Instant Pot Class: Honey Lemon Chicken, 10 ways

To make what you see in this image, go to:

Honey Lemon Chicken with 10 ways to flavor it

In this class, you will learn one of my “convertible recipes” where you can choose your own flavor (a specific cuisine). Once you know this COOKING METHOD you can create dozens of versions.

Use this method over and over again because this is like the “Choose Your Adventure Books –you get to choose the final outcome.

Main ingredients for Honey Lemon Chicken, 4 servings

For this class, you will need:

  • 4 whole chicken thighs or whole chicken breasts:
    • skinless, boneless is OKAY
    • bone-in, skin-on is OKAY
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbls oil (see choices, below for each version)
  • 1 onion (half-moons, juliennes, chopped, or minced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (sliced, chopped, or minced) (jump to read my ‘rule of thumb’ for the amount of garlic)
  • 3 medium-size potatoes, 1/2-inch cubes (any potato will do, jump here for ideas)
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1 Tbls honey (more to taste, if your lemons are very sour)


  • Onion:  you can use yellow, red or white; and cut them to any size /shape that you desire. Here are 4 ways to cut an onion.
  • Garlic: you can use more, or less, depends on the size of each clove, and whatever you desire.
  • Potatoes:  you can use: sweet potato, red potato, Yukon, butternut squash, kabocha squash, acorn squash, parsnips, etc.
  • Lemons: the amount of lemons depends on their size and sourness. If using Meyer Lemons, you will probably need 3 of them because they are not as sour as the regular Eureka Lemons.

More veggies? —click here to jump to a list of veggies to add to this dish.

Choose ONE of these 10 ways to season your chicken, or create your own. Click on each one to jump down to see all the ingredients and the amounts you need:

1) Asian: soy sauce and ginger
2) Italian: capers and parsley (Chicken Piccata)
3) French: Dijon mustard and dried tarragon
4) Cajun: tomato sauce and Cajun seasoning blend
5) Moroccan: green olives and Ras El Hanout
6) Greek: tomato sauce and Kalamata olives
7) Middle East: yogurt and Za’atar
8) Spanish: Chimichurri and shallots
9) Liguria: Taggiasca olives and Pesto
10) Mexican: salsa and cilantro


Asian: soy sauce and ginger

  • 2 Tbls oil (olive oil, sesame oil, peanut oil)
  • 2-inch ginger, minced
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce

Garnish with:

  • toasted peanuts or sesame seeds
  • cilantro or parsley


  • Regarding the oil: if you have TOASTED sesame or peanut oil — then 2 Tbls will be TOOOO strong. You will need to use 2 Tbls neutral oil (olive oil is ok) with 1 tsp of the toasted oil.

Back to top


Italian: capers and parsley (Chicken Piccata)

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup capers
  • a splash of caper juice (I use several splashes)
  • 2 Tbls butter
  • Garnish:  chopped parsley


  • Instead of the onion, use 1 cup chopped or sliced shallots.

Back to top


French: Dijon mustard and dried tarragon

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbls dried tarragon

Back to top


Cajun: tomato sauce and Cajun seasoning blend

For me, I can tolerate a small amount of Cajun seasoning blends because they are generally TOOOOO spicy for me —so, I start with just 1 tsp of seasoning.

Back to top


Moroccan: green olive and Ras El Hanout

  • 1/2 – 1 cup green olives, pitted (sliced, if you prefer)
  • 1 Tbls Ras El Hanout

Back to top


Greek: tomato sauce and Kalamata olives

  • 1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce (or 1 Tbls tomato paste)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup olives:  Kalamata or green olives, pitted 
  • 1 Tbls Greek seasoning blend
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika, or smoked paprika (optional)


Back to top


Middle East: yogurt and Za’atar

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (mix this in as a garnish, no need to cook it)
  • 1 Tbls za’atar seasoning blend


  • Yogurt: for the sauce to have a velvety consistency, use “whole milk, plain” yogurt.
  • Seasoning: instead of Za’atar, use my favorite amazingly bold sweet-spice blend:  “Baharat,” it has mild warmth from the black pepper and sweet spices.

Back to top


Spanish: Shallots and parsley (Chimichurri)

  • 1 cup shallots (chopped or sliced)
  • 1 cup (8oz) Chimichurri

Back to top


Liguria: Taggiasca olives and Pesto

  • 1/2 – 1 cup Taggiasca olives
  • 1 cup (8oz) Pesto

Back to top


Mexican: Salsa and cilantro

Back to top


Hard veggies:

  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams
  • Parsnips
  • Celeriac
  • Butternut squash
  • Bell peppers
  • Cabbage (if you like SOFT cabbage)

Tender veggies:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Bok Choy
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage (add this later if you like Tender cabbage)

Wilted veggies:

  • Spinach
  • Kale (leaves)
  • Chard (leaves)

Helpful tips:


My rule of thumb for garlic:  I use 1 clove per serving, and this cooking method if geared towards 4 servings.

Back to top