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Instant Pot Chicken Breast- 7 Flavors!


How to cook the Trendy juicy and delicious Instant Pot chicken breast, plus seven flavor options! Using the pressure cooker cooks your chicken breasts quickly, with no need for an oven, and they always arrive out perfectly. 

The Instant Pot can cook certain cuts of meat to absolute perfection; from Instant Pot pork tenderloin to pulled pork to a whole chicken and so much more. One of my absolute favorite ingredients to cook in the Instant Pot is a boneless skinless chicken breast.

sliced chicken breasts on cutting board with lime wedges

How to cook chicken breasts in the Instant Pot

To cook Instant Pot chicken breast, you need to add one cup of cooking liquid to the stainless steel inner pot of your Instant Pot (1.5 cups if you have an 8 quart). You can use water, chicken stock, or one of the sauces that are included in the recipe card below.

Make sure that the liquid you use is a lean liquid as it must produce steam to bring the Instant Pot to pressure. For example, salsa, enchilada sauce, or barbecue sauce may be too thick to create enough steam, leading to a burn warning.

Add your chicken breasts right into the liquid, and put the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook for the appropriate time (see the next section).

Cook times depend on the size of the chicken breast

Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, you may need to adjust the cook time. The average sized (7 oz) chicken breast requires 8 minutes at high pressure, whereas a larger (10 oz) chicken breast will require longer (10 minutes).

  • 5 oz chicken breasts – 6 minutes with fast pressure release
  • 7 oz chicken breasts (average)- 8 minutes with a fast pressure release
  • 10 oz- 10 minutes with a fast pressure release

I recommend investing in a digital thermometer. Make sure your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F before removing from the Instant Pot.

hand turning the steam release handle on an instant pot with steam coming out the valve

Use a fast pressure release

Chicken breast can go from great to dry and over-cooked in a short amount of time, therefore we like to use a fast pressure release.  A fast pressure release means that as soon as the chicken has finished it’s pressure cooking cycle, we carefully move the steam release knob from the ‘sealing’ to the ‘venting’ position. Do this carefully, and never place your hand or your face near the steam release valve when doing a fast pressure release.

Rest the chicken

Just like when we make great baked chicken breasts, when cooking Instant Pot chicken breasts, it’s important to rest the meat before slicing into it. Resting the meat allows the juices to settle. If you cut into them immediately, the juices will run out all over your cutting board or plate.

You can cover the chicken breasts while they rest for 5 minutes with a baking dish to keep them warm.

Cooking frozen chicken breasts

Unlike the slow cooker, it is secure to cook chicken breasts from frozen in the Instant Pot. In a slow cooker, the chicken may sit for an extended amount of time at an unsafe temperature, allowing harmful bacteria to reproduce, whereas in the Instant Pot, the temperature gets hot quickly, killing off the bacteria.

If your frozen chicken breasts are stuck together, you will need to pry them apart. One way to do this is to pressure cook for 2 minutes, do a fast pressure release, pry them apart, then cook for the remainder of the time (12 minutes total cook time).

Increase the cook time for frozen chicken breasts from 8 minutes to 12 minutes, and make sure you test that they have reached 165°F with a digital thermometer.

7 bags of instant pot chicken breast freezer packs with names on them

Making freezer packs

The recipes below can be cooked immediately, or assembled ahead for meal prep freezer meals.

  1. Assemble all ingredients not labelled ‘after cooking’ into heavy duty-freezer bags, reusable silicone bags (I love the 1/2 gallon Stasher bags for this), or a meal prep container.
  2. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. Thaw completely before cooking *

*while it is secure to cook chicken breasts from frozen, you need liquid to arrive to pressure and I have not tested whether that will work with these recipes fully frozen

Tips for freezer packs

  • if you have already-frozen chicken breasts, do not thaw and refreeze, simply add the frozen chicken to the sauce and pop back into the freezer
  • these recipes have only been tested in a 6 quart Instant Pot and may not have enough liquid to pressurize an 8 quart Instant Pot; doubling the recipe should do the trick
  • you should be fine to double them and cook for the same amount of time, but if you find they are not at 165°F after releasing the pressure, add a few minutes on (the pot will arrive back to pressure really quickly)
  • you can swap the chicken breasts for boneless skinless chicken thighs and increase the cook time to 10 minutes
  • these recipes would likely work in a small (2.5 quart) slow cooker; cook on low for 3-5 hours
  • you may shred or slice these chicken breast recipes

two chicken breasts in an instant pot

7 Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes

1. Creamy Lemon Garlic Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

Bag of Creamy Lemon Garlic Instant Pot Chicken Recipe for freezer. Ingredients for Creamy Lemon Garlic Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe.

GRAB THE PRINTABLE CREAMY LEMON GARLIC INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREASTS RECIPE HERE or scroll to the recipe card below.

2. Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Instant Pot Freezer Packs

Bag of Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Instant Pot Chicken Recipe for freezer. Ingredients for Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe.

GRAB THE PRINTABLE INSTANT POT CHICKEN BREASTS WITH SUN DRIED TOMATO SAUCE RECIPE HERE or scroll to the recipe card below.

3. Thai Red Curry Instant Pot Chicken Breast Freezer Packs

Bag of Thai Red Curry Instant Pot Chicken Recipe for freezer. Ingredients for Thai Red Curry Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe.

