Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Servings 4 servings

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The JUICIEST Instant Pot Chicken Breast! Made with an all purpose seasoning and one secret ingredient, this makes the perfect pressure cooker chicken breast!

chicken breasts in instant pot with juices and seasoning.
Table of Contents
  1. Reasons to love this Instant Pot Chicken Breast:
  2. Ingredients needed:
  3. How to make the juiciest Instant Pot Chicken Breasts:
  4. Tips and tricks:
  5. Instant Pot Chicken Variations:
  6. What to serve with chicken breasts:
  7. Storage:
  8. Can I do a quick release?
  9. Tools you’ll need to make this Instant Pot chicken recipe:
  10. Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe

I love stocking the fridge with the essentials to make meals easy for a busy weeknight!

Ever since I started experimenting to perfect my Slow Cooker Chicken Breast recipe, I knew there needed to be a pressure cooker version.

And this right here? This is the perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breast.

I’m bringing my one secret ingredient over from my slow cooker chicken recipe, and let me tell you — it makes all the difference!

As much as we love these Creamy Italian Instant Pot Chicken Breasts, I love having a good database of simple, versatile protein recipes that can be made into a variety of different meals.

For that reason, these Instant Pot Chicken breasts are simply seasoned, and even though they are incredibly delicious as is, they can easily take on any flavor you want to add.

It’s an easy recipe for weekly meal prep!

Need to cook right from frozen? Check out my tips on How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot!

Looking for more easy Instant Pot recipes? Check out my Instant Pot Whole Chicken, Instant Pot SpaghettiGarlic Herb Instant Pot Potatoes or my Instant Pot Chicken Tacos.

Reasons to love this Instant Pot Chicken Breast:

  1. It’s easy to make — just dump, start and go, or sear them first if you have a few extra minutes! Let the pressure release naturally, pop open the lid and you have an amazing dinner or perfectly cooked chicken for salads and sandwiches throughout the week.
  2. It’s versatile — like I mentioned above, it’s great cold in sandwiches and salads, but it’s also awesome tossed into soup, pasta, or any casserole, and can be easily reheated with a sauce of your choosing to make it something new (we are big on reinventing leftovers here)
  3. It’s healthy — don’t get all worked up over the one dab of butter or margarine — our bodies need a little fat and this Instant Pot Chicken Breast is a high protein, relatively low fat and low calorie addition to any meal

Ingredients needed:

ingredients needed for instant pot chicken breast recipe.
  • Chicken breasts: choose good quality chicken as it makes all the difference. Not all chicken, and not all grocery store meat departments, are created equally. If you’re having trouble making juicy chicken breasts, you may want to test out a couple different brands to see which turns out best. This recipe is for skinless, boneless chicken breast — if you have bone-in chicken breasts you will want to add some extra cook time.
  • Oil: if you choose to sear your chicken, you’ll need a bit of oil in the pot. I use canola oil because it has a neutral flavor and high smoke point, but any oil with a high smoke point will work, including olive oil.
  • Dry Rub Seasonings: this is my favorite combination of flavors to use for seasoning chicken breasts. They are packed with flavor, and yet they still pair well with so many things. Feel free to add your own twists or adjust the spices to your tastes.
  • Chicken broth or chicken stock: using broth to pressure cook adds much more flavor than water. If you only have water, that will work but you may want to add in chicken bouillon or increase the seasonings.
  • Butter: yes, it’s true. Since chicken breasts are so lean, I like to add a bit of fat to the cooking process to keep them so juicy. It’s my favorite way to make them!
whole instant pot chicken breast on a white cutting board.

How to make the juiciest Instant Pot Chicken Breasts:

The secret ingredient:

That little bit of butter goes a long way to making these chicken breasts incredibly moist and flavorful! It’s a simple addition that makes all the difference.

How to cook chicken breasts in the Instant Pot:

The full recipe can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Season: combine your seasoning and season chicken well on all sides.
  • Sear: this step is optional is a new one here. I don’t always sear my chicken but I decided to add it to this recipe because it adds such nice color. If you’re in a hurry, you can simply throw everything in like we’ve done in the past.
  • Deglaze: add your broth to the hot pan and scrape to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Pressure Cook: add your chicken breasts back in and top with butter. You can skip the butter, but it does add nice flavor and keeps them juicy! Cook on high pressure for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breast. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes then release the remaining pressure.

Tips and tricks:

  • Don’t overcook — overcooked chicken breast is not anyone’s favorite thing, but is somewhat difficult to do in the Instant Pot because the steam provides such a moist environment for the chicken to cook in.
  • Don’t undercook — Be sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it’s at least 165 degrees F.
  • The exact cook time is going to depend on a variety of things, including the size and shape (how thick it is at the widest point), and also the model of Instant Pot you have, as some run hotter or cooler. My recipes are tested in the 6 quart model with Bluetooth. It’s important to take these these factors into consideration but I find a cook time of 8-10 minutes is always perfect for juicy chicken breast, and my internal temperature is always around 180 degrees F.

Instant Pot Chicken Variations:

  • Chicken is one of my favorite proteins because it can take on a wide variety of spices, seasonings and sauces! Mix things up with your seasoning blend or use a bottled blend that you love for a new flair.
  • Try this Instant Pot Salsa Chicken for taco night!
  • Slice and toss in barbecue sauce for easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken.
  • Toss with mayo for a quick chicken salad.
  • Got frozen chicken chicken breast? Check out how to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot here.
  • This seasoning blend and cooking method works just as well for a combination or breasts and thighs — if you have a chicken thigh lover, toss in some boneless, skinless chicken thighs with your breasts and everyone is happy!
  • Don’t throw out the cooking liquid! Add it to soup or thicken it with a corn starch slurry to make gravy.
chicken breast partially sliced on white cutting board with whole chicken breasts on the side.

