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Instant Pot Frozen Turkey Breast

Instant Pot frozen turkey breast recipe in case you forget to defrost your meat for Thanksgiving or year round. A healthy, easy pressure cooker recipe.

Instant Pot Frozen Turkey Breast

You may be here because you’re in a panic. How to cook an Instant Pot frozen turkey breast instructions are a must because you forgot to defrost dinner. We’re here to help! Just one easy Instant Pot recipe to save the day. (affiliate links present, originally published 8/20)

Ninja Foodi Frozen Turkey Breast

We cook a lot of frozen meat in Instant Pot…because I tend to be forgetful. 😉 If you need easy Ninja Foodi recipes, you can use that pot or even a Crockpot Express instead. All the brands basically work the same except the Foodi does have the option to air fry at the end if you’d like.

Why would you do this? Well I mean most of the time you wouldn’t cook from frozen on purpose. Typically it is because you have had a forgetful day before and forgot to take it out. That is okay I have been there many many times which is why I share a lot of these kinds of tips here.

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

Frozen Turkey Breast in Instant Pot

If you are new to the pressure cooker world you are in for a real treat. It has given our family the ability to eat together more often, which is important to us. I can cook healthier meals too in little to no time. We have a few things to start with in this same category:

  1. This is how to cook a pressure cooker turkey breast if it is totally thawed out.
  2. You can also cook an entire (but small) Instant Pot turkey in your 8 qt. pot. If you haven’t tried that I would, you’ll be surprised at how good it really turns out.
  3. If you want a ton of flavor on the outside of the skin you can use our turkey rub recipe.

Do NOT feel bad if you’re staring at your still solid piece of meat and it’s around 4 p.m., nobody will know if you follow these directions. 😉

The one we had was 3 lbs. which fit perfectly inside with some veggies on the bottom. Of course you’ll need it to fit with the lid sealed so check that first and come back.

Frozen Turkey Breast instant pot

Can you cook a turkey breast from frozen?

Yes! We will show you just how easy it is in your Ninja Foodi, Instant Pot or Crockpot Express. Any brand including Mealthy will work just fine. In less than an hour you’ll have tender meat.

How long do I cook a frozen Butterball turkey breast?

In the oven at 325 F it will take 2 hours thawed or 3 hours (approximately) if it’s still rock solid. In a pressure cooker it is closer to 60 minutes.

How do I defrost a turkey breast quickly?

It isn’t necessary if you use our method here. If you want to thaw it out though put in for 24 hours for every 5 pounds in your refrigerator or 30 min. per lb. submerged in cold water. 

How do you cook Butterball turkey breast?

We prefer using our Instant Pot because it cooks so fast and comes out so juicy. If you’d rather use your oven, put into shallow roasting pan. Brush skin with oil and place thermometer into thigh. Cook until it reaches 140 F.

I would stick to a 3 lb. piece or so, much larger won’t fit in your pot unless you have the new 10 quart one! Mine is a 6 qt. that I use regularly and it worked out quite well.

instant pot turkey breast

Pressure cooker frozen turkey breast

It is great to add some vegetables to the bottom so your gravy has a lot of flavors. Instant Pot gravy is the best because you can cook it all in one pot!

  1. Frozen bone in turkey breast
  2. Celery
  3. Carrots
  4. Onion
  5. Chicken broth
  6. Olive oil
  7. Seasonings for the skin
    1. like salt and pepper and garlic powder
    1. poultry seasoning would work great too
  8. Cornstarch to thicken the turkey gravy at the end
    1. or use a gravy packet to make things easier
  9. Trivet with handles is handy to have

You can really pack in all the veggies you like just ensure you have enough room for the meat on top and lid to close. If it won’t just remove a few and you’ll be set to go. I don’t think it needs to be said but yes, please remove the plastic bag over the top before you put it in. EEeeek let’s not have a disaster y’all.

how to cook frozen turkey

How to cook a frozen turkey breast

Here’s a quick step by step but there’s a printable recipe at the bottom too.

Time needed: 45 minutes.

Frozen turkey breast in the Instant Pot

  1. Add ingredients

    Place trivet inside pot, add chopped veggies and thyme. Pour cup of broth on top. Unwrap meat and place breast in the pressure cooker on top of vegetables.

  2. Season

    Drizzle top of turkey with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings (any you want, just salt and pepper were added to this).

  3. Cook

    Close lid and steam valve. For 3 lbs. set to high pressure for 35 minutes cook time. (about 10 minutes per pound if rock solid) Allow for a 20 minutes natural pressure release, release, then remove breast from pot.

  4. Make gravy

    If you want to create gravy you can add a dry gravy packet to the liquid at the bottom and whisk together on saute function. Should thicken enough as it cooks down. If you want to thicken more, add a few tbsp of water with cornstarch, whisk together and add that in.

  5. Check temp

    Ensure temp in middle of Instant Pot turkey breast is 165 degrees F before consuming.

