Instant Pot Chicken Breasts: The BEST way to make chicken breasts in the pressure cooker–perfectly cooked, juicy chicken EVERY SINGLE TIME! Directions on how to cook chicken in Instant Pot from fresh and frozen with a secret ingredient that will knock your socks off!
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Can we all just admit that many nights cooking is HARD?!!!
Between working and shuffling kids to and from activities or shuffling yourself to and from meetings, life can get SO busy and dedicating time to cooking wholesome meals can go by the way side.
This does NOT have to be case!
With a few simple strategies, you can ALWAYS have time to get dinner on the table for your family.
Having a large batch of cooked chicken in the fridge or freezer is one of my BEST staples to getting quick meals on the table and when I can pair them with Eat Smart Salad Kits, dinner has never been easier.
My absolute favorite salad from Eat Smart Salads right now is the Sweet Kale Salad. Shredded brussel sprouts, crunchy kale, sweet cranberries, a poppyseed dressing–it is PERFECTION.
I could eat it daily as just a side dish, but when paired with chicken–a full meal is within your reach in minutes.
I love to make Rotisserie Chickens or Roasted Chicken Breast in large quanities, but if I am 100% honest, I may not always plan ahead and it is 5’oclock and my family is in melt down mode because we are HANGRY! Or we are pulling in our driveway after a long day.
This is when I pull out my trusty Instant Pot.
But what about Chicken?
That can always be a bit more tricky to cook to juicy perfection.
After 20 something tries, I have perfected perfectly cooked chicken!
Be sure to check out all my Easy Healthy Instant Pot Recipes. Or if you are a new Instant Pot user, be sure to read my Instant Pot 101, where I walk you through important must knows when using an electric pressure cooker.
How to Perfectly Cook Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot:
I start with 3 pounds of chicken–I figure if we are going to cook, might as well make extra to have for the week!
If I have forgotten to prep dinner, it is typically frozen so I have figured out how to cook chicken breasts from frozen AND fresh.
Can you guess what I add to keep my chicken full of flavor and perfectly moist?
Pineapple juice adds just the right sweetness to the chicken and paired with some garlic and salt and pepper, this chicken is truly tasty and perfect even in savory dishes like my Creamy Cheesy Chicken and Rice. Of course you can use chicken stock if you don’t have pineapple juice!
Pressure Cooking Frozen Chicken Breasts
If frozen, I set my pressure cooker to 10 minutes on high pressure and turn the valve to seal in the steam. It took between 3-7 minutes to get to pressure for me the times I have made it. I let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, and then if still not ready to release, I do a quick release.
I remove the meat from the liquid and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Pressure Cooking Fresh Chicken Breasts
I set my pressure cooker to 6 minutes on high pressure and turn the valve to seal in the steam. It took about 3-5 minutes each time to come to pressure and begin cooking. I let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then if still not ready to release, I do a quick release. Remove meat from liquid and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Now you can slice up the chicken breasts–perfect to use for salads or sandwiches.
Or you can shred the chicken. Tip for shredding chicken, is to add 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and mix with a hand held mixer or in a stand mixer.
Perfectly cooked chicken is ready to go before you would have your family through a drive-thu.
A Few Notes on Perfectly Cooked Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
- I use organic chicken breasts which tend to be much smaller than traditional chicken. If you use non-organic, just increase the cooking time by 2-3 minutes depending on how large your chicken breasts are.
- Be sure to seal your vent on your pressure cooker for the correct amount of pressure to build.
- It is best to allow a natural release for 5 minutes, but a quick release can be done if really in a rush.
- If you intend to shred the chicken–keep in cooking cooking liquid and use a hand held mixer to shred or put in a stand mixer with the paddle attachement and mix on medium. Get my tips on how to shred chicken with a handheld mixer here.
- The pineapple juice adds so much flavor so don’t overlook that secret ingredient. But chicken stock and water both work in a pinch.
When you paired with an Eat Smart Salad Kit, my favorite is the Sweet Kale, dinner could not be easier or healthier!
This nutrient-dense Gourmet Sweet Kale Salad Kit is 100% Clean Label. No Artificial Colors, Flavors, or Preservatives and delivers out of this world flavor with a unique blend of seven superfoods – kale, green cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chicory, roasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries – completed with a delicious poppy seed dressing.
Paired with perfectly cooked sliced chicken, this salad becomes a great light dinner, or easy lunch to go.
When the salad is tossed with shredded chicken and wrapped in a soft tortilla, it creates a perfect hand-held, easy to pack lunch.
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Be sure to check out how to cook FROZEN ground beef as well to really make cooking dinner easier than ever!
Instant Pot Chicken Breasts (FROM FROZEN & FRESH)
Tried and true fail proof way to cook chicken breasts in the pressure cooker
- 3 pounds chicken breasts***
- 1 cup pineapple juice or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon if using chicken stock
Place all ingredients in pressure cooker.
Close lid and turn vent to sealed.
For Frozen Chicken, cook on poultry setting on high pressure for 10 minutes.
For Fresh Chicken, cook on poultry setting on high pressure for 6 minutes.
Allow to release naturally for 5 minutes, and then do a quick release if needed.
Remove chicken from liquid and rest chicken for 5-10 minutes.
Slice and serve or shred with 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
Serve plain or use in recipes.
To freeze, allow chicken to cool completely and then seal in freezer safe bags and freeze for future use.
Keeps in fridge for 3-4 days.
***I use organic chicken breasts. Each breast is about 6-8 ounces. So if your chicken breasts are larger, you may want to increase time by 1-2 minutes. Just be sure to reach 165 degrees for doneness (It can come out of pressure cooker at 160-162 and will raise to 165 as it rests.)
You do NOT need to use the poultry setting, just high pressure. (Hit manual or pressure cook and adjust pressure to high and set time.)
My Must Have Instant Pot Accessories
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Other Great Uses for Pressure Cooker Chicken Breasts: