Learn how to make juicy and tender instant pot poached chicken in 20 minutes. This easy instant pot chicken breast recipe is a game changer! You can use this method to make pressure cooker chicken breast to use in salads, rice dishes, or sandwiches.
Do you own a pressure cooker? If you have an instant pot and are looking for ways to use it in your kitchen, this post is for you. We've already covered some of the basics such as how to make yogurt in instant pot, instant pot white rice and instant pot brown rice. We even have a tutorial showing you a super simple method for cooking beans in the instant pot and how to make egg in instant pot.
Today we are covering another instant pot basic recipe, how to cook chicken in instant pot. You can make a whole chicken breast in your instant pot and use it during the week in salads, sandwiches and other recipes.
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Instant pot chicken breast recipe
I have found that the instant pot can make cooking very easy. It reduces hands-on cooking time and there is no need to baby sit your dish to see that it has enough liquid or needs stirring. You can just press the button and forget about it. Instant pot is great when you're meal prepping because you can multi-task to save time. This instant pot chicken recipe is a life saver in our home because it yields juicy, tender, and perfectly cooked chicken breasts that we can use throughput the week.
And you know what the best part is? You can make it with fresh or frozen chicken breast. This instant pot chicken breast recipe is perfect for meal planning or weeknight dinners when you come home and realize you need to have dinner on the table in less than an hour.
Cooking boneless chicken breast in instant pot
All you need to make this easy instant pot poached chicken is:
- Chicken breast: It's best to opt for boneless chicken breast, but bone-in would work too. Cooking time would be longer if using bone-in chicken breast.
- Vegetables: I use onion, garlic and a bit of ginger to mildly flavor the chicken.
The combination of onion, garlic and ginger will give a great flavor to the chicken and makes it very tasty. You can also add other ingredients which we will talk about in this article. Using your instant pot is way easier than you might think and once you try this pressure cooker chicken breast recipe, you'll be making in regularly because it's that good!
What instant pot should I get?
This absolutely depends on your needs and preferences. A 6-Quart instant pot would serve 4-6 people and is a standard size. I got mine from Costco but it's the equivalent of this instant pot (affiliate link). Even though instant pots come with many functions, we tend to use the pressure cook and saute functions the most.
How to poach chicken in instant pot
Cooking chicken breast in the instant pot is so simple and easy. You can make this instant pot chicken using frozen chicken or fresh chicken.
For fresh chicken breast
- Place all the ingredients in the instant pot, add the water and lock the lid. Make sure the valve is on seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. If using bone-in chicken breast, cook for 20 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure.
- Do a natural release for 5 minutes and then do a quick release.
For frozen chicken breast
- Place the frozen chicken, chopped onion, garlic and ginger in the instant pot. Pour the water on the chicken and secure the lid. Set the valve on seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. If using bone-in chicken breast, set the timer for 25 minutes. It will take about 10-12 minutes for the pressure cooker to reach pressure because the chicken is frozen.
- Once the cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally.
A little tip: If using frozen chicken breast, make sure they are frozen individually and not in blocks. If they are frozen in blocks, hold them under cold running water and break them into individual pieces.
This is an instant pot chicken breast recipe using two chicken breasts, but you can also use three chicken breasts following the exact same instructions. Each cooked chicken breast would yield approximately two cups of shredded chicken.
The seasoning and ingredients to make poached chicken can vary depending on your use. Typically I use onion, garlic and ginger. You can also use the following seasoning and ingredients:
- Bay leaves
- Italian spice blend
- Greek spice blend
- Dried oregano and lemon
Don't be shy with the spices and add one tablespoon of each when poaching chicken breast. Make sure the spices are fresh and haven't been sitting in the cabinet for ages since they tend to lose their aroma and flavor after a while.
This basic instant pot chicken breast recipe is very versatile. You can use the breast shredded, sliced or diced. Instant pot poached chicken is so juicy and tender, meaning that you can use it in different ways:
- Add it to salads such as ensalada rusa or healthy chicken salad with walnuts.
- Use it in soups including Greek chicken orzo soup, mushroom barley soup or avgolemono.
- Add it to rice dishes such as instant pot chicken and rice,
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely. Simply follow the recipe and prepare the chicken. Shred it using two forks (or you stand mixer with the batter hook) and portion it in freezer safe bags. Freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, thaw the chicken in the fridge overnight.
It's basically chicken stock so you can strain it, discard the onion and garlic pieces and use the liquid to make soups and stews.
When making chicken in your instant pot, you can use either fresh or frozen chicken breast. The methods are pretty much the same, you just need to do a natural release if cooking from frozen.
This depends on the size of the chicken and whether they are fresh or frozen. Per the FDA's guidelines, the chicken breast's internal temperature should register at 165° F to be considered fully cooked and safe to consume.
More Instant pot Recipes
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Instant Pot Poached Chicken (Tutorial)
- 2 lb chicken breasts
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger minced or grated
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- Place the chicken in the instant pot.
- Add water, salt, onion, garlic and ginger.
- Lock the instant pot lid and make sure the valve is on seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set the timer for 15 minutes. (Timing is the same for fresh or frozen chicken)
- Once the timer is up, for fresh chicken, do natural release for 5 minutes and then do a quick release. For frozen chicken, do a complete natural release.
- Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes and then shred, cube or slice.
- You can use instant pot chicken breast to make salads such as this healthy chicken salad, sandwiches and soups like lemon chicken orzo soup.
- Strain the liquid in the instant pot and use it in soups or stews.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- To freeze instant pot poached chicken, shred the chicken and portion it in freezer safe bags. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
- If using fresh bone-in chicken breast, set the timer for 20 minutes. For frozen bone-in chicken breast set the timer for 25 minutes.