The Instant Pot continues to amaze! Today, I’ll teach you how to cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot in minutes, compared to hours. You will not believe how simple it is to cook chicken that is moist and fork tender in the Instant Pot in just a few minutes.
How many recipes do you use regularly that require chicken? The beauty (one of many) of the Instant Pot is the time saver aspect! I love being able to cook frozen chicken in just a few minutes, and get a fork-tender result.
Before I owned the Instant Pot, I had to plan ahead to cook chicken for hours if I wanted it to shred easily, now it’s about a 30 minutes process. All you need is chicken (fresh or frozen) liquid, seasoning and the Instant Pot!
Experiments with time…
The first few times I cooked frozen chicken in the Instant Pot, I was concerned the chicken would not cook completely, as a result, I overcooked it. Whenever I cook chicken in the oven and start out with frozen chicken, it takes about 45-60 minutes (covered) at 350 degrees depending on the thickness of the frozen chicken breast.
Knowing the Instant Pot usually cooks in a fraction of the time of traditional cooking methods (oven, slow cooker, stove) I guessed 20-30 minutes would be the perfect amount of cook time. Wrong! The chicken was almost dried out (which is very difficult to do in the Instant Pot!) when cooked for 30 minutes. The next time, I tried 10 minutes.
The chicken was cooked, but seemed a bit on the fleshy side. Not raw, just not quite firm enough for my liking and more difficult to shred. Does this sound a little like Goldilocks sampling the porridge?! I finally settled on cooking frozen chicken on the MANUAL setting for 12 minutes. The result was perfectly cooked chicken.
I like to allow the pressure to release naturally, instead of manually (turning the venting dial by hand) if possible. I think the extra time in the Instant Pot with the liquid helps lock the moisture into the meat. That said, if you are in a hurry, it is fine to release the pressure manually using the pressure release (venting) valve after the cooking process is finished and the timer has gone off.
For purposes of uniformity, I weighed the chicken for this recipe at 2 lbs total before cooking, about 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves. Two pounds of meat is about 6 servings, or 8 servings if you have a several side dishes or are feeding littles. Two pounds of frozen chicken will yield about 6-8 cups of cooked, shredded chicken to be used in salads, soups or other dishes.
I used chicken breasts of a medium to thick size, anywhere from 9-12 oz each (weight before cooking). I buy chicken at the grocery and also from Costco.
For convenience sake (so I always have chicken on hand) I purchase 10 lb bags of Foster Farms chicken at Costco. This is what I use most often, especially when cooking in bulk. The chicken breasts in the 10 lb packages tend to be quite thick, but work in this recipe for How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot.
Big crowd cooking
If you’re cooking for a crowd, or just want to cook a large amount of chicken at one time I have had success cooking 5 lbs of chicken, frozen, in the Instant Pot. I simply place the chicken in the pot add the liquid and then turn the pot on for 15 minutes. Same result as when the chicken is cooked in a smaller size batch.
I have the 6 quart Instant Pot, and can comfortably cook 5-6 lbs of chicken at a time. I also own the 8 quart Instant Pot, which I use a little less than my 6 quart IP, but have used it to cook frozen chicken with same results as using the 6 quart model. When cooking a large batch of chicken, remember the chicken will shrink while cooking so even though you fill the pot with chicken if you’re cooking a 5lb batch, after the chicken is cooked and the lid is opened, the volume of the chicken in the pot will be reduced by about 1/4 to 1/3.
After cooling the cooked meat, chop or shred and place in containers to be used immediately or frozen for later use. I use my Quisinart Food Processor to shred the chicken while still warm by pulsing a few times. A reader told me she places her hand held mixer into the bowl with the cooked chicken and turns on to shred the chicken. I tried this method in my stand mixer and it is like magic! Shredded chicken without using forks to pull apart! Perfect for salads (below) like this Chicken and Kale Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette!
Instant Pot love
I you haven’t read the basics of using the Instant Pot, take a look at Instant Pot, Now What? It will help you be more familiar with the IP and taking the plunge into cooking in the IP. I promise, once you start using the Instant Pot, there’s no going back! If I used the Instant Pot for nothing more than cooking frozen chicken, it would be worth the price.
Of course, the Instant Pot can do so much more than cook frozen chicken, and has become my favorite kitchen appliance. Hope this recipe on How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot is helpful to you! Let us know in the comments your experiences with cooking frozen chicken in the Instant Pot. I welcome feedback and love to hear your thoughts.
This post has beed updated with additional information about the Instant Pot and cooking instructions since the original post in 2017.
Here are a few of our favorite chicken dishes: Family Favorite Enchiladas, Grilled Chicken and Kale Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette, Chicken Lasagne (pictured above), Tarragon Chicken Salad, and Mini Chicken Pot Pies.
How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot
- 2 lbs frozen chicken
- 1/2 cup water
- salt pepper, other seasonings as desired*
Spray the Instant Pot insert with cooking oil.
Place the chicken in the pot, season generously with salt and pepper and any other seasonings desired. .
Pour 1/2 cup water around the sides of the chicken in the pot.
Make sure the sealing ring (inside the lid) is in the proper position.
Place the lid on the pot and set to the lock or SEAL position.
