMAPs, you can use regular olive oil and add 1 tsp garlic powder to the seasoning mixture instead of garlic-infused olive oil.
**Green beans can be problematic for some people concerned with FODMAPs, but the Monash Univeristy Low FODMAP Diet app lists green beans as tolerable by most individuals with IBS in servings of 15 beans (75 grams) or less.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 810