Food / Instant Pot / Main Dishes / One-Pot Meal / Poultry

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken With Rice and Cashews

Bowl of Instant Pot Honey Garlic Cashew Chicken and Rice.

This crunchy veggie-packed Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken With Rice and Cashews takes 20 minutes to make—and it’s done all in one pot!

Do you have any Instant Pot woes? When I first used mine, I was incredibly disappointed with how watery everything was. I’d followed a recipe step by step (something I typically don’t do because, hello! I like to create!), and when I popped the lid open, the glorious sticky and gloopy orange chicken I’d hoped for—the chicken that was pictured in the recipe post—appeared to be meat sitting in pond water.

I took the chicken out, made a slurry with corn starch, and thickened that shit up. But that’s when I learned that the Instant Pot isn’t some kind of magical tool; you have to become the magician behind it. After doing some research and testing, I feel a lot more comfortable with it. Which is great, because it’s such a time saver!

Bowl of Instant Pot Honey Garlic Cashew Chicken and Rice.

Shredded chicken and taco recipes have become my true comfort zone with the ol’ IP. But in an effort to change things up, I started brainstorming East Asian-influenced rice dishes. The catch: cooking the rice and the chicken in the pot at the same time. BECAUSE TIME IS PRECIOUS AND CLEAN UP SUCKS. It took me a good month and a half to even attempt this bad boy. I was terrified that it wouldn’t work. But it did. So please, shower me with confetti as I gingerly twirl around… 

Bowl of Instant Pot Honey Garlic Cashew Chicken and Rice.

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken With Rice and Cashews.

When you think about takeout chicken and rice dishes, you imagine a pile of fluffy rice toppled with chicken coated in a gorgeous lip-smacking thick and sticky sauce. This is not that. Since we’re cooking everything in one pot, the rice picks up a ton of flavor and a lot of that saucy texture. Imagine an East Asian honey garlic variation on paella or jambalaya.

To preserve the clean flavor and crispness of the red peppers and broccoli, I add them at the end when the pressure cooking cycle is complete, leaving the rice to sit for five minutes. It works out perfectly. If you add them to the pressure cooking cycle, they get soggy and lose their crunch. If you prefer soft-cooked vegetables, then go ahead and add them in the beginning.

Hands holding bowl of Honey Garlic Chicken and Rice, loaded with veggies and cashews.

Not sure if the Instant Pot is for you? Check out this piece by my pal Julia at Imagelicious to help you decide.

Want more Instant Pot chicken recipes for your weeknight? Peep my Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken Tacos and my Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma Lettuce Cups

Also check out…

If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you.

Also, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme and be featured in our newsletter.

Bowl of Instant Pot Honey Garlic Cashew Chicken and Rice.
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5 from 9 votes

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken With Rice and Cashews

Course Main Course
Cuisine East and Southeast Asian Influence
Keyword Chicken, easy, Instant Pot, quick, Rice, weeknight dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Dana Sandonato


  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup raw liquid honey
  • 1-2 TBSP sambal oelek Adjust to your heat preference
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • sesame seeds, for garnish


  • In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, sambal oelek, and rice vinegar. Set aside.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode. When your Instant Pot is hot, add the oil. Then, add the garlic, ginger, carrots, and mushrooms. Sauté for 2-3 minutes; stir often to prevent burning. Add a splash of vegetable broth if you find your vegetables are sticking to the pot.
  • Add the uncooked rice and cubed chicken; stir to coat them in oil, mixing it well with the veggies. Add the vegetable broth followed by the honey and soy mixture. Stir to coat.
  • Place the lid onto the Instant Pot and lock it into place. Make sure the valve is set to "Sealing". Press the Manual button and set the Instant Pot to cook, on High Pressure, for 5 minutes. (It will take a bit for the pot to come to pressure.) Once the 5 minutes is up and your Instant Pot starts to beep, it will start its natural release process. Carefully move the pressure knob from Sealing to Venting for a quick release. Steam will spit out of the valve, so be careful. Once the steam has fully released, it's safe to remove the Instant Pot lid. If you have a meat thermometer, check the chicken. You want an internal temperature of at least 165ºF. If you don't have a meat thermometer, cut open a thicker piece of one of the cubes to ensure the chicken is cooked in the center. (5 minutes should be enough, but always check.)
  • Add the bell pepper, broccoli, and cashews. Place the lid back onto the Instant Pot for 5-7 minutes. This will allow the rice to set and will steam the peppers and broccoli, keeping their crunch.
  • Remove the lid and serve. Garnish with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, extra cashews, and extra hot sauce if desired.  
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken With Cashews.


  • Cassie Smith
    November 20, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    We love this recipe and have made it multiple times! I love the variety of ingredients and the flavor! However, the last few times we made it, we keep getting the dreaded “Burn” indicator on the IP. It doesn’t seem to matter how well we scrape the bottom and mix it up before we start the 5 minutes on high pressure. We’ve been giving up and finishing it on sauté, but then the chicken is not as tender. Any ideas?