Turn the Instant Pot to the MANUAL setting for 12 minutes. If the chicken is not frozen, 8 minutes will work.
Press the MANUAL button to start the cooking process.
When the timer goes off and the chicken is cooked, the pressure may be released manually by carefully turning the valve on top of the Instant Pot to the VENTING position (be careful to not position your face over the pot while steam is releasing), or simply allow the pressure to naturally release for about 10-15 minutes before removing lid.
Remove chicken from the pot, shred or chop and use as needed.
-Seasoning will depend on how you use the chicken. I usually season generously with salt and pepper. If I am using the chicken for a mexican dish, I season with chili powder, coriander and garlic. You can also use salsa instead of water when cooking. Use the same amount of salsa to liquid.-I like to let the chicken sit in the juice (broth) for a few minutes before shredding, and then spoon a small amount of the liquid remaining over the chicken after shredding. -You can pour the remaining broth over a strainer and freeze or use the chicken broth within 5 days. Use in any recipe calling for chicken broth or stock.-I have a 6 quart pot and have cooked up to 5 lbs of frozen chicken at one time. cook with 1 cups of water for 15 minutes. Follow same directions for cooking as with 2 lbs of chicken.
171 thoughts on “How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot”
Thank you, Si! I didn’t know frozen chicken could be cooked without first defrosting. This would be such a time saver!! Can’t wait to try it. Can it be cooked from frozen in a crockpot? As always, I learn so much from you 🙂
Yes, this is one of the great benefits of using the Instant pot! In the slow cooker, you can cook frozen chicken, but sometimes, you’ll come out with raw spots of meat. I have not had that issue in the IP. If you don’t have one yet, you need one! I hardly use the slow cooker anymore because the IP is so much quicker, no need to plan all day for cooking.
Cooking frozen items in a slow cooker is problematic. By the time your chicken or meat is thawed and brought to cooking temperature, you’re running the risk of food poisoning. Not worth it!
Been doing it for years and never had food poisoning
She is using the pressure cooker option, not slow cooker.
You cant get food poisoning from food that is cooked in 12 minutes. When food sits out without heat or refrigeration, bacteria will grow. But not in 12 minutes!
Mandy specified cooking frozen in a slow cooker, not IP. She was responding to Heather’s question about cooking from frozen in a slow cooker. And experts have been warning about that for decades.
I cook frozen chicken in my crockpot often. Never had a problem. I do always set the crockpot on high for at least an hour first and then turn it to low if needed for a recipe. I think the first hour on high helps it thaw faster.
How do you wash frozen chicken… Thought youare supposed to rinse/wash chicken before cooking?
You can simply put your frozen chicken in the IP and cook it without washing. The cooking actually kills bacteria that lives on the meat. Rinsing chicken can disturb the bacteria on your meat and cause it to spread to other surfaces in your kitchen, or onto you. You will be able to save time and maintain a cleaner kitchen by not washing your chicken.
I hope this helps!
wash before you freeze it after purchasing from grocery store!
Washing or rinsing chicken increases risk.
Salmonella, Campylobacter and other harmful bacteria live on raw chicken. Washing or rinsing doesn’t remove this risk, it worsens it by helping the bacteria spread. When you add water through washing or rinsing, you give these bacteria a way to travel throughout your kitchen.
This is so strange because I did frozen chicken breasts last night for the recommended 25 minutes I found in several online sources and it was still pink in the middle so I had to repressurize and do another 5 minutes. I didn’t feel like it was overcooked.????????♀️
Holly, Can you tell me what type of cooker you are using? Is it a pressure cooker, if so, what brand? This recipe is tested for the Instant Pot. Thanks so much!
Holly, were you cooking thighs? If so, pink does not necessarily mean not cooked. 20-30 yrs ago chickens walked around, rather than being mass produced in cramped cages with no exercise, so the dark meat back then was more brown when cooked. Now chickens don’t get much, if any exercise and have been bred to grow so quickly, the dark meat is often a pink color when cooked. If you can tear it apart, it’s cooked, if the pink parts are slimy, then it’s not.
You are confusing egg layers/pullets and Broilers (chickens used for meat). Broilers are not kept in cages as that would result in poor muscle development equaling poor meat yield. I have a bachelors in pre-veterinary medicine with a minor in Poultry Management and have worked in the poultry industry with many commercial companies. I can tell you from hands on experience (and raising over 6 million broilers) that anyone who keeps a bird used for meat in a cage is not doing their business a favor.
If you use the poultry setting like I do, you will find it takes a bit longer to cook but I have had fantastic results doing it poultry setting verses manual mode. It has never come out dry even if I cook it too long. Only gets really tender. So for not shredding I have to cook it a shorter time period. I have an IP duo.
Hi Leah, I used the poultry setting for the first time today after seeing your comment. I put 2 lbs. of frozen chicken breast in with 1 cup of chicken broth. Pressed the poultry button (15 minutes) and then let it sit in the instant pot (natural release) for 20 minutes. I can not believe how juicy and tender the chicken was and they were all cooked through!! Thank you!
I have tried several times to cook frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot but never had good results. I don’t think I used enough liquid before but 1 cup definitely helped. I also made sure the frozen breasts were not stuck frozen together. I have the IP DUO as well.
