Instant Pot Chicken Breast – The Ultimate Guide This is your ultimate guide to Instant Pot Chicken Breast. I show you how to cook fresh and frozen boneless skinless chicken breast in the Instant Pot, bone-in chicken breast, shredded chicken breast, and poached chicken breast. I also give you some different seasoning combos like Mexican, Italian, Curry, and All Purpose

Instant Pot Chicken Breast

I think it is time to share my multitude of recipes for Instant Pot Chicken Breast, so i created this handy guide.  These easy chicken recipes will be a staple because this chicken can be used for everything!

Do you know how much I love my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker?  I have posted about my love for it several times…like in this Pressure Cooker Pot Roast recipe, Instant Pot Whole Chicken, Instant Pot Chicken Thighs, Crack Chicken and in this post on Instant pot hard boiled eggs.  It basically lives on my counter.

I use all of these instant pot chicken recipes for salads, tacos, enchiladas, soup, Keto Chicken Salad,…and in my weekly meal prep!


I love to use frozen, boneless skinless chicken breast the most in my Instant Pot!  No need to thaw, just throw them in the pot with your seasonings and some water and they will be amazing.

*Look a little bit further down the page for all of the seasoning combos you can add to these chicken breast to make them any way you like.

You can slice these chicken breast, or shred them for stuffing in enchiladas, salads, soups, and chicken salad.

In all of these recipes I use 1 cup of chicken broth or water.

For the frozen chicken breast cook time, it really depends on the size of the chicken.  You could just do 10 minutes with a 10 minute natural pressure release (NPR) and that will cook most chicken breasts all of the way through.

For small frozen chicken breast, I would do 8 minutes with a 10 minute NPR

For larger than normal frozen breasts (some can be a big as turkey breasts!), I would do 12 minutes with a 10 minute NPR.

Instant Pot Chicken

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The best cook time for boneless skinless fresh chicken breast in the Instant Pot is 6 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release.

Now again, if your fresh chicken breasts are on the smaller side, I would only do 5 minutes with a 10 minute NPR.

If they are larger than normal, then 7 minutes with a 10 minute NPR


I like to shredded these boneless skinless chicken breast from time to time, but you don’t have to!  When the pressure cooker is finished and you release the pressure, just pull them out of the pot and then you can shred them or cut them into chunks or slices.

Shredded chicken breast in an instant pot - Instapot recipes


If you cook the chicken in the liquid and choose to not use the rack, your chicken will be considered poached.  I like to sometimes use my rack to keep the chicken out of the liquid so my seasoning will not come off in the liquid.


If you open the Instant pot and your fresh or frozen chicken breasts are still not cooked all of the way through (test with a meat thermometer if you are not sure), you can simply close the lid back up and let them sit for 5 minutes.  That should take care of it.


For bone in chicken breast, I would first remove the skin.  This is simply because the skin will not get crispy during pressure cooking, it will just remain flabby, so I remove it.

Making bone in chicken breast is really great because they are more juicy and flavorful, in my opinion.

For normal sized, fresh bone in chicken breast, I cook them for 13 minutes, followed by a 10 minute NPR.

Bone In Chicken in the Instant Pot


Combine the ingredients and use 1 teaspoon of the blend per chicken breast.  These can all be stored in an air tight container for up to 6 months.


  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 3 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin


  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon



Have you heard of Butcher Box?  That’s where I get all of my high quality meat!  (get $15 off and free bacon when you order your first box!)

4.93 from 14 votes
shredded chicken in an instant pot
Instant Pot Chicken Breast - The Ultimate Guide
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins

This is your ultimate guide to Instant Pot Chicken Breast. I show you how to cook fresh and frozen boneless skinless chicken breast in the Instant Pot, bone-in chicken breast, shredded chicken breast, and poached chicken breast. I also give you some different seasoning combos like Mexican, Italian, Curry, and All Purpose


Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American, Indian, Italian, Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 180 kcal
  • 6 Chicken Breasts frozen (Please see the notes for cooking times of fresh and bone in chicken breasts)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • Please see post for All Purpose, Mexican, Indian, and Italian seasoning options
  1. Add all ingredients to an electric pressure cooker (also check out the blends above the recipe card), lock the lid, and set the valve to "sealing"

  2. Set the timer for 10 minutes.  When finished cooking, let naturally release for 10 minutes.  Release the rest of the pressure using "quick release" and, after the pin drops, carefully remove the lid.

