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Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast with Sauce

Instant Pot frozen chicken breast with sauce turns out tender and juicy every time. Yes frozen chicken in the Instant Pot is great shredded but with bbq sauce is a killer protein packed barbecue dinner done in less than 30 min.

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast with Sauce

You may be forgetful, like me, and need Instant Pot frozen chicken breast with sauce instructions. You’d never know they were rock hard less than an hour before which means dinner is saved! Just one of many easy and quick Instant Pot recipes on our blog. (affiliate links present)

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breasts

I always have a bag of these babies at home in the deep freezer. It’s a cheap and nutritious meal you can pop in quickly and enjoy. Yes it is best to defrost them ahead of time but I don’t always have it together to remember.

You can cook frozen chicken in a pressure cooker plain of course so it comes out shredded, then you toss with some barbecue sauce. I don’t always want it that style though. If you want them tender and juicy with every slice, follow the recipe below. Use your Ninja Foodi or Crockpot Express to make this too.

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

Ninja Foodi Frozen Chicken with Sauce

Yes you can use any brand of pot you might have at home. Want to use your Ninja Foodi instead? You will use the lid that is not attached for this, and then can actually air fry the top to get it a bit crispy at the end. Alternatively with this you could use our directions for air fryer frozen chicken breasts as well. They both turn out amazingly well.

Mealthy, Crockpot Express, they all work the same y’all with high pressure and a natural release. Why is the last part important? It’s a must so it stays moist in the middle. If you don’t the juices will seep out in the quick release and the meat will be more dry for sure.

You can use chicken broth or water but the first obviously has more flavor to it. Season with your choice but salt and pepper is a must. I love Old Bay on just about everything too. Use what you like on top y’all, I always say that.

Frozen Chicken Breast instant pot

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Pressure Cooker with Sauce

I always recommend buying medium size pieces. You’re more likely to get a bag full of this size if you buy organic. They are smaller but honestly taste better and have a better texture too. If you like to buy fresh and freeze on your own that works just as well too. Use freezer bags so they last as long as possible without freezer burn.

For the sauce you can really use whatever you’d like, from bbq to teriyaki or even spaghetti sauce will give you an Italian flare to it. Melt cheese on top for a sort of chicken parmesan feel to it. 😉

  1. Medium size frozen chicken breasts
    1. if you have smaller pieces follow our frozen chicken tenders Instant Pot timing
  2. Your favorite bbq sauce
  3. Broth or water for the liquid so they steam in your pot
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. You’ll want a trivet with handles too

Usually we serve this with Jasmine rice in Instant Pot on the side and some acorn squash too. I mean anything goes really with this, or just enjoy it plain as a keto dinner. You can have the whole shebang done in about 40 minutes flat with prep, cooking and seasoning at the end.

pressure cooker Frozen Chicken Breast

How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts with Sauce

You are looking at 17 minutes on high with a 15 minute natural release so 32 but that doesn’t account for the time to come to pressure. Overall it is still fast since you are taking them straight out of the freezer to tender and delicious right?

This is one of the quick and easy chicken recipes we eat probably a few times a week. You can vary it up with different sauces of your choice. Teriyaki or hot sauce are other choices. That way you can make this more often than not and not get bored at all.

Does frozen chicken take longer in Instant Pot?

The only real difference in time is how long it takes to come to pressure initially. Beyond that the only variation in cook time would be depending on how thick your pieces are. I always recommend purchasing medium sizes vs. very thick that can dry out on the outer edges by the time the inside is safely cooked.

Ninja Foodi Chicken Breast with Sauce

  • Pour your chicken broth or water into the pot and lower down your trivet or vegetable steamer.
  • Put frozen breasts on the Instant Pot trivet and pour 1/2 of your sauce on the top of each one. Can sprinkle salt and pepper on sauce too for seasonings.
  • Close the lid and steam valve and set to manual high pressure cooking for 17 minutes for medium sized, or 20 minutes for thick pieces.

