How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
4.94 from 15 reviews

Chicken Instant Pot Recipes Kitchen Tips Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 20 minutes

Check the easy way of how to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot for a quick, and very delicious dinner in just about 30 minutes! The cooked meat is juicy, flavor and tender. Serve it as it is or use it as part of other recipes like salads, wraps, or casseroles.

Instant Pot Recipes make dinner time preparation easy and stress-free. Regardless if you have frozen or fresh meat on your hands, you can still make a great meal that the whole family will love. Check How to Cook Raw Chicken Breast in the Instant Pot or How to Make Shredded Chicken for more delicious options.

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breasts

When you have an Instant Pot you can make so many delicious recipes in a fraction of the time. One of the best perks of owning one is that you can make many meals without defrosting the meat. With these easy steps on How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot, you will see how hassle-free cooking with frozen meat can be.

How many times did it happen to you to plan a tasty dinner, and only to realize that you forgot to thaw the meat or that you don’t have fresh chicken breasts on hand?! This is the scenario that usually leads to either eating cereal after work or ordering delivery.

Once you see how easy is to cook frozen meat in the Instant Pot, you won’t have this problem again. In this post, I will explain to you how to cook instant pot chicken breast using frozen meat.

This basic method of how to cook frozen chicken breast recipe will always be handy, so make sure to Pin the infographic and save or print the recipe!

If you are looking how to cook Frozen Ground Beef in the Instant Pot, you should check my recipe, it definitely saves taco night! Also, see how to cook a frozen whole chicken, frozen chicken wings, and frozen pork tenderloin.

Ingredients Needed:

  1. Frozen boneless chicken breasts – make sure they are not stuck-frozen to each other. This is important, as it may not cook uniformly.
  2. Water or Chicken Broth – I like using the broth for extra flavor.
  3. White wine – The white wine can be replaced with either water or chicken broth.
  4. Minced Garlic
  5. Butter – optional

Seasoning:

Chicken doesn’t have to be bland. If you take a few minutes to mix these dried herbs and sauté the chicken, you will end up with a very flavorful and delicious dinner! Also, way quicker than baking the chicken breasts. Here are the herbs that I used:

How do you cook frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot?

This will quickly become one of your favorite chicken recipes when you will see how convenient it is. Therefore, the best part is that you don’t have to thaw the meat! This is such a time saver, especially when you are in a rush!

Cooking time is reduced by a lot in comparison to grilling or baking it in the oven, especially if you still need to wait to defrost it. The end result is flavorful and very juicy chicken breast that you can either enjoy right away or store and use as protein on salads. It makes meal prep so much easier.

  1. Prepare the ingredients: First, start by gathering the ingredients and also make sure the meat pieces are not stuck together. They need to be separated.
  2. Add the ingredients to the pot: Next, add the meat to the pot, it’s ok if the pieces overlap. After that, add the cooking liquid, garlic, butter, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and thyme.
  3. Pressure cook: After that, close the lid, point the valve to sealing, and pressure cook based on the size of the breasts. Refer to the infographic above for the exact cooking time.
  4. Release pressure: Once done cooking, release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, and after that quick release the remaining pressure.
  5. Temperature: Using a meat thermometer check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast. The meat is safe to consume if it reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Rest: Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 5-8 minutes.
  7. Serve: Finally, you can serve it as it is, shred it, chop it or slice it.

How to make it crispy:

  1. Pressure cook: First, follow the instructions above and pressure cook the meat.
  2. Discard the liquid: After that, when the cooking time ends, set the cooked chicken aside on a plate and cover it with foil. Discard the liquid from the pot.
  3. Saute: Click on saute and add the olive oil, once hot, add the chicken, sprinkle with the seasoning, and sear it in batches until golden-brown.
  4. Serve: Baste it with the liquid from the pot, garnish with fresh herbs and serve.

How long you should cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot or other Pressure Cooker?

  • 6-8 ounces frozen chicken breast – pressure cook for 8-9 minutes at high pressure, 10 minutes natural release, and release manually any remaining pressure.
  • 9-10 ounces frozen chicken breasts – pressure cook for 10-12 minutes at high pressure, 10 minutes natural release, and release manually any remaining pressure.
  • 11-12 ounces frozen chicken breasts – pressure cook for 13-15 minutes at high pressure, 10 minutes natural release, and release manually any remaining pressure.

Recipe Variations:

  • Seasoning: Use your favorite herbs, garlic powder, and onion powder to add extra flavor. Also, when browning the cooked chicken use Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, or cajun seasoning for extra flavor.
  • Sauce: Add a cup of your favorite sauce when pressure cooking the frozen breasts. As an alternative try Buffalo sauce, barbecue sauce, or Ranch. After that, add the chicken to a bowl and use the cooking liquid to shred it. Add a little at a time and stir to combine.
  • Citrus: Add a halved lemon to the pot, after cooking place the chicken onto a baking sheet, brush with honey, and top with lemon slices. Next. broil the chicken for a few minutes and serve.

How to serve:

  • Serve the cooked chicken breasts as is, with a side of roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple salad.
  • As an alternative, chop or slice the meat and serve it as part of a salad, burrito, quesadillas, wrap, or sandwich.
  • Another option is to use the cooked meat to make chicken salad or to use it in casseroles.
  • Use it in soups or to make white chicken chili.

Can I brown Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot?

