Go Back
+ servings

Instant Pot Pollo Pibil Recipe

Bring the Yucatan to your table with this traditional chicken dish. Achiote brings the flavor and color to this inviting meal. Though traditionally made with banana leaves, which may be difficult to find, you can make it without the banana leaves in the instant pot for a quick dinner. Serve with rice and tortillas.
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Achiote Chicken, Instant Pot Chicken, Pollo Pibil
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Pressurization: 20 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 340kcal


Marinade Ingredients

  • 3-1/2 ounces (100 grams) achiote paste
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 cloves)
  • 1 seeded and diced habanero pepper (optional)


  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces or 4 whole legs/thighs
  • ½ white onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 cloves)
  • Banana leaves (optional)


Make The Marinade:

  • Place the achiote, orange juice, oregano, lime juice, cumin, cloves, onion, tomato and garlic in the blender. If you are using the habanero, place it in the blender, too. Blend till smooth.

Brown The Chicken:

  • Press the Saute Button on High. When hot, add oil, and heat until it is shimmering.
  • Add the chicken pieces, skin side down, in the instant pot, or if using the banana leaves, follow the directions below. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, and then turn to brown the other side for about 2 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Deglaze The Pot:

  • Pour about a 1/4 cup of chicken broth in the Instant Pot and using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot to remove the bits of food that might be stuck to the bottom.

Pressure Cook The Chicken:

  • Return the browned chicken to the Instant Pot.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken. (You can marinate the chicken for a few hours if you want a more intense flavor.)
  • Seal the instant pot and pressure cook for 12 minutes. It will take extra time to build up the pressure.
  • When the chicken has finished cooking, slow release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
  • Serve with Mexican white rice and tortillas. This is also great with sliced cucumber and tomatoes.

Instructions If Using Banana Leaves

  • If you can find banana leaves, wash them thoroughly then heat them on a large pan to soften them.
  • Cut them into large pieces - large enough to wrap a piece of chicken.Brush the chicken with the marinade and place in the banana leaf.
  • Add a slice of onion and fold the banana leaf over the chicken, fold the other ends over to make a package.
  • Place in a large pan and cover with saran wrap. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and place on a trivet in the instant pot.
  • Add a half cup of water to the bottom of the pot and place the lid on the pot. Cook according to directions above.



  • If you like your food spicy, add a habanero chili to the marinade. It will spice things up!
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
  • This can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg