This lemon basil chicken can be made in your slow cooker or Instant Pot. Using a simple, homemade & healthy sauce, this lemony chicken recipe is easy and healthy.
Lemon Basil Sauce
I’m a firm believer that the key to good slow cooker or electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) recipe is a good sauce. A lot of my recipes are all about the sauce. This is another one of them. It was important to me that the sauce have the zest of lemon but also not be too overpowering. I also wanted this to be a simple dish so there aren’t any fancy ingredients. Having said that, you can add a few things to ‘jazz’ this sauce up a bit. Suggestions of things you can add to the sauce are lemon zest, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, coconut aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce if you’re not adhering to a particular diet), or even a bit of hot sauce or sriracha to spice things up a bit. Sometimes I substitute water for the chicken broth. It loses a bit of its flavor but it still does the trick. When dried basil cooks in the slow cooker, the end result is what looks like large black pepper flakes. Don’t be alarmed, it’s just the basil and it will still taste like…basil.
What Cut Of Chicken?
Dark meat works better in the slow cooker because it’s less likely to dry out. I have always used chicken thighs and/or legs when making this. Having said that, as with the majority of my recipes it doesn’t matter what cut of chicken you use, it can be skin-on, skinless, bone-in, boneless, etc. If you do choose to use white meat, lower the cooking time by an hour or more in the slow cooker and 2-3 minutes for the electric pressure cooker. This is so the chicken doesn’t overcook. When I use my electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and skinless chicken, I don’t brown the meat first. I just add it in to the appliance raw. I pretty much only saute my chicken when using my pressure cooker if it has its skin.
I prefer to use dark meat when slow cooking because dark meat is less likely to overcook and dry-out like white meat will. But you can use boneless, skinless breasts if you want. If you do, reduce the slow cooking time by an hour or so.
Browning the Chicken (slow cooker)
When using the slow cooker, you have the option to brown the chicken. If you plan on taking the skin off your chicken or using boneless, skinless chicken, whether it be breasts or thighs, you don’t need to bother with either of these steps. This is for skin-on chicken. For crisp chicken skin, you will need to remove the chicken from the slow cooker after it’s done cooking and place it in the oven under the broiler it for 3-5 minutes. Both of these are optional steps.
Other Chicken Recipes You Might Like:
- 2 lbs chicken
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 2 tsp oil (for IP)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth (1/2 cup for pressure cooker)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- Add chicken to the slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, mix together sauce ingredients. Pour sauce on top of chicken. Top with lemon slices.
- Cook HIGH 2-3, LOW 4-6.
- Top with fresh basil before serving.
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute. Once hot, add the oil and chicken and sear, few minutes on each side until browned.
- In a small bowl, mix together sauce ingredients. Be sure to use 1/2 cup of the broth. Pour sauce on top of the chicken.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook 12 minutes.
- Natural release 5 minutes then quick release remaining pressure.
- Top with fresh basil before serving.
What To Serve This With?
Sky is the limit! It will depend on your diet. I like to keep it simple and serve this with salad and rice (cauliflower or white/brown rice). Other suggestions include mashed cauliflower for low-carb and keto or potatoes or sweet potatoes for paleo or whole30.
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