If you’re looking for the best and easiest way to cook chicken breast (from fresh or frozen) in the Instant Pot, you’re going to be soooo happy you landed on this post.
I spent a lot of time in the kitchen perfecting the PERFECT Instant Pot chicken breast recipe to share with all of you. I know perfect when I see (or should I say taste) it and… yeap, this is it.
This recipe might be perfect, but it’s also flexible (part of its perfection) – you can skip one step if you’re short on time, you can swap one ingredient for another for a different flavour, you can throw in completely frozen chicken breasts if the last thing on your mind today was ‘thaw the chicken breasts.’
No matter what you change in this recipe, the technique produces a chicken breast that is full of flavour, moist (no dry chicken breasts here, folks), and tender. Make these for supper tonight or whip up a big batch to store in the fridge for a quick meal.
And this recipe is perfect for those of you on the keto diet, Paleo diet, Whole 30 diet, or any diet with a focus on lean proteins and unprocessed foods. The base recipe is so simple and complies with all of those diets.
No Instant Pot yet? Get one here: Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker (you can get a 3 qt, 6 qt, or 9 qt at that link — I use the 9 qt).
7 Easy Steps to Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breast
Here are 7 easy steps to the perfect Instant Pot chicken breast. I have included many potential modifications in the ‘tips and tricks’ section below this one.
Step 1. Mix together mixed herbs, paprika, coriander, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 2 tbsp chicken stock to create a paste.
Step 2. Put chicken breasts in a bowl and coat fillets in the paste.
Step 3. Add olive oil to the Instant Pot and turn it on the sauté setting. Brown chicken breasts on each side (about 2 mins each side). Remove from Instant Pot and set aside.
Step 4. Add the rest of the chicken stock to the Instant Pot, and scrape any bits that were stuck to the bottom of the pot from frying.
Step 5. Insert trivet and add chicken fillets to the top of the trivet.
Step 6. Cover Instant Pot, move valve to sealing position, and select the manual (or poultry) setting. Make sure the pressure is set to high and set timer for 5 mins.
Step 7. Let the steam release naturally, about 10-15 mins, before opening.
There you have it, folks. The perfect Instant Pot chicken breast recipe. So easy to make and soooo good.
Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breast
I have sooooo much good info to share about this Instant Pot chicken breast recipe thanks to my ‘must make this the best recipe ever’ attitude. (Okay, and also my slight Instant Pot obsession.)
Tip 1. Season them to your liking. The spices and herbs given in the recipe are just an idea. Add more to your taste or change them altogether. (Good additions include BBQ sauce, salsa, etc.)
Tip 2. Change the cooking liquid for a different flavour. In addition to changing the seasoning, try different cooking liquids. Instead of stock, you can use water, orange juice, pineapple juice, etc.
Tip 3. The browning step can be skipped if necessary. Browning the chicken adds a lot of lovely flavour to the end dish – but if you are short on time or not too worried about this, then skip it.
Tip 4. For shredded chicken, cook directly in the stock. If you want to make shredded chicken, don’t cook the chicken breast fillets in the Instant Pot trivet.
Tip 5. Let the pressure release naturally. Your Instant Pot chicken breasts may smell amazing, but don’t be tempted to do a quick release. A natural release keeps the chicken moist, and it also continues the cooking process. (If you do a quick release, you will have to increase the time under pressure.)
Tip 6. Adjust cook time based on size of chicken breasts. Larger chicken fillets will need a little bit more time. Chicken fillets that have been flattened or cut in half will need less time.
Tip 7. Pressure cooker chicken breasts can be made for a crowd. 5 guests coming over for supper tonight? No problem – you can cook loads of chicken breast fillets in the Instant Pot. Just be sure not to add chicken over the ‘max fill line’ and add extra cook time. (15 mins cook time should take care of about 2.2kg / 5lbs of chicken.)
Tip 8. Don’t throw away the cooking liquid at the end. You’ve created extra-flavourful stock – don’t let it go to waste. Use it as a stock for stews, soups, etc.
Tip 9. To reduce the time it takes for your chicken breasts to get to pressure, preheat the liquid first in the inner pot using the sauté setting on high. Do this before you place the lid on the Instant Pot and before you select the manual setting. (This is a life-changing Instant Pot tip.)
