Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Breast
The Instant Pot reigns supreme when it comes to making meals quickly. Within minutes, I can have perfectly cooked rice, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, chicken stock, or beans.
But chicken breast can be a bit more tricky to cook perfectly. Thankfully, after 20 plus tries, I have perfected cooking Instant Pot Chicken Breast. In fact, now I prefer preparing chicken breast in the Instant Pot over any other cooking method.
Whether fresh or frozen, I can whip up Instant Pot Chicken Breasts in record time and they turn out perfectly tender and juicy every single time.
How Long To Pressure Cook Chicken Breast By Weight
Its easy to scale the pressure cooker shredded chicken breast recipe. You can change the number of servings on the recipe card as follows:
- 1 lb chicken enter 5 servings
- 2 lb chicken enter 10 servings
- 3 lb chicken enter 15 servings
- 4 lb chicken enter 20 servings
- 5 lb chicken enter 25 servings
This will scale the amount of all the ingredients you need. Basically, 1 pound of chicken will yield about 2 1/2 cup shredded chicken, or 5 1/2-cup servings.
Just one caveat do not adjust the amount of broth. You always need about 1 cup of chicken broth for this pressure cooker chicken recipe, whether youre making one pound, five pounds, or anything in between.
Im really excited to have this chart for Instant Pot chicken breast, and I hope you are, too. Its going to be so convenient to be able to make just the right amount of pressure cooker chicken. Yay!
Step Four: Cook On High Pressure According To The Cook Times Below
- The cook time will remain the same whether you have a small amount of chicken or a lot, but the time the Instant Pot takes to come to pressure will increase the more chicken you have. The time it takes to come to pressure will also be longer if youre cooking frozen chicken.
The below cook times are based upon average weights. If your chicken is smaller, decrease the cook time by 1 to 2 minutes depending upon the extent of the size variation. If they are larger, increase the cook time by 1 to 2 minutes. When in doubt, error on the side of less time. You can always cook the chicken for longer, but once its overcooked , you cant reverse the process.
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How To Cook Chicken In The Instant Pot
Instant Pot chicken breastanother reason to love the Instant Pot! Heres how to make it:
How To Cook Frozen Chicken Breast Instant Pot
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Were walking you through how to cook sliceable and shreddable chicken in your Instant Pot, so that dinner is a breeze
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How To Make Gravy
I actually love to make some gravy with the leftover liquid in the Instant Pot. Trust me there is a lot of flavor there and its wonderful over this chicken breast.
To make the gravy, simply make a slurry with 2 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of cornstarch. Set the Instant Pot to the Saute setting and bring the leftover liquid to a boil. Add the cornstarch slurry and whisk well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened. Thats all!
Instant Pot Whole Chicken Time
As mentioned above the instant pot whole chicken time is 6 minutes per pound. We experimented with four different sized chickens.
Above is the picture of the four chickens we bought and below they are close up with their weights.
They weighed the following:
Then if you follow the 6 minute rule the cook time is as follows:
- Small = 1.4kg = 3lbs = 19 Minutes
- Medium = 1.48kg = 3.2lbs = 20 Minutes
- Large = 1.76kg = 3.89lbs = 23 Minutes
- Extra Large = 2.15kg = 4.7lbs = 29 Minutes
As the instant pot doesnt do half a minute, any that were in between were rounded off to the next minute.
For example, the small whole chicken was 18.5 minutes and we rounded it off to 19 minutes.
We then cooked each of the chickens in a similar way, under high pressure, seasoned and with the instant pot deglazed and plenty of flavour added.
And guess what?
Each of the chickens were perfectly cooked. They were perfect. You couldnt get any more perfect if you tried.
I am so glad I tried it and now I can buy different sized whole chickens and know that they will be perfectly cooked.
You also know that an instant pot 5 pound whole chicken will take 30 minutes, an instant pot 6 pound whole chicken will be 36 minutes and so on.
I should also mention this rule also applies to other bone in poultry such as our instant pot whole duck.
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Chicken Breast Instant Pot Cook Times
BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN BREASTS
Fresh Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 8 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 10-ounce boneless chicken breasts
Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 12 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 10-ounce boneless chicken breasts
BONE-IN CHICKEN BREASTS
Fresh Bone-In Chicken Breasts
- 10 minutes, natural release for 5 minutes
- Based on 12-ounce bone-in chicken breasts
Frozen Bone-In Chicken Breasts
- 25 minutes, vent immediately to release any remaining pressure
- Based on 12-ounce bone-in chicken breasts
How Much Instant Pot Chicken Can You Make
In general, I recommend making no more than four pounds at once, and definitely no more than five.
