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Cooking frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot is just about the easiest way to get dinner on the table! This method results in super flavorful, juicy, and tender chicken breasts that you don’t even have to thaw. Perfect for quickly cooking chicken for another recipe, too. Check out my recipe for Instant Pot frozen chicken thighs, too!

Instant pot frozen chicken breast

😍 What Makes This Method So Good

  • We’ve all been there. Dinnertime rolls around, stomachs start growling. Suddenly, it hits you. You forgot to thaw the chicken for dinner. Don’t worry! You can take those frozen chicken breasts right out of the freezer and pop them straight into the Instant Pot with virtually zero prep, and definitely zero defrosting.
  • Instant Pot frozen chicken breasts (or frozen chicken thighs, if you’ve got those on hand) are fast and easy, and the chicken comes out perfectly cooked. Tender, moist, and juicy, not dry or tough or chewy. AND, because we’re pressure cooking, cooking perfect chicken only takes 10-15 minutes.
  • The usefulness of this method doesn’t stop at mealtime emergencies. I like to intentionally use it for weekly meal prep (it just makes life so EASY) and for recipes that call for already-cooked chicken. Basically, anytime I need or want to eliminate the whole “defrost the chicken in the fridge overnight” step, I just break out my trusty Instant Pot.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • You’ll want to use an Instant Pot trivet here so the frozen chicken breasts sit up and out of the broth. Essentially they’ll be steamed, rather than boiled. I have a trivet with feet and handles, but a trivet with just legs will work fine, too! Honestly, the trivet is probably my most-used Instant Pot accessory, so if you don’t already have one, I highly recommend getting one!
  • The cooking time will vary a little depending on the size of the chicken breasts you’re cooking. We’ve included a quick list of timing recommendations in the recipe card notes below. If you’re still unsure about the exact cooking time you need to use, set the timer for a minute or two less than recommended. You can put the chicken back in for another minute if needed, but you can’t walk back overcooked chicken.
  • We tested and perfected our Instant Pot frozen chicken breasts method using a 6-quart Instant Pot. If you’re using a larger pressure cooker, you may need to increase the amount of liquid used by ½-1 cup to prevent a burn notice.
  • If your Instant Pot is large enough that you can cook more 4 chicken breasts, you don’t need to adjust the cook time beyond what’s listed below. It’ll just take a little longer to fully pressurize before the cook time begins.
Instant Pot chicken breasts

🥘 More Easy Recipes We LOVE

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 16 votes

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breasts


Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 25 minutes
Cooking juicy, tender frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot be the easiest way to make dinner. No thawing needed!
4 servings

Equipment

  • Large plate or cutting board, or sheet of aluminum foil
  • Instant Pot
  • Instant Pot trivet
  • Tongs
  • internal meat thermometer

Ingredients

  • 4 medium frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts approximately 8 ounces each, see Notes
  • poultry seasoning or salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water

Instructions

  • Lay frozen chicken breasts out in one layer on plate, cutting board, or foil. Generously season tops of chicken breasts with poultry seasoning (or salt and pepper), gently rubbing seasoning into chicken. Flip chicken breasts over and repeat seasoning process on other side.
  • Place trivet in Instant Pot. Pour chicken broth (or water) into pot, then place frozen chicken breasts on trivet. Stacking or overlapping chicken breasts on trivet is fine.
  • Secure lid on Instant Pot and set vent to Sealing position. Set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure with 10-minute cook time (see Notes). Instant Pot will pressurize, then cook time will begin.
  • After cook time is up, Natural Release internal pressure 5 minutes, then Quick Release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove lid and set aside.
  • Check chicken breasts for doneness with internal meat thermometer. Internal temperature should read 160° to 162° Fahrenheit (see Notes). Remove chicken breasts from Instant Pot and set aside to rest 5 minutes.
  • After resting, shred, chop, or serve chicken as-is with desired sides. Alternately, use chicken for another recipe that calls for cooked chicken.

