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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 become juicy in less than 15 minutes, you’ll see.

Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

I recently tackled the burning question of how to cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot today! Find over 100 more quick and easy Instant Pot recipes and enjoy! (originally published 1/18, affiliate links present)

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. 😉 If you need easy Ninja Foodi recipes, you can use that pot instead.

Let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

These pressure cooker cook times are handy when you’ve forgotten to defrost your meat or want to cook an Instant Pot frozen whole chicken!

  • Yes…all of this is possible y’all!

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 out tender and delicious when they’re done cooking.

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.

instant pot frozen chicken thighs

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.

  • Then I went on to figure out this frozen chicken thighs Instant Pot recipe. I share that info here for you too.
  • Use either piece or pieces so you too can make an amazing dinner tonight!!

How do I cook frozen chicken?

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.

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 breasts in the Instant Pot 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!

  • 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.

Frozen Instant Pot chicken breasts

Time needed: 12 minutes.

Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

  1. Add ingredients

    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.lemon chicken breast recipe

  2. Cook

    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)

  3. Release

    Allow for a 1 minute natural release then do a quick release to cook 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.

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!!

Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

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.

Pressure Cooker Frozen Whole Chicken

How to cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot

These tips are really nice to have. Especially if you’re in a pinch and forgot to defrost dinner!

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Legs

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

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.  

Here’s a video showing how we made frozen chicken in the Instant Pot and then you can follow these instructions to make electric pressure cooker chicken sliders with it after they were done.

Want to cook frozen chicken breast in an air fryer too?

frozen chicken in air fryer

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!!

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

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.

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I hope this helps you make a lot more new InstaPot recipes.

Frozen chicken breast in pressure cooker

Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot
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4.5 from 12 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

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts whole, frozen, boneless
  • 3/4 c chicken broth or water

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
    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.
Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot 3
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Recipe Rating




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Linda

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

My chicken is partially defrosted. I have 5 chicken breasts. Still cool the same ?

The Typical Mom

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

Probably, hard to say

Amber

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Hi, I am an instant pot newbie. I got the Pampered Chef version. I tried doing frozen chicken breasts in it for my first crack at this contraption and it took 30 minutes because the 15 didn’t cook some of them at all. What could I have done wrong? I just used the chicken preselection and have no idea what temp that is or whatever but I know it goes for 15 minutes.

I don’t know if you can but if you could respond via email rather than replying to my comment please.

Rob

Friday 26th of June 2020

What sauce do you add for sliders?

The Typical Mom

Sunday 28th of June 2020

Franks hot sauce is great, you can add some ranch to tame the heat

Christi

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Thanks! This worked great. I have a 3 qt instant pot and just did 2 frozen chicken breasts for 10 mins and they shredded beautifully. Quick and easy!

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Yay, glad it worked great for you

Elena

Sunday 5th of January 2020

I made this and it worked like a charm! THANKS!!

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