1-Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo

This Filipino comfort food cannot get any easier! There’s minimal preparations involved, especially if you use dried seasonings in place of garlic and onion. There’s plenty of idle time in between to accomplish other things in the house, just don’t forget to set a timer.

This 1-Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo is inspired by my mom and has never failed pleasing all types of crowds (read: picky kids). My mom makes this dish for my kids every time we visit her in California and when she’s visiting us here in Massachusetts.

Quick and easy, and cooks in one pan or pot. Share as an appetizer by itself or as a main dish served with brown rice.

“Adobo” means marinade but this Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe doesn’t call for marinating before cooking. Just throw in all the ingredients in a pan or pot and let it marinate while simmering.

What kitchen tools will I need?

You don’t need much for this recipe. If you’re using dried seasonings, you’ll only need a pot or pan with lid and measuring spoons and cups.

  • large pot or pan with lid
  • cooking spoon or tongs
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • chopping board (not needed if using dried seasonings)
  • knife (not needed if using dried seasonings)

What heat level is recommended for cooking?

I have an electric stove with 1 – 10 heat range (1 being the lowest heat and 10 the highest). After the Chicken Adobo boils, I reduce the heat to 1.8. The low heat will give you a thin sauce perfect for pouring over brown rice. If you want a thicker sauce, simmer the Chicken Adobo over medium heat, about 2.5.

What substitutions can I make?

I use organic, antibiotic-free boneless and skinless chicken thighs for this Filipino Chicken Adobo. I don’t trim the fat off the chicken thighs unless it’s a really fatty batch. Leaving the small amount of fat on the chicken eliminates the use of added oil. The small amount of fat on the chicken is usually sufficient in preventing the meat and the whole dish from drying out. You can add oil later as needed.

Chicken breasts and legs, and pork will also work great, but you’ll have to increase the cooking time and may have to add olive oil or coconut oil.

What can I serve this with?

I make this a well-rounded meal by serving it with brown rice and vegetables. If you’ll be serving rice, DO start the cooking process—with instant pot, rice cooker or stove top—ahead of cooking the main dish or during idle time in the kitchen. This ensures that the rice is ready to serve along with your other dishes.

I use organic brown rice and cook them using a rice cooker with a stainless-steel pot. I don’t recommend using any rice cooker with a Teflon-coated pot.

For an even easier meal, I serve this Filipino Chicken Adobo using frozen organic vegetables like carrots, green beans and green peas. I just follow the package cooking directions about 10 minutes before the Adobo is done. The vegetables soaking up Adobo sauce is super delicious!

Read more: Beef + Green Beans Sauté | vEGGie Bake | Bacon + Green Beans Sauté

1-Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo

Simple, fragrant and tasty—the ultimate Filipino comfort food. Share as an appetizer by itself or as a main dish served with brown rice and a side of cooked vegetables.

🕔 45 minutes (quick and easy)
🥘 1 pan or pot
🌿 7 ingredients
🍴 6 servings


4 garlic cloves (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 small onion (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup less sodium soy sauce
2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 teaspoon honey, optional (for a sweeter version)


MINCE the garlic and SLICE the onion (skip this step if using dried seasonings). PLACE all ingredients in a large all-purpose pan or pot. Chicken thighs often come curled up in the package, unfold them when adding in the pan.

BRING to a boil then SIMMER on low heat, covered, for 20 minutes. TURN meat over and SIMMER, covered, for another 20 minutes, until meat is tender.

Slow cooker: Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours. Instant pot: Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Oven: Bake, covered, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour.

Would you try this recipe? If you did, how was it? Let us know in the comments below!

Roxanne of Mango + Paper

5 thoughts on “1-Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo

    1. Hi! I think it will still work without the sugar. It may just taste a little more tangy (which I don’t mind myself). I might try making it without the sugar, if I do I’ll make sure to let you know here. Thank you for reading! ~Roxanne

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