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. From there you can make shredded chicken or blackened chicken! Either way this chicken breast Instant Pot recipe is super easy to whip up at any time during the week. You can add your favorite BBQ sauce, dry rub, and anything in between. Try it now!

Chicken on a cutting board

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 didn’t happen! We recently posted a delicious Instant Pot Potato Salad recipe that is still one of my favorites. We had to test it many times and in the process, we made Instant Pot chicken breast to go with it. On test #3 it HIT me. Why the heck don’t we do a post on Instant Pot chicken breast recipes?

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

First things first. 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

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!

Tips for 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

Tips for Thawed 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!

Tips for 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 chicken breast is done cooking, shred it, cut it, and add your favorite seasonings and sauce!
browned chicken in the instant pot

Fit Foodie Finds Best Instant Pot Recipes

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 make Instant Pot shredded chicken, Instant Pot blackened chicken, or Instant Pot frozen chicken breast! All three ways are super easy to whip at any time during the week. You can add your favorite BBQ sauce, dry rub, and anything in between. Try it now!

  • 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
A bowl with chicken and salad
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