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Instant Pot Chicken Marinara With Polenta

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Calories: 485
shredded instant pot chicken thighs with marinara over polenta in a bowl

Our Instant Pot chicken marinara recipe is a simple equation for an easy, satisfying dinner that goes something like this: chicken thighs + a jar of marinara sauce = dinner’s done.

More Instant Pot Recipes, Please!

Once you go Instant Pot, there’s just no going back, is there? Especially when it comes to making chicken for dinner, the Instant Pot has made our lives so much easier. This stupid-easy chicken marinara recipe, which has only three ingredients, would be fast even without an Instant Pot. But the recipe and Instant Pot combine to make a dinner that’s so basic and brainless, we barely have words for how do-able this meal is.

raw chicken thighs on parchment paper next to polenta, marinara, salt and chicken stock
chicken thighs and marinara in an instant pot
chicken stock and polenta in a pot
cooked polenta in a small pot with a wooden spoon

Three Ingredients, You Say?

Yep! The recipe for chicken marinara is basically not-so-hidden in the name itself. To make it, you’ll just need:

  • Chicken. Skinless chicken thighs are best for this. They’re nice and moist, but they also
  • Marinara.
  • A little salt.
boneless skinless chicken thighs in an instant pot with marinara
shredded chicken thighs in marinara in an instant pot

How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Marinara

Plug in that Instant Pot and carve out 20 minutes—dinner’s almost ready.

  1. Dump the salted chicken thighs and tomato sauce into your Instant Pot.
  2. Cook on high for 5 minutes.
  3. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
  4. Shred the chicken thighs in the sauce, and serve!
shredded chicken thigh meat cooked in marinara sauce in an instant pot.

What To Serve With Instant Pot Chicken Marinara

For us, serving the juicy, shredded marinara chicken thighs over a comforting bed of polenta is the end all and be all. Major, soul-soothing pay off for very little effort. However, it’s good with a lot of things. If polenta isn’t your thing, try tossing the chicken marinara with your favorite pasta, or serve with an array of roasted vegetables for a low-carb, easy dinner.

shredded chicken thighs in marinara sauce over creamy polenta in a bowl

Tools You’ll Need:

More Super-Fast Chicken Recipes

That feeling when someone in the house asks “What’s for dinner?” and you realize you don’t have an answer. These recipes are for that moment. Basic ingredients and quick prep—they swoop in and save the day, every time.

shredded chicken thighs in marinara sauce over creamy polenta in a bowl
shredded chicken thighs in marinara sauce over creamy polenta in a bowl

A New Kind Of Instant Dinner

Homemade dinner in just a few minutes. Not only is this chicken marinara recipe crazy fast, it’s super budget-friendly, too. We love how, when cooking dinner isn’t a big stress, we get to put our focus on what a family meal is all about—the faces around the table. We hope this Instant Pot recipe is a hit for you. If you make it, let us know how it turns out! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Instant Pot Chicken Marinara With Polenta

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Calories: 485


  • 8 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (2 lbs)
  • 2 tsp Salt, divided
  • 1 (24 oz) Jar of marinara sauce
  • 4 Cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup Stone ground polenta or yellow cornmeal


  1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon salt and add them along with the tomato sauce to your pressure cooker, giving it a quick stir to combine.
  2. Cover with the lid. Turn to manual (pressure cook) mode. Cook on high (full pressure) for 5 mins.
  3. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then do a quick release for any remaining pressure.
  4. While the chicken is cooking bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium sized pot. Whisk in polenta and cook, while stirring, until polenta has absorbed all the liquid, about 12-14 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remove from heat. Cover with a lid until ready to serve.
  5. Use two forks to shred the thighs in the tomato sauce. Serve over polenta and enjoy!

*Note: If polenta thickens too much while cooling, return to heat and add in water, ½ cup at a time. Stir until desired consistency returns.

**Note: This chicken is equally delicious over a bowl of pasta.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 485
  • Protein 48 g
  • Carbohydrates 36 g
  • Total Fat 14 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3 g
  • Cholesterol 137 mg
  • sodium 1880 mg
  • Added Sugars 10 g

Instant Pot Chicken Marinara With Polenta

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Lj

    What would instructions be if I don't have an instant pot?

    This recipe is really written specifically for the Instant Pot, so unfortunately we don't have a great way for you to make it without one—it'd be a pretty different recipe and we haven't tested it, so we'd hate to lead you astray!

  • Jane

    Can I make this on the stove top? If so, what changes would I make? Can this be served with rice?

    We haven't tested it on the stovetop unfortunately, so it's hard to say! Yes, you could certainly serve this with rice—sounds delicious!

  • trenton

    If I do half the recipe do I use the same time for the instant pot?

    Yes, I would.

  • Ashley James

    I haven't tried it yet, I will tonight, but I just want to say that I come to the internet and put in search queries such as "quick chicken dinner" and NEVER GET SOMETHING QUICK and when I saw this recipe I wanted to cry. I asked for quick, and this is indeed the quickest Instant Pot recipe I have ever seen. I asked for chicken thighs and tomato sauce, and that's exactly what you gave me. You are my savior and I am so happy this exists! I will be back tomorrow after I try it tonight.

    I hope you enjoyed it!

  • Carmen R

    I just made this and it is DIVINE! A little Italian bowl of heaven. Added pecorino romano and parmesan to the polenta and before serving. It's so delicious and comforting.