by Olena

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

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Olena Osipov
5 from 20 votes

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast is one of the best features of an electric pressure cooker. Easy, healthy and juicy chicken breast in 25 minutes. By cooking frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot, you will never be stuck wondering what is for dinner because you forgot to thaw chicken in the morning! The result is always amazing and can be used for a variety of dishes.

Every Instant Pot owner needs to have this frozen chicken breast recipe in their back pocket. Got fresh ones? See our Instant Pot fresh chicken breast recipe or if you have a whole frozen chicken, follow the recipe for Instant Pot frozen whole chicken. If you are meal prepping, shredded chicken will be where you need to go!

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

I hate to sound like a broken record but if you have been cooking my recipes for a while, you know I am obsessed with my Instant Pot. And Instant Pot frozen chicken tops the list. Heck, I even thaw ground meat in Instant Pot. And who am I kidding – I cook with frozen ground turkey – just see my taco soup video.

A gal can never have too many Instant Pots for cooking frozen poultry! I have 2 Instant Pots – 8 quart Duo and 6 quart LUX. In fact 3 – one is Cosori.

I also decided to dedicate my entire Youtube cooking channel to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips. My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot. So make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

More Instant Pot Resources

Why Recipe for Frozen Chicken Breast Instant Pot Works?

  • No thawing required – yes that is correct, cook from frozen!
  • Ready to use as is for dinner or in a recipe – in less than 25 minutes.
  • 2 ingredients – only the frozen chicken and water, so easy.
  • Meal prep to use all week in a variety of healthy dishes!

How to Cook Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot

Make Sure Breasts Are Separated

I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure your frozen chicken breasts are separated. Just like pictured below.

If you add a blob of frozen breasts stuck together, they will not cook inside and overcook outside.

  1. Tray with fresh breasts: Do not stick entire tray with fresh chicken breasts from the store in the freezer. Take a few minutes and line each breast with parchment paper and then freeze in a bag. To quickly remove paper, run under hot water before cooking.
  2. Freeze on a baking sheet: If you have room in the freezer, lay chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Once frozen, add to a Ziploc bag.
  3. Buy frozen: Frozen chicken breasts are already separated and are cheaper than fresh.

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast?

I would say chicken breasts under 2.5″ thick in the thickest part need 15 minutes as stated in the recipe. Over 2.5″ add 3 minutes totalling 18 minutes of cooking time.

Contrary to popular belief, cooking frozen meat in Instant Pot does not need longer cooking time. Electric pressure cooker just takes longer to come to pressure because inside temperature is lower.

What to Do If Chicken Is Not Cooked?

Sometimes it happens. Instant Pot is a computer, basically. So, it is not perfect. Altitude, pressure cooker size and type could be the factors. The best way to check is to poke the thickest part of the breast with a fork. If juices are a bit pink, cook 2 more minutes.

Seasonings and Variations

Not really for this recipe. After cooking frozen chicken breast Instant Pot, your chicken is essentially a blank canvas for adding to a variety of meals.

Very often chicken breasts are used for meal prep and to be added to other dishes. For example, I use it for healthy chicken pot pie or healthy chicken alfredo. I know meat will get mixed with sauce and veggies, and absorb the flavors. See more serving recommendations below!

That being said, you can sprinkle breasts with garlic powder, dried herbs, salt and pepper. But seasonings will not stick to frozen meat well and will end up at the bottom of the pot. Making a flavorful broth which then could be made into stock or use in soups. 🙂

Cooking Frozen Chicken in Instant Pot Tips

  • You can fit as many chicken breasts as you can in a single layer. Do not double stack them. Usually it is 2-3 lbs depending on your pot’s size.

Make sure to place meat on a trivet. It just comes out better this way.

  • Make sure pressure release valve is turned to sealing.
  • It is OK to see a bit of steam coming out from pressure valve in the beginning. It might have moved from Sealing a bit. Move it slightly back with a long spoon.
  • If you are going to make shredded chicken after, then add a bit of cooking liquid to rehydrate when shredding.
  • I think it is OK to freeze cooked chicken breasts in portions for easy meals again.
  • Do not discard broth. Use it to make soup.

FAQs

What to do if my Instant Pot chicken is undercooked?

Place lid back on, close and cook for 2 more minutes. This time Instant Pot will come to pressure much faster because its contents are hot. Also make sure valve is set to Sealing.

Can you overcook frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot?

No one likes overcooked chicken, but that is the beauty of the Instant Pot when cooking chicken from fresh or frozen! The steam provides a moist environment resulting in a moist chicken.

Can I cook frozen chicken thighs in Instant Pot?

Yes, see Instant Pot Chicken Thighs for details.

Can you freeze leftovers of Instant Pot frozen chicken breast?

Yes! Cool completely then freeze in freezer safe bag. I like to cube or shred before freezing. Perfect way to meal prep.

Can you have skin on for cooking frozen chicken in Instant Pot?

Yes, but it won’t be crisp. You could cook in Instant Pot, transfer to oven safe pan and broil for a few minutes to get skin crispy (similar to how we do with pork carnitas).

How long will bone in frozen chicken breast need to cook?

This works well, just add a few minutes to the cooking time.

Serving Recommendations

Instant pot frozen chicken recipes – but really the sky is the limit for this frozen poultry!

Alternately, browse these 65 chicken recipes and use in recipe that calls for cooked chicken!

healthy chicken alfredo

Making In Advance

Make Ahead/Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot frozen chicken breast
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast {No Thawing!}

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast is one of the best features of an electric pressure cooker. Easy, healthy and juicy chicken breast in 25 minutes. By cooking frozen chicken breast in Instant Pot, you will never be stuck wondering what is for dinner because you forgot to thaw chicken in the morning! The result is always amazing and can be used for a variety of dishes.
4.95 from 20 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Meal Prep
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 195kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lbs boneless chicken breasts fresh or frozen*
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • To the Instant Pot, add water and place trivet inside.
  • Lay frozen chicken breasts in a single layer. Make sure they are separated.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
  • Sprinkle with spices if using any. Toss to coat evenly with tongs or hands.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High (Duo model) or Manual (LUX) for 15-18 minutes.*
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
  • Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  • After 15 minutes your chicken is ready, Instant Pot will beep and display will say OFF.
  • Wait 5 minutes and do Quick Release by turning sealing valve to Venting position.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
  • Open the lid and your chicken breasts are ready for meal prep, casseroles, salads etc.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
  • Shred or cube, and save the stock at the bottom for soup.
    Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.

      Notes

      *I would say chicken breasts under 2.5″ thick in the thickest part need 15 minutes as stated in the recipe. Over 2.5″ add 3 minutes totalling 18 minutes of cooking time.
      You can sprinkle breasts with garlic powder, dried herbs, salt and pepper. But seasonings will not stick to frozen meat well and end up at the bottom of the pot. Making a flavorful broth.:)

      Nutrition

      Calories: 195kcal | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 249mg | Vitamin A: 94IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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