This method has never been easier. If you don’t believe me, pick up one at the store and give it a whirl. You can enjoy dinner that night and meals for several nights therafter. We love throwing what’s left in an Instant Pot casserole.

pressure cooker frozen turkey breast

This is a great recipe to cook year round because it feeds a lot and is an overall cheap meal! It only takes about 15 minutes to prep and get everything together. Throw it in and bam it’s done in no time.

If you do happen to remember to defrost it, you can also try our Crockpot turkey breast.

Frozen turkey breast in Ninja Foodi

The instructions for this would be the same BUT you can then crisp the skin at the end!! That is a major plus when it comes to this pot. You could use an Instant Pot air fryer lid too but I don’t think it works nearly as well.

ninja foodi turkey breast 2

How do you fix an overcooked turkey breast?

First off, if you follow the printable directions below this shouldn’t happen. The key is to allow the steam to release naturally. If you don’t do this or are in a hurry and think it’s no big deal, it is!! That’s how it stays tender.

If this does happen though, combine a few tablespoons melted butter with chicken broth. Pour this over slices of warm turkey and cover with foil. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes and it should help quite a bit.

How do you get a golden brown turkey skin?

If you rub some fat on the skin and put it under the broiler that will do the trick. Oil can be used but butter is much better to get the desired result and flavor.

How long is leftover turkey good for in the fridge?

3-4 days is a good general rule. There are a ton of great leftover turkey recipe ideas you can use it up with though! Our turkey dumplings are our favorite.

leftover turkey recipes

A few other ideas are:

  1. Make our Instant Pot turkey pot pie soup that is creamy and delicious. Similar to a clam chowder but using up the meat you have it’s packed with veggies and potatoes too.
    1. we have directions for stovetop pot pie soup too
  2. Throw a bunch into a leftover turkey pot pie that’s easy to make with refrigerated pie crust.
  3. Any recipe using leftover chicken will work with what you have on hand too like our Instant Pot chicken and rice dish.

How do you store leftover turkey?

No matter how you cook it, smoke a turkey or make sheet pan turkey, storing leftovers remains the same. A large gallon freezer bag is best for the fridge.

Only carve what you’re consuming and leave larger pieces whole. Make sure air is removed as well to keep it as moist as possible.

leftover turkey recipe

Should you let turkey cool before refrigerating?

Yes, do not put it in hot. Rather, allow it to reach room temperature, or close to it. A general rule of thumb is to bag it up and refrigerate it within 2 hours of taking it out of your oven or other method of cooking.

How to reheat turkey and keep it moist

This goes along with how you save an overcooked bird: Melt butter and chicken broth. Slice meat and put on to an oven safe plate or baking sheet. Pour liquid over all pieces and cover with foil.

  • Reheat in an oven set to 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.
  • Timing will depend on how much you’re warming. Meat off the bone will not take as long as turkey legs will.

Below is a printable recipe so you can keep it handy. Of course we love “seeing you” so feel free to just come back to read it. Find many more under my IP recipes tab here on my site and enjoy friends.

Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!

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Instant Pot Frozen Turkey Breast

Instant Pot frozen turkey breast recipe in case you forget to defrost your meat for Thanksgiving or year round. A healthy, easy pressure cooker recipe.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot, pressure cooker, turkey breast
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 150kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place trivet inside pot, add chopped veggies and thyme. Pour cup of broth on top.
  • Unwrap breast and place on top of vegetables. Drizzle top with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings (any you want, just salt and pepper were added to this)
  • Close lid and steam valve. For 3 lbs. frozen set to high pressure for 36 minutes.
  • Let steam naturally release for 20 minutes, release, then remove breast from pot.
  • If you want to create gravy you can add a dry gravy packet to the liquid at the bottom and whisk together on saute function. Should thicken enough as it cooks down. If you want to thicken add a few tbsp of water with cornstarch, whisk together and add that in.
  • Ensure temp in middle of breast is 165 degrees F before consuming.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Frozen Turkey Breast
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 150 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 618mg27%
Potassium 344mg10%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin A 2630IU53%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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Christine

Sunday 14th of November 2021

Overall a good easy meal to pull together, minimal prep is golden! Kitchen smelled great too!

I cooked the turkey breast (butterball, 3lb), frozen from the freezer, however with the cooktime recommended, there was still a decent amount of pink when I cut into the meat. I was however able to fix quickly by using the air fry lid to finish off.

*I use a 6qt instant pot.

Donna

Sunday 2nd of May 2021

Is it ok if it is boneless?

Nellie Tracy

Thursday 25th of March 2021

Great recipe! Can't wait to use it for Sunday dinner. Delicious!

Jenn

Thursday 25th of March 2021

OMG sending this to my sister in law ASAP as we were just talking about this! Love that you can use a completely frozen turkey breast here and it's another fun use for my Instant Pot -- thanks!

Julie

Sunday 14th of February 2021

Great

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