This was the easiest and best shredded chicken I’ve ever made. I couldn’t believe how easily it shredded. Thanks for this! I’ve just recently found your blog and I’ve made the stew once, the shredded chicken once, and the Levain bakery chocolate chip cookies thrice, and they’ve all been delicious!
Thanks so much Holly! I love this method for cooking chicken. It’s perfect for cooking large batches as well.
So glad you have found recipes you love! Thanks for reading ABK
This was SO easy AND delicious! I will never wonder what to do with my enormous bag of frozen chicken from Costco again!
Thanks Brooke! I love this method. So simple and awesome for make ahead!
I shred my chicken breasts with an electric hand mixer right in the instant pot liner. It’s fast and easy.
Great idea! I had another reader tell me she places the meat in the food processor and gives it a few quick pulses! Love your tip. Thanks,
New IP user here. What do you mean by “Make sure the sealing ring (inside the lid) is in the proper position.”? Do I need to rotate it into a specific spot?
The sealing ring is the rubber ring that sits inside of the pot lid. Make sure it is properly fitted before you turn the IP on. It should tuck under the metal ring that stays in place inside of the pot. It does not rotate, just fits under the lid!
I am knew to using the Instant Pot and love it. I have an awkward amount of frozen boneless chicken thighs (3.66 lbs). I am not sure how much time I should cook them for…thanks in advance!!
I would try the same time amount I stated in the recipe above, 1/2 cup of water for 12 minutes if the chicken is frozen!
I cooked 5 frozen breast and 1 cup of water in the instant pot and did on manual for 30 minutes and then let it cool down for 15 min before I used the pressure valve. The chicken just shredded easily with a fork.
I notice that you don’t have anything, such as steamer baskets, separating the layers of chicken. Do you ever have issues with underdone spots where the layers touch? I tried IP cooking thawed chicken with layers touching and had several underdone spots. I’m new at this–thanks for your advice!
I have not used anything to separate the pieces of frozen chicken while cooking in the IP. I’ve cooked several pieces of chicken at one time in the IP without thawing or using anything to separate the chicken. Not sure why you are having issues with the IP or why there are frozen spots? Also, I haven’t had any other feedback about underdone spots?
thanks for reading ABK,
I just finished cooking frozen chicken using the IP duo80 (* quart) and had this same issue. I had eight frozen chicken breasts with 1 1/2 cups of water set for 15 minutes and allowed natural vent.
Your chicken was not cooked through? Not sure why. The recipe states 1/2 cup of water and 10 minutes cooking time. I’ve had several people tell me they have had excellent results. I’m wondering if altitude has something to do with variation in cooking time? I live in the mountains at 4500 ft elevation. Where are you located?
I’m in Houston. We cooked them again tonight at 25 minutes and had the same issue. I moved the chicken pieces around and set up for 7 minutes and they were cooked through that time.
Is it a difference in using manual pressure vs the poultry setting? Another reader mentioned that when she used the poultry setting, it required a longer time to cook.
Hi Jennifer,the poultry setting cooks at high pressure for either 15 or 30 minutes depending on how much you’re cooking. The manual pressure setting also cooks at high pressure, but you can adjust the time to your preference. I always just use the manual button because of how easy it is to adjust the time if needed. Also, if you live at a higher altitude, this might also require you to cook the chicken a few minutes longer. Thanks for reading ABK!
Hi. I also had frozen spots where the two breasts had been stuck together…totally bright pink. I added the additional cook time recommended for high altitude cooking with all other recipes it turned out ok. Please advise. Thanks! 🙂
Hi Donya, depending on your IP size and the altitude you’re at, you might have to cook the chicken a little extra longer. Also, make sure the release valve is completely closed. If the valve is just a little open, some of the steam will be released and this interferes with the pressure build up. Hope this helps and thanks for reading ABK!
I also have an instant pot duo80 (8 qt size) my manual says to always have a minimum of about 2 cups of liquid (this is crucial for it to boil correctly). I see tons of variations in many instant pot recipes with so many different pressure cookers and model versions. So I’ve decided to always adapt the recipes to align with my instant pot’s manual for cooking times and the correct fluid level. I have never had an issue when I do this.
Thanks for pointing this out. I have made several recipes without using 2 cups of liquid with success, but it may be the reason some of the readers here are having issues with the chicken cooking correctly!
Appreciate your feedback!
I’m going to try these today but would like it to be BBQ chicken. Should I just use 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce or still use the 1/2 cup water also? I have 4 frozen costco chicken breasts. Thank you for the recipe!
Yes, you can use bbq sauce instead of water! The pressure cooker needs liquid in the pot to properly cook, the bbq sauce will work as a replacement. I would cook the chicken in the 1/2 cup bbq sauce, then after cooking, remove any unwanted liquid from the pot and add additional bbq sauce to the pot on the saute setting for a few minutes with the lid off. Let us know what adjustments you made after cooking!
Just cooked 3 lbs of frozen chicken breast for 13 minutes and 3/4 cup water and they were perfection. I shredded the chicken with my mixer and I am now a fan of this method!! It’s so awesome to have shredded chicken in the freezer for quick meals with so little effort!!
