Learn how to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot pressure cooker and use in your favorite chicken recipes. This easy cooking method is a huge time saver, and you'll never have to worry about defrosting chicken for dinner again!
If you've ever forgotten to defrost chicken for dinner, you're going to love how easy it is to cook them from frozen in your pressure cooker! No more changing dinner plans at the last minute or ordering takeout -- This easy Instant Pot recipe saves the day!
I try to cook fresh with chicken whenever possible, but whenever there's a sale on chicken breasts, we stock up! I used to hate freezing chicken because it was such a pain to defrost -- I always forgot to set it out!
But, you can cook chicken directly from the freezer right in your Instant Pot. For this recipe, we'll focus on cooking basic, plain chicken. But, you can use it and adapt it for just about any recipe that calls for cooked chicken!
How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot
First, place the frozen chicken directly into the inner pot. You don't need to use a trivet. Just add them to the pot. I like to use my 8 quart for this because it has a larger surface area, but you can use any size for the basic method.
Next, add ½ cup of water or chicken broth for the 6 quart or 1 cup for the 8 quart. The frozen chicken will release extra liquid as it defrosts, but you can use the recommended amount of liquid for your model if you're more comfortable with that.
You can season the chicken when pressure cooking or wait until later if you're using the cooked chicken in another recipe. I usually add a little salt and pepper and maybe a little garlic powder. But this part is up to you.
How Long to Pressure Cook
How long to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot depends on how thick they are. The same applies when cooking fresh chicken.
Cook thin frozen chicken breasts for 12 to 15 minutes. Cook thicker pieces for 15 to 20 minutes. Always allow a 10 minute natural release, and quick release the remaining pressure.
Shred with Mixer
You can shred the cooked chicken in the pot with your electric mixer -- super quick and easy! I make shredded chicken all the time for tacos, and it's a great time saver. You can also cut it up to use for chicken salad or pasta salad.
Cook with Sauce
How to Store
You can store the shredded chicken or chicken breasts in a covered container in the refrigerator. The cooked meat will keep for 3 to 4 days. For longer storage, place the cooked chicken in a freezer safe container and freeze. According to the USDA, it's safe to freeze the cooked chicken. Reheat within 4 to 6 months for best quality.
Tips for Success
- Freeze fresh chicken breasts flat in a freezer bag, not touching each other if possible. This makes it easier to fit in the Instant Pot, and it will cook evenly.
- You can cook frozen chicken breasts stuck together as long as it's not one big lump. Try to break them apart, but I have cooked them with sides stuck together with success.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. Cooked chicken should be at least 165 degrees.
- Cook chicken for an additional 5 minutes if internal temperature is not 165 degrees.
Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in Instant Pot
- 3 small chicken breasts about 1½ to 2 pounds
- 1 cup water or chicken broth
- salt and pepper if desired
- Place the frozen chicken in the Instant Pot
- Add water or chicken broth
- Add salt, pepper if desired, or your favorite seasonings
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and make sure valve is set to sealing. Hit Pressure Cook for 15 minutes
- Pot will take a few minutes to reach pressure, then will begin counting down and cook. When pot beeps, allow a 10 minute natural release, then quick release remaining pressure
- When pin drops, carefully remove lid. Use a meat thermometer to ensure internal temperature is at least 165°. Add an additional 5 minutes of cooking time if it's not.
- Shred the chicken, or remove to use in desired recipe or refrigerate for later