  3. Using 2 forks or a hand mixer, shred the chicken or cut into slices.

  4. Serve in chicken taco salads or burrito bowls.  

Recipe Notes
  1. I recommend 1 cup of water or chicken broth, but please follow the instructions for your model of Instant Pot.
  2. Please see the blog post for more details on the cook time for fresh chicken breasts and bone in chicken breasts
  3. Try the seasoning blends above the recipe card for Indian, All purpose, Mexican, and Italian.
  4. This Instapot shredded chicken would be a good addition to soups, stews, casseroles, tacos, salad.  The possibilities are endless!
  5. The chicken will release a lot of water while they are cooking.  You can shred them in the liquid and then serve the chicken with tongs.  You could also remove them from the liquid and shred them, adding a little liquid to keep them moist.
  6. You can also cook these chicken breasts on the rack that came with the pot to keep them up out of the liquid.
  7. The prep time I listed includes the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure and the 10 minutes for the natural release.



If you want to know more about how to start a low carb or keto diet check out this guide:



Did you follow this guide for the ultimate guide to Instant Pot Chicken Breast?  Tag me on Instagram so I can see! @lowcarbwithjennifer


This is your ultimate guide to Instant Pot Chicken Breast. I show you how to cook fresh and frozen boneless skinless chicken breast in the Instant Pot, bone-in chicken breast, shredded chicken breast, and poached chicken breast. I also give you some different seasoning combos like Mexican, Italian, Curry, and All Purpose #instantpotrecipes #istantpot #chickenrecipes #chickenbreasts #ketochickenrecipes

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    • Dookie
    • October 15, 2018

    When I lay my chicken breasts on top of each other, there are little pink undercooked spots from where one was lying on top of the other. Is that normal and do I just need to rearrange them, close the lid and let them hang another few minutes? I haven’t seen anyone else mention this issue. I am cooking about four raw chicken breasts at a time.

      • jenniferbanz
      • October 16, 2018

      I’ve never had that problem but that’s exactly what I would do.

    • Cindy
    • October 12, 2018

    I would love some recipes to use this in please.

    • CAROL
    • September 4, 2018

    I made this yesterday for meal prep. I had 4 bone-in chicken breast, and they were big. I made them with salt, pepper, garlic, and I added a little Better Than Boullion. They were just barely still pink when it was all done, but I had some other things to do before I was ready to shred, so I left them in the broth. By the time I got to them, they were perfect! Moist and tender! Then I used the broth for other recipes I was making. This is now my go-to for meal prep. Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Georgina Hoglo
    • July 22, 2018

    I have a solid block of 5 chicken breast frozen…can I use it that way or do I have to start to freeze my meat separately, as shown in your picture?

      • jenniferbanz
      • July 23, 2018

      You can cook them in the Instant pot like that but you may need to add a few minutes to make sure they are cooked all of the way through.

    • Jennifer
    • July 22, 2018

    I want to try your recipe in my crock pot. Should I change any of the measurements? How long should I program it to cook on low?
    Thank you,

      • jenniferbanz
      • July 23, 2018

      I would omit the water and cook for 3-4 hours on low.

    • Joanne
    • July 14, 2018

    This was amazing. I just made it tonight and everyone over ate gladly. Maybe low carb isn’t so good when the food is so good you over eat? Nah….


      • jenniferbanz
      • July 16, 2018

      I agree, lol!

    • Jane
    • July 14, 2018

    This is cool. Love the taste. 5+ stars.

    • Faith
    • July 3, 2018

    Great tutorial! I love how versatile chicken cooked like this is. And the Instant Pot makes it so easy!

    • Andrea
    • June 24, 2018

    Wonderful recipe! Thanks so much!

    • kim hurst
    • June 17, 2018

    I am making a double batch of something and need to cook 5 1/2 # of chicken. Can I put it all together in the IP and how much liquid and how much time?
    Kim H

      • jenniferbanz
      • June 18, 2018

      I don’t think all of that would fit in the IP.