Thanks Stephanie! I totally agree. I try to always have a bag ready to go in the freezer!
Thanks for reading ABK
Glad you had great results. I use the IP about once a week to cook frozen chicken and like you, have had perfect results! I love the mixer method as well to shred the chicken! Thanks for reading ABK,
I followed this recipe with 2 lbs frozen chicken breasts, but the chicken came out very tough. I used one of those cheaper bags of ice glazed, individually frozen chicken breasts. Are Costco chicken breasts fairly meat and substantial? If so, perhaps I should try again with less time?
The brand I purchased at Costco is Foster Farms. They are sold in the freezer section… the chicken breasts are fairly thick in size. You may try a little less time if your chicken is tough!
Thanks for reading ABK,
Most times when meat cooked in IP comes out tough, it is due to one of these:
Poor quality, brand
Releasing pressure too soon
If it’s dry and tough, probably over cooked.
I never liked pressured meats because they were always tough. Then I saw a website that explained about how letting it natural release at least 10 min. was equivalent to letting roasted meats rest before cutting. Since I started doing the 10 min. NR, my have almost all been perfect. I have stopped buying poultry at certain stores now because theirs have been consistently tough, no matter how I cook them. I have also discovered that some stores refer to all meats as “fresh” if they are thawed when sold, even if they were previously frozen! So I have bought their “fresh” chicken, froze it, then when thawed and cooked, it was tough and off flavored. That is what usually happens when meat is frozen, thawed, and then re-frozen. Albertson’s was the worst for this; haven’t bought poultry from them in over 20 years!
Differences in thickness of meat makes a difference in cooking time. I get two types of frozen breasts. Some look like they were just cut from the bone; can be up to 2″ thick. Some are flat and roundish, no more than 1/2-3/4″ thick (obviously trimmed). The latter only need 12 min. cooking from frozen. The thicker type need 20 minutes.
Had two very thick chicken breasts weighing nearly three pounds. Followed instructions but cooked for 15 minutes. One breast was raw in middle. Put them back in for five minutes. Was able to shred them – seemed a tad rubbery.
I’m just wondering if you get the blubbery white stuff on the chicken breasts when you cook your Costco frozen chicken? I didn’t notice it in your picture. I love cooking chicken in my instant pot, but that grosses me out 😳
I do occasionally get the white bubbly substance on my chicken! I think it’s a combination of fat and salt that have coagulated. It is harmless, but I agree looks kind of gross. I simply scrape it into the garbage. I’m not sure why it does not form every time I cook chicken? It must have to do with the amount of moisture in the pan… I think it is similar to chicken or turkey fat that collects in a pan when cooked in the oven!
thanks for reading ABK
This answered my burning question! I always have that white bubbly fat on my chicken. I just scrape and toss. I did wonder about using water while I cooked my chicken, but I usually just toss my chicken into the cooker and hit the preset poultry setting. Once it pressurizes, I think it takes about 10-13 min to cook my chicken. I’ve only ever done about 5 pieces of the Costco bag at one time but I’ve never had a problem with my chicken being under/over done.
Have you ever done the frozen chicken tenders? Would the time be the same? I may have to experiment. Thanks for your recipe!
I have not, because chicken tenders are so small and thin, I’m sure the cooking time would be reduced. I would start with 5-6 minutes and experiment. If they are not done, you can add more time after all pressure has been released!
thanks for reading, and let me know. I’d love to hear how much time to cook the chicken tenders.
I tried it today with six frozen chicken tenders, 3/4 cup water, and some lemon pepper seasoning. I gave it 13 minutes + 5 minutes of release. It tastes fine to me although it was falling apart a bit… so 6 minutes would probably be better.
Thank you for your input! What recipes have you tried with the Instant Pot? It has been a lifesaver in my kitchen.
Thanks for reading ABK!
Bought my IP last weekend on sale at target and used it for the first time today with your frozen chicken recipe. WORTH EVERY PENNY. If I only used it for this very purpose it would have been worth the money. Can’t wait to try your other recipes!
The more I use my Instant Pot, the more I love it. Let me know how you like my other IP recipes. I appreciate your input.
Thank you for reading ABK!
I don’t have a manual button. Would I just use the Pressure Cook Button? I have the IP-Duo 8 qt.
Yes, the “manual” and “pressure cook” button are the same. The newer models say “pressure cook”.
I hope you enjoy using your Instant pot!
Was hoping someone would ask this question, I just got an IP and am going to try this recipe, but don’t have a button that says “manual.” Thanks Torri and Si!
Denise, I’m glad this helped! Thanks for reading ABK,
Hi! I just purchased the Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1 and since there isn’t a Manual setting on this model only the Pressure Cook option could you tell me which settings I would use on this one? I’m having a hard time finding any recipes for this model mostly because of the Manual setting.
Thanks so much,
The older IP models have a “manual” button which is the same as the “pressure cook” button in the new models.
You can try any of my recipes – just press “pressure cook” when it calls for “manual”.
Let me know what you try!
I also recently purchased IP Duo Plus yada, yada, yada and it has the ‘Pressure Cook’ setting. The user manual says what pressure low and high pressure are as you can choose which you use with the ‘pressure cook’ setting. Does the user manual for the older models that have the “manual” button state what pressure the manual setting is? I have been confused when reading recipes like this one that say manual, should I use the low pressure or high pressure settings?
