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cooked whole chicken with pesto on a plate
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5 from 11 votes

Instant Pot Pesto Chicken

Enjoy moist tender chicken with crispy skin covered in a fresh pesto sauce in under an hour thanks to this instant pot pesto chicken recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Baking Time5 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: instant pot chicken, pesto chicken
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 440kcal
Author: Don't Mess With Mama


  • Instant Pot
  • Metal trivet
  • Baking sheet or dish


  • 1 whole chicken 3-4lbs
  • 1 head garlic cut in half through the width
  • 1/2 tsp basil dried
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste


  • Remove giblets from the cavity of the chicken. Stuff the chicken with the garlic and lemon. Season the outside of the chicken with salt, black pepper, and basil.
    whole chicken in instant pot stuffed with lemon
  • Pour 1 cup of water into the electric pressure cooker. Lower the chicken into the pressure cooker using a trivet.
    pouring water into the instant pot
  • Cover the electric pressure cooker with the lid and set the valve to “sealing.” Program the electric pressure to cook on “manual” or “pressure cook” for 25 minutes.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before performing a quick release of the remaining pressure. Check the internal temperature of the chicken to verify it is 165 degrees in the dark meat without touching the bone.
    cooked whole chicken in instant pot
  • Preheat the oven to broil. Get a baking dish or pan and spray with avocado oil.
  • Carefully remove the lid of the electric pressure cooker and transfer the chicken to the baking sheet.
    cooked whole chicken on tray with jar of pesto
  • Broil the chicken for 5 to 10 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning.
  • Spread the basil pesto over the top of the chicken. Slice and serve with additional basil pesto if desired.
    cooked whole chicken with pesto on a plate


Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 478mg | Potassium: 259mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1012IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 1mg