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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: 390 kcal

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

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Ingredients

Instructions

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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horizontal photo of Healthier Instant Pot Coq au Vin with wine glass on table

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Comments

  1. Are you supposed to cook the breasts whole in the instant pot or do you cut them up into chunks? I’m worried that 1.5 lbs of whole chicken breasts will not fit into my instant pot.

    1. Hey there,
      The chicken will cook in the instant pot, you do not need to cut them up. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

      1. Turned out quite nice! My only recommendation is that in the recipe, it would be helpful to know how much kosher salt to add, rather than just listing “kosher salt and pepper” as ingredients. Mine turned out to need more seasoning at the end, but that’s something I can easily fix. Can’t wait to make this again!

        1. Hey there,
          Wonderful! Love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for making it! Have the best week:) xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and have made it a few times. Do you think this dish would freeze well and do you have any tips for freezing it? Also, I want to double recipe for a large group. Can I double or should I make in batches?

    1. Hi Lauren! You can definitely double this recipe! As far as freezing goes, I would just freeze in an airtight container and then when you are wanting to eat it again just thaw it on the stove 🙂 xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and I’ve made it quite a few times! I will say, let it simmer in Instant Pot for longer than 5 minutes for best results. I usually simmer 30 minutes to thicken the sauce and let the flavors meld.

    1. Hey Christine,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

  4. This looks great! This might be a silly question, but does the instant pot cook out the alcohol from the wine? Could I make this for my family? Thank you!

    1. Hey Kristine,
      Yes, the alcohol will cook out, if you are at all concerned you could swap the wine with broth. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Easily one of my favorite recipes because the flavor is incredible. I make this as often as I can, especially in the fall. Always works and is fantastic in the Instant Pot! And Tieghan is totally right, the mashed potatoes go perfectly.

  6. 1 star
    Not great, I was really excited about this. My family thought that the chicken breast was dry and would have been better with a different cut of meat. The sauce never really thickened up at all either. Sorry, high hopes but not a winner winner chicken dinner

        1. Hey there,
          I would thaw them first:) I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. I wanted more of a stew style, so after the chicken and everything had cooked for the allotted time, I removed the chicken breasts to the cutting board and used two forks to shred it. I then returned it to the pot to get coated in the sauce, then dished up like a stew! All the delicious flavour, but no knife needed!

    2. Just don’t overcook the chicken. Brown it and it’ll cook the rest of the way, nice and moist, under pressure. Add a tablespoon or so slurry of cornstarch/water (or potato starch or arrowroot) to it before a last sauté to thicken. Tasting and seasoning as needed during that last sauté really helps control the flavors.

      I love this recipe! If I have day I’ll do Julia Child’s version, but this is a quick and simple way to have an elegant French dish on a cold weeknight. Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing and just bursting with flavor! It was so fast in my pressure cooker! It’s another keeper!

    1. Hey Lee,
      Happy Wednesday! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for making it! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    I am very happy with this recipe. So nice to add it to my list of favorites. The 8 minutes worked well for our large chicken breasts that we halved before cooking. We cooked down the sauce for about 10 minutes because we wanted it good and rich. I suppose it isn’t as good as a 4 hour recipe but I’ll never know – not willing to spend that much time. This was ideal.

    1. Hey Victor,
      Wonderful! Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a go, I am so glad it was enjoyed. Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

    1. Hey Debbie,
      So so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! Happy Sunday:) xTieghan

  9. 2 stars
    I’m sorry, but I have had great coq au vin, but this wasn’t even close. It was nice to put it the crock pot, but the flavor that I expected, just wasn’t tere. I can’t rate this more than a 2.

    1. Hey Dave,
      Sorry you did not enjoy the recipe, please let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

    1. Hey Erin,
      I would add 10-15 minutes to your cooking time. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  10. Love this recipe. Is there also a recipe for the mashed potatoe?
    What have you added to these?
    Thank you

  11. I love this recipe!!! Quick easy and tastes like it’s been cooking for hours. I’ve sometimes made it with a little chorizo instead of bacon. And I’ve thrown in tiny potatoes and let them cook along with everything in the instant pot instead of making mashed potatoes. So good!

    1. Hey Kirsten,
      I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! Have the best week. xTieghan