Great question! The Manual button is a high pressure mode. I’m sure other readers have the same question – thanks for asking!
Loved this recipe! It was my first time ever using an Instant Pot, so I wanted to start with something easy and simple! I did three pounds of chicken frozen for 15 minutes. For a first shot, it turned out pretty good! My question is this- my pieces were definitely thick and stuck together in several places. The breasts were cooked completely through- the right temperature on a meat thermometer and no pink spots- but seemed just a little tough and took a little work to shred. If I wanted the chicken to be more tender and falling apart, would I want to cook it a little more or a little less next time? I’m thinking a few minutes more, but I’m a better baker than actual cook, so I thought I would see if someone else could weigh in! Thanks!
Unfortunately if you are using organic chicken it often turns out tough. I highly recommend the Foster Farms frozen chicken breasts found in many local grocery stores or at Costco in 10 lb bags. Let me know how that works!
Thanks for reading ABK!
Hi! My IP does not have a Manuel button… maybe I have a newer model. I just got it. What do I cook the chicken on? Every recipe I see says push the Manuel button… help!!
The ‘manual’ button is the same as the ‘high pressure’ button on other models. Now press that High Pressure button and enjoy your Instant Pot and delicious recipes!
Hi there! Can’t wait to try it! But should I use low or high pressure? Thanks!
I would use the high pressure mode. Let me know how it turns out.
Hello! I tried 2lbs frozen at 12 minutes and all the pieces were still pretty pink. I am new to the IP so maybe I did something wrong? They were pretty thick pieces, maybe that makes a difference?
I think the biggest issue with using the IP is to make sure the release valve is completely closed. I started cooking a recipe last week and the valve was just a little open, causing a small amount of steam to be released and not letting the pressure build up. Don’t be afraid to try again – hoping that helps.
Thanks for your feedback.
I am brand new to the Instant Pot and this recipe is my first try at it. I have the DUO series and there is no MANUAL button…just a PRESSURE COOK button that allows me to adjust my time. Is this right? Do you know the differences that I should be looking for when using all your IP recipes?
The Manual and the Pressure Cook are one in the same. They just changed the name on the newer model. Let me know what recipe you make and how you like using your instant pot! Enjoy!
I am a very new IP owner. I used your recipe tonight for frozen chicken. It was awesome. The time I saved cooking from frozen and it was so moist. Thank you.
You’re welcome! I love my IP and I’m using it more and more as the holiday season gets busier.
Let me know if you try any other recipes!
Thanks for reading ABK!
Any tips on cooking a whole pack (about 5 lbs) of fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts in the instant pot? I don’t know how long to set it for and how much water to put in.
For 5 lbs of frozen chicken meat, add 1 cup water and cook for 15 minutes. Follow the instructions in this recipe and your chicken should turn out perfectly! Enjoy your Instant Pot.
Hello – New user here.
You say to cook the frozen chicken for 12 min. Is that on the poultry setting or ???
Great question! I use the Manual setting for this recipe (or high pressure mode on some models) . If you’re new to the Instant Pot, you may want to read How to Use the Instant Pot to get you more familiar with using this great kitchen tool.
Thanks for reading ABK!
I substituted Italian dressing and a little soy sauce for the water and used Kroger frozen breast tenderloins. I reduced the time to 11 minutes. Perfection! Your recipe inspired me, and I put my own twist on it.
Sounds wonderful! So glad you’re experimenting with your Instant Pot. Thank you for sharing your success, and thanks for reading ABK!
Hi Si – Brand new to IP. I have bone-in frozen chicken thighs. Will this recipe work for that, or is it just for boneless?
I have not tried using the IP with frozen bone in chicken, but Im fairly sure it will work. I posted a recipe for cooking a whole chicken in the IP, take a look at that and compare pounds of chicken and time. My guess is to add a couple of minutes to the 12 minute cooking time. Thighs are moist and I believe will most likely not dry out in the IP. Let us know how you cook it and the time, I’d love to hear the results!
So where is the Manual button. I just got a DUO for Christmas and it does not have a manual button. I selected high pressure.
Some IP do not have manual buttons, so yes, high pressure is the alternative!
Hi! I have about 2 pounds of frozen chicken breasts I am about to start for a recipe. I have the instant pot Duo 6 quart, and it says I must have a minimum of two cups of water when pressure cooking. Will that mess it up?
This recipe has worked well for me multiple times. The 1/2 cup water will be perfect. I hope you enjoy cooking with your IP as much as I do! Let me know how it turns out.
Thanks for reading ABK!
Hi! So I see this is more for having shredded chicken on hand which is always great to have! But if I were to want to cook them to eat the breast as a whole piece, would you just cook less time so they aren’t so shredd-able? Hope that makes sense 🙂
Thanks for asking, no I cook the chicken the same amount of time if I’m using in a casserole or by itself!
thanks for reading,
I am very excited for my instant pot! Just tried this recipe with a frozen solid breast that was a little under 2 lbs. It did not cook all the way through in 12 minutes, which I thought might happen. I put back in for 7, which may be too much. Right now I’m just experimenting, thank you for your detailed recipes!!!
come to think of it, there may be a bone in there, but it’s supposed to be boneless! (I bought a ten pound bag from my butcher)
omg, sorry, can’t figure out how to edit. I also noticed I put the chicken on the trivet thing, which you did not say to do, so perhaps that messed it up too?