Five pounds of pressure cooker chicken breast was really pushing it, as it fills up the Instant Pot and it takes a long time to reach pressure. Besides, the chicken starts to cook unevenly if you put in too much, since the pieces sit on top of each other.
Stick with one to four pounds if possible, but if you really want to make five, that will still work just consider it the limit.
When you arrange the chicken in the Instant Pot, try to do so in one layer if possible. If youre making a lot of pressure cooker shredded chicken and cant get the raw chicken in one layer, just disperse it as evenly as you can. This will help it cook more evenly.
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Im so glad that I finally got this Instant Pot pressure cooker chicken breast recipe right. One of my favorite staples to make ahead is a large batch of shredded chicken. I used to make it in the slow cooker, but last fall I discovered that its so much faster in my Instant Pot.
I totally adore this method now. The prep is as care-free as a slow cooker, but the whole thing is done in 15 minutes flat, from start to finish. And, that even includes five minutes of natural release time. This creates optimal texture.
So, are you ready to learn how to make pressure cooker chicken breast in your Instant Pot? Here, Ill show you.
Can I Stack Chicken In An Instant Pot
Ideally, no. Butyes.
Placing chicken in the pressure cooker in a single layer will give you the best results to make sure its evenly-cooked. However, this limits how many pieces of chicken you can cook at once.
If were going by total amount, you can certainly fit more chicken with stacking . Just be aware that you may need to increase cooking time if you do this, and be sure to check internal temp.
If you are using frozen chicken, keep it to a single layer, no stacking.
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Serving Recommendations For Cooked Chicken Breast
There are so many ways to answer the question on what to do with cooked chicken breast! Here are a few ways to turn your Instant Pot chicken breast recipe into a meal:
- Shredded: Shred meat with 2 forks, refrigerate and use to make chicken salad or white chicken chili. Or skip sauteing and use instead of ground turkey to make pasta bake.
- Diced: Cube to add protein to vegetarian pasta dish, easy spaghetti recipe or even vegetable soup or borscht. Why not?!
- Low carb meal: Make one of healthy zucchini recipes and enjoy quick dinner entire family will love.
- Meal prep: Refrigerate whole or cubed and use throughout the week for lunches sub out your sandwich deli meat for chicken or use in Cobb salad.
- Freeze for later. When ready to eat, thaw on the counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight.
Alternately, browse 65 chicken recipes perfect for putting your Instant Pot chicken to good use!
Major tip alert! Save that broth on the bottom of the pot for making chicken soup or any soup. It is basically free chicken broth.
Instant Pot Chicken Ingredients:
To make this Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Chicken: I tested this recipe using boneless chicken breasts and boneless chicken thighs either fresh or frozen. You are welcome to use bone-in chicken, but the cooking time may vary slightly.
- Chicken broth : Which we will need to keep the chicken nice and moist, and also prevent a burn warning on the Instant Pot. I recommend using a cup of chicken or vegetable broth if you happen to have some on hand, to add extra flavor. Or if not, plain water will work just fine too.
- Seasonings: I typically use a simple mixture of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. But see below for alternatives.
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How Can I Use Instant Pot Chicken
Now that you have cooked chicken, what can you do with all the meat? Try out some of our favorite chicken breast recipes:
- Bring pizzaz to your pizza chicken Caesar it, or go wild with Barbecued Chicken Pizza or Buffalo Chicken Pizza.
- Top a leafy salad: add Instant Pot cooked chicken to any of your favorite salad recipes, like this contest-winning BLT Chicken Salad.
- Love your chicken salad: if youre a fan of creamy chicken salads for lunch, check out our best chicken salad recipes.
- Simplify your sandwiches: add to this Rotisserie Chicken Panini or kick it up with Spicy Buffalo Chicken Wraps, using your conveniently cooked chicken.
When youre ready to expand your skills past the Instant Pot, try our variety of chicken dinner ideas! For summer months, enjoy the outdoors and learn how to grill chicken breasts. Or, consider these slow-cooker chicken breast recipes.
How To Cook Shredded Chicken
Want to cook shredded chicken? Its the best! This shredded chicken in instant pot recipe is great because you can turn it into so many things. From chicken salads , to 5-Ingredient Buffalo Chicken Baked Hummus Dip, and even in my Sweet & Crunchy Thai Slaw with Chicken, this easy recipe is so simple and comes out perfectly tender every time.
