This Whole30 instant pot whole chicken is one of the easiest ways to get a healthy, paleo dinner on the table or meal prep done quickly. With the lemon and spices, it’s a full-of-flavor, juicy and uncomplicated paleo, keto or Whole30 chicken recipe. Plus, the options for the leftover chicken is endless!
Cooking whole chickens are one of my most favorite things to meal prep. I tend to use the oven, or, used to. Until I realized how quickly and easily they could be done in the instant pot. There’s so many uses for them, aside from the typical weeknight chicken dinner. The leftovers can be used in chicken salads, in soups, stir fry, egg bakes, you name it. I love the instant pot I use, and it’s plenty large enough to fit a whole chicken easily.
This Whole30 instant pot whole chicken recipe in particular uses specific seasonings. However, you can use whatever you prefer! Variety is the spice of life, right? Adobo spice, Cajun spice, Italian seasoning, anything works to flavor the chicken. You could also use any of the Primal Kitchen dressings as chicken marinade. Some of my favorites for chicken are the lemon turmeric, sesame ginger and Italian. (Code PALEOBAILEY saves you 10% off your order!)
Whatever spices you choose to use, you just want to make sure to rub the spices under the skin really well, which isn’t the cleanest task that’s done in the kitchen, but so worth it. To do this, you’ll want to start by separating the skin from the breast meat at the tail end of the chicken. You may need to use a butter knife to separate the skin along the tailbone, but it should be pretty easy to do.
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An additional step in this recipe is to sear the chicken in the instant pot first. You don’t have to do this, as it adds about 10 additional minutes to your cook time. I do think it’s worth the while though. It helps to add to the flavor, and I think it helps keep the skin more intact. I’ve made a whole chicken in the instant pot many times both ways, and while they both are good, my family just much prefers it when it’s been seared first!
- 3–5 pound whole chicken, innards removed
- 1–2 tablespoons avocado oil for searing
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 white onion, quartered
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- In a small bowl, combine all of the spices with the lemon juice and ghee. Stir really well to create a paste.
- Dry chicken thoroughly and then season chicken, ensuring to rub paste under the skin. Stuff cavity with onion quarters.
- Set instant pot to the saute setting. Add oil and allow to heat up, and then add the whole chicken, breast side down, and sear, about 4-5 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken over and sear for an additional 4-5 minutes; remove chicken and set aside.
- Insert the metal trivet into the instant pot and add the broth. Set the chicken on top of the trivet.
- Set to manual high pressure for 25 minutes, and set to valve to sealing. When finished cooking, do a natural release. Allow to rest for a few minutes to lock in all of the juices.
- Serve immediately with additional lemon slices or thyme.
Keywords: instant pot whole chicken, whole30, paleo, keto, instant pot
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