You’re welcome! Good for you for experimenting with your IP! I hope the chicken turned out great in the end. Keep using your IP- it has been a time saver for me. Let me know how my recipes work for you in the future.
Thanks for reading ABK!
I’m a little confused about the water. Everything I’ve read says 1 cup minimum,but you repeatedly say 1/2 cup. Why the difference?
Are you referring to other recipes you have read? This recipe calls for chicken and 1/2 cup of water. You may add 1 cup if you’d like!
Generally I use 1/2 cup of water for 2 lbs of chicken.
Just tried this with two frozen chicken breasts, about 2.5 pounds. 6qt pot at 10 min with 10 min pressure release. They were still frozen and Raw in the middle. Only 1/4 cooked. Put on meat, high, for 10 min with 10 min release. Perfection! Juicy and easy to shred. Not sure why mine took longer but I have no problem playing with times that work in my pot. Thanks for the info – this was the first time I tried from frozen.
Thank you for sending your trials and results. What recipe did you end up using with your perfectly cooked chicken?
Thanks for reading ABK.
So you actually cooked them for a total of 20 mins.?
The manual or high pressure setting is set for 12 minutes, then allow the pressure to natural release for 10-15 minutes after the timer goes off.
Hope this helps!
I’ve tried this twice now and both times my chicken is still incredibly raw in the middle. The first time the breasts were really thick so I figured that was the problem but this time they were much thinner and I still had the same problem. I’ll just have to double the time from now on or something.
That is so interesting Ashlee. Tell me what type of chicken you are buying, brand? The Foster Farms brand I purchase at Costco has quite thick pieces, so Im guessing it’s not the thickness. Are you using an IP brand pot? Also, you are using the manual setting? or high pressure setting? I want to get to the bottom of this!
How did the chicken cook after you added more time? What size is your instant pot?
Can a whole chicken be cooked while still frozen? New user, and wondering. Thank you in advance
I have not tried to cook a whole frozen chicken, but am guessing it will work! I have a post for cooking a whole chicken in the IP, her is the link: https://abountifulkitchen.com/2017/10/instant-pot-whole-rotisserie-style-chicken.html/
I put 2 large, rock-hard frozen breasts in for 14 min – not even close to done. I’ve just put them back on for another 14 min., so we’ll see what happens! I don’t care if they end up overcooked, as I plan to shred them up and slather them with mayo for chicken salad anyway. LOL
Even if it does take 30 min. for me, that’s still fast as heck! If not for the IP, I would have been in a bind for dinner tonight. 🙂
I am puzzled as to why the chicken did not cook in the amount of tie stated in the recipe? I have made this dozens of times with out a hitch. And lots of reviews stating the same. But occasionally a reader has issues…Was the seal in place in the lid of the IP?
I wish I knew! Everything I’ve made in the IP since I got it has come out just like whichever recipe I was using said. Maybe the chicken didn’t cook fully because it was frozen so hard? I haven’t had any problems with my seal or anything, so it’s a mystery. No worries, though! It was fine after the second round of cooking, though I definitely went overboard with doing it another 14 minutes. Probably another 6 would have been fine. But it made delish chicken salad. 🙂
Next time I make it, I’m going to try again with your original 12 min. and see what happens. Maybe this first time was just a fluke. I’m looking forward to making more recipes from your site! 🙂
I made this recipe tonight and the chicken was perfect! I used chicken broth instead of water and I can’t wait to try adding a few seasoning. Thanks for posting!
Glad you had success with this recipe! I used this recipe tonight to cook chicken for enchiladas tomorrow. It’s the best way to cook chicken for recipes that call for cooked chicken. Thanks for reading ABK!
Just got an Instant Pot and looking forward to trying new recipes. This thing could be the next new gadget for every kitchen!
I use my Instant Pot regularly. Just get it out of the box and start using it, I know you’ll love the versatility of this great kitchen appliance. Let me know what recipe you try first!
Thanks for reading ABK.
If I am only cooking 1 or 1.5 pounds of chicken, should I decrease the cooking time at all? Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipes!
I just bought my IP and trying this recipe using just 1/2 cup of water.After waiting ten minutes of it preheating (ON only displaying), the float valve still wasn’t rising. The manual said using too little water could be the cause of the float valve not rising. So started over and added more water in hopes that it will pressurize. Sure enough, within a few minutes it worked. Perhaps that’s the reason OR perhaps I didn’t wait long enough at first just because it is the first time I’ve tried the IP. I’ll let you know how it works out!
Thank you for sharing your experience and please let me know how the chicken turned out for you.
Thanks for reading ABK
I have the 8-quart Instant Pot, and the manual says to use a minimum of 2.25 cups of liquid with each recipe. I read that you are using a 6-quart Instant Pot. Is there a minimum amount of liquid required for safe use of your Instant Pot as well? Almost every Instant Pot recipe I’ve seen has a lower liquid amount than the 2.25 cups my 8-quart Instant Pot requires. Maybe I’m not reading the manual correctly?
