Instant Pot Chicken Salad

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Instant Pot Chicken Salad is just like any other chicken salad, with crunchy celery, creamy mayonnaise, and a lots of tender chicken, but it’s a much faster way to cook the chicken, so your lunch is ready in no time.

» You might also like Easy Instant Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken.

Mixed up chicken salad in a bowl

I thought it was a bit strange at first, making chicken salad in the Instant Pot, but then I realized it’s a much faster way to cook the chicken, especially from frozen, and it comes out perfectly tender, unlike the boiled or microwaved chicken I used to use that usually turned out dry and flavorless.

All you have to do is pop the chicken in the Instant Pot for 9-12 minutes, depending on if it’s frozen or not, then let it cool and mix it in with the other ingredients and you’re done. Super quick. It’s also a great way to make a large batch of chicken salad for a party or for meal prep, because you can make as much or as little chicken as you want at a time. You can even get some of your dinner prep done at the same time, by cooking extra chicken breasts to use for later.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for chicken salad

The main ingredients that you need for this salad are chicken breast and mayonnaise. Beyond that, you can really choose what you like to put in your salad. You can add celery, bell peppers, and onions for crunch. Add cherry tomatoes or dried cranberries for sweetness. Add a little mustard for tanginess, and a little dill, basil, or oregano for a punch of flavor. It’s really up to you.

Here’s what we’ve used in our salad:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts – I use 1 pound of chicken for 4 servings. You can increase or decrease this amount based on how much you need.
  • Celery – Adds a nice crunch and some flavor.
  • Green onion – Also adds crunch and flavor. You can use a regular onion or red onion if you want more onion flavor.
  • Mayonnaise – I use full fat Hellman’s mayo.
  • Yellow mustard – I like to use French’s yellow mustard to add a bit of tangy. You can use Dijon mustard if you like it better.
  • Fresh or dried dill – Add a little dill for flavor, or if you like basil or oregano better – use that.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Salad

Season the chicken breasts with salt & pepper to taste. Place in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water or broth.

Raw chicken breasts in the Instant Pot

Press “Manual” and cook for 12 minutes if frozen and 9 minutes if fresh. Allow the instant pot to naturally release for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and cool until you can handle it. Shred or dice the chicken and cool completely.

Once cooled combine the chicken with all ingredients in a large bowl.

Chicken salad ingredients in a bowl about to be mixed up.

Mix well and serve over salad or on bread.

Is it Necessary to Make the Chicken in the Instant Pot?

Well, of course it’s not necessary! You can cook the chicken for chicken salad any way you like. The only part of this dish that’s actually made in the Instant Pot is the chicken. And the reason we do it is because it’s so fast and convenient.

In the Instant Pot, you can cook frozen chicken breast in just 20 minutes with pressurizing time. That’s quite a bit faster than you’d be able to make it on the stovetop.

However, if you don’t want to make the chicken in the Instant Pot, you can still use this recipe to make the salad after you’ve cooked the chicken another way.

Chicken salad on a hoagie roll

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.

If you don’t have one yet, check out our guide on which one to buy. Also see our guide to How to Use an Instant Pot for more information.

Meal Prep Ideas

You can cook up to 10 chicken breasts at a time in the Instant Pot 6-quart, and even more in the 8-quart (increase the water to 2 cups), so you will have extra chicken for meal prep or future salads. No adjustments to cooking time are needed.

Shred or chop the chicken and put it in a large container in the refrigerator so you can make more salad later, or so you can use the chicken in an other way. It’s great for adding to salads on the fly.

Use this chicken salad to make sandwiches, lettuce wraps, or bagel snacks. Check out some of these chicken meal prep ideas.

Mixed up chicken salad in a bowl

Additions & Suggestions

  • You can add celery, bell peppers, and onions for crunch.
  • Add cherry tomatoes or dried cranberries for sweetness.
  • Add a little mustard or horseradish for tanginess.
  • Add dill, basil, or oregano for a punch of flavor.

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.

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Chicken salad on a croissant

Instant Pot Chicken Salad

Instant Pot Chicken Salad is just like any other chicken salad, with crunchy celery, creamy mayonnaise, and a lots of tender chicken, but it's a much faster way to cook the chicken, so your lunch is ready in no time.

Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot

5 from 43 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Pressurize Time 10 mins
Total Time 23 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 265 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1 green onion sliced
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cherry tomatoes quartered

Instructions
 

  • Season the chicken breasts with salt. Place them in the Instant Pot along with 1 cup of water.
  • Close the lid and set the valve to sealing. Press Pressure Cook or Manual button and set the cook time to 11 minutes, if frozen, or 8 minutes, if fresh. It will take about 5 minutes to come up to pressure. When done, allow a natural pressure release of 5 minutes, then release the remaining pressure.
  • Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and slice it into thick slices to cool. When completely cooled, dice or shred.
  • Combine the chicken with the other ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Mix well and serve as a sandwich or salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 265kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 25gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.05gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 271mgPotassium: 540mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 300IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Chicken
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Chicken salad mixed up in a bowl and on bread

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