Now, that’s a no-no. Do not attempt to brown frozen meat of any type. Another way to make the chicken tastier is after you cook it, quickly rinse the pot, select Sauté and brown it for a few minutes.

What is Natural Pressure Release (NPR)?

Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm and wait 10 minutes, or simply do NOT turn the valve from the sealing position.

Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes, and after that open the valve. After this, you open the valve and let any leftover pressure release, this is already called quick release. 

A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta, or steel-cut oats. This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.

How to store:

  • Cool: First, let the cooked meat cool to room temperature.
  • Refrigerate: After that, add it to an airtight container and store leftovers in the fridge for 4-5 days.
  • Freeze: As well, let the meat cool first. After that add it to freezer bags or to an airtight freezer-safe container. Before doing this, we recommend wrapping each breast individually in plastic wrap and in foil to keep it fresh. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw: Finally, when ready to use it, transfer the frozen chicken from the freezer to the fridge and thaw it overnight.
  • Reheat: When ready to reheat, either microwave it, or add a bit of oil to a skillet over medium heat and sear for a few minutes.

Frozen chicken breast in the instant pot

How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot

Check the easy way of how to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts In The Instant Pot for a quick, and very delicious dinner in just about 30 minutes!
4.94 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Coming to Pressure and NPR: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 chicken breasts
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen chicken breasts (boneless and skinless (about 6-8 ounces each frozen))
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves

Optional Chicken Seasoning:

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Garnish:

  • Fresh thyme
  • Chopped parsley
  • Lemon slices

Instructions

  • Before you add the chicken to the Instant Pot make sure it's not stuck together.
  • Add frozen chicken breast to the Instant Pot. It is okay if the breasts overlap.
  • Add water or chicken broth, white wine, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper. Gently stir to combine.
  • Add bay leaves and fresh thyme.
  • Place the lid and lock it, make sure to point the valve to sealing.
  • Pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes for small chicken breasts or 10 minutes, for medium chicken breasts. It will take the pot about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • Once the cooking is done and the Instant Pot beeps, do a 10-minute Natural Pressure Release, after that open the valve to release the remaining pressure.
  • Check the internal temperature of the chicken, it should be at least 165 degrees F.
  • You can chop it and serve it as it is, or you can shred it for chicken tacos. Or follow the instructions below for my Herbed Instant Pot Chicken.

Make Herbed Chicken:

  • Remove chicken from the pot and set aside on a plate, cover with aluminum foil.
  • Quickly discard the liquid, thyme, and bay leaves from the pot. Wash it and dry it with a paper towel.
  • Add the pot back to the Instant Pot and select Sauté.
  • Once Hot add the olive oil, let the oil heat up for 1 minute. Add the chicken to the pot in one layer, if needed cook it in batches.
  • Sprinkle over the seasoning: dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes. Brown the chicken on each side without turning it for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove chicken from the pot and add it to a cutting board. Using a spoon, baste the chicken with the juices from the pot, top it with all the delicious browned herbs.
  • Cover with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Slice the chicken and serve.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 860mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 365IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1.7mg
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Comments

Leave a reply

Clyn6

Tried this last night. I had 3 XL size breasts frozen side by side in a big brick, just barely fit into the pot (horizontal), probably 3 inches thick. Since it was all stuck together in a big brick I cooked it 22 minutes. I added 3 cups of water and 1/2 a bag of powdered Italian dressing/seasoning mix. The 3 breasts separated while cooking, it did not stay all stuck together. It turned out great! I added some cooked barley to the water-juice and shredded some chicken and what a yummy soup that made as well! Next time I will cook it with the barely at the same time, as I did with my beef roast.

Reply

Terri

Just got an instant pot and the one thing you have to know (I didn’t) was that the cooker takes about ten minutes to build up pressure before the cook time starts, and then when it’s done, depending on the recipe, oftentimes you have to let the pressure naturally release, which is another 10min or more, so the time saving isn’t as super as it sounds. Still learning too!

Reply

It depends on the recipe. For example, making a pot roast is still much quicker, also cooking frozen meat is definitely a time saver!

Reply

[email protected]

Can rice be added to this?

Reply

no, the cooking time is different for rice.

Reply

CarbonK

I never leave comments but I had to on this! I made this recipe as written (herbed instructions), except I only had dried thyme, so I used about 1 tsp added to the cooking liquid. This was The.Best.Chicken. I have ever eaten!!! The searing and basting at the end pushed it into epic territory, do not skip this step! I used only 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes and it was a nice subtle but noticeable spice (the brand of flakes I use are very spicy)! Thank you, Catarina, you have created a recipe that my family and I will enjoy for a lifetime!

Reply

Thank you for your review! Really glad you and your family loved it!

Reply

[email protected]

I followed this exactly and when I opened my Instant Pot, it seems the chicken isn’t cooked through yet.... Adding more time.

Reply

Maybe your pieces were larger, to be precise usually, you have to use a kitchen scale to see the weight, but just add a few more minutes and it will be fine.

Reply

Terry B

Is the cooking time the same if you add potatoes and carrots (or one or the other)

Reply

The cooking time is for the chicken, the potatoes and carrots will cook quicker, so you still have to use the same cooking time if you want your chicken done.

Reply

April

This recipe was amazing! It was my first time cooking chicken breasts in the Instapot from frozen and they turned out perfectly. Mine were a solid medium sized so cooked for 9 minutes and did the 10 min NPR. So yum😄

Reply

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