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This Healthier Instant Pot Coq au Vin is for those cold fall and winter nights when you want a fancy slow braised chicken, but you want it ready in less than an hour. All made in the instant pot (or the slow cooker), using simple, wholesome ingredients that you might already have on hand. This dish is warm, flavorful, hearty but healthy, and so delicious. Great for both a simple family dinner and holiday entertaining.

overhead photo of Healthier Instant Pot Coq au Vin with wine glasses and bread on table

What better way to start Monday off than with an easier, healthier take on a fancy French classic? Especially one that involves cooking with red wine? Yes, this is a good Monday recipe.

Coq au vin is a family favorite. Every time I make it, I love it more and more.

Coq au Vin is the fancy French way of saying chicken braised in red wine. It’s a truly delicious and hearty recipe that’s perfect when served over mashed potatoes. Add a side of crusty bread to soak up all the flavorful red wine sauce…la perfection!

Today I’m simplifying the traditionally lengthy recipe by cooking this entirely in the instant pot in less than an hour. If you prefer to use the slow cooker I’ve included directions for that too, you choose. But by far, the most requests this past month have been for more instant pot recipes.

It seems as though everyone is getting on board with the instant pot. Which makes me happy, because I actually love it too. It definitely took me a while to get on the instant pot train. But once I got the hang of cooking with it, I quickly realized why everyone loves their instant pot so much. It’s kind of like cooking magic, and I do think it cooks the best chicken every single time…

overhead photo of Healthier Instant Pot Coq au Vin in instant pot bowl

Which is why I am excited for today’s recipe!

As mentioned, coq au vin is traditionally a French style chicken that’s slowly cooked in red wine on the stove top. Some recipes require four plus hours of cooking, multiple steps, a good amount of ingredients, and a lot of hands on time. That’s all great if we have the whole day to spend in the kitchen, but I totally get that most of us just don’t.

Enter this healthier, easier take on Coq au Vin that’s made entirely in the instant pot.

It’s simple, it’s quick, it’s flavorful…and just oh so good. The secret? A little bit of bacon, red wine, and plenty of fresh thyme (fresh herbs are my current obsession).

overhead close up photo of Healthier Instant Pot Coq au Vin

Here’s how you make it. You ready? It’s simple.

Cook up the bacon and get it nice and crisp. Add in the onions, garlic, and tomato paste, cooking until fragrant. Then add the wine, chicken and herbs. Cover and cook for a bit. In about 20 or so minutes, you’ll be done.

I know it sounds too good to be true, but I promise, it really is this simple.

A few notes.

Traditionally, coq au vin is made with whole chicken pieces. I used chicken breasts, which not only cook up quicker, but are also a lighter choice than skin on dark meat. The red wine helps to keep the chicken from drying out. The instant pot cooks the chicken until it’s perfectly tender and tastes as though it’s been slow cooked all day long.

It’s going to seem like a lot of wine to use, but trust me, it’s going to be great. The wine is the heart of the recipe, providing flavor while also helping to tenderize the chicken, so don’t skip it.

Highly recommending these mashed potatoes and a crusty side of bread. And for anyone looking for a simple stove-top version, check out this recipe.

Also? Maybe pour yourself a glass of wine while you’re cooking. It’s Monday and that just sounds like a nice idea…

overhead photo of Healthier Instant Pot Coq au Vin with fork in bowl

If you make this coq au vin please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Healthier Instant Pot Coq au Vin

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 452 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



Instant Pot

  • 1. Set Instant Pot to sauté. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. 
    2. To the instant post, add the onion, garlic, and tomato paste and cook an additional 5 minutes. Turn the instant pot off. 
    3. Add in the red wine, chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, chicken, carrots, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
    3. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function. Set the Instant pot to sauté and bring to a boil, boil 5 minutes or until the liquid reduces slightly. Turn the instant pot off. Remove the bay leaves and thyme and discard. Stir in the parsley and reserved bacon.
    4. Serve the chicken and sauce over mashed potatoes.

Slow Cooker

  • 1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon.
    2. To the skillet, add the onion, garlic, and tomato paste and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to the bowl of your slow cooker.
    3.  To the slow cooker, add in the red wine, chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, chicken, carrots, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. 
    3. Once done cooking, cook, uncovered on high for 15-20 minutes to reduce the sauce. Remove the bay leaves and thyme and discard. Stir in the parsley and reserved bacon.
    4. Serve the chicken and sauce over mashed potatoes.
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  1. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe at least a dozen times and it is always a hit! It is my “go to” recipe when cooking for someone in need of a dinner. I often use chicken thighs instead of breasts, only because I find them more tender. And I often add extra chicken as there is a lot of gravy and we can get an extra meal from it! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

    1. Hey Meg,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe so often and sharing what works well for you! So glad it is always a hit with your family! xT

  2. 5 stars
    This is a family favorite that I make regularly. It’s great for kids and picky eaters but still has great flavor for the rest of us. 🙂

    1. Hey Caitlin,
      Happy Friday! So glad to hear that this recipe is always enjoyed, thanks for making it so often and sharing your feedback! xT

  3. 4 stars
    It was delicious but took a lot longer to cook than the time indicated here. I have found that to be true of most instapot recipes. The bacon does not cook in 5 minutes and it takes a long time for the Instapot to come up to temperature before pressure starts even though I had been sauteeing on high. That allowed me time to make the mashed potatoes and even sit for a bit. I did add a little corn starch to thicken the sauce a bit but I used canned SanMarzano tomatoes instead of just paste. Would have been great over pasta too.

    1. Hey Rita,
      Happy Sunday! I am thrilled to hear this dish turned out well for you, thanks a lot for trying it out! Sorry this took a bit longer than expected:) Xx

  4. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious. First time making a French recipe, using wine to cook with and all in an instant pot.
    This felt like I was eating an expensive meal at a fancy restaurant.
    The family loved it.
    Thank you so much for sharing! ❤️
    From North America

      1. 5 stars
        Excellent recipe! So nice to have a hearty but healthy cozy, winter dish. I did thicken the sauce a bit. It was delicious.

      2. 4 stars
        This was tasty but the chicken was quite tough. Probably would do better in the slow cooker. This also took me almost an hour and a half starting from cleaning and chopping the vegetables. I also added corn starch to thicken the sauce as others said. Still giving 4 stars!

        1. Hi Jessica,
          I appreciate you trying this dish and sharing your feedback! So sorry to hear the chicken was tough. Let me know if you try again in the slow cooker! xx

  5. I absolutely love this website and have tried many, many recipes and they were all amazing. However, the instant pot version for this should be removed. It was absolutely terrible. First the purple chicken… so gross looking. Nothing like the photo. Then the rubbery texture or the chicken. And the juices never thickened or reduced. I followed the directions to the letter. I’m very disappointed in this one. 😫😫

  6. 5 stars
    Your website always makes me want to try new recipes and it’s the only website that makes my appetite soar and my mouth water for good food. That says a lot for a mom who cooks lunch and dinner daily for seven! Thank you for all these inspiring pages of pure deliciousness!

  7. This is a great recipe. I used prosciutto instead of bacon, a mix of thighs and breasts, and doubled the whole thing. (Cooked the chicken etc for 14 min). My family loved it. I was originally going to make the 1 hr, 1 pot version but am happy I found this faster, healthier version.

    1. Hey Vika,
      Fantastic! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for making it! Have a great weekend:)

    1. Hey Colleen,
      I appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback! Love to hear that it was a winner:) x