    • Killing Thyme
      November 22, 2019 at 9:10 am

      Hey Cassie! So glad you’ve been enjoying this recipe. Ah, that dreaded burn. I’ve yet to get that at all on my IP and I wonder if it’s a model issue. In any case, the first thing I’d try is adding a bit more liquid to the IP—in this case, broth. I’d add an extra 1/4 cup of the broth and see how that goes. When the burn notice happens, it means the IP is getting too hot and there are a lot of things that could be playing a factor (float valve isn’t clean; steam release isn’t fully set to sealed). But the most common reason is liquid. If you try this, let me know how it goes, please! It would be worth mentioning it in my notes if it works for you. Thanks so much for reaching out :)

      • Cassie Smith
        January 16, 2020 at 8:43 pm

        Thank you for the tip! I actually realized I was thinking of another recipe that has given me fits with the dreaded “burn.” 🙃 I’ve since successfully made your recipe twice without adding more liquid and we love it! I will definitely try adding more liquid to my other trouble recipe though, thank you!

        • Killing Thyme
          January 17, 2020 at 2:01 pm

          I’m so glad it’s been working out for you, Cassie. The IP can be so finicky! Thanks for letting me know :)
          Have a great weekend!

  • Dani
    August 5, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    I want to love this recipe but my time wasn’t done at all at the end and the chicken was dry. I followed your directions to a T. 😫

    • Killing Thyme
      August 6, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Hi Dani! I’m so sorry to hear that this recipe didn’t work out for you. I’d love to help you figure out what went wrong—please let me know if I can help. I’ve made this recipe several times with success, so I’m eager to help!

  • Annemarie
    February 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

    5 stars
    Okay, this is just beautiful! I love all the colors and flavors and textures you’ve mixed together. And you made it a one pot meal! I knew there was a good reason I bought that instant pot. :) Though I admit, now I’m wondering if brown rice would work with a little change in the timing.

    • Killing Thyme
      February 11, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks, Annemarie! Brown rice, from what I’ve researched, takes about 20ish minutes in the Instant Pot which would be too long for the chicken. The one bummer with this recipe is that timing is important. (No one wants overcooked chicken!) However, you could always omit the chicken from the IP part and cook it separately, then stir it in before serving. I hope you find a suitable way to adapt the recipe to your liking! Keep me posted if you try :)

  • Traci
    February 11, 2019 at 8:44 am

    5 stars
    Haha yes, the Instant Pot definitely takes some getting used to, but with recipes like this, it makes it easy! Thanks for pioneering this one for us. Beautiful recipe, delicious flavors, and some of my most favorite ingredients. What more can a girl ask for?! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Marisa Franca
    February 11, 2019 at 8:23 am

    5 stars
    Chicken swimming in a pond of water?! Not good. Once all the moisture is out of the chicken I don’t know how you’d add flavor. This honey garlic chicken now looks like it’s brimming with flavor. We have a chicken thawing for tonight’s dinner. Looks like I’m trying out your recipe !

    • Killing Thyme
      February 11, 2019 at 12:15 pm

      Right! No slurried sauce can fix that sort of thing. And poultry depends on flavor since it’s such a blank slate. I think a lot of IP recipes call for too much liquid, but there have been a few out there that have shown me you can get away with 1/2 of a cup sometimes. Which makes a huge difference.

  • Trish Bozeman
    February 10, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    5 stars
    Here it is: THE VIRTUAL CONFETTI SHOWER! This recipe is seriously everything I need RN. I’m trying like a mad woman to get a handle on my IP and so far…. lots of soup. Everything is soupy. I’m trying this STAT.

    • Killing Thyme
      February 11, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      I hear you! My first few recipes were centered around pulled chicken. I could. not. STOP. Haha. (I’ve yet to make soup, though!) Rice does really well in the IP. I hope you love this!

  • Melissa
    February 10, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    5 stars
    I now love my Instant Pot, but there definitely have been some flops! This looks like a keeper! I have to try it, just reading the ingredients for the sauce is making me drool.

  • Tracy
    February 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    5 stars
    Yesss girllll! All the glitter and confetti! This recipe is spot ON. We loved it so much. Thank you for helping me with my Instant Pot challenges – this is perfect!

    • Killing Thyme
      February 11, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it! We’ve all got IP challenges. Things have been going well for a while, so I’m expecting a flop soon. Haha ;)

  • marilyn @family food around the clock
    February 7, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    5 stars
    Such a gorgeous dish! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Holly
    February 7, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    5 stars
    So good to have a recipe that makes take out food faster and even better than take out itself! The sauce in this recipes sounds amazing. Can’t wait to try it.

  • Gloria
    February 5, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    5 stars
    I do not have an Instant Pot, but I do have a pressure cooker. I know I can adapt to make this recipe work for me. However, my daughter just got an Instant Pot. I will pass this along to her. I know her family would enjoy this for sure.

    • Killing Thyme
      February 11, 2019 at 12:21 pm

      Let me know if you try it in a regular ol’ pressure cooker! Would love to know if there are any adaptations that should be noted for others :)


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