Instant Pot Pickle Chicken

Pickles and chicken may sound like an odd combination, but trust us: The hint of pickle in this Instant Pot Pickle Chicken will totally have you thinking you’re eating at Chick-fil-A!

With just three easy steps, dinner is done.

pickle stuffed chicken in Pyrex dish on wood board


I don’t know about you, but I am head-over-heals in love with the chicken from Chick-fil-A. I’ve always felt like they must be adding crack to it or something because it’s definitely addictive. Well, come to find out, it’s not crack – it’s pickle juice! While we can’t confirm that it’s true, we’ve heard from several former employees that once upon a time they used pickle juice in their brine, which gives it the unique flavor. Think about that the next time you bite into a sandwich and I guarantee you’ll taste it! So this Instant Pot pickle chicken is meant to remind us of our favorite chicken place. And you get to eat the pickles too!


pickle stuffed chicken in Pyrex dish on wood board


More Whole Chicken Recipes:


The Process

Greenwise chicken label

Start with the highest quality chicken available in your grocery store.


chicken cavity seasoned with salt and pepper

Liberally season the inside cavity of chicken with salt and pepper (and any other seasonings that tickle your pickle).


pickles stuffed in chicken

Stuff the chicken cavity with baby kosher dill pickles.


uncooked chicken stuffed with pickles on white cutting board

Liberally season the outside of the bird.


pickle juice in bottom of Instant Pot

Pour the remaining pickle juice from the jar (about 1 1/2 cups) into pot and insert trivet.


whole uncooked chicken on trivet in Instant Pot

Place stuffed chicken on top of trivet, breast side up. Lock lid and cook for 35 minutes at high pressure. Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to release naturally. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and place under a broiler for 5-7 minutes.


And this is the AMAZING Result…

whole chicken stuffed with pickles in an Instant Pot


★ Did you make this Instant Pot Pickle Chicken?

Please give it a star rating below! ★

pickle stuffed chicken in Pyrex dish on wood board

Instant Pot Pickle Chicken

Easy peasy chicken that tastes like Chick-fil-A!
4.62 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 395kcal
Author: Gary White


  • 5 lb. whole chicken
  • 16 oz. jar of baby kosher dill pickles
  • salt and pepper


  • Liberally season the inside cavity of chicken with salt and pepper (and any other seasonings that tickle your pickle). Stuff the chicken cavity with baby kosher dill pickles. Liberally season the outside of the bird.
  • Pour the remaining pickle juice from the jar (about 1 1/2 cups) into pot and insert trivet. Place stuffed chicken on top of trivet, breast side up. 
  • Lock lid and cook for 35 minutes at high pressure. Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to release naturally.
  • Transfer to an oven-safe dish and place under a broiler for 5-7 minutes.



Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 523mg | Potassium: 384mg | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.8mg

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  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Do you suppose this recipe would work for oven roasted or crockpot chicken?? No instapot at my house?

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 8:10 am

      I’m sure it would! I’m actually going to oven-roast a pickle chicken next week.

      • Reply
        January 12, 2019 at 5:14 pm

        Did you try this in the oven yet? Curious on results

        • Reply
          January 12, 2019 at 5:22 pm

          Not yet, but it’s on my list to try before the end of the month.

    • Reply
      March 10, 2019 at 12:29 am

      Get an Instant Pot! You won’t regret it.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    5 stars
    Very, very good! I love chicken and always looking for new recipes. This one’s a keeper!

  • Reply
    X-CFA manager
    January 12, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Sounds delish! I will need to try it.

    However, Chick-fil-A does not use pickle juice in their brine. As a former long time manager, the chicken does not have a pickle juice brine. It comes lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. The raw chicken is then dunked into a simple milk and egg wash. From there it goes into the coater. The coater is where the CFA magic happens. I don’t know what’s in it. That recipe is locked away tight. In fact, 3 different companies go into the making of the coater to protect the recipe. One mixes one half of the ingredients, and a second mixes the other half of the ingredients. Both ship them off to a third party who mixes together and packages to go out to the stores.

    Yes, I wish it was as simple as pickle juice.

    • Reply
      April 3, 2019 at 12:46 am

      Thanks for clearing up the misunderstanding about Chik-Fil-A’s recipe/process. I LOVE their chicken, as well as their company’s values and ethics. However, living an hour from the nearest city large enough to have a Chik-Fil-A, I’m happy to try this recipe. 🙂

  • Reply
    April Hatcher
    January 13, 2019 at 11:15 am

    I’ve also worked at CFA and in previous years late 90s. The grilled chicken and strips was actually marinated in part pickle juice part water mixed with a seasoning pack. Then later everything came frozen ready to bread/grill.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    5 stars
    I was a little skeptical that this would be good, but my husband wanted to try it. I actually really liked it! Very moist, and had a noticeable but mild pickle flavor, so it wasn’t overwhelming. Leftovers heated well in our air fyer the next day. Will make again.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2019 at 10:12 am

    5 stars
    Cool idea! Chicken had a hint of pickle flavor, which was perfect.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    Never knew Chick-Fil-A makes their chicken like this! Can’t wait to try this at home. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      January 14, 2019 at 9:59 pm

      We can’t confirm that they actually make their chicken like this, but the flavor reminds us of it a little.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    5 stars
    Turned out great! Thanks!

  • Reply
    J stover
    January 17, 2019 at 8:58 am

    1 star
    I was not a fan. Chicken was dry and tasted like nothing.

    • Reply
      January 17, 2019 at 10:13 am

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy it. Did it at least taste like chicken? 🙂

      • Reply
        July 14, 2019 at 10:43 am


  • Reply
    January 17, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    5 stars
    My family loved it! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Would adding potatoes work? How would you do it?

