Use Instant Pot frozen chicken breast meat in so many different ways! Make a batch today for delicious flavor with a few pantry staples.
Sometimes life gets so busy that you forget to pull the meat out of the freezer to thaw. Don’t worry!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken FAQ
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!
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.
Leftover Instant Pot frozen chicken can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Instant Pot Recipes
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast Recipe + Video
- 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
- fresh chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley
- lime wedges
- salt and pepper to taste
- 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.
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.
Originally published February 2021, updated and republished March 2023
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