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Instant Pot® Thai red chicken and potato curry recipe

Instant Pot® Thai red chicken and potato curry recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Chicken curry

This Thai-style red curry with chicken breasts and potatoes is easy in the Instant Pot® because you can saute, boil and pressure cook in the same pot. It's a meal in itself so no need to cook rice unless you are feeding a crowd.

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 6 large red potatoes, diced
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 60g chopped carrots, or more to taste
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 (400g) tin coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 120ml water
  • 60g frozen peas, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 3 chicken stock cubes, crumbled

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:22min ›Extra time:20min resting › Ready in:1hr12min

  1. Heat olive oil in the pot of an electric pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®) on 'Saute' mode. Add onion and garlic; saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add celery and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes longer. Add potatoes, cherry tomatoes and carrots. Stir to combine.
  2. Place chicken slices on top of the sauteed vegetables. Pour coconut milk over chicken. Add fish sauce and allow liquid to come to the boil, about 5 minutes. Mix in water, frozen peas, Thai curry paste, brown sugar and crumbled stock cubes.
  3. Place lid on the pot and lock in place. Bring up to high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions; cook for 12 minutes. Release pressure through natural-release method, about 20 minutes.


If you prefer a thicker curry, bring to the boil for a longer time in 'Saute' mode to reduce. You may also mix together 2 tablespoons cornflour and 1 tablespoon cold water and add this to the curry to thicken the sauce.

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Chicken Afritada Instant Pot Filipino Recipe

Chicken Afritada Instant Pot is a tomato-based Filipino stew dish with chicken, potato, carrots, and bell pepper.

What is Afritada

Afritada is derived from Spanish fritada which translates to fried – referring to the first step of the cooking preparation in which the meat is pan-fried before simmering in the tomato sauce. It can also be spelled as apritada.

In cooking this Chicken Afritada Instant Pot Recipe, we start by giving the chicken a quick sear to brown the skin as the name suggests before eventually pressure cooking it.

Difference between Afritada, Menudo, Mechado and Kaldereta

Afritada is similar to other Filipino tomato stew recipes like Kalderata, Mechado, and Menudo but with a slight variation in ingredients, one may confuse it with the other. I’ve detailed the difference between all 4 tomato-based Filipino dishes:

Afritada may contain chicken or pork, potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Its sauce isn’t as thick as the others and is on the sweeter side.

Menudo is a tomato stew that has small cuts of pork, chopped liver, potatoes, garbanzo, raisins, and hotdog. Pork Menudo Instant Pot Recipe to follow.

Mechado is a beef stew that has thick tomato sauce with potatoes and carrots. Beef Mechado Instant Pot Recipe to follow.

Kaldereta usually uses beef or goat meat. It also has potatoes, carrots. Kaldereta sauce has liver spread and cheese in them. I also used green peas and green olives in my kaldereta recipe. Try our Beef Kaldereta Instant Pot Recipe.

So which one is my favorite among the 4 Filipino tomato-based stews? Well, if I want something on the sweet side, I would cook chicken afritada for its sweet tomato sauce. Sometimes, it would be Pork Menudo because I like raisins. If I want something really rich, I cook Beef Kaldereta. I hardly make Beef Mechado though. Which one is your favorite?

disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

Chicken Afritada Ingredients:

The ingredients for Chicken Afritada comprised of chicken, tomato sauce, potato, carrots, and bell pepper.

Some afritada recipes may include red Filipino hotdog like the ones you add to Pork Menudo and also green peas like the ones you would add to Beef Kaldereta.

I keep my Instant Pot Chicken Afritada simple but if you feel like adding hotdog and green peas, add it to the Instant Pot to cook with the vegetables towards the end. Here are the ingredients for my Chicken Afritada Instant Pot Recipe:

  • Cooking Oil – To sear the chicken pieces.
  • Chicken Thighs – I like using chicken thighs for my afritada recipe but you can also use a combination of thigh and drumstick. The same applies if you’re cooking Tinolang Manok Instant Pot Recipe and Filipino Chicken Curry Instant Pot Recipe.
  • Garlic – Make sure to use fresh garlic. It does a lot to flavor the afritada sauce. The garlic in jars just doesn’t taste like garlic to me.
  • Onion – You can use yellow, sweet onion, or even white onion. The onion I get is really big (see photo), so I only use 1/4 of it.
  • Chicken Broth – I used a reduced-sodium fat-free (see photo) for this recipe. If you end up buying a not reduced-sodium one, you may need to lower the salt you add to cooking chicken afritada. Maybe start at 1/2 tsp. salt then taste and adjust accordingly.
  • Tomato Sauce – An 8oz. tomato sauce can was just right for this afritada recipe.
  • Fish Sauce or Patis (in Tagalog) – If you’ve never used fish sauce before, this is a staple in any Filipino kitchen as a lot of Filipino recipes used fish sauce. You can also find this in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. They are made of anchovies and may be called anchovy sauce but to be precise they have the consistency of soy sauce but the color is translucent golden brown. You will need it for Filipino recipes like Pinakbet Instant Pot Recipe,Kare Kare Instant Pot Recipe, and Bulalo Instant Pot Recipe.
  • Sugar – I added sugar to counter the tartness of the tomato sauce. You can omit or lower it. The sweetness of the bell pepper and carrots can help sweeten your afritada dish.
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Salt – Add less if you didn’t use a reduced-sodium chicken broth.
  • Dried Bay Leaves – Bay Leaves can be found in jars or bags at the spice section of the supermarket. It it also used to cook Filipino Adobo.
  • Carrots
  • Red Bell Pepper – you can also use green but I like red better – color and taste wise.
  • Potato – I used 1 large one. If you end up buying small ones, used 2 to 3.

How to Cook Chicken Afritada in an Instant Pot

Cooking chicken afritada in a pressure cooker cuts down cooking time and all the cooking can be done in the Instant Pot. To cook Chicken Afritada in an Instant Pot, start by giving the chicken a quick sear followed by sauteing the aromatics. Toss the chicken with the afritada sauce to cook for 9 minutes then cook the vegetables for another minute and you’ll have dinner ready in no time. Just make sure you cooked enough steamed rice to go with it. Yum! Below is a step by step guide to cooking chicken afritada.

Chicken Curry Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 thumb ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2.5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 pounds or 6 pcs. chicken thighs
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut to 1/2″ long
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded & cut to squares


  1. Add 1 teaspoon ginger for some zest
  2. Squeeze fresh lime while serving for fresh tangy flavors
  3. Add Kafir leaves for a unique Thai taste
  4. To make vegetarian Thai Red Curry, substitute chicken with hardy vegetables such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, or baked tofu. Simply quick release after the pressure cooking is complete so that the vegetables do not overcook.

Benefits of cooking a whole chicken in pressure cooker

As mentioned above cooking a whole chicken is not very labour intensive but it does take some time in the oven. Depending on the size of your chicken you can wait for up to two hours before you can eat.

Enter Instant Pot. This amazing electric pressure cooker will cook your chicken in half the time and that is not all the benefits. It will also deliver a chicken that is:

  • very moist since it doesn&rsquot dry out in Instant Pot the same way it can when oven cooked
  • very flavourful because when cooked under pressure it also forces the rub penetrate the chicken deeper than with the conventional method.

How to cook a whole chicken in Instant Pot

  • Use a large enough Instant Pot to fit a whole chicken. 6 or 8 quart ones are definitely big enough.
  • Cover you whole chicken with a spice rub of choice. I went with Thai flavours for something new and exciting.
  • Add 1 cup/250ml of liquid to the bottom of the Instant Pot, a necessary step to build pressure according to IP manual.
  • Set a trivet on top of the liquid, which will prevent your chicken from getting soggy. I used coconut milk.
  • Pressure cook on high according to the Time Chart below.
  • Allow for a natural pressure release.
  • Remove the chicken and broil in an oven for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the skin.
  • Use SAUTE function on your Instant Pot to make a gravy by adding a combination of water and cornstarch to the the liquid.

