Italian Walnut Pesto Chicken (Pressure Cooker)

Here is a great dinner that can be made in your pressure cooker – full of textures and delicious Italian flavors. And when you serve it on a bed of our tasty Cauliflower Mash, it’s the perfect low carb meal.


Using a blender or mini food processor, mix up pesto/marinade. You can marinate the chicken in a container, but I prefer a Ziploc bag as it ensures the marinade to be in contact with all sides of the meat.

Before adding marinated chicken into the pressure cooker, scrape off marinade (but reserve!) and sear in a hot skillet for about 3 minutes per side, until nice and golden. This will add to the overall flavor and help the skin from getting too rubbery from the pressure cooker… oops,  I forgot to do this step 🙁

Then place the chicken on a trivet inside the pressure cooker (see below for more information on the trivet I use), top with marinade and set timer.



Italian Lemon Chicken

Marla Hingley
Made for the pressure cooker, but can be easily made in the oven as well.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4


  • 4 quarter chickens or 4-6 breasts, bone-in
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 1 cup water or broth

Walnut Pesto

  • 1/2 cup olive or avocado oil divided
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 4-6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Saute the onion in 2 Tbsp of oil until lightly golden (you don't have to do this step, however it will add more flavor to the pesto).
  • In a small food processor, add 1/4 cup oil, sauteed onions, tomatoes, seasoning and garlic. Blend until smooth. Squeeze in a 2 Tbsp of the lemons juice, add walnuts and salt, pulsing a few times to chop them fine (don't over process into a paste).
  • Put chicken and marinade into a Ziploc bag, mixing until chicken is thoroughly coated. Chill for 2-24 hours.
  • For skinless chicken - place directly into pressure cooker. For chicken with skin - scrape marinade off chicken (reserving), and sear both sides in a hot skillet with 2 Tbsp of oil, about 3 minutes/side.
  • Put rack into the pressure cooker, then pour in water/broth. Add chicken in a single layer, and spoon all of the marinade over top to cover chicken. Arrange lemon wedges (even those you squeezed) around chicken and set timer - each model is different, approx 25-35 minutes.
  • Once cooked, place chicken on a baking pan and broil for 5-8 minutes - this allows the nuts in the topping to brown, adding more flavor.
  • If desired, pour liquid from pressure cooker into a skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce by half, then drizzle over chicken to serve.


We served this flavorful chicken on a bed ofCauliflower Mash, which keeps this meal low carb.
To cook in oven - place chicken and ingredients into a baking dish (big enough so chicken pieces are not overlapping). Cook at 400°F for 40-50 minutes, or until fully cooked.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
See also
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Curried Cauliflower

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Keto-Friendly/Low Carb Recipe

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