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Instant Pot Boneless Chicken Breasts

Instant Pot Boneless Chicken Breasts are so easy and ready in about 30 minutes – from fresh or frozen! Shred, dice, or slice and use in your favorite recipes! Great for meal prep!

I have a ton of recipes that call for cooked shredded or diced chicken breasts. And when you have some pre-cooked chicken already on hand, it makes fixing dinner or lunch quick and easy. So I’m usually pretty good at keeping a bunch in my freezer ready to go.

Let’s be real here, though.

There are also lots of times when my stockpile is empty and I need some cooked chicken – and I need it fast – for that recipe I want to make tonight, and all I have is some fresh chicken in the fridge or (worse) frozen chicken.

You’ve been there too, am I right?

That’s when I say, “Hello there, Instant Pot. I’m so glad I met you!”

Cooking chicken breasts is one of the things I do most with my Instant Pot. I use it all the time to stock up on pre-cooked chicken for meal planning AND it’s a life-saver when I need some cooked chicken in a hurry.

Best of all, you can cook the chicken from fresh OR frozen and be done in about 30 minutes!

two chicken breasts that were cooked in the instant pot on a blue plate

Ingredients You Need to Make Instant Pot Boneless Chicken Breasts:

  • Chicken broth (or water)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • Salt and pepper

Special Equipment Needed:

  • Instant Pot

Here’s a Quick Look at How to Make Instant Pot Boneless Chicken Breasts:

three photos showing steps to make instant pot chicken breasts with text that says place broth and chicken in the instant pot, season, cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (12 minutes if frozen), allow pressure to release naturally
two photos of steps to make instant pot chicken breasts with text that says cool slightly, shred, dice or slice

That’s it!

It takes about 10 minutes for my 8-quart Instant Pot to come up to pressure before the cooking time starts to count down. So with a 10 or 12-minute cook time and a natural pressure release of 10 minutes, it’ll take about 30 minutes total for you to have cooked chicken breast that’s ready to use!

If you’re in I-need-to-make-this-recipe-right-now-but-I-didn’t-have-any-cooked-chicken mode, start working on prepping the rest of the ingredients for your recipe and even start the recipe (if you can) while the chicken is cooking.

Also, if your recipe calls for chicken broth, you can use the broth that is left after cooking the chicken (it’s especially tasty if you use broth to cook the chicken). If you don’t need it in your recipe, save it to use later (you can even freeze it).

I highly recommend using chicken broth to cook the breasts if you have some. It definitely imparts some delicious flavor to the chicken that you just don’t get when you use water.

whole cooked chicken breast and shredded chicken breast on a white plate on a white napkin with an instant pot in the background

I used 2 large chicken breasts in this recipe, which weighed just about 2 pounds total (Geez, Louise. Chicken breasts are big these days!). You should get about 4 cups of cooked chicken from this amount.

I have also made 4 large breasts at one time (about 4 pounds total). The cook time was the same, and I got about 8 cups of cooked chicken.

I usually don’t cook more chicken than that at one time because I have found that I sometimes get inconsistent results when stacking up the chicken (some pieces cooked more than others or possibly even some pieces not fully cooked). Keeping the chicken in one layer always gives me chicken that is evenly cooked through.

Two final tips: First, be sure that you let the pressure naturally release once the cook time has finished (it takes about 10 or so). The chicken will actually finish cooking during this time, and I think it also helps make the chicken more moist.

If you quick-release the pressure, your results will not be the same, and the chicken may not be fully cooked. Please be patient!

Second, if you can, let the cooked chicken rest on a plate for several minutes before you slice into it or start shredding it. This will let the juices redistribute, and your chicken will be a lot more juicy (it’s even better if you can let them cool completely before chopping or shredding).

cooked diced and shredded chicken on a blue plate

For meal planning, I like to freeze the cooked shredded or diced chicken in 1 and 2-cup portions, which makes it so easy to pull out just what you need for a recipe.

Please, please, please don’t throw the whole lot in one big bag and then freeze it. It won’t be pretty when you’re trying to chisel off the one or two cups you need for dinner – guess how I know.

Now, just think about all the possibilities there are for using your chicken … casseroles, soups, stews, chili, salads, sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, and so much more. I highly recommend my super-delicious and easy Mexican Lasagna as a great start. Or how about Chicken Zucchini Casserole!

I hope you try this Instant Pot Boneless Chicken Breasts recipe and love it as much as I do! Thanks for visiting today!

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a whole cooked chicken breast and shredded cooked chicken on a blue plate

Instant Pot Boneless Chicken Breasts

Instant Pot Boneless Chicken Breasts are so easy and ready in about 30 minutes – from fresh or frozen! Shred it, dice it, or slice it to use in your favorite recipes! Great for meal prep!
5 from 1 vote
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Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Natural Pressure Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 8 (about 1/2 cup each – recipe makes about 4 cups total)
Estimated Calories: 134

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Place the chicken breasts and the chicken broth (or water) in the Instant Pot (Don’t use the trivet. You want the chicken sitting in the broth.). Season with salt and pepper. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the steam release valve to SEALING.
  • Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (depending on which model Instant Pot you have) and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (for fresh chicken breasts) or 12 minutes (for frozen chicken breasts). It will take approximately 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure before the cooking time starts to count down.
  • When the cooking time is finished, turn the Instant Pot off and allow the pressure to release naturally, then remove the chicken breasts from the Instant Pot. Make sure the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of at least 165°F).
  • Allow the chicken breasts to cool slightly until cool enough to handle, then shred, dice, or slice. If you have the time, let them cool completely before cutting…they will stay juicier this way!

Notes

  • 2 pounds of chicken should give you approximately 4 cups of cooked chicken.
  • You can double this recipe and use 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The cooking times will be the same. Try to keep the chicken all in one layer rather than stacking it.
  • Refrigerate cooked chicken for 3 to 4 days or freeze in 1 to 2-cup portions for up to 6 months.
  • I used an 8-quart Instant Pot to make this recipe.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating




Dominick

Friday 23rd of September 2022

What if you want to cut it to chunks before the cooking process. What should I do about the water

Michelle

Friday 23rd of September 2022

Hi, Dominick! I've never done it that way, so I can't say what the proper cooking time would be (the liquid should probably stay the same). I do think that the chicken would be prone to overcooking if it was cut into smaller pieces, though, so you might want to consider just cooking the breasts whole as per the recipe and then cutting them into chunks when they are done.

Kristyn

Saturday 17th of August 2019

I was amazed how tender the chicken was by cooking it this way. Also, the fact that I could cook chicken breasts straight from the freezer and get the amazing outcome is a definite game changer!!

Michelle

Saturday 17th of August 2019

Agreed! I cook a ton of chicken in the Instant Pot because it's so easy (and I'm always forgetting to take stuff out of the freezer?!). So glad you enjoyed the recipe!