    • Marlana
    • June 11, 2018

    Great way to prep chicken for adding to meals throughout the week. Turned out moist and well-seasoned. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Tami Poston
    • June 10, 2018

    I am new to the instapot and I notice many recipes have less liquid in them than the requirements of the Instapot. I believe I read that you should never use less than 2 1/3 cups liquid when using it the Instapot yet I see many recipes that call for way less. Any thought s on this.

      • Kathy LaRue
      • July 9, 2018

      I just made fresh green beans in my Instapot and will never go back to stovetop methods again. Recipe called for 6 strips of bacon and 1/2 cup onion, sauteed in Instapot for 10 minutes, then add green beans and 2/3 cup of water, salt and pepper, and manual cook for 5 minutes, then regular release for 5 min and then release steam manually. They were cooked to perfection. That was with only 2/3 cup of water, so am thinking that the 2 cup minimum is not really required. In this case, frozen chicken breasts will give off quite a bit of liquid, so should follow amounts in this recipe. Just my two cents worth. 🙂

    • Christine
    • June 5, 2018

    Just made this to add to our power salad and it turned out great! Only used 3 frozen chicken breasts, so I halved the spices but kept the amount of water and cook time the same. It turned out so moist and flavorful. Thank you for this awesome recipe, Jennifer!

      • jenniferbanz
      • June 6, 2018

      So glad you liked it, Christine!

    • Lisa
    • June 3, 2018

    I cooked it for 12 minutes and then had to do another 7 for it to get done. They were very large breasts from Sam’s though. But, man! When it did get done, it was DELICIOUS! We made chicken tacos with all the fixins and will most definitely do it again. Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

    • Eric
    • April 30, 2018

    Can I put potatoes/or rice in at the same time as the chicken? Just doing two boneless breasts

      • jenniferbanz
      • May 1, 2018

      yes, I would cut the potatoes into 2 inch pieces. Rice should be pretty straight forward. Just make sure it’s covered with water. I’ve found that if I don’t have all of the rice submerged, pieces are half cooked. Also, you may want to spray the bottom of the pot with cooking spray so the rice doesn’t stick.

    • Elaine
    • April 27, 2018

    What would the cooking time be for just one 12 ounce boneless chicken breast in a 6 qt. Ultra? Thank you!

    • Donna C
    • April 17, 2018

    Why have I always boiled or baked unseasoned chicken breasts for my recipes?! This chicken was fantastic. Perfectly cooked and so flavorful. And the broth it made was incrediable. I will eat so much more chicken now. Thank you!!

    • Denise
    • April 15, 2018

    Would the cooking time be the same for frozen thighs? Thanks!

      • jenniferbanz
      • April 16, 2018

      Yes, If they are boneless skinless

    • Heather Brown
    • March 25, 2018

    I tried this today with three large frozen chicken breasts. Followed the instructions exactly but they were still raw in the middle. I put them back in and cooked 6 more minutes, then 10 minutes of natural release and they were perfect. Shredded up very nicely and now I have chicken for my salads for the week. I will definitely use this method again and again with the adjusted time for frozen, extra large chicken breasts.

      • jenniferbanz
      • March 26, 2018

      Thanks for the feedback, Heather!

    • Eileen
    • March 13, 2018

    LOVE this recipe. My go to recipe for chicken shredded or sliced for salads. Its quick and easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing . 🙂

      • jenniferbanz
      • March 14, 2018

      So glad you like the recipe!

    • Sarah
    • March 8, 2018

    I have the mini duo for just my husband and I, if I were cooking less chicken would I still keep it in for the same time or less? Sorry! Still trying to figure this darn thing out!