What to serve with chicken breasts:

Storage:

How long can I store it?

Leftover chicken can be refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container. This is perfect for meal prepping!

Can I freeze leftovers?

Absolutely! Cooked chicken can be frozen for up to 6 months. You can chop and use it to round out pastas, soups and many other meals.

Can I do a quick release?

Hypothetically, you can do a quick release but it’s not recommended for meat or poultry because it can dry it out quickly.

I recommend allowing for a 10 minute minimum natural release, then opening the valve to remove the chicken.

Tools you’ll need to make this Instant Pot chicken recipe:

  • Instant pot or electric pressure cooker: My recipes are tested in my 6 quart Instant Pot — it’s an older version and for this reason the manual lists 1 cup of liquid as the minimum. I know that the 8 quarts and some of the newer ones list different requirements. For this recipe, you can easily change the liquid to match your manual’s suggestion.
  • Do I need a trivet? I know everyone has different thoughts on cooking meat on or off the trivet, but with chicken breasts I usually place them on the bottom in the liquid, and they are incredibly juicy.
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Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast

4.78 from 70 votes
The JUICIEST Instant Pot Chicken Breast! Made with an all purpose seasoning and one secret ingredient, this is the perfect pressure cooker chicken breast!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 170cal

Ingredients

  • ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (225 grams each roughly) 2 lbs total
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1-1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth*
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Combine seasoning ingredients: Italian seasoning, salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper. Sprinkle over all sides of chicken.
  • (Optional) Turn the Instant Pot to saute and wait until it reads 'hot'. Add oil. Sear chicken breasts on both sides (you may have to do two batches) until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the Instant Pot.
    Add the broth and scrape the bottom to remove any browned bits.
  • Place the chicken breasts into the Instant Pot with the broth and top with the butter.
  • Put the lid on, turn the valve to sealing, and select Pressure Cook or Manual for 8 minutes for 200-250 gram (8oz) chicken breasts, adding a minute or two if your chicken pieces are larger. It will take about 10 minutes to build pressure and begin counting down. 
  • When the cook time is over, let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes (or completely). Open the lid and remove the chicken. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • If desired, you can make a corn starch slurry (equal parts corn starch and water, roughly 1-2 tablespoons each) and add it to the cooking juices to make a gravy to serve with the chicken. Just turn the Instant Pot to saute and cook until thickened.

Notes

Instant Pot model:
I use a 6 quart Instant Pot for this recipe. If your Instant Pot calls for more or less liquid, you can adjust this amount to your Instant Pot model. I often use only 1 cup of liquid in my 6 quart Instant Pot.
Storage:
How long can I store it?
Leftover chicken can be refrigerate for up to 4 days. This is perfect for meal prepping!
Can I freeze leftovers?
Absolutely! Cooked chicken can be frozen for up to 6 months. You can chop and use it to round out pastas, soups and many other meals.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 170cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 449mg | Potassium: 494mg | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Keywords chicken breast recipe, instant pot chicken breast

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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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Comments

  1. Harmony says

    I have used this recipe SO many times and it is my go-to for any recipes that need cooked or shredded chicken, so thank you.

    I have a larger recipe requiring at least 6-8 chicken breasts. I’m wondering if you have suggestions for how to alter the recipe and time to cook?
    Thanks so much!!

  2. James Bullard Jr says

    This was so moist and delicious, I thickened the chicken stock to make gravy and it was so delicious and tasty. Will only make chicken breasts this way from now on. Thanks a million Ashley!

  3. Ditsynana says

    Really moist, tasty chicken. Liquid used to make gravy. Roast potatoes and stuffing balls cooked in air fryer. Veggies steamed. Sunday roast sorted in 1/2 hour!

  4. L. says

    I was really disappointed, I followed the directions exactly, and the chicken came out not only overcooked, but so tough it’s pretty much ruined. 🙁

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi L., were you using full chicken breasts or smaller tenderloins? The chicken should not be that tough, unless possibly it wasn’t sealing correctly and dried out during the cooking process. Did you use a trivet or no trivet? Natural release or quick release?

  5. Geneviève says

    I had 1.1 kg of chicken breast (5 total) with 1 1/2 cup of bouillon, 8 min, natural release 11-12 min. Chicken was 192°C so overcooked & dry… But I did also 1 min cauliflower earlier with quick release and it was sooo overcooked. I wonder if I have a problem with my instant pot. It’s a 6L but it takes a long time to seal

    • Ashley Fehr says

      1.1 kg for five chicken breasts is on the smaller side, so it’s possible that they just needed less time. I would also check your seal to make sure it is sealing correctly, maybe replace it just to be on the safe side.

  6. Carol says

    I have problems with natural release verses a timed 10 minute release. My book manual says to turn the pot off for a natural release but not for a timed release. I think the meat or whatever you’re cooking continues to cook whether you turn the pot off or not. It is hard to judge cooking times.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Carol. You’re right, it does continue to cook until the lid is removed. I always turn the Instant Pot off and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the valve drops. As long as you let it sit for at least 10 minutes it should be fine.

  7. Brandi Roberts says

    I have one of the big instant pot duos, I think it’s an 8 or 9 qt.. Do I need to adjust the amount of broth or anything? Just want to make sure, I’ve tried some other recipes and gotten burn notice because they were tailored to the smaller instant pots lol

  8. Paul Kern says

    Very good. Went with 11 mins because the chicken breast was 80-90% thawed and turning white towards the thinner tip.
    Saved the liquid to make gravy later (thanks for that suggestion!) because I’m using this recipe to remake shredded chicken for a Buffalo dip (dropped the original chicken just after shredding it).

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