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How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

 If you’re wondering How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker here are the times you need! It is easy to do and a great way to make chicken sliders or shredded chicken meals for dinner. Tender chicken breasts are juicy in less than 15 minutes, in an Instapot or a Ninja Foodi recipe.

Frozen-Chicken-in-the-Instant-Pot

I recently tackled the burning question of how to cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot today! You can cook frozen thighs, legs and wings in it too perfect. We even share how to cook a frozen whole chicken too. Find over 100 more quick and easy Instant Pot recipes and enjoy! (post may contain affiliate links present)

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

I will talk about all parts of the bird but breasts are the most common. To be quite honest I don’t buy a lot of frozen chicken breasts, but occasionally if I find a large pack on sale I will use a few and freeze the rest.  If you cook a lot of frozen meat in Instant Pot…because you tend to be forgetful we’re here to help. 😉

Can I put frozen chicken in the Instant Pot?

When I first got it I wondered this a lot. YES you can!! Not only can you, but they come every cut comes out tender and delicious when they’re done cooking. From thighs, to legs, to Instant Pot frozen chicken tenders they’re all great.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Frozen Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

These pressure cooker Ninja Foodi frozen chicken cook times are handy when you’ve forgotten to defrost your meat. In pieces it doesn’t take a whole lot longer than if it was fresh really. BUT if you want to cook an Instant Pot frozen whole chicken you can do that too! Comes out fork tender and ready to shred or slice for dinner.

Ninja Foodi Frozen Chicken

Yes…all of this is possible y’all! It took a bit of trial and error at first to get it perfect. I wouldn’t share anything here unless it came out great each and every time I tried it. That wouldn’t be cool.

I started with: How do I cook frozen chicken breast in the Instant Pot? This will be answered here. With just a bit of liquid you can go from rock solid to perfectly shredded chicken in no time.

instant pot frozen chicken thighs

How to Cook Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs

These turn out fantastic as well. The cheapest part of the bird usually, I use them often because of their price, how tender they get, the fact they offer tons of flavor and the list goes on….

  • If you too want to cook frozen chicken thighs in Instant Pot, I share that info here for you too.
  • Use either piece or pieces so you too can make an amazing dinner tonight!!
  • Just cook on high pressure with natural pressure release like other pieces for best results.

How do you cook frozen chicken in a pressure cooker?

Well first you want to ensure that they’re broken apart and not in one solid chunk. That won’t allow each piece to defrost or cook properly all the way to the center. You can separate by running them under some cool water before adding them into your pot. When done allow for a natural release of pressure to keep it moist. Those are the top 2 things to remember.

instant pot frozen chicken

How do I make frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot

I was curious to see how easy it would be to go from frozen to juicy chicken in my fancy electric pressure cooker. So I did  a little experimenting before making my 3 ingredient Instant Pot shredded chicken this afternoon. It turned out great for that!

  • I first cooked these four large chicken breasts you see here that were bought frozen.
  • I added a bit of chicken broth for 12 minutes and they turned out well.

From there I shredded them. Then, drained the broth and added the ingredients I needed to make my shredded chicken recipe. I put it back on low for 5 minutes just to let it soak in the juices. Done!

InstaPot Frozen Chicken Breasts

Next I used just 2 frozen chicken breasts that I had bought fresh and then were frozen. 12 minutes was too long and they turned out dry. I tried again for just 10 minutes and that was just right!

Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot 2

How do you defrost chicken in an Instant Pot?

Well it’s not really defrosting because it’s going to cook, but this is how you do it step by step. Put frozen chicken breasts inside your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Add liquid, I used chicken broth (you could use water but my preference is using broth for the flavor). If you wanted to add some seasonings and/or diced onions too you certainly could.

Frozen Instant Pot chicken breasts

Lock the lid and set valve to sealing. Set to manual, pressure, high, for 4 frozen chicken breasts = 12 minutes OR if cooking 2 frozen chicken breasts = 10 minutes
(times will vary slightly depending on the size of your chicken breasts and if they’re boneless or not, mine were boneless)

  1. Allow for a 1 minute natural release then do a quick release before you remove the chicken. Always ensure internal temperature is 165 degrees after pressure cooking.

Season with salt and pepper, or better yet shred right in the pot and add sauce to make shredded chicken for sliders or atop rice

pressure cooker frozen chicken wings

I will say after making many easy Instant Pot chicken recipes that I like this method of cooking frozen chicken in the Instant Pot when adding sauce or shredding the chicken but not for just eating the breast as is. For me personally I prefer the texture if it’s defrosted and then cooked but that is just me.

How to Cook Instant Pot frozen chicken wings

This part of the bird is similar to when you cook frozen chicken breasts which means NO meal prep time and done in under 20 minutes flat!

You literally throw them right in with something like barbecue sauce and some water and it is that easy!! This is the instructions for making pressure cooker frozen chicken wings that seriously make the best appetizer or meal that is super cheap and so flavorful!

Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Frozen

I don’t make wings really any other way now. If you want them with a little crispiness to them you can just pop them under the broiler. 4 minutes or so is perfect. Instant Pot frozen chicken wings turn out fall off the bone delicious.

