You can easily cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, in just 10-12 minutes, which will enable you to get food on the table fast, with very little effort – no defrosting necessary.
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I get this question quite often about whether you can cook chicken from frozen in the Instant Pot. It’s a great question because many of us don’t plan ahead enough to defrost chicken.
It’s so much easier on you if you don’t have to do the defrosting part at all. That’s why we wanted to write this article, to answer your questions about how to properly prepare chicken from frozen.
I rarely thaw chicken before cooking anymore, since it’s really unnecessary when cooking in the Instant Pot (or in the air fryer, if you’re so inclined). It takes just a few minutes longer than cooking thawed chicken and it turns out just as juicy and tender.
This isn’t our typical recipe, as there are only 2 ingredients, but I also guarantee it’ll be the one you come back to again and again, when you forget how many minutes to cook it for. That’s because chicken is one of those easy dinner ideas that can be used in just about any recipe.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
Ingredients You Need
The only things you need for this recipe are:
- Chicken breasts
- Chicken broth or water
- Salt & pepper
You can cook any size of chicken breast in the Instant Pot, even skin-on if you want. It takes roughly the same amount of time to cook 2 chicken breasts as it does to cook 8.
Additions & Variations
I almost always cook chicken breast just with salt and pepper and then once it’s cooked, I turn add sauces to it according to what I’m using it for. This gives you the most versatility because you can cook a lot of plain chicken in one go and then use it for many different meals throughout the week.
You can use in:
- Chicken Tacos
- BBQ chicken sandwiches
- Chicken salad (or sandwiches)
- Cajun chicken pasta
- Chicken Caesar salads
Those are just a few ideas. I’m sure you can come up with hundreds more.
However, you can also add seasonings and sauces directly to the inner pot to flavor your chicken. You might try adding BBQ sauce directly to the pot, or add Italian dressing for a zesty chicken.
You can add any manner of different spices as well. Try:
- Italian seasoning
- Cajun seasoning
- Lemon Pepper
- Hickory salt
No matter what flavor combo you want to try, you still need at least 1 cup of water in your pot. So keep that in mind when you add sauces, they are in addition to the water. This will mean that your sauce will turn out a bit watery and will have to be cooked down or thickened with corn starch.
Instant Pot Pro Plus
Now you can control your pot wirelessly through an app. Cool-touch handles on the pot itself, and an automatic locking pressure release valve for greater safety. This one does it all.
How to Cook Chicken From Frozen
The process for making frozen chicken in the Instant Pot is the same as making it from thawed, you just need to add a little bit of extra time to make sure the chicken gets up to the correct internal temperature. Following these easy steps.
- Pour one cup of chicken broth into the inner pot.
- Place the frozen chicken breasts in the liquid.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper or any other desired seasonings.
- Lock the lid and turn the vent to sealing.
- Press the “pressure cook” button and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes (15 minutes for more than 8 pieces).
- When done, verify that the internal temp of the chicken is at least 165 degrees.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do you cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot?
It takes 12 minutes to cook frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. It will take this same amount of time whether you add 2 or 8 chicken breasts, and it doesn’t matter what size they are. If you cook more than 8 at a time, you should increase the cook time to 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach at least 165 degrees. If it doesn’t, pressure cook again for 3-5 minutes.
Do I have to defrost the chicken first?
No, you do not have to defrost the chicken. You set the frozen chicken in the inner pot and set the pressure cook time. There is no defrosting necessary. If you do defrost the chicken first, it doesn’t need to be cooked as long.
Will the texture be weird?
No, the texture should not be different than if you cooked it any other way. I have heard people say their chicken turns out rubbery, but I think it’s more due to the process the chicken underwent with “enhanced” chicken, which is injected with a saline solution.
How long do I cook defrosted chicken in the Instant Pot?
If you thawed the chicken or are cooking it from non-frozen, you only need to cook the chicken for 8 minutes.
Buy High-Quality Chicken
I only buy pasture raised chicken and meats. I love Farm Foods Market online. They deliver hormone-free, non-GMO, antibiotic free chicken, plus all other types of meat, right to your door. You can order whatever you want, whenever you want – no membership or pre-selected box.
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Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breasts
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
- 1 pound chicken breast frozen (450g)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper optional
- Pour the broth into the inner pot. Place the chicken in the water.
- Close and lock the lid. Set the vent to sealing.
- Press the Pressure Cook button and set to 12 minutes. It will take about 5-10 minutes to come up to pressure.
- After cooking, allow a natural pressure release.
- Serve chicken any way you want.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes over at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, and you’ll find air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.