Allow remaining pressure to release naturally. This takes about 12 minutes to 15 minutes depending on how much is inside. Remove meat and spoon on remaining sauce on top of each one. Slice and serve.

instant pot chicken breast

Using steam essentially to cook the chicken this way keeps it incredibly moist as you can see here. Add as much or as little sauce as you’d like. I personally pile it on and with kids it is fun to serve with little cups full of all different ones. You can offer up some Ranch, buffalo sauce, fry sauce, ketchup, etc…

That makes dinner time a bit more fun with choices right? Cut them up into bite size pieces with your little cups and I assure you they will ask for “chicken dunkers” again and again.

What can I add to chicken breast for flavor?

I mean there are thousands of seasonings out there to choose from. You can buy an already blended mix with heat, something with a lemon hint, and dry rub is popular if your pieces were thawed. If frozen that won’t really stick well. A few other popular choices are to add;

  • Soak for a few hours in this lemon pepper marinade
  • Mix garlic, soy sauce and hoisin together and brush that on
  • Add a squeeze of lime

Want to cook Instant Pot frozen chicken legs too? Do it!

Frozen Chicken Legs

What should I serve with chicken breast?

I haven’t made anything that didn’t go well with these. You can go healthy with broccoli and brown rice or give the kids what they want with some macaroni and cheese. If you want something with no prep I often times will buy one of those ready made bagged salads at the store. Paired with some baked rolls in the bakery section and done.

Saving leftover chicken: You always want to make sure you store inside airtight bags, or containers. Suck all the air out so it doesn’t dry out at all while being stored in the refrigerator. When you reheat it later on I would slice it in half lengthwise. This way it will heat up evenly without dry it out.

Brush more sauce over the top liberally and microwave for about 1 minute or warmed all the way to the middle. You can dice it up and toss it with sauce too and that will take less time. Add it into some fried rice for a heartier meal the next day. Then you get two meals for the price of one essentially.

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the typical mom
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast with Sauce
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5 from 8 votes

Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast with Sauce

Instant Pot frozen chicken breast with sauce turns out tender and juicy every time. A protein packed barbecue dinner done in less than 30 min.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue, bbq, chicken breast, frozen, instant pot, ninja foodi, pressure cooker
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 340kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • Pour broth or water into pot and lower down a trivet. You could put into broth directly but it will break down more this way, for shredded chicken.
  • Put frozen breasts into trivet and pour or brush 1/2 of your sauce on the top of each one. Can sprinkle salt and pepper on sauce too.
  • Seal the lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 17 minutes for medium sized, or 20 minutes for thick.
  • Allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Remove meat and spoon on remaining sauce on top of each one. Slice and serve.


Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast with Sauce
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 340 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 96mg32%
Sodium 1441mg63%
Potassium 841mg24%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 32g36%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 260IU5%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Frozen Chicken Breast in Pressure Cooker with Sauce
5 from 8 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating

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Sunday 13th of August 2023

Hi! This recipe looks great, but I don’t understand what you mean by “homemade teriyaki sauce or smother with this”. Is the homemade teriyaki sauce an alternative or an addition to the BBQ sauce? If it’s an addition, how much should I use?

The Typical Mom

Sunday 13th of August 2023

what I mean is you can use teriyaki sauce, a thick one, instead of bbq if you prefer


Sunday 23rd of October 2022

What a great and easy idea for dinner!


Sunday 23rd of October 2022

I absolutely love how quickly and easily this chicken came together! It will definitely be a go to in our house!


Sunday 23rd of October 2022

Another win for the Instant Pot! This was the perfect meal to quickly make after a busy day and the chicken really came out so tasty! Add a couple of delicious sides and I'm good to go!


Sunday 23rd of October 2022

Good to know that you can make chicken breast straight from frozen in the instant pot! I'll be making this again next time I forget to take out meat for dinner.

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