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Instant Pot Quick Chicken Pilau

This Instant Pot Chicken Pilau recipe features fragrant basmati rice, cooked in a well-seasoned chicken broth with onions, ginger, garlic and chunks of boneless chicken. It is quick, delicious and an awesome recipe to have for those weeknights when too much is happening around you.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 6 people


  • 2 tbsp Butter or Ghee
  • 1 tbsp Chopped garlic and ginger or 1 heaping tsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 medium Onion- thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Stock/water
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Chilli Pepper
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 1 whole Dried red chilli pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 whole Chicken Breast- cubed
  • 2.5 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups White basmati rice, rinsed
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


  • Turn on the Instant Pot and set it to the Saute setting until the display reads HOT.
  • Turn on the Instant Pot and set it to the Saute setting until the display reads HOT.
  • Add the butter/ghee along with the sliced onion. Fry until translucent, then add the ginger/garlic paste and 1/4 cup water.
  • Add all the spices up to and including the dried whole red chili and let cook until fragrant.
  • Add the salt and pepper and the cubed chicken breast. Speed is important at this point since you don't want your chicken to get overcooked. Mix the cubed chicken well with the paste in the pot, add the 2.5 cups chicken broth and the 2 cups rice.
  • Place the lid on the pot and turn the knob to sealing. Turn off the pot and then turn it on the Manual (Pressure Cook on newer models) setting for 7 minutes.
  • Once the cooking cycle is done and the pot is on keep warm mode, let NPR for 5 minutes and then quick release. Fluff the rice with a fork and release all the steam. Then replace the lid and let the rice sit in the warm pot until it's time to serve.
  • Serve with a side of shami kebabs, raita, and sauteed peas or whatever your favorite side is with pilau. Give your Instant Pot a hug and tell it how you'll never let it go.