Video

  • Chicken Broth: Feel free to replace the chicken broth with pineapple juice, apple juice, vegetable broth, or other liquids depending on the flavor you’re looking for.
  • Seasoning: You can season the chicken with anything you like. All-purpose seasoning, poultry seasoning, BBQ dry rub, Tony Chachere’s, salt & pepper, and any dry spice blend will work just fine.
  • Internal Temperature: 165° Fahrenheit is the food-safe internal temperature recommendation for chicken. To prevent dry, tough, or chewy chicken breasts, we recommend you stop cooking when then internal temperature reaches 160°F and set the chicken aside to rest. The residual cooking during the rest time will bring the chicken to 165°F while keeping the chicken moist and juicy.
 
 

Recommended Cook Times Based on Size

  • For 4 chicken breasts, each weighing 6 ounces, set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 9 minutes.
  • For 4 chicken breasts, each weighing 8 ounces, set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes.
  • For 4 chicken breasts, each weighing 9-10 ounces, set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 12 minutes.
  • For 4 chicken breasts, each weighing 12 ounces, set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 14 minutes.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 265calProtein: 49gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 481mgPotassium: 857mgTotal Carbs: 1gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.3gNet Carbs: 1gVitamin A: 96IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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43 Comments

  1. Avatar Jason Parker says:

    Will Montreal chicken seasoning work?

    1. Avatar Savannah | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Sure!5 stars

  2. What if it isn’t cooked through?

    1. Avatar Savannah | 40 Aprons Team says:

      It depends on the ounces of your chicken breasts! The cooking times vary. 🙂5 stars

    2. If the chicken is not cooked through after the allotted time, you can throw them on the stove in a skillet over medium heat for 2-4 minutes!5 stars

  3. Avatar Carly Schneidenbach says:

    I was gifted an instapot and was looking for a basic chicken recipe. This is great! Thanks!5 stars

    1. Avatar Savannah | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Let us know how it goes!5 stars

  4. Is the weight above per breast or total? I have 2 breasts totaling 1 and 3/4 pounds

    1. Avatar Savannah | 40 Aprons Team says:

      Angie, the weight is for each breast. 🙂5 stars

  5. What size of instant pot did you use? Do you think the cook time and amount of liquid would remain the same for any size instant pot?

    1. Avatar Amelia Camurati says:

      Absolutely! As long as your chicken can ideally sit side by side for even cooking, any size should work! Mine is a six-quart Instant Pot!

    2. This is from the Instant Pot website:
      There are only two things you need to remember to use any recipe you want in any Instant Pot.
      1-Adjust quantities of each ingredient
      •Use half as much ingredients for a 3 Quart
      •Use at least 2 cups of water-based liquid for an 8 Quart
      2-Keep cooking time the same.

      I used an 8qt and came out perfect.5 stars

  6. Question- so do we just season the frozen chicken breasts and it’ll be flavorful and completely cooked in 14 min? New cook here and thinking about using my instapot for the first time tonight lol thanks in advance

    1. Avatar Amelia Camurati says:

      That’s right! I do the seasoning on the frozen chicken and try to pat it on a bit before transferring to the Instant Pot. Always make sure your chicken reaches 165 degrees F to be sure its safe.

  7. This looks so good! I’m new to IP. I love breasts and my husband loves a leg/thigh combo. Can they be cooked together without one getting over/under cooked? What about bone in? Can you do that in the IP too?

    1. Avatar Amelia Camurati says:

      You can definitely cook them together! Make sure they’re similar sizes, otherwise one will overcook or undercook. Bone-in also works but requires more time.

  8. I tried this recipe exactly as it was written, but it only cooked the outside of the meat. The inside was still frozen. Any suggestions?

    1. Avatar Amelia Camurati says:

      Likely a longer cook time! A lot of the chicken breasts today are MASSIVE and require a little longer cook time. If you can (before freezing), try to pound out the chicken breasts and make them more even for a better cook throughout.

  9. Avatar Whitney Craig Dupper says:

    I am the world’s worst cook, what If I only have 2 chicken breasts

    1. This recipe will be so easy for you, and if you only have 2 chicken breasts that’s fine. It will still cook for the same amount of time, just decrease the water a little!

  10. There were so good and easy!! Very moist. Thank you!5 stars

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