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Instant Pot Chicken and Rice (NY Street Cart)

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Enjoy the flavors of the popular New York street cart chicken (Halal Guys Copycat) right in your pressure cooker with this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Dish. This quick and easy delicious dinner can be ready in less than 30 minutes.

instant pot chicken and rice on a plate


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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
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I love New York City, especially the food. In law school, I took a trip to New York for a conference. Ask me if I remember what the actual conference was about…I don’t. What I do remember is traveling with some wonderful law school colleagues, seeing Swizz Beatz on the street and asking for a pic (he was so cool about it too), partying at the 40/40 club, and standing in a long line at 3am waiting for some chicken that was sold in a cart. Yes, you read that right, I like to eat chicken at 3am. That literally was the best street food I had in my life and I knew for sure it was something that I had to recreate in my own kitchen.


I found that my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker was the perfect vessel to recreate this dish. I’m always making one-pot meals in my Instant Pot, like my ever so popular Pressure Cooker Shrimp Paella. In fact, I use my pressure cooker so often I’ve made a whole recipe category just for you all in the recipe section of the site. 

completed instant pot chicken and rice in the pot

I adapted this street chicken and rice recipe from the Serious Eats website and perfected it for my Instant Pot. The recipe as written on their site is pretty delicious but I truly didn’t feel like marinating the meat when it came to this dish. Making this dish in the pressure cooker is perfect for a weeknight meal. 


  • Create your white sauce

First, you’ll want to make the famous white sauce for this chicken and rice dish. This sauce has a tangy yet slightly sweet taste that pairs well with the rice and chicken. Prepare this first and set it aside.

  • Brown your chicken for flavor

Then it’s time for the pot. You’ll want to brown your chicken in the pot to build flavor, especially since we are skipping the traditional step of marinating the chicken. I like to set my sautè function on high to get a good caramelization. Just make sure you don’t overcrowd the pot when browning as you won’t get a nice sear. Cook your chicken thighs in batches for the best results.

  • Deglaze your pot

Next, you will have nice brown bits (they may even look a little burnt). This is fine, don’t freak out, it’s flavor! Take a bit of chicken broth and deglaze the bottom by pouring the broth into the bottom of the pot. Take a wooden spoon and scrape the bottom bits up. Make sure it’s a wooden spoon as you don’t want to scrape the bottom of your pot with metal utensils.

  • Add your onions and garlic

Next, add your onions and garlic and sauté them until the onions have softened. Make sure onions are softened a bit before adding the garlic. You don’t want the garlic to burn or it will give your dish a horrid taste.

  • Add your rice…but rinse it first

Then add your rinsed rice. Rinsing your rice will allow the rice to remain fluffy and not stick to the bottom. Rinsing your rice is key for any rice dish in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.   

  • Add the rest of your ingredients

Add your remaining seasonings, broth, and your chicken back to the pot. Push chicken into the broth to ensure it gets fully cooked.

Set the pressure cooker for 10 minutes. Once time is up, allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes, dinner is served.

instant pot chicken and rice on a plate

Do you really have to brown the chicken in the Instant Pot first…that is the question?

Yes, yes, and yes. I get it, you may not want to but the purpose is to build flavor since you aren’t marinating the meat.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do…and don’t forget the sauce.

I’ve included step by step photos below for those who prefer those over video. Enjoy 🙂

For more photos of the operation of the Instant Pot, check out my Pressure Cooker Shrimp Paella recipe.

Other Instant Pot Recipes

instant pot chicken and rice on a plate
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4.85 from 26 votes

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice (NY Street Cart Style)

Enjoy the flavors of the popular New York street cart chicken (Halal Guys Copycat) right in your pressure cooker with this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Dish. This quick and easy delicious dinner can be ready in less than 30 minutes. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword instant pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 575kcal
Author Tanya


White Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


  • Instructions:
  • Make the white sauce by whisking all white sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine chicken, lemon juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, oregano, garlic powder, and ground coriander.
  • Set the Instant Pot to saute function. Once Instant Pot says “Hot,” add 2 Tbsp olive oil to the pot. Add 2 or 3 chicken pieces to the pot and allow to cook until browned on each side, about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove and set aside.
  • Add about ¼ cup chicken broth to the pot and use a wooden spoon to deglaze pot by stirring up brown bits. Then add onions and garlic and cook until onions have softened. Next, add turmeric powder, cumin, and rice and stir to coat rice. Add remaining chicken broth and place chicken thighs on top of rice, ensuring they are covered by the broth.
  • Turn the Instant Pot off by pressing “Cancel.” Press “Pressure cook (make sure it’s set to high pressure), set timer to 10 minutes. Place cover on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to sealing.
  • Once the timer is up, allow Instant Pot to natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release. Open the cover and add the desired amount of salt and pepper.
  • Top chicken and rice with white sauce. Serve alongside with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes. Enjoy 🙂




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Notes on Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

  • This recipe was prepared in a 6qt Instant Pot. Please adjust accordingly for 3qt and 8qt models. 


Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 410mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 11.8mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1.8mg
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Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

Step by Step Photos of Instant Pot Chicken and Rice NY Street Cart Style

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4.85 from 26 votes (7 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Sunday 30th of January 2022

We love this recipe. So flavourful and delicious. I have made it with brown rice and bone in chicken (cooked for 25 min) as well as the original recipe. Both are great. We often eat it with a simple raita-like sauce (yogurt with drained, shredded cucumber and a little cumin and salt)


Monday 31st of January 2022

Thanks Lindsey! So glad you liked the recipe :)


Thursday 18th of February 2021

How long does it take the IP to pressurize? (Just for planning purposes.)


Thursday 18th of February 2021

Mine takes about 15 minutes.


Tuesday 26th of January 2021

This is my absolute favorite Instant Pot recipe. I make it all the time and have sent the link to your recipe to anyone I know with an IP! I follow the recipe exactly as written. Definitely serve it with the shredded lettuce if you can! I save the leftovers for lunch the next day and it still tastes great!


Wednesday 27th of January 2021

Thanks so much Kay! Glad you liked it.


Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Hi Tanya, I just wanted to take the time out to write a review on this. The only thing I did change was the chicken, I used chicken breast instead of thighs and decreased the cooking time from 10min to 5min w/the natural release at 10min. It took me about 5min to figure out that the "Manual" button is the same as the "Pressure Cook" button on the instant pot (I have the very first model of the instant pot lol). Everything from the spices to the white sauce was spot on and amazingly delicious. Thank you for the easy to follow instructions. :)


Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Thank you Samantha for the feedback :) Great tip on reducing the time for chicken breast.

Steven Chen

Sunday 18th of October 2020

I used the exact recipe and ingredients and used a 6qt instapot and I got a burn food error. Opened up my instapot and the bottom was all charred. I made sure I pour 1/4 broth to deglazed the bottom and rinsed the rice also before stirring it in and then I poured the red of the broth and chicken. What did I do wrong?

Steven Chen

Sunday 18th of October 2020

@Tanya, instapot duo Evo plus.


Sunday 18th of October 2020

Hi Steven, what's the exact brand of your Instant Pot? Some are more sensitive than others and will result in burns. Here's a great article explaining the burn error and what may cause it. The other possible cause is an improper seal. If the seal isn't in place, the machine will still cut on and start cooking, but it will then cause the bottom to scorch.