GRAB THE PRINTABLE INSTANT POT THAI CURRY CHICKEN RECIPE HERE or scroll to the recipe card below.

4. Sweet Chili Coconut Instant Pot Chicken Freezer Packs

Bag of Sweet Chili Coconut Instant Pot Chicken Recipe for freezer. Ingredients for Sweet Chili Coconut Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe.

GET THE PRINTABLE INSTANT POT SWEET CHILI COCONUT STIR FRY RECIPE HERE or scroll to the recipe card below.

5. Soy Ginger Instant Pot Chicken Breast Freezer Packs

Bag of Soy Ginger Instant Pot Chicken Recipe for freezer. Ingredients for Soy Ginger Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe.

GRAB THE PRINTABLE INSTANT POT SOY GINGER CHICKEN RECIPE HERE or scroll to the recipe card below.

6. Honey Sesame Instant Pot Chicken Breast Freezer Packs

Bag of Honey Sesame Instant Pot Chicken Recipe for freezer. Ingredients for Honey Sesame Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe.

GRAB THE PRINTABLE INSTANT POT HONEY SESAME CHICKEN RECIPE HERE or scroll to the recipe card below.

7. Chipotle Lime Instant Pot Chicken Breast Freezer Packs

Bag of Chipotle Lime Instant Pot Chicken Recipe for freezer. Ingredients for Chipotle Lime Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe.

GRAB THE PRINTABLE INSTANT POT CHIPOTLE LIME CHICKEN RECIPE HERE or scroll to the recipe card below.

More Instant Pot recipes:

Instant Pot Chicken Breast- 7 Flavors

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

Keyword: chicken, freezer, instant pot, meal prep

Calories: 336kcal

Author: WPOPT

Servings: 4

How to cook the Trendy juicy and delicious Instant Pot chicken breast, plus seven flavor options! Using the pressure cooker cooks your chicken breasts quickly, with no need for an oven, and they always arrive out perfectly. 

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time30 mins

1. Creamy Lemon Garlic Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

2. Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

3. Thai Red Curry Instant Pot Chicken Breasts (SPICY!)

4. Coconut Sweet Chili Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

5. Soy Ginger Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

6. Honey Sesame Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

7. Chipotle Lime Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

Creamy Lemon Garlic and Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

  • Combine all ingredients in a 6 quart Instant Pot (unless listed as ‘after reducing sauce’.)

  • Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes (for average 7 oz chicken breasts; see note). Release the pressure when the Instant Pot beeps (fast pressure release).

  • Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and allow to rest on a cutting board while you reduce the sauce (cover to keep chicken warm).

  • Reduce the sauce: select ‘sautee’ on the Instant Pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes.

  • When roughly 1/3 of a cup of the sauce remains (and you commence to see the bottom of the IP as you stir), stir in the parmesan cheese, cream, and lemon (for the lemon garlic chicken only). Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is heated through (but not boiling), and remove the pot from the Instant Pot base using oven mitts.

  • Spoon the sauce over chicken breast, rice and veggies.

Thai Red Curry and Coconut Sweet Chili Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

  • Combine all ingredients in 6 quart Instant Pot (unless listed as ‘after cooking’).

  • Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes (for average 7 oz chicken breasts; see note). Release the pressure when the Instant Pot beeps (fast pressure release).

  • Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and allow to rest while you cook the veggies.

  • Add fast cooking veggies such as thinly sliced bell peppers, bok choy, and snap peas to the Instant Pot and select ‘sautee’. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes, until veggies are tender. 

  • Slice chicken and return to the pot. Stir in the lime juice (Thai Curry only).

  • Serve over rice, spooning the sauce over everything.

Soy Ginger, Honey Sesame and Chipotle Lime Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

  • Combine all ingredients in 6 quart Instant Pot (unless listed as ‘after cooking’).

  • Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes (for average 7 oz chicken breasts; see note). Release the pressure when the Instant Pot beeps (fast pressure release).

  • Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and allow to rest while you thicken the sauce (you can also add some veggies in at this point and cook for 3-5 minutes before adding the cornstarch).

  • Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water, then add the slurry into the Instant Pot. Select ‘sautee’, and simmer for 1-2 minutes, until sauce is thickened to your liking.

  • Serve over rice (soy ginger and honey chipotle), or in tacos (chipotle lime).

Cook time
Cook time depends on the size of the chicken breasts. Most chicken breasts are great with an 8 minute cook time, but if you have larger or smaller chicken breasts, you’ll want to adjust the cook time.

  • 5 oz chicken breasts – 6 minutes with fast pressure release
  • 7 oz chicken breasts (average)- 8 minutes with a fast pressure release
  • 10 oz- 10 minutes with a fast pressure release

Storage

  • after cooking, chicken may be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days
  • after cooking, chicken may be frozen for up to 3 months
  • raw chicken + sauce may be assembled ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours
  • freezer packs may be frozen for up to 3 months. I advise thawing completely before cooking.

Frozen chicken breasts
Cook for 12 minutes with a fast pressure release and make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F before removing.
If frozen chicken breasts are stuck together, cook for 2 minutes, do a fast pressure release and pry them apart, then cook for another 10-12 minutes, until 165°F.

Serving: 3.5oz lemon garlic chicken | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 528mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 775IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 0.8mg


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