I admittedly have not read the entire manual for the IP! I test and retest my IP recipes, using different amounts of liquid. I post the recipes according to what I believe are the best liquid to food ratio. I will have to look into this thanks you Alisa!
Costco’s Foster farms chicken has a pretty high water content (It says the percentage on the bag). Perhaps that’s why the 1/2 cup water works well for that chicken. Might also be why it cooks well in 12 min. Other frozen chicken may have less water content and may require more water or more time?
Hi I just now finally got me an instant pot and was seachering on if I can boil a whole frozen chicken to make chicken and noodles.
If you have a whole chicken, you may want to try my Instant Pot Whole Rotisserie Chicken recipe. Whole chicken in the IP is moist and so juicy! Perfect for chicken and noodles.
Thanks for reading ABK!
i just tried this. 1.88lbs of frozen, did 15 min, natural release, and still pink and uncooked, so added another 8 min and seems ok. would that be because my chicken was frozen together into a ball of chicken? do the recipes above show for ind frozen chicken and could that be why it did not work out?
I use individually frozen chicken breasts from the grocery store or Costco. What you did was just right. If you have a ball of frozen chicken, first cook the chicken, then separate the pieces and cook a little longer. Thanks for sharing your experience! Now, what recipe are you going to use, now that you have delicious cooked chicken?
Thanks for reading ABK!
I used my Costco purchased, group packaged fresh Foster Farms Chicken Breasts which I had frozen in the separated packages. I chose a large package that was fully frozen into one block. I added 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup BBQ sauce. 15 minutes manual high pressure with natural pressure release allowed me to separate the (3) breasts. I poured out the liquid and returned 1/2 cup, positioned the uncooked sides of the chicken to the bottom and cooked an another 4 minutes. I believe that if I had used the individually frozen breasts from the freezer section versus the packaged chicken in the fresh area the results would have been different. I think it was better to break the cooking time into two sections to allow for repositioning the meat as required. Quick shred with the mixer, pulled out half to be used for another dish in the future and added BBQ sauce and served on a roll. Quick and easy since I got to accomplish other things during the process.
Thank you for taking the time to share the steps you took to separate and cook your large chunk of frozen chicken. Your comments are sure to help other readers. I love my IP! I can just turn it on and do other things. I’m not babysitting a boiling pot of chicken breasts or stew!
Thanks for reading and contributing to ABK.
Wow! This is packed full of helpful information. Thank you so much for putting so much time and thought into this article.
At this very moment, I am using your method to thaw / cook 1 lb of professionally frozen-solid chicken thighs. I’m using 1/2 cup water and have reduced the cooking time to 10 minutes. If it doesn’t work, I’ll come back and update my tweaks.
Thanks, again! I’m off to click your links and find more great stuff!
Thanks for your feedback!
I made the frozen chicken breads and they were delicious!!! I took a partially used can of cream of chicken soup and mixed it with white wine making sure I had two cups of liquid, as that’s what my pot calls for, at least two cups of liquid. I put the chicken on top of the liquid and sprinkled poultry seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper over my two pieces of chicken. Pressure cooked for 12 minutes with a natural release. Served the sauce and chicken over noodles. DELISH!!
Thanks so much for sharing your success with the Instant Pot. Sounds like you created a delicious dish.
Thank you for reading ABK!
Haven’t tried frozen chicken yet but did use thawed chicken and cooked it for enchilada casserole. Fast and easy. I buy frozen Kirkland chicken breasts. They have a slightly lower salt content (15%) which we prefer.
How long would you recommend cooking two of the frozen foster farms chicken breasts for and how much water would you include? Thanks!
hmmmmmm I usually cook at least 4-5. I think if they are frozen, you will still need 12 minutes. You could try 8-10 and see if they are done, if not, just place lid back on and cook for a few more minutes. I would use 1/2 cup of water.
Let us know in comments if you try it!
This is incredible! I didn’t know I could start with frozen chicken. Thanks!
It is a life changing trick!
thanks for reading ABK
This is amazing! Thanks for sharing all the troubleshooting!
Love that IP! You’re welcome.
Thanks for reading ABK.
Instead of water could you use a liquid marinade??
I think that sounds delicious! Give it a try and let me know how it works.
Thanks for reading ABK.
Off topic, but where might I find the lovely enamel pan with red trim that is in your photograph? (I thought I posted this question before, forgive me if I’ve done it twice.)
I purchase the dish last year. Im almost certain it was at Homegoods? It is a ceramic dish!
I tried this w a pound of frozen chicken breast and it didn’t work. I’m new to ip but when done it was still frozen in middle. Chicken was frozen in a chunk was this why?
Hi Katie, your chicken was not cooked through? I’m not sure why. The recipe states 1/2 cup of water and 10 minutes cooking time for 2 lbs of chicken, so you would have to adjust accordingly if you used just 1 lb of chicken. I’m wondering if altitude has something to do with variation in cooking time? I live in the mountains at 4500 ft elevation. Where are you located?
I just did this for 12 minutes in my instant pot for 2 lbs of frozen chicken breasts and it was still raw inside.
Hi Vicki, if it’s still raw in the middle, I would try cooking it for 20 minutes. Are you putting the water in and letting the steam release for at least 10-15 minutes?
