by Olena

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

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Olena Osipov
5 from 19 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.

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.

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

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.

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

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.
2 Frozen Chicken Breasts on a plate

Do I Have to Add Seasonings?

Not really.

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.

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.:)

Tips for Cooking

  • Make sure to place meat on a trivet. It just comes out better this way.
  • 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 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.
cooked frozen chicken breasts on a trivet in Instant Pot

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.

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.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot frozen chicken breast
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

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 without thawing.
4.95 from 19 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Meal Prep
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 195kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


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


  • To the Instant Pot, add water and place trivet inside.
  • Lay frozen chicken breasts in a single layer. Make sure they are separated.
  • 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.*
  • 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.
  • Open the lid and your chicken breasts are ready for meal prep, casseroles, salads etc.
  • Shred or cube, and save the stock at the bottom for soup.

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.


      *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.:)


      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.

      54 comments on “Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

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      1. I am a wife and mom of 4. My husband has always done the cooking in our house. I am not a very cook and therefore have never really enjoyed cooking. Recently, my husband has succumbed to a disease that has left him with a limited ability to move and therefore not able to cook. Now the cooking is all on me! In researching ways to figure out how to cook, I recently came across your Instagram! So…I have just purchased an instant pot and I’m ready to get started! I’m excited about learning to cook, but I’m also very nervous! I’m going to try cooking the frozen chicken as my first attempt. I’ll let you know how it goes! You make it look so easy! 😊

        1. Hey Juli! You got this! I hope you find that the instant pot makes dinner preparation that much easier for you in these trying times. Take care and happy cooking!

      2. I just received my first instant pot (off brand) air fryer combo. I’m using this recipe as my first attempt with cooking with it. The book that came with has minimal directions.

      3. 5 stars
        Great quick recipe for frozen chicken to add to any dish! Thank you! I was able to use the chicken cooked in 16 minutes to several of my favorite recipes!

      4. 5 stars
        I’ve made frozen chicken breast recipes for specific meals in the instant pot a few times since getting one and the second try was not so great. The meat was a little tough, but looking back at that recipe it called for 25 mins. It was not from your site, but I’ve always had luck with your recipes so I followed your instructions and cooked approx 2 lbs of chicken that looked thick enough for the 18 min time. I used chicken bone broth, some green salsa for the top of the chicken breasts, and topped each with a couple sliced jalapenos. It actually turned out great. I feel I might have had too much liquid (if that is a thing), because they were slightly on the tough side but after shredding and adding back a small amount of the broth they were great for tacos! I will be using the left over liquid for some rice or quinoa in the instant pot. I checked the temp of the chicken and it was going over 180 degrees F so I know they were fully cooked. I appreciate all of your recipes and tips within for alternate things that pop up. I had to reference your info on the dreaded burn message the other day that I got the first time and I was able to add water, stir, and resume. So thank you so much!

      5. 5 stars
        Well done! I added leftover rice to the broth and sauteed. So busy canning and needed a quick, nutritious meal. Thank you!

      6. Thanks you for explaining this method of cooking frozen chicken with clear and exact details!!! Most sites will over explain -& confuse –

      7. 5 stars
        This is such a great way to cook chicken in the summer and save all that broth for winter soups. Thanks so much for sharing!

      8. 5 stars
        Yeah second time using my IP and they came out great. My husband couldn’t believe they cooked frozen four of them in 18 mins and saw juicy and tender.

      9. I have a “one tray” recipe that I like but I don’t like how long it takes in the oven. Plus, the chicken that I want to use is frozen. Could I put chicken and canned carrots, potatoes, and green beans and italian season in with it while it cooks?

        1. Unfortunately not because veggies will almost disintegrate. Since they are canned and almost cooked already, I would cook breast first and then add everything else and cook for 1 minute.

      10. 5 stars
        Thank you Olena. I have a small Maltese who has some digestive issues. I can’t feed her store bought rotisserie chicken without problems as they normally are spiced with garlic etc., which is deadly for dogs. She has no teeth so your Instapot recipe works wonders for her. Adding carrots and other veggies beats store bought dog food. And us too as we love the chicken in so many recipes for ourselves. Thank you!

      11. 5 stars
        thank you for the recipe—-in the Instant Pot booklet, it never said anything about adding water to the pot when pressure cooking! Thank you for that life saving reminder!

      12. 5 stars
        Thanks for this recipe it’s the first I tried in my new insta-pot. Clear Simple instruction usually produces excellent results and ‘this recipe did not disappoint. Thanks

      13. Hi Olena,
        I wrote a review about this recipe a couple of week ago and noticed that it had not been posted. I just wanted to apologize if I came off as negative or combative. I LOVE your website and recipes, but have been told by friends and family that sometimes I can come off as “harsh” in texts and writing. I appreciate what you do, and hope that I did not offend you or hurt your feelings! Take care, Sara
        Oh… and I assume this will not be published, lol!

        1. Hi Sara. I am so happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes. To be perfectly honest I do not read negative comments and since there are so many to go through each day I don’t even remember if I saw it ever. So we are all good. 🙂

      14. 5 stars
        Thank you Olena for the frozen chicken breast recipe. I love baking and cooking for my wonderful husband Greg. We live on a farm in Kentucky and my husband works in our town of Bowling Green. My Instant Pot is wonderful, as you stated for meal preparation. Tonight is chicken and dumplings night. I wasn’t sure if it was safe to pressure cook chicken in my machine….so you answered my question. Thank you. Best wishes to you and yours! Andrea

      15. 5 stars
        Excellent recipe. I sprinkled some garlic powder, dill weed and oregano on two frozen breasts stuck together. After looking at the comments, I decided to put it on for about 19, since they were on the larger side. They came out very flavorful. I love this recipe because it eliminates the thawing process and the 40 minute plus time in the oven. *****

      16. 4 stars
        I only had a frozen bone-in breast, 2 1/2” thick, and I did 15 min, then 3 min, then 5 min, then 5 min, and 5 min more before my meat thermometer read 165 degrees. What do you suggest next time as I have two more of these suckers?

        1. I would do 20 mins. When you open and close IP, steam escapes so total cook time isn’t addition of all those times. 20 mins should do!

      17. 5 stars
        Great and simple recipe. 1 cup of water, 6 small frozen chicken breasts, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Manual setting for 15 minutes, and quick pressure release after 5 minutes. Used the water to make rice.

      18. It was not even close to the proper temp coming out. I had to put it back in for 5 min–still not done. 5 more, still not done. Another 5, finally to temp. I realize I only let it sit for 2-3 minutes after the beep but that shouldn’t affect it so much it needs to cook another 15 minutes!
        I have an 8 at instantpot and will start with more time next time. No idea why it didn’t work for me, super disappointed because everything else got cold waiting for chicken.

        1. It could be the altitude. Also make sure breast are separated and do let pressure come down for 5 mins before venting. Increase cooking time by 5 mins only as more will result in rubbery meat. IP doesn’t work this way like stove if you recluse and add cook time then that’s your new cook time. Extra 15 mins is too much.

          1. Altitude should not effect cooking times. The pressure is contained in the pot.
            Next time if you are pressed for time in getting your meal on the table, begin with thawed breast. Also you pre-heat your liquid and bring your pot up to pressure faster.

            1. Altitude, or atmospheric pressure, will affect the initial pressure the pot starts out at. Altitude will definitely play a part, that being said, cooking times should get shorter instead of longer the higher the altitude.

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