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.
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:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
- Then PRINT this —–> Instant Pot cooking times cheat sheet that will help you understand how long meat, vegetables and beans take to cook in your pressure cooker.
- This is a great InstaPot cookbook and a set of wooden utensils are great to grab too.
- I HIGHLY recommend you buy this non stick pot.
- You should still deglaze pressure cooker after sautéing but it won’t have as many issues with this better liner.
For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.
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:
- This is how to cook a pressure cooker turkey breast if it is totally thawed out.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
- Frozen bone in turkey breast
- Chicken broth
- Olive oil
- Seasonings for the skin
- like salt and pepper and garlic powder
- poultry seasoning would work great too
- Cornstarch to thicken the turkey gravy at the end
- or use a gravy packet to make things easier
- 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 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
- 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.
Drizzle top of turkey 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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
A few other ideas are:
- 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.
- we have directions for stovetop pot pie soup too
- Throw a bunch into a leftover turkey pot pie that’s easy to make with refrigerated pie crust.
- 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.
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!
Looking for more easy family recipes and tips? LIKE The Typical Mom Facebook page?
Then sign up for my free newsletter, and follow me on Pinterest! 😉
***** If you LOVED this recipe give it 5 Stars below and let everyone know what you thought about it. 😉
Instant Pot Frozen Turkey Breast
- 1 turkey breast frozen, boneless, 3 lbs. (12 min. per pound), bone in will take more time
- 1 c chicken broth
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots chopped in large chunks
- 2 stalks celery chopped in large chunks
- 1/2 onions sliced into thick pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 sprigs thyme
- gravy packet or 2-3 tbsp cornstarch to thicken gravy
- 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.
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.
Sunday 2nd of May 2021
Is it ok if it is boneless?
Thursday 25th of March 2021
Great recipe! Can't wait to use it for Sunday dinner. Delicious!
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!
Sunday 14th of February 2021