This Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan makes melt-in-your-mouth tender chicken and you’ll only have one pot to clean. But the best part is the work around that we’ve found for breading the chicken. It’s so quick and delicious!
This meal is an easy weeknight dinner and a great way to make the most out of your Instant Pot.
Using the Instant Pot to make any kind of breaded chicken dish is a bit tricky because any breading will get soggy during the cooking process. But, never fear – we’ve figured something amazing out to work around this problem.
So, breading the chicken before cooking it is not possible. Instead, we decided to add the breading AFTER cooking the chicken. Say what? Well, what you do is to use the Saute function on the Instant Pot to toasty some panko breadcrumbs before you do anything else. Then remove the breadcrumbs from the Instant Pot and set them aside. Then you cook the unbreaded chicken in the Instant Pot until it is tender and juicy. After that, you top it with some tomato sauce and cheese and heat it through, again using the Saute function.
Finally, to finish off the dish and to give it that nice crusty breading feel, you sprinkle everything with your toasted bread crumbs. You get the delicious chicken with tomato sauce and cheese, and you get the nice crunchy breading too. It’s just that you’ve done it in a different order. Pretty cool, right?
I think you’re going to really love this meal. It’s quick and easy and delicious. The best part is that you’ve also learned a new trick that you can use anytime that breading chicken wouldn’t work well. Or, use the panko trick when you’re feeling lazy or are short on time, since this panko topping is much easier to do than to actually bread each individual chicken piece.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¾ tsp. salt, divided
- 1 tsp. garlic powder, divided
- 1 cup water
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 (24 oz.) jar tomato sauce
- 6 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
- Set the Instant Pot to saute on low. Add the olive oil and heat.
- Add the panko bread crumbs, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the garlic powder. Cook, stirring continuously until slightly darkened, 2-3 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a plate and set aside. Wipe out the Instant Pot so that no crumbs remain.
- Pour the water into the Instant Pot. Set trivet or steamer basket over water.
- Arrange thighs in a single layer on the trivet. Season with Italian seasoning, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, remaining ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, and the pepper.
- Set Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes, making sure the valve is in Sealing position.
- After the 10 minutes of pressure cooking, do a natural release for 5 minutes. Then turn the valve to Venting and allow remaining steam to escape.
- Remove lid from Instant Pot. Remove chicken and trivet from Instant Pot. Drain out any water and discard.
- Return chicken to the Instant Pot. Pour the tomato sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- Set Instant Pot to Saute. Put lid in place. Cook until tomato sauce is hot and cheese is melted, 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer chicken with sauce and cheese to serving plate. Sprinkle with toasted panko crumbs.
Recipe and blog post by Christine Pittman, photos by Tawnie Kroll