Healthy boneless chicken breasts can be shredded, sliced, or diced, and used as the base for countless healthy recipes, and when you cook them in the Instant Pot pressure cooker they can go from frozen OR fresh chicken breasts to fully cooked with just 10 minutes cooking time.
Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe
How many times have you come home and realized you’ve forgotten to pull the chicken from the freezer for tonight’s dinner? If you’re like me, it’s way too many.
But since I discovered how to cook both frozen chicken breasts and/or fresh chicken breasts in the Instant Pot, those days are over.
It seems like all too often us recipe creators, aka food bloggers, get caught up in creating that totally unique recipe.
The recipe that intrigues.
The recipe that nobody’s ever thought of before.
But the reality is, while those recipes are fun to bookmark and make every so often, it’s the basics for daily cooking that we really need. Like how to cook the basic boneless chicken breast, and how to cook it fast.
And once I started cooking chicken breasts STRAIGHT FROM THE FREEZER in my Instant Pot, I realized I needed to share with you how you can do the same.
So let’s talk basics.
Cooking Chicken Breasts In the Instant Pot
Using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to cook any ingredient—especially when you’re meal prepping nutritious meals —is a time saving game changer.
Using a pressure cooker shaves off valuable hands-on cooking time, and unlike cooking on the stove top, there’s no monitoring with a watchful eye for liquids boiling over, or turning the temp down, or even stirring…instead, cooking can be a completely hands-off affair.
But the real beauty of cooking chicken breasts in the Instant Pot is you can use either fresh or still frozen chicken breasts and literally toss them into the Instant Pot with no defrosting needed.
That’s why this method has been my “what’s for dinner” meal saver more than once.
Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Ingredients
I kept this Instant Pot chicken breast recipe super simple and didn’t doctor up the meat with additional seasonings or sauces. I wanted you to have a basic Instant Pot chicken recipe so that you could easily use the cooked meat in any dish you desire.
With that said, here’s what you’ll need to make pressure cooker chicken breasts:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- Black peppercorns
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
I tend to cook skinless boneless breasts most often, simply for the ease of it. And my method is so simple it’s scary:
- Remove the chicken breast from the fridge or freezer and add to the Instant Pot insert. Use a metal rack with handles if you’d like, or you can skip the rack if you prefer.
- I typically cook 3 breasts at at time for my little family, which yields about 6 cups of shredded chicken. To cook more chicken breasts at once, layer the chicken side by side if frozen or stacked if fresh.
- Add 1 cup of water plus kosher salt and black peppercorns.
- Set the cooking time for just 10 minutes.
- Be sure your chicken has an internal temperature of 165° F to be cooked through.
- BOOM! You instantly have cooked chicken breast that is juicy and tender and ready to eat as is or use as a base for so many more recipes.
Once the pressure cooker has finished the 10 minutes cooking time, simply flick the quick release the lever (I use the handle of a wooden spoon to avoid the steam), allow the steam to escape, and use tongs to pull the chicken straight from the pot to a cutting board to shred, slice or dice for whatever means you’re it preparing for.
If Cooking Frozen Chicken Breasts in Instant Pot…
If your chicken breasts are frozen, you don’t have to defrost the chicken, the Instant Pot will do the work for you. The chicken cooks best if the chicken breasts aren’t in a block, but individually frozen instead.
If you have a larger block of chicken, allow for more cooking time (you will have to play with the timing depending on how big your block is).
Can I Use Bone-In Chicken Breasts?
Yes, I just prefer using boneless chicken breasts because they’re easier to shred and repurpose in other dishes. But if you only have bone-in chicken breasts you’re welcome to use those instead.
Can I Add Other Seasonings?
But of course! Like I said, I wanted to keep this base recipe as simple as possible so it’s easier for you to jazz up as you see fit.
Tips for Making Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
Like any pressure cooker recipe, allow extra time for the pressure cooker to come up to temperature. This typically takes about 5 to 7 minutes, but depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts and how many you stack in the insert, it could take longer. I don’t have the exact time for this since each of you are different, so you will have to play with it.
With this Instant Pot chicken breast recipe using 3 boneless chicken breasts, there’s no need for any additional time needed for the instant pot to natural release the steam.
Also note that you can make chicken stock in an Instant Pot as well.
Stock from chicken cooked in the Instant Pot is incredibly delicious, especially when using bone-in chicken breasts for all that rich flavor that comes from bones. If you’re interested in making homemade chicken broth in an Instant Pot instead of just chicken breasts, follow the directions in my recipe for the Best Chicken Stock ever.
Use the stock to make gravy or use as a soup base, by adding these additional ingredients:
- chicken boullion cubes
- root vegetables such as parsnip or turnips
- garni of herbs like parsley, thyme, bay leaves
Recipes to Make Using Instant Pot Chicken Breast
Cooked chicken breast is one of the easiest bases for any weeknight soup, tacos, salads or even on it’s own for dinner. Here’s a few to think about making with your Instant Pot meal prepped chicken.
- 5-Ingredient Chipotle Chicken Taquitos
- Italian Chicken Wrap
- Autumn Cobb Salad
- Avocado Cream and Chicken Suiza Enchiladas Recipe
- Beyond Easy Chicken Mole Enchiladas
- Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Whole Wheat Pasta
- Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
- Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Stuffed Bell Peppers
- The Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
How to Cook Instant Pot Chicken Breasts (from Fresh or Frozen)
- 3 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5-6 whole peppercorns
Place the chicken and the water in the insert of a 6-quart Instant Pot or pressure cooker and sprinkle with the kosher salt and peppercorns.
Select High Pressure and set the timer for 10 minutes. When the timer sounds, use the Natural Pressure release, and allow the valve to drop and carefully remove the lid.
Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and shred, dice, or slice. Serve hot or chill to use for later.
Like any pressure cooker recipe, allow extra time for the pressure cooker to come up to temperature. This typically takes about 5 to 7 minutes, but depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts and how many you stack in the insert, it could take longer. I don't have the exact time for this since each of you are different, so you will have to play with it.
More Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Want to Make Too
- Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe for Steel Cut Oats or Rolled Oats
- Baby Back Ribs In the Instant Pot
- Creamy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese Five Ways
- Instant Pot Beef Stew with Butternut Squash
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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