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
Related: I get all of my grass fed beef and pasture raised chicken from Butcher Box. Read my honest review here.
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, Instant Pot Chicken Legs, 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!
INSTANT POT FROZEN CHICKEN BREASTS - BONELESS SKINLESS
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.
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HOW LONG DO YOU PRESSURE COOK FRESH CHICKEN BREAST?
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
INSTANT POT SHREDDED CHICKEN
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.
POACHED CHICKEN IN THE INSTANT POT
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.
WHAT TO DO IF THE CHICKEN IS UNDER COOKED
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.
HOW TO MAKE BONE IN INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREAST
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.
THE BEST SEASONINGS FOR 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.
-ALL PURPOSE SEASONING FOR INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREAST
- 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
-ITALIAN INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREAST
- 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
-MEXICAN INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREAST
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
-INDIAN CURRY INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREAST
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREAST VIDEO:
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Instant Pot Chicken Breast - The Ultimate Guide
- 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 Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- Please see post for All Purpose, Mexican, Indian, and Italian seasoning options
- 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"
- 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.
- Using 2 forks or a hand mixer, shred the chicken or cut into slices.
- Serve in chicken taco salads or burrito bowls.
- I recommend 1 cup of water or chicken broth, but please follow the instructions for your model of Instant Pot.
- Please see the blog post for more details on the cook time for fresh chicken breasts and bone in chicken breasts
- Try the seasoning blends above the recipe card for Indian, All purpose, Mexican, and Italian.
- This Instapot shredded chicken would be a good addition to soups, stews, casseroles, tacos, salad. The possibilities are endless!
- 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.
- You can also cook these chicken breasts on the rack that came with the pot to keep them up out of the liquid.
- 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.
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Nutrition per serving
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy only. Please re-calculate on your own with the ingredients and amounts you used for the most accurate data.
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Frozen bone in chicken breast in 25 min turned to perfectly shredded, juicy chicken. Time was right on. I'm starting to love my ip
If you use the blends, like the Italian blend for example, do you still add the ingredients from the final ingredient list? Like the garlic and chili powder etc. Im curious because you say add a teaspoon per chicken breast for the blends, but if we still add the other stuff aside from the water, it seems like a lot of seasoning.
No, I would not add the other spices from the recipe card
I've tried several chicken breast instant pot recipes. This is by far my favorite! Cooking times for fresh (3 large) 2.5 lb chicken breasts with 1 cup of water for 7' High pressure with vent sealed then manual release for 10'. Easy to shred or cut as cubes or serve as full breast. These were juicy and flavorful.
Can't wait to try this. Not sure if you have this information wondering if you can include/add the nutritional facts per serving. Also include how much a serving is ie 3 oz etc. Makes it much easier to calculate when following a specific program.
Nicole Shore says
Making this tonight! Wish me luck! This will be the second time I’ve Used the instant pot. Hopefully the kids like it.
This recipe worked perfectly....sadly i oversalted. =( This was my first (second after doing the water challenge lol) and I was more than pleasantly surprised. I added a can of diced tomatoes with the seasonings and it allowed me to make a nice tomato broth soup with the chicken I shredded so far (i added some cornstarch to thicken and frozen peas). I kept 4 of my breasts whole to eat/use later. I keep checking the box for the Instant Pot "cleaner" but apparently I got a defective model and have to clean it myself ...for now. Thanks for the recipe and look forward to trying more.
Roy Hale says
Just wondering if your set the timer manually or on meat. New to this.
I set the time manual.
I love how you have set up your videos and sreps. Made me sign up for your newsletter.
Thank you! That means a lot!
So I am freaking a bit because I had probably 8 chicken breasts I put in the instapot with about 2 cups of water. The breasts are not frozen. I set the thing for 7 minutes on manual. This is the first I am trying it. It’s making a lot of noises and I am worried maybe I put too much in it. Is it going to blow up on me?
It is a noisy appliance. I think it should have been all good!
Linette arnold says
The noise scared me too! An error sign came on because I left the release valve open and the water boiled out. Live and learn.
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.
I've never had that problem but that's exactly what I would do.
I would love some recipes to use this in please.
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!!
With the bone in chicken breast can you put them right on the bottom of the instant pot or do you need to use wire rack? I want use pepperoncinis circulation to the along with some chicken broth and ranch seasoning.
Georgina Hoglo says
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?
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.
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?
I would omit the water and cook for 3-4 hours on low.
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....
I agree, lol!
This is cool. Love the taste. 5+ stars.
Great tutorial! I love how versatile chicken cooked like this is. And the Instant Pot makes it so easy!
Wonderful recipe! Thanks so much!
kim hurst says
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?
I don't think all of that would fit in the IP.
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 says
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 says
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. 🙂
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!
So glad you liked it, Christine!
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!
Can I put potatoes/or rice in at the same time as the chicken? Just doing two boneless breasts
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.
What would the cooking time be for just one 12 ounce boneless chicken breast in a 6 qt. Ultra? Thank you!
Donna C says
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!!
Would the cooking time be the same for frozen thighs? Thanks!
Yes, If they are boneless skinless
Heather Brown says
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.
Thanks for the feedback, Heather!
LOVE this recipe. My go to recipe for chicken shredded or sliced for salads. Its quick and easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing . 🙂
So glad you like the recipe!
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!
I would do the same amount of time
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!
I'm so glad the recipe worked out for you!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
I would follow the directions for your pot and then strain out any extra liquid. I don't use the rack
Hi. This looks good! Does the chicken go on the trivet?
You can use the trivet but its not necessary
Sabrina Wong says
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 problems..lol Thanks!
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!
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! 🙂
The instant pot could be just my shredded chicken pot and I would be happy!
Annie @ Annie's Noms says
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!
maria long says
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.
You'll be ready for next time!
This looks like an awesome meal my kids would love!
Thank you Sandi!
Hi Jennifer...I've been wanting to try cooking chicken breasts in my IP. You've convinced me! Thanks for sharing 🙂
It's so easy!