If you want a crispier skin you can throw them on a cookie sheet under your broiler for like 3 minutes and it will crisp them up well This is what I did when we made these Instant Pot chicken legs.

I also did this when making our pressure cooker beer can chicken.

How to Cook Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs

These tips are really nice to have. Especially if you’re in a pinch and forgot to defrost dinner! But wait there is more!! Want to make Instant Pot frozen chicken legs too? The kids usually say this is their favorite part of the bird so why not?

instant pot frozen Chicken Legs

Can you cook frozen chicken in Ninja Foodi?

Yes! In this case there are two lids. You will need to use the lid that is NOT attached. This one will seal shut and allow you to pressure cook as directed below. Other than that everything remains the same. We have a few more ideas for you here though if you want to start meal planning for the week:

If you just got your device you can read more about how to use an Instant Pot here. Then go to my Instant Pot recipes tab and try a few of my dishes. I only cook easy meals so do not be intimidated.  

The video in this post shows you how we made frozen chicken in the Instant Pot. Then you can make electric pressure cooker chicken sliders with it after they are done by just tossing the protein with a sauce of your choice. Want to cook frozen chicken breast in an air fryer too?

frozen chicken in air fryer

How long does it take to cook frozen chicken breast in a pressure cooker?

About 20 minutes total including the time it takes to come to pressure. The timing you set it to though is 12 minutes, depending on how large and/or thick they are. I prefer boneless skinless as they cook faster than bone-in and are easier to eat at the end too. A few quick tips for success:

  1. I HIGHLY suggest you get a non stick pot!
  2. Allow pot to naturally release steam for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Once removed let cooked chicken breasts rest for a few minutes to maintain juicy insides.
  4. Shred or cube for best results and enjoy in something like chicken salad or one of our other leftover chicken breast recipes.

You can use your Instant Pot chicken to make soft tacos too! And then let’s try some Crockpot frozen chicken. A great way if you’re batch cooking a lot all at a time.

Crockpot Frozen Chicken breasts

Can you reheat cooked frozen chicken?

The general rule is only one reheat after cooking. Since you thawed it before cooking doesn’t really matter or count. One you’ve reheated it once, you really shouldn’t reheat it a second time. If you don’t follow this rule it could possibly lead to food poisoning and nobody wants that. 

Can I refrigerate chicken after cooking?

Allow the chicken to completely cool and store in airtight containers or freezer bags free from air. Make sure to use it up within two days to be safe and to maintain the best flavor and texture. I hope we answered the question: Can you put frozen meat in an Instant Pot for you here!!

The answer is a resounding YES!! You can even cook Instant Pot frozen ground beef if you’ve forgotten to defrost it beforehand. To be completely honest, it is BEST to use thawed fresh meats but these tips are great when you’re in a bind.

If you’re making something like a soup or our VERY well known Instant Pot chili you probably wouldn’t know the difference. Fresh or defrosted hamburger using this method work great. Frozen ground sausage works too with this technique.

Frozen chicken breast in pressure cooker

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

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the typical mom
Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot
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4.72 from 25 votes

Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

If you're wondering how to cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker here are the times you need! It is easy to do and a great way to make chicken sliders or shredded chicken meals for dinner. Tender chicken breasts become juicy in less than 15 minutes, you'll see.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken breast, frozen chicken, instant pot, pressure cooker
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 259kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Put frozen chicken breasts inside your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Add chicken broth (you could use water but my preference is using broth for the flavor)
  • Lock the lid and close your steam valve. Set to manual, pressure, high, for; 4 frozen chicken breasts = 12 minutes OR 2 frozen chicken breasts = 10 minutes (times will vary slightly depending on the size of your chicken breasts and if they're boneless or not, mine were boneless)
  • Do a 1 minute natural release, then a quick release. Drain liquid and enjoy, or better yet shred right in the pot and add sauce to make shredded chicken for sliders or atop rice

Video

Nutrition Facts
Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 144mg48%
Sodium 423mg18%
Potassium 871mg25%
Protein 48g96%
Vitamin A 70IU1%
Vitamin C 5.8mg7%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Pressure Cooker Frozen Whole Chicken
Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot 3
4.72 from 25 votes (4 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




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Gina

Tuesday 28th of February 2023

Love that I can add frozen chicken to the instant pot and have it ready for the table in no time. Sometimes I forget to defrost dinner before leaving for work in the morning.

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 1st of March 2023

ditto

Erik

Tuesday 28th of February 2023

Wow didn't realize how easy this was to do with frozen chicken!

Tavo

Tuesday 28th of February 2023

Thanks for this great guide; I had no clue that cooking frozen chicken using my instant pot was so simple!

Ned

Tuesday 28th of February 2023

This makes it so much easier!! I always have a problem remembering to defrost my chicken. This is a game changer! Thank you!

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 1st of March 2023

Yep me too

Traci

Tuesday 28th of February 2023

Cooking frozen chicken in the Instant Pot is one of the greatest hacks of all time. Thanks for the tip, use it all the time now!

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