Where did you get the dish th shredded cooked chicken is in?
Hi Jenny, I bought it a couple of years ago from HomeGoods. Thanks for reading ABK!
This was my first time using my instant pot and it worked perfect! Like someone mentioned earlier, the manual says to use 2 cups liquid, so I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough, but I did. I didn’t get too close to it while it was doing it’s thing, because I’ve heard horror stories about the old kind, too, lol so I watched from afar, but now I have my nerve up to not be scared. I used 2.5 lbs frozen chicken and 3/4 cup liquid for 12 minutes on manual. I used it to make a big pot of chicken and whole wheat noodles, peas and carrots. I used the broth from the chicken to cook the noodles in. I can see where this is going to be super convenient for me! Thank you so much for this and all your recipes and to everyone for their comments, they are so helpful.
Hi Vicky, the IP is so easy to cook with. I love how versatile it is, and it’s SO convenient. Thanks so much for sharing and for reading ABK!
This was perfect for making a batch of shredded chicken to make chicken salad. I was a little worried after reading some reviews about their frozen chicken not cooking through or being stuck together where they touched so I cooked it for 15 minutes. I used chicken from Costco that you find in the meat and deli area that come in eight packets each containing 2 breast generally that we freeze. The chicken was cooked through and most of it was moist and very easy to shred. Some of the chicken did feel a little tough but I definitely feel like this method is a winner and I’ll try it again for the recommended time next time.
Hi Rene, I’m so glad it worked well for you. It’s definitely one of the easiest ways to cook chicken. Thanks for sharing!
Just tried this (I was actually cooking 1.8 lb of chicken) and it was still very raw in spots. This was my first time using the instant pot so I am super bummed it didn’t work out
I am not sure why you didn’t have great results, but I know some people have had to cook chicken a bit longer, depending on brand of pressure cooker, thickness of chicken, and brand of chicken purchased. I’d love to know your altitude and the brand of your pressure cooker, and if you used a manual or high pressure setting?
Thanks so much,
Hi. I just received an instant pot and I’m excited to try this.
My question about frozen chicken is this; can I follow a recipe that uses thawed chicken with frozen chicken? I have a sesame chicken recipe that uses thawed chicken but mine is frozen. Are there recipes that uses frozen chicken or do I need to thaw it first? Thanks
Hi Katy, you should still be able to use the recipe. I would just pressure cook it for a couple minutes longer. Thanks for asking!
What about the IP Duo mini? Same cooking time?
Hi Courtney, if you’re using the mini, divide the amount of chicken in half and cook for the same amount of time as in the recipe. Thanks for asking!
Hi! I tried following this tonight but using BBQ sauce for 12 minutes and the chicken was so dry! What am I doing wrong?
Did you use frozen chicken? This recipe works with the time specified if the chicken is frozen, but if it is thawed the cooking time is about 6 minutes on high pressure.
Need a recipe for cooking fresh chicken breasts in the IP? Love your recipes! Thanks Si
New IP user (8 qt.)! Wanting to try the frozen chicken breasts.
I bought the organic frozen chicken breasts from Costco. How much time/water would you recommend for three breasts? (I’m not sure how much they weigh, but they look average size).
Also, sounds like you don’t recommend using the trivet. Just place them straight in the pot😬
Hi Christie, you’ll use the same amount of time/water as in the recipe (1/2 cup water for 12 min on manual pressure). Just make sure to let it naturally release for at least 10-15 min. And yes, you can just place them straight into the IP. Hope this helps and thanks for asking!
I am so glad you shared this! I hate thawing and baking chicken! I cooked it in the instant pot and divided for recipes! Such a time saver.
Thank you for making this tutorial! Seriously saves me every time! Your spice suggestions are on point and the perfect amount of cooking time!
Thank you for taking the guesswork out of making frozen chicken in the Instantpot. Honestly this is what I use my instantpot for 90% of the time. So helpful!
I realized I have a Crock Pot Instapot so I had to make some adjustments. For one, I had 1-1/2 lbs of chicken breast. My IP doesn’t have a manual button to set the time so I used the poultry button which was for 15 minutes with the inability to decrease the time. I left it in there and it worked out fine. I have since learned that I could use a different button (steam or beans) that would let me decrease the time. The chicken turned out fine, but it was helpful to research what kind of IP you have. May make a difference on how your recipe turns out.
The IP is such an amazing kitchen tool! I love mine to, I’ve cooked large frozen cuts of beef, like pot roast completely frozen.
Thank you for sharing this recipe, I’ll be trying it out.
Si, my stove I’ve had for over 30 years is not working and I’ve ordered a new
stove from Home Depot but won’t get it until next week. Tonight I wanted to cook a frozen pizza and then remembered I can’t. Can I cook a frozen pizza in an Instant Pot? I know I’d have to cut it and I guess just cook a piece that will fit. Do you know? Thanks so much!
March 25, 2022
I have cooked many foods in the Instant Pot, but pizza is not one of them! If your IP has the air fryer lid, that would work. My first choice would be to throw a frozen pizza on the grill. The Instant Pot works with pressure from water in the pot, which won’t work well with pizza. All the best! Hope you love your new stove!