A basic method of cooking juicy instant pot frozen chicken breast. A one-step, one-main ingredient recipe, ready in about 30 minutes. The flavorful chicken breasts are perfect for serving immediately or for meal prep.
Learn how to cook frozen chicken breast in the instant pot; it’s a skill that will save dinner many times. The breasts will turn out juicy and tender; they can be served with potatoes or on top of rice; you can add them to a chicken salad, sandwiches, or burrito bowls. You can shred the cooked meat and use it to make other delicious recipes.
After trying this easy way of cooking chicken from frozen, you will wonder why you’ve ever bothered thawing the breasts before.
And while you’re here, you could also learn how to cook Frozen Chicken Breast in the Air Fryer, How to Bake Frozen Chicken Breast, or read Cooking Frozen Chicken Breast – The Ultimate Guide.
For more instant pot recipes, check out Frozen Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot, Frozen Ground Beef in the Instant Pot, Instant Pot Pork Roast, or Instant Pot Beef Soup with Veggies. Or make a quick and delicious Instant Pot Chicken Stew.
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As mentioned above, the one main ingredient you need is frozen chicken breast. After that, the only other things you definitely need are some salt and water. Everything else is nice but optional.
- Four frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 7-8 oz/200 g per piece.
- Liquid: One cup of water, chicken broth, or one cup of water with about ¼ - ½ cube of stock crumbled in it is perfectly fine.
- Spices: For extra flavor, you will need some ground black pepper and some other spices of your choice. I like to use a little bit of dried oregano, some sweet paprika, and some smoked sweet paprika.
- You could also use your favorite chicken seasoning, all-purpose seasoning (no more extra salt, the blend already contains salt), Peri-Peri Seasoning, taco seasoning, other spice blends, a bit of curry powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, and so on. For a bit of heat, add chili powder, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper to taste.
- Use other dried herbs like rosemary, marjoram, parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, Herbs de Provence, etc.
How to cook frozen chicken breast in the instant pot?
- Place the trivet into the inner pot.
- Pour a cup of liquid (water OR chicken stock OR water and a small piece of a crumbled stock cube) into the bottom of the pot.
- Place the meat on the trivet. Sprinkle them with oregano, paprika, and black pepper if desired.
- Cook: Turn the valve to the sealing position, press the pressure cook button, and set the time to 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the breast pieces. The pot will need about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
- Allow 8 to 10 minutes of natural pressure release. Release the remaining pressure.
- Check that the chicken is cooked through.
How long should I cook frozen chicken breast in the instant pot?
The size of the chicken breasts is crucial; their thickness matters the most. If they are evenly thin but wide, it won’t matter much if they weigh 8 or 11 oz. But the cooking time will change if the larger pieces are very thick.
- 6-8 oz/ 170-220 g - about 10-11 minutes + 10 minutes natural release
- 9-10 oz/ 250-280 g - about 12-13 minutes + 10 minutes natural release
- 11-12 oz/ 300-350 g – about 15-16 minutes + 10 minutes natural release
- Ensure that all four breasts you are cooking have about the same size. Otherwise, the smaller ones will dry out by the time the larger ones are cooked through.
- Ensure that the breasts are not frozen in a block; in this case, they will not cook evenly and remain raw in the middle. To avoid that, pack the pieces in a freezer bag and place them in cold water until you can pull them apart.
- Another way to avoid such blocks of frozen meat is to freeze the individual pieces on a cutting board or plate. Then, once solid, you can transfer them to freezer bags or other freezer containers.
- Please don’t use the Poultry button; it will not work when cooking chicken from frozen.
The internal temperature measured with a meat thermometer should be 165°F/ 74°C. If you don’t have one, cut a piece of meat at the thickest part, the meat should be white and juicy, with no traces of pink or glossiness.
Seal the pot again and cook the chicken at high pressure for another 2 minutes. The pot will come to pressure quickly this time. Make sure the valve is set to sealing.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
It’s not recommended to freeze food that’s already been frozen again. But as the chicken is cooked, I freeze it sometimes; it will be fine for 2-3 months.
How to serve?
Serve the instant pot frozen chicken breasts with any potato, rice, or noodle side dish you like. Try it with BBQ Rice, Jollof Rice, Rice with Tomatoes, Zucchini and Carrots, Roasted Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes or Cornmeal Potatoes, Garlic Butter Noodles with Parmesan, Creamy Vegetable Pasta, or Pasta Guacamole.
More food cooked from frozen
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
- Instant pot
- 4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts Note 1
- 1 cup liquid water, chicken stock, or water and ¼ - ½ chicken stock cube crumbled into it
- fine sea salt or Kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano optional, Note 2
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika optional
- ½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika optional
- Arrange: Place the trivet into the inner pot. Add 1 cup water OR chicken stock OR water and a small piece of crumbled stock cube. Place the frozen chicken breasts on the trivet. Sprinkle them with salt, oregano, paprika, and black pepper (optional).
- Cook: Turn the vent to sealed, choose Manual or Pressure Cook, and set the time to 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the breast pieces – See Note 3 (a guide regarding cooking times). The pot will need about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
- Release the pressure naturally for 8 to 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure.
- Check that the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature: 165°F/ 74°C). Rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Size of the chicken breasts: They can weigh between 6 and 12 oz/ 170-350 g, and the cooking time will change accordingly. Ensure that all four breasts you are cooking have about the same size. Otherwise, the smaller ones will dry out by the time the larger ones are cooked through.
- The spices are optional. You can leave them out, use those I used or use any other spices or seasoning mixtures you like. If using all-purpose seasoning, leave out the salt, as this seasoning is already salted.
- The cooking time depends on the size of the pieces; their thickness matters the most.