How to Cook an Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
An Instant Pot frozen chicken breast? Yeap, it’s super easy to cook a completely frozen, hard-as-rock chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. (Just be sure to break up your chicken breasts so you are not cooking several fillets frozen together.)
Here are my tips: to season an Instant Pot frozen chicken breast, you can either season the chicken breasts before freezing them (my preferred method) or you can cook without the spices and season after cooking. For cooking a frozen chicken breast, increase the time under pressure to 10 mins instead of 5 mins.
That’s it. Super, super easy. (So easy it may be tempting to never thaw a chicken breast again…)
You should always check the internal temperature of your chicken breasts to make sure they’re safe to eat (meat is done when the internal temperature reaches at least 74C (165 F)), but it’s especially important to do so when cooking from frozen.
How to Make Regular Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast
No Instant Pot? Noooo problem. This recipe is also suitable for regular pressure cooker chicken breast. Prepare the chicken fillets as instructed, then brown them on the stove in a large pot before placing them in your pressure cooker.
Bring the pressure cooker up to pressure, then lower the heat to the point where the pressure can be maintained. Cook for about 4-5 mins (this will depend on your pressure cooker)*, then turn off the heat and allow the pressure to reduce naturally. Voila – regular pressure cooker chicken breast.
*Electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot cook at a lower pressure than regular pressure cookers. Regular pressure cookers cook a bit faster (but you have to babysit them – a trade-off).
What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken Breast
I have a few ideas for you:
- Instant Pot chicken and rice: Make this easy Instant Pot brown rice for a quick side.
- Instant Pot chicken and potatoes: How about a little potato soup made in the Instant Pot on the side of your Instant Pot chicken breast?
- Instant Pot shredded chicken lettuce wraps: Try Instant Pot shredded chicken in these Spicy Yoghurt Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
- Instant Pot chicken on a salad: Serve sliced Instant Pot chicken breast over a bed of mixed greens and whatever toppings you desire. I served mine with pomegranate seeds and chilli oil (olive oil and a squeeze of lemon/lime is another good choice). The perfect healthy meal.
Tools You’ll Need for Instant Pot Chicken Breast
A quick list of the tools you’ll need for this pressure cooker chicken breasts recipe:
- Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker (you can get a 3 qt, 6 qt, or 9 qt at that link — I use the 9 qt)
- Tongs (or use your hands)
- Measuring jugs or cups
- Measuring teaspoons
- Bowls for mixing paste together
- Silicone brush to brush the mix on the chicken fillets
- Meat thermometer
The Ultimate Guide to the Instant Pot
To learn everything you need to know about the Instant Pot, check out my post: Instant Pot Review – The Ultimate Guide to the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe
Here is how to make Pressure Cooker Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot (including Instant Pot frozen chicken breasts). Please do try them and if you do make them then please do tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or Twitter so that I can pop over and have a look. It is really, really awesome for me when you make any one of my recipes. You can also share it on my Facebook page.
Thank you for reading my Instant Pot Chicken Breast recipe (and Instant Pot frozen chicken breast recipe) post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you.
**This post contains affiliate links.
Make perfect Instant Pot chicken breast with this simple recipe.
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 0.5 tsp paprika
- 0.5 tsp ground coriander
- 0.5 tsp ground ginger
- 0.5 tsp ground garlic
- Ground black pepper
- 180 ml chicken stock divided
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 500 g (3) skinless boneless chicken breast fillets
- In a small bowl mix together the mixed herbs, paprika, coriander, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp. chicken stock into a paste.
- Put the chicken breasts in a bowl and coat the fillets in the paste.
- Select the sauté setting of the Instant Pot, add in the oil and when hot brown the chicken fillets on both sides (about 2 mins on either side).
- Remove the chicken fillets from the Instant Pot, and set aside on a plate.
- Add the remaining chicken stock into the instant pot, and scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot from frying with a silicon or wooden spoon.
- Place the trivet inside before adding the chicken fillets on top of the trivet.
- Cover your Instant Pot and set the valve to the SEALING position.
- Select the manual setting (or poultry setting), make sure the pressure is set to high and set the timer to 5 mins.
- Cook till done then let the steam release naturally about 10-15 mins before opening.
The total cook time does not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to get to pressure and the time for the natural pressure release. Plan for additional time.
To cook from a frozen chicken breast, increase the time under pressure to 10 mins.
For best results, do a natural release. If you want to do a quick release, increase the time under pressure to 10 mins.