    • Reply
      January 18, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      Hmmm. I’m not not quite sure how to advise you here. There’s really not a lot of space left after adding the chicken and pickles.

    • Reply
      February 21, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      Not sure potatoes would be good cooked with the pickle juice. I think they’d take on too strong a flavor and I use quite a few pickles in my potato salad. But if you’re going to do it since the chicken takes up the whole pot I’d do the potatoes in the same pot and juice o. The trivet after the chicken. Maybe while it’s in the over browning up. If you try it please let me know how they turn out.

  • Reply
    January 20, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    What size instant pot is this?

    • Reply
      January 20, 2019 at 10:44 pm

      All of our recipes are written for 6qt. IPs.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    4 stars
    This sounds so amazing!!! I think I’m going to use spicy dill pickles and see how much the spice comes through. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      January 22, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      Hey Miranda! Thanks for giving it a try. The pickles themselves will only add aromatic flavor. I don’t think much spice will transfer to the chicken from pickles alone. (I could be wrong though.) I would recommend adding some spice to the chicken itself when seasoning on the inside and out.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    5 stars
    Super good recipe! I don’t have a broiler but 7ish minutes at 500 as close to the top of my oven as I dared just about did the job for anyone who’s worried about not being able to make this.

    Definitely will be making this one again, thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      February 8, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you! I don’t have a broiler either and am making this tonight 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    sounds delish! my only worry is that in the recipe specs, it says cook time 1 hr. but then in the actual recipe you say 35 min. that’s a lot of wiggle room ESPECIALLY for an instant pot. I’m afraid of cooking for only 35 min. and ending up with a partially raw bird or cooking for an hour and blowing my house up

    • Reply
      January 23, 2019 at 2:58 pm

      35 minutes at high pressure is all you need. The hour includes 25 minutes for natural pressure release. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 24, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    5 stars
    Tried this last night and it was… FANTASTIC! Juicy and flavorful. Love that it’s so easy too. Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Do you broil the chicken with the pickles still in the cavity?

    • Reply
      January 26, 2019 at 9:40 am

      We did, and you can. But you don’t have to. There’s really no wrong answer. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 27, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    5 stars
    Do you eat the pickles on the side, or discard?

    • Reply
      January 27, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      We ate some of them. Really up to personal preference. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 5, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    5 stars
    Chicken was super moist and juicy. Very, very slight pickle taste. Nothing overwhelming. 35 minutes was spot on in my instapot, 6 quarts. Broiling afterwards did give the skin a nice crisp, but I dont think it’s a necessary step if you dont want to do it. I will make this again. Thanks!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Do you suppose you could use boneless, skinless breasts in this recipe and just dump the pickles in the pot around them?

    • Reply
      February 17, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      You could do that, but I can’t say how good it will be. The whole chicken is really the best way to go. The cook time would be different as well. As we haven’t tested it, it’d be hard to recommend a cook time.

  • Reply
    Jaime Thurston
    February 20, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Gary, can you use a frozen chicken or does it have to be defrosted?

    • Reply
      February 20, 2019 at 11:15 am

      Definitely defrost first. Even if you could use frozen, you’ll get a better result cooking a thawed chicken.

      • Reply
        Jaime Thurston
        February 20, 2019 at 11:51 am

        ok great, thanks so much! Going to make it later on this week!

    • Reply
      August 24, 2019 at 7:33 pm

      I don’t think you could shove the pickles in a frozen chicken?

  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    I’m doing this tonight. I seasoned my chicken and stuffed it this morning and it’s in the fridge marinating. Question, has anyone cut the chicken after IP cooking and tried breading and frying or air fried it? I’m going to try that with a few pieces tonight using a copycat recipe for CFA breading.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    5 stars
    The chicken picked up a subtle but discernible dill and garlic flavor. I actually under seasoned. I was so afraid of the salt in the juice, but that didn’t takeover. I sautéed the pickles involved to serve alongside the chicken. It’s very tasty! The pickles were soft, but the chicken actually insulated them from mush status. Browning them up after actually crisp them back up a little.
    The pickles actually tasted more like chicken, than the chicken tasted like pickles.
    This will be made again.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Listened to you on Elaine Benoit’s podcast today. I really enjoyed it, so I had to pop over to check out your site — and more specifically, THIS recipe. I was so intrigued when you talked about it. I love this idea and bet it’s fantastic. Putting it on my must-try list! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sandy Brady
    July 6, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was so good. I have an eight quart, so the only thing I will do differently next time is to let the rest of the pressure out at 25min. NPR took 35 min. and the legs were falling off. It was still moist, so I’ll take it as a positive and say that with the legs off I had less to carve.

  • Reply
    Vickie Lilly
    August 24, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Gary….I remember you from Clarcona Elem. days. I worked in the Media Center and you were on our TV crew if I remember correctly. I was there from opening day (Nick Gledich, principal) until I left to go to the district office (two principals later) .Not sure what years you were there but in my later days of Clarcona I taught the Computer Lab. Our son, David, was also there at for all of his elementary years. Going to try this recipe real soon. I have 4 IP’s – 2 -8qts. and 2-6qts. Use them regularly along with my Air Fryer Oven and Sous Vide cooker. Have you known anyone that might have used sweet pickles instead? We were also neighbors of Rachel & Matt DiSalvatore, Linda Weekley (also of Clarcona) is a friend and she and Jennifer Sanders visited in our home in East Tennessee last year).

    • Reply
      Gary White
      August 24, 2019 at 9:01 pm

      Hey Miss Vickie! Good to hear from you again. I hope you like the chicken. We love it!

  • Reply
    September 2, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    I liked the hint of fill pickle flavor. Chicken was very tender and moist. I only seasoned with pepper and salt, so not so much flavor there. Will try again with some more interesting rubs/seasoning

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