Basic Instant Pot Chicken Breast

If you are looking for an easy weeknight meal-prep idea the answer is Instant Pot chicken breast! You can prepare frozen chicken in the Instant Pot or thawed chicken in the Instant Pot.

After you prepare chicken in the Instant Pot, you can make any of our favorite chicken recipes on FFF!

Chicken on a cutting board

Why We Love the Instant Pot

You know what we are obsessed with right now? Our INSTANT POT. Have you noticed? LOL. We have posted some amazing Instant Pot recipes over the past couple months and we can’t stop, won’t stop!

If you have been following our Instant Pot journey, you know that we had some reservations about the Instant Pot at first. Why? Because we were scared. The noise of pressure cooking was intimidating, the steam, and (frankly) we were scared that it would blow up.

Thank goodness that hasn’t happened yet! We have come a long way since our first Instant Pot recipe. Check out all of our favorite Instant Pot Recipes here to get a little taste of everything you can do with an Instant Pot!

So, here you have it. Everything you need to know about cooking chicken breast in the instant pot.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast- It’s Possible

We tested many different chicken breasts. Big chicken breasts, little chicken breasts, organic chicken breasts, and so on (have you ever seen the word breast so many times in a sentence?). We wanted to make sure we covered all of our bases.

When doing research on how to cook chicken in the Instant Pot, we found out that there just isn’t a ton of information out there. We also found that a lot of the information was the same. So, we got down to business.

raw chicken in the instant pot

Instant Cooking with the Instant Pot

We think the Instant Pot should cook instantly. Let me elaborate. We bought the Instant Pot because it offers a much faster way to cook everything we love. We want our Instant Pot Recipes to be easy to prep and have as quick as a cook-time as possible. That means we always aim to keep cook time short by always wanting to do a quick release.

Instant Pot chicken breast couldn’t be easier, people. The trick was figuring out a perfect cook time and we’ve done it. Check out all of our tips for chicken breast recipes in the Instant Pot below!

Instant Pot Chicken Breast 101

Fresh or Frozen.

You can cook fresh or frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot! Belive it or not, chicken breasts turn out the same whether you use frozen or fresh chicken breasts.

The only difference is how you cook it and what your cook time is. Why would you ever use frozen chicken breast in the Instant Pot? Think of those nights when you get home and realize you haven’t planned dinner!

All you have to do is remove frozen chicken from its packaging and cook it on high pressure for 12 minutes. While the frozen chicken breast is cooking, you prepare a side and a sauce for your chicken and BOOM. 12 minutes later your chicken is ready to be chunked or shredded!

What recipes can I make with Instant Pot chicken?

We get this question a lot! There are so many ways to use Instant Pot Chicken Breasts in a meal. You can also simply season the chicken breasts before placing them in the Instant Pot and eat them immediately after removing them from the IP!

Ideas for how to prepare your chicken breast

Season the chicken breast. There are many great spice mixes out there these days with no added sugar or salt. If you have your favorite premixed spice rub, try it! Otherwise, season your chicken breast with one of these homemade spice rubs!

Use one of these meal prep chicken recipesAnother option is to take one of the delicious sauces from one of the recipes below and mix it in with your chicken breast!

Every Way to Make Instant Pot Chicken Breast

The beautiful thing about Instant Pot Chicken Breasts is that you have options! Fresh or frozen, below are best practices for preparing chicken breast in the Instant Pot! Otherwise, check out the recipe card for ALL the details and get cooking!

Fresh Instant Pot Chicken Breast

  • If you want a little extra flavor use the saute function of your Instant Pot to brown the outside of your chicken before you pressure cook.
  • For a faster pressure cook time, saute your chicken first!
  • Wait to add chicken breast to Instant Pot until olive oil is fragrant.
  • When chicken is ready, cut your blackened chicken into cubes/chunks and toss it with your favorite sauce!

Frozen Chicken Instant Pot Method

  • Run chicken under water to remove any frost or to separate chicken breasts from each other.
  • Cook time for frozen chicken takes a little bit longer than thawed chicken, remember to be patient!
  • After the chicken breast is done cooking, shred it, cut it, and add your favorite seasonings and sauce!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

  • Make sure chicken is completely thawed before placing it in the Instant Pot
  • Feel free to add your favorite dried spices to the chicken before you cook it!
  • Make sure the pressure gauge is turned to ‘seal’
  • When chicken is done cooking, shred it IN the Instant Pot and add your favorite sauce
browned chicken in the instant pot A bowl with chicken and salad

Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes

Recipe

Instant Pot Chicken Breast

If you are looking for an easy weeknight meal-prep idea the answer is Instant Pot chicken breast! You can prepare frozen chicken in the Instant Pot or thawed chicken in the Instant Pot.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
Author: Linley Richter
Yield: 4 1x
Category: Dinner
Method: Instant Pot
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For Frozen Chicken Breast

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, frozen (23 medium chicken breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

For Thawed Chicken Breast

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, thawed (23 medium chicken breasts)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

For Frozen Chicken Breast

  1. Place frozen chicken breast in the Instant Pot and drizzle with olive oil and water and then season with salt and pepper*.
  2. Close Instant Pot and make sure the pressure gauge is turned to ‘seal’. Set pressure to manual, high pressure and set the timer for 12 minutes. Pressure will build and then the timer will start.
  3. When the timer goes off, quick release the Instant Pot by turning pressure gauge to ‘vent’. When pressure releases remove from Instant Pot and prepare chicken any way you please (diced, shredded, or etc.)

For Thawed Chicken Breast

  1. Place olive oil on the bottom of your Instant Pot and turn Instant Pot to the saute setting.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and then saute for 1 minute on each side*.
  3. Close Instant Pot and make sure the pressure gauge is turned to ‘seal’. Set pressure to manual, high pressure and set the timer for 8 minutes. Pressure will build and then the timer will start.
  4. When the timer goes off, quick release the Instant Pot by turning pressure gauge to ‘vent’. When pressure releases remove chicken breast from Instant Pot and prepare chicken any way you please (diced, shredded, or etc.).

Notes

  • If Instant Pot flashes the word ‘burn,’ quick release, add a tablespoon of water, and reset it. The reason your Instant Pot is probably flashing the word burn is because it needs more moisture. Read more about it HERE.
  • This recipe is for 2-3 medium-sized chicken breasts, not one massive 1 lb. chicken breast. Cook time will vary depending on the size of your chicken breasts. The larger the breast, the longer it will take to cook.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 170
  • Sugar: 0
  • Fat: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 0
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 22
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