Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast + Video

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Use Instant Pot frozen chicken breast meat in so many different ways! Make a batch today for delicious flavor with a few pantry staples.

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breasts on a cutting board


 

Sometimes life gets so busy that you forget to pull the meat out of the freezer to thaw. Don’t worry!

ingredients to make frozen chicken breast in instant pot

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast

With a pressure cooker, cooking frozen chicken is a breeze, and you can still have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

If you did manage to thaw the poultry first, you can make a full meal in one pot by including rice and veggies or mushrooms with sauce.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Chicken – It’s important to use breasts that are similar in size when cooking frozen chicken (or fresh!).

    This way, everything cooks evenly and is ready at the same time.
  • Stock and Lime Juice – You need liquid for any kind of IP cooking. Chicken stock is more flavorful than water, and lime juice adds some acidity.
  • Butter – Top each piece with a pat of butter for flavor and moisture!

Flavor Variations

Get creative with the seasoning blend so the flavors of your Instant Pot frozen chicken breast matches whatever you are in the mood for!

  • Garlic and onion powder
  • Taco seasoning
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Italian seasoning
  • Even just salt and pepper!
close up: chicken breasts topped with seasoning

Tips for Cooking Frozen Chicken

  • Are the pieces stuck together? Simply place them in a bowl of cool water until they separate or can be pulled apart without tearing.
  • Don’t make too much at once. I recommend a maximum of four pounds of frozen chicken in the Instant Pot at one time to ensure even cooking.

    Otherwise, there is a lot of overlapping which can leave cold or undercooked areas in the meat.
  • Check the temperature. The safest way to tell if your Instant Pot frozen chicken breast is done is with a digital meat thermometer.

    It should reach 165°F at the thickest part.
  • Tip for thawed poultry: You can still use this recipe, just decrease the cooking time. Two pounds of raw chicken would only need about 5 minutes.
  • Let it rest. Always let cooked meat sit for several minutes before slicing into it. This allows the juices to redistribute for tender, juicy bites.
frozen chicken in instant pot topped with spices and butter

How To Make Frozen Chicken In Instant Pot

Always start with about 1 cup of liquid before adding the frozen chicken breast to the Instant Pot, since the liquid is needed to build pressure.

Close the lid and make sure the vent is sealed before setting the timer.

Since there are several different versions of the Instant Pot, you can use any of the following settings for this recipe: MANUAL, POULTRY, or PRESSURE COOK.

The IP will need to come to pressure before the timer starts counting down. Once it’s done, let it sit for another 5 minutes for a natural pressure release.

Then, carefully open the vent to release the remaining pressure. It’s safe to open the lid as soon as the pin next to the vent drops.

seasoned chicken breasts in IP with butter and broth

Serving Suggestions

There are plenty of ways to turn this simple frozen chicken breast Instant Pot recipe into a variety of meals.

  • Top with salsa, avocado, sour cream, and green onions
  • Slice and serve over a bed of mixed greens for a hearty salad
  • Use it in this Monterey Skillet – start with step 7, top with barbecue sauce, and go from there.
  • Plate with rice and a side of asparagus
  • Make a wrap with greens, tomatoes, cheese, and ranch dressing

Instant Pot frozen chicken is great for meal prep too! Just divide the meat into separate containers and pair it with your favorite vegetables.

Then, grab one out of the refrigerator for a quick and easy lunch.

overhead: cooked chicken in instant pot

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken FAQ

How long to cook frozen chicken breast in the Instant Pot?

Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken breasts — both thickness and overall weight.

Smaller breasts (6-8 oz each) will only need about 10 minutes of cooking time, while larger ones (10-12 oz each) will need the full 15 minutes.

Either way, don’t forget the natural pressure release!

Is it safe to cook chicken from frozen?

According to the USDA, it is considered safe to cook frozen chicken in an Instant Pot. However, it will take longer to reach a safe temperature than if the meat was thawed.

Slow cooking is the exception to this since a crockpot will not get the poultry to a safe temperature fast enough, creating the potential for bacteria to flourish.

How long does pressure cooked chicken last in the fridge?

Leftover Instant Pot frozen chicken can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

sliced chicken on a plate with lime wedges and parsley

Enjoy!
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sliced chicken with lime and parsley on cutting board

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast Recipe + Video

Donna Elick
Use Instant Pot frozen chicken breast meat in so many different ways! Make a batch today for delicious flavor with a few pantry staples.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Instant Pot
Servings 4 – 8

Ingredients
 

  • 3/4 cup chicken stock, Kitchen Basic is the brand I used
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, squeezed fresh from 1 lime
  • 4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1.5-2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning blend
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter, sliced into 4 pieces

Garnish

  • fresh chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley
  • lime wedges
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place chicken stock and lime juice in the instant pot.
  • Season frozen chicken breasts with seasoning on both sides. Place chicken breasts in a single layer, in the instant pot with the chicken stock mixture. Top each chicken breast with a slice of butter.
  • Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and lock into place. (Make sure the vent is set to “sealing”) Set to POULTRY or MANUAL for 10-15 minutes (depending on size of breasts). Natural release for at least 5 minutes. Then carefully, using a hot pad, quick release any remaining pressure before opening.
  • After chicken is cooked, remove chicken from the Instant Pot and place on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Slice chicken and transfer to a serving plate. Top with freshly chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley and serve with lime wedges. Add salt and pepper to taste, if you like.

Video

Donna’s Notes

If your chicken breasts are frozen together, place them in a bowl of cool water until they separate.
I recommend only putting a maximum of 4 pounds of chicken to cook at one time to ensure even cooking. When there is too much cooking at once, it has to be overlapped which can leave cold or undercooked areas in the meat.
If your chicken is already thawed, you will need to decrease your cooking time. Two pounds of raw chicken would need a cooking time of around 5 minutes.
There are different versions of the Instant Pot. You can use any of the following settings for this recipe: MANUAL, POULTRY, or PRESSURE COOK.
Some people may ask if it is safe to cook chicken from frozen. Here is a link to the USDA with more info.
Leftover cooked chicken can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Ways to serve: 1.) with salsa, avocado, sour cream, and green onions 2.) on top of mixed greens for a hearty salad 3.) serve over rice with a side of asparagus 4.) Try using the chicken in this recipe. Start at step 7, top with barbeque sauce, and go from there. 5.) Meal prep and get ahead for the week by making this chicken recipe, separating it into containers and pair it with your favorite vegetables. Grab it out of the refrigerator for a quick lunch. 6. ) Place the chicken in a wrap with greens, tomatoes, cheese, and ranch dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 207cal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 242mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
instant-pot-frozen-chicken-breasts-pin-6502299

Originally published February 2021, updated and republished March 2023

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6 Comments

  1. Hi and thank you for this recipe. I was wondering about the spice blend you use the recipe wasn't attached, so I was wondering just what you used. Thank you Teresa

  2. 5 stars
    I do meal prep for my husband and this is the quickest and easiest way to make a lot of chicken at one time! Perfect recipe!

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