How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot

Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 4 servings

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This is the BEST way to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot! It is so easy and they turn out so well, I almost never take the time to thaw chicken before cooking it. Add seasonings, sauces, broth, or just water, salt and pepper and the result is always amazing.

If you’re wondering how to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you’re in luck. Because you’ll never be stuck at 5:00 with nothing to make for dinner again!

Cooking frozen chicken has never been quicker, easier, or more delicious! The Instant Pot has definitely saved my butt a time or two (or ten) 😉

If you’ve got pork tenderloin instead of chicken breasts? Check out my Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin from fresh or frozen!


frozen chicken breasts in instant pot ready to cook

We are back on the Instant Pot bandwagon today with one of my favourites, although, again, I’m not sure this actually qualifies as a “recipe” considering there are two ingredients and one is water or broth. But I promise you, if you learn how to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot you may never go back!

I will be totally honest and say that I am not utterly obsessed with the Instant Pot like millions of other people. I haven’t moved on to cheesecake and egg bites and other things that make more sense to bake in the oven (though, yes, I will try them yet and see if they’re worth all the hype!).

cooked chicken breasts in instant pot with seasonings and fresh herbs on top

But there are a few things that I actually prefer to do in the Instant Pot, and chicken breasts is one of those things (these Instant Pot Baked Potatoes and this Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup are two more!)

And if you’re looking for more Instant Pot chicken recipes, try this Instant Pot Whole Chicken from fresh or frozen!).

There really is no match for how well boneless chicken breasts come out of that magic pot — especially straight from the freezer! I will even confess that I rarely take chicken out of the freezer to thaw before cooking, because why?!?

We cook chicken in the Instant Pot for tacos, sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, or just for dinner with some barbecue or other sauce, or a simple seasoning. Any way you want to do it up it turns out fabulously (you should see how crazy I get when I start dumping in random ingredients from the fridge!).

chicken breasts on cutting board being sliced in front of the instant pot

I know they don’t look that special, but they are SO moist, and not overcooked and weird like chicken can get in the slow cooker after a long period of time. This is one thing I definitely prefer to cook in the Instant Pot over the crock pot!

Here are some Tips and Tricks for Cooking Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot:

  • The exact cook time will depend on how large the chicken breasts are, although for me 10-12 minutes has always been plenty. This means that when I open up the pot they are well over the safe 165 degrees F. But I’d rather be safe than have to go through the hassle of sealing it back up and letting it build the pressure back up.
  • If you’re in a rush, you can simply add water or chicken broth and season with salt and pepper, but feel free to get a little crazy with your seasonings here. Barbecue sauce, soy sauce, honey, different herbs and spices will all be fantastic (I mean, as long as they taste good together 😉 )
  • All of my Instant Pot recipes are tested in the 6 quart Instant Pot with Bluetooth. The bluetooth is an unnecessary but handy tool because I can control the pot from my phone while I’m out of the kitchen.
  • If you want to jazz up your Instant Pot chicken breasts, try these Creamy Italian Instant Pot Chicken Breasts and serve them with the sauce over pasta — you won’t regret it!
  • Looking for an easy side dish to go along with it? Try my Instant Pot Mac and Cheese — so easy and so quick!

How to make Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breasts:

I’ve just added a new post on my favorite all purpose Instant Pot Shredded Chicken! You can find all my tips on seasoning, ratios, cook time and uses over there 🙂

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How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker)

4.84 from 255 votes
This is the BEST way to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot! It is so easy and they turn out so well, I almost never take the time to thaw chicken before cooking it. Add seasonings, sauces, broth, or just water, salt and pepper and the result is always amazing.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 128cal


  • 4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts (mine were about 7-8 ounces or 200g each frozen)
  • 1 cup water or chicken broth
  • salt and pepper


  • Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the Instant Pot (no need to use the trivet!) — it’s okay if they’re stacked, just make sure none are stuck together.
  • Pour in the water or chicken broth (or use another liquid like pineapple juice, apple juice, etc.) and season with salt and pepper.
  • Put the lid on and move the valve to sealing. Press Manual pressure and set the timer to 10-12 minutes high pressure (I've found 10 is just right, and at the 12 minute mark they are 180 degrees F or more). The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and start counting down from 10.
  • When the cook time is up, let pressure release naturally for 5-10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure. Check that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees F — mine is always at least or higher.
  • Serve as is, chop, or add sauces as desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 128cal | Protein: 23g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 418mg | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Suzanne says

    This is a free service, and I am grateful that the moderator takes the time to give advice. I think it would help all of us if the moderator deleted rude comments before allowing them to be posted. None of us need to see or hear that. I tried the recipe and it was perfect.

  2. Kim says

    Hi I’m using your recipe for chicken in my instapot thank you I am learning to feed my family at home as eating out cost too much for my family and we are pretty picky so we found that eating in is best for our family so really appreciate you sharing your cooking with us !

    • Jedis says

      I think because your response about learning how to cook because eating out was expensive probably set off people who come here for recipes who have families, who already cook not eat out all the time. A good reply is thank you for the great recipe I’ll try it, or tried it and my family loved it. Just a thought after seeing some comments.

      • Chicken lover says

        Followed directions but came out very dry and overcooked. 10 minute pressure and 5 natural release. Will cut time and try again.

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        Hi! I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, it is really hard to know what went wrong without being in the kitchen with you. Was there any steam releasing when it was coming to pressure? This will make a difference in how your dish comes out.

  3. Sierra says

    Hi! I had something unexpected happen to my chicken… it made these weird bubbles in the chicken. I researched it some and it seems either I over cooked it (I did 11 mins) or there were air bubbles in the frozen chicken and the pressure made them come out, displayed in the chicken. Has this ever happened to you? Thanks!

    • Rich Frosting says

      If you’re talking about those solid white bubbles that’s just fat coming out of the chicken from the pressure cooking, looks weird but it’s perfectly fine.

  4. sally says

    I had trouble with the lid locking. Looked again after several heated minutes with hubby bubby and the seal was not properly in place all the way around. LOL hard to spot but once seen easily corrected! That was beef ribs last night. Delicious!

  5. sally says

    Hi, I am trying it tonight! (Frozen chicken breasts) And because I follow instruction to a hi-five I am confident it will be absolutely perfect. Thank you for having a site to educate about instapot cooking!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear you had trouble, it was worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too!

  6. Ann says

    Hmmm…I do mine for 10-15 minutes thawed for shredding. I’m surprised completely frozen is done for the same amount.

  7. Marcella Donovan says

    I made the recipe for today exactly like you had it on the page and the chicken turned out perfectly. My husband put it on 12 minutes because we actually had five breast and they were pretty large and the frozen. Thank you so much for your recipe we loved it.

  8. Kathryn says

    I placed 2 frozen chicken breasts with 4 cups water and 2 cups rice. PSI 11 and 15 minutes. It’s been almost 30 minutes and the cooker has not sealed and come to pressure yet. It is counting down the 15 minutes but not in real time. Did I do something wrong?

  9. Mary T Kukich says

    This sounds great – can you add barbecue sauce with the water, or in place of the water? Or should I only add it after cooking the breasts in the Instant Pot?

  10. Sue Shilinskas says

    I cooked four chicken breasts frozen for 12 minutes and they were perfect, I made a chicken veggie soup that so good. Thank you!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Sorry to hear that, definitely add it back under pressure to give it more time to cook if you are experiencing that.

  11. Not a disrespectful POS says

    Someone has probably told you that before ay? Unless you know from experience…?? You’re gross

  12. Geoff Cheetham says

    I did 12 minutes and 10 natural release. The chicken was perfect. I compared it to some I had cooked in the oven and your recipe was far more tender. It also. Saves energy.

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