How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot
Let me teach you how to cook frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot in minutes! This deliciously quick and easy method produces juicy, tender and flavorful all-purpose shredded chicken, a great addition to so many different meals, such as this mushroom risotto, alfredo pasta or this strawberry spinach salad. A must for your weekly meal prep!!
- 2-4 frozen chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (Note 1)
- 2-4 cups chicken broth (Note 2)
- Place frozen chicken breasts in inner pot of your Instant Pot.
- Pour in chicken broth. You want most of the meat covered in liquid.
- Set the Instant Pot to Manual/Pressure Cook for 5 minutes on High. (NOTE: It took 8-10 minutes for my IP to come to pressure, depending on liquid amount.)
- Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR) for at least 20 minutes, and then carefully turn the valve to venting. Once the pin drops, carefully open the lid.
- Check the internal temperature of each chicken breast at the thickest part and make sure it had reached 165°F. (If they haven’t reached 165°F, then cover the Instant Pot, set it for another 2-3 minutes on high, followed by 10-minute NPR.)
- Using a pair of kitchen tongs, remove chicken breasts and shred with two forks, or a mixer.
Note 1: Make sure chicken breasts are frozen individually, and not lumped together. Thicker the chicken breasts, the longer it takes to cook it. The cook time in this recipe is for chicken breasts that are not thicker than 1.5 inches. If your chicken breasts are thicker, say 2-inch thick, increase the cook time to 6-7 minutes.
Note 2: Feel free to use different cooking liquid, such as combination of chicken broth and pickle juice, water and pickle juice with a little bit of salt, all pickle juice, etc.
I’ve tested and retested so many different ways to cook frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot. On the trivet, above the liquid, with and without sauces and seasonings, for 6, 10, 23 minutes of cooking time… You name it, I probably tried it.
And I can now confidently confirm that this’s the BEST way to cook frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot!
While I’ve achieved perfectly juicy chicken breasts cooked above the liquid on the trivet, but it took the longest time. And since we’re here to save time and get dinner on the table in least amount of time, we’re going with this method.
WHAT MAKES THIS METHOD DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER METHODS ON THE INTERNET?
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve tested many different methods and cook times. Most recipes on how to cook frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot instructs you to cook chicken breasts in 1 cup of water for 10-12 minutes and with very little (5 minutes) natural pressure release. However, I was getting inconsistent results with this method, depending on the size of chicken breasts.
With my method, cooking frozen chicken breasts, submerged in lots of liquid, cooked the chicken perfectly nearly every time!! And I say “nearly”, because again the cook time largely depends on the thickness of chicken breasts. In my testing, my chicken breasts were never over 1.5 inches thick and they cooked perfectly in 5 minutes, followed with 20-minute NPR.
Please remember that the chicken continues to cook during slow natural pressure release, so don’t be tempted to toggle the valve to venting sooner. You may end up with slightly under-cooked chicken.
HOW TO COOK FROZEN CHICKEN BREAST IN INSTANT POT?
It’s easy. Like ridiculously easy!
- Submerge frozen chicken breasts in liquid in inner pot of your Instant Pot.
- Set the Instant Pot for 5 minutes on high.
- Then wait for 20 minutes for Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure. This’s important step, because it’s still cooking the chicken breasts, and if you cut this time by quick releasing the pressure (turning the valve to venting), you may end up with undercooked chicken.
TIP: When cooking lots of chicken breasts, I like to use my mixer to shred the chicken!
TIPS TO COOK PERFECTLY JUICY INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREAST:
- Make sure chicken breasts are frozen individually, and not lumped together. Big chunk of meat takes longer to cook through! If your chicken breasts are frozen together, run it under cool water to separate them.
- Add 1-2 minutes to cooking time, if you have extra-thick chicken breasts, more than 2 inches.
- Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. It should register 165°F at the thickest part of chicken breast. (If they haven’t reached 165°F, then cover the Instant Pot, set it for another 2-3 minutes on high, followed by 10-minute NPR.)
- Feel free to use different cooking liquids. We loved pickle juice as a cooking liquid!
6 WAYS TO USE COOKED CHICKEN BREASTS:
- Add sliced chicken breast in salads, such as this strawberry spinach salad.
- Shredded chicken breast is great in this mushroom risotto.
- This chicken alfredo pasta can be served even faster if the chicken is cooked in advance!
- Mix the shredded chicken with your favorite bbq sauce and serve in a bun. Voila, a quick pulled chicken sandwich!
- Add into your cheese quesadillas for added protein.
- Cubed chicken breasts are also a great topping on your homemade pizza.
Possibilities are truly endless!!!