      • jenniferbanz
      • March 9, 2018

      I would do the same amount of time

    • FoodieQ
    • March 5, 2018

    I am now cooking my dogs’ food because I got fed up with the cost and dissatisfying meals I was giving them (one is on a prescription diet, so I have to feed a certain type only). I needed just a plain chicken with no seasonings. I used your instructions as they were straight forward, fast and easy. I only had 2 boneless skinless breasts but they were huge, with total raw weight being 2.8lbs. I cut off any grizzle, tissue, and other disgusting things, and then cut the breasts into smaller pieces to ensure it would be cooked through, added the plain water first, then the chicken without the trivet.. set on manual for 10 minutes, and let it vent on its own for about 10 minutes afterward. It was all perfectly cooked through. I removed the chicken from the water, so now there is some ‘broth’ I can use if I want to put some into the dogs’ water to encourage them to drink more water.
    I have the 6qt and it had no issues with using only 1C of water (I added a bit more than the recipe because I felt I may have been using more chicken by weight than the recipe called for, but if I did it again with those quantities/weights, I would only use 3/4C).
    I am now left with just plain old unseasoned chicken breast meat, but there is so much I can do with it – cut it up for chicken caesar salad, make chicken caesar wraps, make a spicy chicken salad for sandwiches, make a butter chicken sauce for it, chicken pot pies, season for tacos or nachos, make a spicy chicken mix for burritos, make a little stew with dumplings, omg, the list goes on! A great staple to have on hand to make something quick for dinner after work!
    I rec’d my Instant Pot as a gift and it’s great to find some straight forward ideas on how to use it, so thank you!

      • jenniferbanz
      • March 5, 2018

      I’m so glad the recipe worked out for you!

    • ARH
    • February 27, 2018

    You listed the same amount of cook time for fresh or frozen but does the chicken need to cook for longer if its frozen? The last time I made frozen chicken breast I had to put a 25 minute timer on in the IP. 10 minutes for frozen chicken breasts does not seem enough

      • jenniferbanz
      • February 28, 2018

      it would really be about 30 minutes. 10 minutes to come to pressure, 10 minutes cook time, and 10 minutes natural pressure release. I always use frozen chicken with no problems.

  1. Reply

    I made this tonight and only used 2 chicken breasts and I had to cook it about 3x the time in the recipe including the cook time and natural release time. It was okay but not as good as other shredded chicken I have made.

      • jenniferbanz
      • February 28, 2018

      I don’t know how that is possible for just 2 chicken breast. I just cooked a whole 5 pound chicken in my Instant Pot in an hour, which is only double the listed cook time for this recipe.

    • Sabrina
    • February 26, 2018

    I have the 6qt ultra and I am so confused about the 2 cup minimum liquid reqirement would that mean I need to use 2 cups instead of 3/4 c water or does the chicken count toward that? Also do I need to to use the metal rack thing for chicken breast? Thanks

      • jenniferbanz
      • February 28, 2018

      I would follow the directions for your pot and then strain out any extra liquid. I don’t use the rack

    • Kathy
    • February 25, 2018

    Hi. This looks good! Does the chicken go on the trivet?


      • jenniferbanz
      • February 26, 2018

      You can use the trivet but its not necessary

    • Sabrina Wong
    • January 8, 2018

    Unfortunately my chicken was still raw. Maybe because they were on top of each other while frozen? I just put it back in for another 5 minutes. Hopefully that fixes the problem. This is my 3rd dish with the instapot and Im finding it to not be super user friendly. Its just a bit confusing to know what is happening. Like is it warming up?, cooking?..ugh..Sorry these are just my Thanks!

      • jenniferbanz
      • January 9, 2018

      Sorry to hear that, Sabrina. It could also be that your chicken were really thick.

      It can be a confusing appliance. I know I researched like crazy when I first bought mine. Don’t give up!

  2. Reply

    So excited about this. I keep freezing my chicken forgetting to bring them out the thaw for dinner the next day. I’m so happy to know I can just stick this into a instapot and bam – shredded chicken to put on all the things! 🙂

      • jenniferbanz
      • December 11, 2017

      The instant pot could be just my shredded chicken pot and I would be happy!

  3. Reply

    This looks like the perfect chicken to have to hand for a myriad of recipes! Delicious and I love how quick and easy it is to make too!

      • jenniferbanz
      • December 11, 2017

      Thank’s Annie!

    • maria long
    • December 7, 2017

    WHy didn’t I read this b/f I pulled out my slow cooker and I have about 4 more hours from my pulled chicken.

      • jenniferbanz
      • December 11, 2017

      You’ll be ready for next time!

  4. Reply

    This looks like an awesome meal my kids would love!

      • jenniferbanz
      • December 11, 2017

      Thank you Sandi!

  5. Reply

    Hi Jennifer…I’ve been wanting to try cooking chicken breasts in my IP. You’ve convinced me! Thanks for sharing 🙂

      • jenniferbanz
      • December 11, 2017

      It’s so easy!

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