Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs With Lemon And Garlic

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These Instant Pot frozen chicken legs with lemon and garlic is the easiest recipe ever!  A solid block of frozen chicken legs will become a mouthwatering dinner 30 minutes from now – this pot is truly magic!

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs With Lemon And Garlic - Easy Recipe

Watch out, world! Melanie got an Instant Pot and hopped on the Instant Pot bandwagon! What’s the best food to use to test out this new toy? A block of frozen chicken legs of course :)

A Block Of Frozen Chicken Legs

If you are disorganized like me and can never remember to defrost meats in advance, the Instant Pot will be your true life-saver!  It cooks the meat perfectly and quickly straight from frozen!  These frozen solid hard-as-a-rock chicken drumsticks were cooked completely in 25 minutes and the meat was so tender and juicy, it was falling off the bone!  To top it off, they were swimming in a super-flavorful lemon-garlic sauce!

Easy Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs Recipe

When I first got an Instant Pot (DUO Plus 6 Quart 9-in-1 model), I was sceptical, very sceptical.  What can this thing do that my crockpot or oven can’t already do? I didn’t want it to do the same old thing in some cumbersome new way :)  I wanted the Instant Pot to do something truly unique that my other appliances can’t do, so I can clearly see it’s advantage.  Cooking frozen meat quickly is where the Instant Pot truly shines.  No other appliance can turn a pack of frozen meat into dinner in under 30 minutes!

How To Cook Frozen Chicken Drumsticks In The Instant Pot

How To Cook Frozen Chicken Legs In The Instant Pot

Making these amazing lemon garlic chicken legs in the Instant Pot is really easy.  All you need to do is put a cup of water in your Instant Pot, add 8 garlic cloves to the water, then add frozen chicken legs, sprinkle the frozen chicken legs with salt, pepper and Italian herbs seasoning and put quartered lemon on top.  Close the pot, set it to cook on Manual High Pressure for 25 minutes and walk away.  When the timer beeps, do a Quick Release.  Dinner is ready!

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs Dinner

Take a look at the picture below – how do you like the price of these frozen chicken legs that I got on sale? A dinner for 4 people for $2.21 – how’s that for a budget meal?

Frozen Chicken Legs Family Pack Budget Dinner

How many frozen chicken legs can you cook in the Instant Pot at the same time? As many as it will fit, the cooking time will remain the same! If you have an extra-large frozen “family pack” of chicken legs that doesn’t fit into the Instant Pot in one chunk, break it up so it fits – you might need to thaw it on Defrost setting in a microwave for a few minutes until you are able to break it up in the middle into two pieces.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Drumsticks Instant Pot Recipe

Have frozen chicken breasts instead of chicken legs? Check out my Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breasts recipe.

Want to make lemon-garlic chicken legs and don’t have an Instant Pot? No problem! I have recipe for baked lemon garlic chicken legs in the oven that are also really delicious!  You’ll just have to defrost them first before baking :)

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Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs With Lemon And Garlic

These Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs are amazing! Just throw in frozen chicken legs with some garlic cloves and lemon slices into your Instant Pot, and you'll have delicious dinner on the table in 30 minutes!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Instant Pot
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 package frozen chicken legs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs seasoning
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 8 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 cup water


  • Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot and add garlic cloves to the water.
  • Put frozen chicken legs into the Instant Pot.
  • Sprinkle frozen chicken legs with salt, pepper and Italian herbs seasoning.
  • Add quartered lemon on top of frozen chicken legs.
  • Close the Instant Pot and turn the pressure valve to Seal.
  • Press "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button, and set the time to 25 minutes.
  • When the Instant Pot finishes cooking, use the Quick Release to release the steam.
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  1. Just made this. Didn’t have a fresh lemon, so I used 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. I also added 1 cup of rice and 2 tablespoons of butter to the IP. AMAZING! Rice came out very creamy.

  2. I made this last night, and I was amazed how delicious it was. As a newbie IP owner, this recipe was so easy to follow and I was so impressed with the outcome. In addition to the 25 min cook time, it took about 12 min or so to build up pressure. I mean, if I had thawed or fresh chicken, I could have just baked it and the skin would have been crisped up. But the real advantage here was cooking from frozen in so little time. One for the books!

    1. I always felt the same, until I realized I could broil the meat in the oven quick after the pressure cooker was done. It is a better method for nutrition too. More stays in when pressure cooker vs. other methods. Also you’re sure to have fall off the bone chicken every time. I love my IP!

  3. I tried this recipe tonight and added the rice as suggested by another – boy was it delicious. The lemon and garlic created a creamy rice with a lemony bite. The meat virtually fell off the bone. Yum! I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow. I bet I could use oranges, honey, and Siracha sauce for a meal with an Asian flare. What do you think?

    1. Honey is healthy only when it is raw. (VERY good for you when it’s raw, unhealthy otherwise per one famous healer.) My MD/DO said raw honey is a superfood.

  4. Has anyone put the cooked legs in the air fryer to crisp the skin, after cooking them in the IP? I am excited to try these legs but the skin kinda grosses me out. I’m relatively new to my IP and air fryer. Just thought I’d ask you more seasoned cooks!

    1. I haven’t done the legs in the air fryer after cooking in the Insta pot but I have done a whole chicken I use the chicken setting and kept checking it it was my desired crispiness

  5. Awesome.. So easy to change up the spices too…. I too was very sceptical of my IP when I got it.. There were not many recipe’s online… So it sat buried in the pantry, forgotten… One day, 2 years later, I spied it out of the corner of my eye, and looked up recipes online again…. WOW.. Now there are a Bazillion of em !!! So I decided to sacrifice some precious counter top real estate, and pulled it out… My IP is now a permanent fixture in my kitchen…..

  6. This one is a winner. I didn’t have a lemon, so I substituted 1 cup lemon juice for the water. Yum. Definitely want to add the rice next time. Ate with a brown rice/quinoa blend (minute rice). Fantastic.

  7. Really good and turned out well. Taken a good 10 minutes or more to heat up and get to pressure because it was frozen, but amazingly fast if you think about it.

  8. I really didn’t think this would work. My chicken was frozen solid in a block. But, Melanie know what she’s talking about. I used an instant read thermometer to make sure… all cooked perfectly and so delicious. I’m gonna be using this method a lot!!!

  9. This was delicious and simple! Perfect for those days youre not organized with defrosted meat.

    Instead of the lemon garlic I just put a teaspoon of Better Than BouIlion (just coz I’m lazy) and at the end added 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the remaining liquid turning it into yummy gravy.

    This is a winner and a keeper! In fact, I’m making it again tonight with thawed chicken (got a bit more organized today :-)). Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Good recipe. I used thawed chicken and cooked for 12 minutes. I also added 1 cup of white basmati rice (I cooked chicken for 8 minutes, then added rice and cooked for another 4 minutes). My family thought it was a little too lemony but I liked it (and the leftovers were great!). Next time I may use a smaller lemon or just 1/2 of a large lemon.

  11. Added an onion, thanks for the easy tasting recipe. You can use the the left over water to make a great soup.

  12. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight because I didn’t have a lot time and my chicken was still frozen. I used lemon juice instead of halves of fresh lemon. It was so easy to set my instant pot and go fix something else. The chicken was so tender and delicious. I strongly encourage you to try this recipe due to how easy it isto prepare and how good the chicken taste.

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