One of the fastest dinners I’ve found is an Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast. It only takes about 15 minutes to cook and can make many dinners.
You can use the chicken sliced, cut in chunks or if you cook a few more minutes you can even pull the chicken.
Your instant pot will produce the most juicy chicken breast you have ever eaten, even from frozen.
What you need
- frozen chicken breast
- water or chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- spices (optional)
Optional spices and flavorings
Depending on what you are in the mood for, you can tweak the flavor of your chicken in a hundred different ways.
- For a Mexican flair – use garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder.
- For an island flair – use garlic powder, onion powder pineapple juice or chunks of pineapples and five spice powder.
- Mediterranean flair – use thyme, rosemary, basil, and tomatoes.
How to make it
- Place frozen breast in pressure cooker.
- Salt and pepper both sides.
- Add water or broth.
- Affix lid to instant pot. Turn lever to sealing position. Press the pressure cook button on high pressure for specified time. Time will depend on the size of your breasts. See chart below.
Size matters when pressure cooking
The size of your breasts is important. Larger breasts will take longer to cook through than smaller ones.
Weigh them with a kitchen scale or approximate on the size by taking the weight from your package and dividing by the number of breasts in your package.
I buy halal breasts from our local restaurant store. They weigh 15-19 oz. each and take 25-30 minutes to cook. So if yours are larger than 12 oz. add some time.
These are the estimated times for cooking boneless skinless breasts.
For pulled chicken, after the cycle is done let it naturally release (leave it alone) for about 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
The chicken will continue to cook while the pressure is releasing. Manually release the remaining pressure. Carefully remove lid.
Check the internal temperature of the chicken, in the thickest part of the meat to make sure it is above 165°F.
Let chicken rest about 5 minutes before pulling.
To shred chicken use two forks to pull the meat with the grain.
When using the chicken for pulled, mix a bit of the cooking liquid with the meat so that it is ultra moist.
Why should you try this instant pot frozen chicken breast?
- Instant pot frozen chicken breasts are juicy and tender every time.
- So quick and easy.
- Totally customizable to what you need them for.
- It’s great for a quick dinner but it’s also perfect for meal prep so that you can cook once and make several different meals throughout the week.
- No need to brown chicken first.
What dishes to use them in?
Use this easy delicious chicken for;
- chicken salad
- chicken tacos
- chicken enchiladas
- pot pies
- pulled chicken sandwiches or sliders
- pizza topping
- quick spaghetti
- add for protein to a fresh salad and make it a meal
What if your chicken is thawed?
If you remembered to thaw your chicken in the morning, you will use the same times specified. Just use a quick release to release the pressure in the pot.
To do a quick release carefully press the quick release button down until it clicks. Use the handle of a wooden spoon so there is no danger of burning yourself with the hot steam.
Wait until float valve drops into lid before attempting to release the remaining pressure manually by pressing the release button. When opening, always remove lid away from you so that the remaining steam will not go in your face or on your hands.
Pro tips for your success
- Always add water or broth when pressure cooking. The liquid is what builds up pressure in the pot.
- Season with just salt and pepper if you are short on time. Or add your favorite spices.
- Feel free to add your favorite sauces or salsa in place of, or in addition to the liquid.
- If using frozen chicken breasts allow a ten minute natural pressure release before manually releasing the additional pressure.
- When you are freezing your chicken breasts, be sure that you freeze them separately on a parchment lined baking sheet for a couple hours. Then add as many as you need for a meal to your freezers bag or containers and then place them back into the freezer. This way you won’t have huge block of breasts that you can’t get apart. These will take much longer to pressure cook, if they are not separated.
- Cook them according to size using the chart above for cooking times.
- When using the chicken for pulled, mix a bit of the cooking liquid with the meat so that it is ultra moist.
How to store leftovers
Store leftover chicken in airtight container. It will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Refreezing meats is not recommended.
Other easy Instant pot recipes
Tools I use
Instant pot Frozen Chicken Breasts
- 2 chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- Place frozen chicken breasts in your instant pot.2 chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper chicken. Then add one cup of water or chicken broth to pot.salt and pepper to taste, 1 cup chicken stock or water
- Set pot to manual/ pressure cook on high. Set timer for allotted amount of time. (See infograph in notes below.)