Tips for Best Thai Chicken Soup

  • I recommend to not peel sweet potatoes because first of all, it saves time. I never do whether roasting, sauteing or mashing yams. Secondly, sweet potato skin is full of fiber and potassium. I recommend to buy organic sweet potatoes. They are usually well pre-washed and their skin does not contain harmful pesticides. A rinse at home is enough.
  • I can see how garden sweet potatoes might be hard to clean. In that case, I would peel sweet potatoes.
  • You don’t have to puree the soup. However, pureeing makes Thai coconut chicken soup more thick and creamy. It also helps to hide the vegetables. My kids do not like the soft texture of cooked sweet potato. Once you puree the soup, sweet potato is barely noticeable, similar to squash in healthy broccoli cheddar soup.
  • Please don’t use other milk instead of coconut milk. Canned coconut milk is what makes this soup a Thai soup. Coconut milk from a carton will not work. Please do not use almond milk either.
  • Add noodles like rice vermicelli or flat rice noodles. Add uncooked to the soup when it’s finished. Stir, close the lid (Instant Pot off) and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir and serve.
  • You can make this soup in slow cooker: Cook soup on Low for 6-8 hours or on High for 3-4 hours in your crockpot.
  • To make on the stove: Saute onion first and then simmer everything for about 30-40 minutes.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/4 cup ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (from a 2-inch peeled piece)
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic (from 4 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Steamed rice, warmed flatbread, yogurt, fresh cilantro leaves, and lime wedges, for serving

Melt ghee in a 6-quart multicooker set to the high "Sauté" setting. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until soft and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, paprika, chili powder, and cinnamon stick cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth.

Toss chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper add to pot. Secure lid of multicooker adjust vent to seal. Cook on high "Pressure Cook" setting for 4 minutes. Once time is complete, turn off machine and manually release pressure carefully remove lid. Serve curry over steamed rice with warmed flatbread, yogurt, cilantro leaves, and lime wedges on the side.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, a simple way to make this fit into your dietary restriction is to substitute the chicken with the legumes of your choice.

A couple of my favorites are lentil or chickpea curry. You will need 2 cans of drained chickpeas or 2 cups of lentils soaked overnight for this vegan curry recipe alternative.

9 Instant Pot Chicken Recipes to Keep in Your Weeknight Rotation

Whether it’s a meal for one or a main course for 10, preparing dinner can often feel like a hassle or never-ending task. But thanks to the invention of the Instant Pot, executing any meal can be a breeze. With the push of a button and very few ingredients, we can make stews, soups, and other savory (or sweet) dishes in minutes.

Insignia 6-Quart Multicooker, $30 (originally $60) from Best Buy

You can make all of the above (and below) in other multicookers too.

As for what to put in the pot, chicken is an incredibly versatile protein that can be the perfect front-and-center showcase for your next meal, whether it’s feeding a family of rambunctious kids or preparing an elegant dinner party with friends. Think of the possibilities: weeknight tacos, creamy Indian curries, and whole chicken with a sweet and spicy Thai glaze or simply garnished and prepared with a homemade rub.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Instant Pot chicken recipes that will make you fall in love all over again with your prized kitchen appliance and that good old standby…chicken.


Vegetables &ndash I am using onion, carrots, red bell pepper, baby corn and zucchini. You can use your favorite veggies.

Tofu &ndash for meaty texture and making it complete meal full of plant protein. Use extra firm tofu. Make sure to press it well and drain as much water as possible. ( otherwise curry will be watery)

Sweetener &ndash Hint of sweetness with a tablespoon of raw or brown sugar It adds another dimension to the rich flavorful curry broth.

Coconut Milk &ndash for the heavenly rich and creamy texture, I use 1 can of full fat coconut milk.

Seasoning &ndash thai red curry paste, minced ginger and garlic. I also add liquid coconut amino or soy sauce and rice vinegar for extra tart flavor enhancement.

Garnishes &ndash Thai basil leaves, chopped cilantro leaves, lime wedges and green onions. Topping it with a squeeze of lime juice balances all the flavors. Chopped cilantro and sliced green onion adds cooling freshness and some authentic flare.

Thai basil adds immense extra fresh flavor to this recipe. However during winter months it&rsquos not easily available at least in my area. You can use Italian basil if easily available or simply skip it.

Here are some of our popular and classic Asian Gourmet recipes that are easy to make at home and taste WAY better than takeout. Do try and let us know how you like them.

Join us on Pinterest and FACEBOOK . You will love all our delicious, wholesome, plant based recipes from around the world.

If you make this VEGAN THAI RED CURRY RECIPE do let us know how you like it by star rating it and leaving a comment below.


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