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 258 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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    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear you are having trouble Nancy. I am not sure which ad is causing that issue. Did you try to click the jump to recipe button at the top?

  1. Lynn Wolf says

    So simple! So easy! So perfect! I use Better Than Boullion vegetable flavor. I’ve made these about 6 times now and every time they were perfect. Great right out of the pot or as a starter for a leftover chicken recipe.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Bill. The amounts and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would have been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it does not turn out for you.

  2. Nichole Weatherby says

    Worked perfectly! And I am so excited about it! I used 3 frozen Walmart brand chicken breasts. I did not add water or broth, just olive oil in the bottom of the pot and seasonings, then I rubbed that all over both sides of each breast and did Pressure Cook, High, for 11 minutes, natural pressure release for 2 minutes because I was impatient lol.
    The breasts were tender, juicy, and I could slice them or shred them. There was about a half inch of broth left in the pot when they were done cooking as well. So imagine if I would have added water or broth in the beginning the chicken would have been shredded completely. So I loved this because now I can make it either way! Sliceable or shredded.

  3. Henry says

    I used 3 organic chicken breasts from costco that were frozen stuck together (not separated as in the recipe) so I pressure cooked it for 18 minutes (instead of 12 min) and 10 min natural release . Works perfectly!

  4. Carolina says

    New IP user here. I didn’t had much faith in this recipe but it turned out perfect. Used 4 frozen chicken breast, 1 cup chicken broth, salt, pepper, garlic pw, onion pw and herbs – 12 minutes high pressure, complete natural release. Super juicy and flavorful (was not expecting so much flavor). Used the remaining broth to make tomato soup. Thanks!

  5. Terèsé says

    This has become the only recipe I use for my chicken breast. I always seem to forget to take it out beforehand, lol. The chicken breast comes out perfectly every time. Thank you for saving dinner for my family on more than one occasion!

      • Elizabeth says

        What kind of chicken are you using? I’ve tried this twice and both times the chicken is still raw in the center. I tried adding more time and same thing, raw in the center.

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        Hi Elizabeth, I just use whatever I can find at my grocery store. A few things could be the issue. Is there any steam escaping when the instant pot is coming up to pressure? What size is your pot?

  6. Colleen says

    Do you know if the length of time would be any different for a 3Qt cooker? I can’t seem to find that answer online. Also, is the chicken tender enough to shred when you cook this way?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Colleen! I’m sorry I don’t know the timing if using a 3QT. Honestly, I would just tested it out this way and if the chicken is not at the right temperature put it back under pressure for a few minutes or so. This way you could learn the timing of what works for your Instant Pot! Hope this helps!

  7. Kim says

    I followed your instructions as much as my IP allowed. I used this recipe as part 1 of a 2 part meal prep.

    Depending on what type of liquid used awa add-ins, & spice combos, this is a great starter recipe for too many meal ideas to list. Thanx for sharing this!

    ~15 min p/cooked. 5-7 minutes self-reduce, then steam released. Breasts(3) were completely done. Since there was still enough broth, I added a can of Rotel & 1/2 bag egg noodles & p/cooked again for 7 minutes, allowing only an extra 2 mins before manual steam released. Noodles & chicken were perfectly done. Added shredded Parmesan & voila! Hubby adored this!

    From start to finish, 35-45 minutes!

  8. Mema says

    I tried making instapot chicken for the first time earlier today. Thank you for the time guidelines! I used water, some salt, herbs and black pepper, sloshed everything around and – pressed start! After the chicken was done, I used the “chicken water” (i.e. resulting broth, which was unexpectedly very flavorful) to cook brown rice in the same pot. The biggest compliment was from the cats, who usually eat their own food, but the instapot must have extracted so much savory aroma from the meat that they had to have some of our chicken!

    • Rebecca says

      I use this recipe constantly, and it is ALWAYS perfect!! A serious life saver!!
      If I have 8 breasts, do I need to double the time as well as the liquid?

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        Hi Rebecca! So glad you enjoy it! You shouldn’t have to increase either but I would temp them all at the end just to be sure.

  9. SJM says

    Very good! I question when to add the sauce. First you write to add sauces, water, seasoning, broth, etc. but then later it says add water or broth. I was then apprehensive to add the sauce at the same time as the chicken. My thought was the sauce would act like a marinade and infuse into the chicken. I’m not experienced with my pressure cooker and didn’t know if the sauce would burn in the pot instead. I decided not to risk it, but would like to know for future recipes! Thank you.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi SJM! Step 2 you are cooking it in either water or broth. Step 5 is when you add the sauces, if you want to add a sauce to it. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  10. Dulcie says

    I almost always use bone in meat. Boneless seems dry to me. The budget was tight and all I had were frozen breasts. Found this recipe and gave it a whirl. Soooo glad I did! Did it frozen and honestly I will probably keep doing like this right from frozen. Everyone loved it and couldn’t believe how juicy it was! Delicious! Love it! Thanks a bunch!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      When freezing my chicken breast I lay them out so they aren’t touching, that way they are easier to handle later. If they are frozen together, leave them at room temperature for a few minutes until you are able to get them unstuck.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear you had problems with the recipe, K. The timing has worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too.

    • r_yang says

      K: There’s no way to mess this up, unless you don’t have a pressure cooker (Instant Pot, or the like.) If you do, you may have left the pressure release valve open… Happens to the best of us! Good luck!

  11. Megan says

    This is a perfect way to cook plain chicken quickly for when I made my baby food. Just add apple juice light seasonings and it’s ready for me to shred up and throw in blending with her other ingredients.

    • Crystal says

      I did frozen chicken in the IP tonight. 18 minutes at high pressure. I can see why someone else would say still raw at 10 minutes. Mine were “done” as in cooked, but they certainly weren’t tender. I did 5 more minutes (annoying cuz additional release time too), and they were a little softer, but not ideal. I’m doing 30 minutes next time!!! And will hope for tender chicken.

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        Sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Crystal. The method has worked well for myself (and others) so I wished they would of been a hit for you too.

      • a cook says

        I really hope you did for science lol You overcooked it the first time thats why that happened.

  12. says

    I have just discovered your recipes and am looking forward to trying them. I have a frozen split chicken breast I plan to make soon. However, it is on the bone with skin on. How should I adapt this recipe to account for bone and skin on? I will be using a Foodi for pressure and can use the crisping lid to crisp the skin. Of course, I will try this recipe as is when cooking boneless, skinless breasts!

    • says

      By the way, I did not assign the stars in review with my previous post, as I don’t believe in judging a recipe until I have cooked it. It just showed 3 stars by default ( guess) and I saw no way to edit the post…so, I am assigning 5 stars to make up for the “average grade” it assigned.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi! I haven’t tried it with bone-in before but I believe you could add another 8-10 minutes to the cook time. I would just make sure to check the internal temperature when it’s done to make sure your chicken is completely cooked. If not, you’ll have to cook it for another few minutes. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes! Hope this helps!

  13. Carol says

    This turned out great! Needed shredded chicken to add to leftover pasta salad for an easy lunch. I used two of Trader Joe’s boneless, skinless, frozen half breasts – both good size. One wasn’t quite done with the temperature check, so I sliced it into 4 pieces, put them in a bowl with a bit of the broth, covered the bowl and microwaved for 2 minutes for a quick finish.
    It was all very easy to shred with plenty left over.
    This recipe is a keeper!

4.84 from 258 votes (159 ratings without comment)

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