I often make Instant Pot pulled chicken with salsa instead of the chicken broth or water, for easy Two-Ingredient Salsa Chicken for Meal Prep Freezer Burritos, tacos, and a salad topper!
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Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe:
The ingredients here are so simple and you probably have everything you need in your refrigerator and pantry. We used 1 whole chicken , chicken broth, fresh garlic, thyme, rosemary and lemon juice, butter and a few dried spices .
The combination of seasonings makes for the best taking gravy made from the pan drippings and prepared right in the instant pot. The gravy is amazing poured over mashed potatoes and the sliced chicken.
Its Ok Not To Have A Ton Of Liquid In There
By the same measure, its totally fine not to have a ton of liquid in your pressure cooker, which is a new thing for some of us to wrap our heads around. Its the pressure doing the cooking, not liquid. People get so upset about the liquid thing, said Clark. Things have liquid in them! You can get away with a couple tablespoons. As opposed to a braise, in which liquid does half the work and steam does the other half, the pressure helps it cook evenly.
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What About Using Frozen Chicken
Im so glad you asked! Ever find yourself at 6pm staring into your refrigerator and freezer and wondering: What can I cook for dinner, and quick? Im pretty sure weve all been there, and its no fun. But on those nights, our Instant Pot has become our best friend, for being able to whip up a quick and delicious dinner.
Something magical happens when the frozen chicken breast is cooked in the Instant Pot because it comes out as the most tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken weve ever had. And now that we know that, there is no going back. Read all about cooking frozen chicken in your Instant Pot. Weve done extensive testing on this one!
Instant Pot Whole Chicken With Crispy Skin
If you would like a crispy skin for your whole chicken, we recommend using the air fryer straight after.
We sprayed our whole chicken with extra virgin olive oil and extra seasoning and loaded it into the air fryer basket.
5 minutes at 200c/400f and it looked like this:
Of course, if you are just using the chicken for shredding there is no need to do this. But if you cant stand to eat a whole chicken that looks anaemic because it has simply been pressure cooked, then maybe this method is for you.
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Why Make A Roast Chicken In The Instant Pot
- It is faster than cooking a whole chicken in the oven. You can make roast chicken for dinner on a weeknight!
- Pressure cooking makes the chicken so juicy, tender and flavorful!
- You can safely cook a frozen whole chicken in your Instant Pot no thawing required!
For all of you Instant Pot fans, I have more delicious recipes and resources to help you get quick and healthy meals on your table! If you are just getting started with your pressure cooker, read my Instant Pot manual. Then check out these easy Instant Pot recipes to help you meal plan:
Tools Youll Need To Make This Instant Pot Chicken Recipe:
- My recipes are tested in my 6 quart Instant Pot its 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 manuals suggestion.
- Theres really not much else youll need! 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.
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What Size Of Instant Pot Can I Use
Any 3 quart, 5 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart.
Same recipe. Same cooking time. Same water amount.
Just make sure chicken breasts fit in a single layer. If your Instant Pot is small and you want to cook large amount of breasts, do so in a few batches. Piling up chicken in a few layers will result in undercooked chicken.
Also note that larger pressure cooker take longer to come to pressure about 8-10 minutes.
Ways To Use Leftover Chicken
Cooking a whole chicken is one of my favorite ways to meal prep for the week. Here are just a few ideas for meals that you can make with your chicken.
- Slice the chicken for roast chicken sandwiches or make this easy chicken salad recipe.
- Make this chicken and rice salad or add it to mason jar salads.
- Save the chicken bones and carcass to make homemade Instant Pot bone broth or chicken stock.
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What Are Some Flavor Ideas For Instant Pot Chicken
Want to spice things up? Try some of these suggestions to quickly transform a plain chicken breast:
- Change up the liquid: skip the chicken stock and opt for beer, apple juice or pineapple juice instead.
- Add some Asian flair: add a tablespoon of miso paste and a splash of soy sauce to the chicken stock.
- Go for Mexican flavors: add in 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder and finish off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice to the chicken stock.
- Make it Mediterranean: add 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano and garlic powder to your stock.
- Be bold with Buffalo chicken flavor: embolden your chicken stock with 1/4 cup hot sauce or your favorite wing sauce, 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon celery seed. Top finished chicken with blue cheese.