Juicy and versatile, instant pot chicken breasts are bound to become your new favorite way of cooking chicken. They take less than 20 minutes to cook and don’t require any prep work.
This instant pot chicken breast recipe is a fast, foolproof, and easy way to cook chicken.
Make up a big batch as part of a meal prep or have them with some simple sides for dinner.
Why this recipe works
- Takes less than 20 minutes. You don’t need to marinate chicken breasts to make them juicy. If you have less than 20 minutes to cook dinner and juicy chicken breasts are all you want, cook them in an instant pot.
- Works with fresh and frozen chicken. You can cook both fresh and frozen chicken breasts in an instant pot. There’s no need to thaw frozen chicken breasts. Just cook them 5 minutes longer.
- Versatile. Chicken breast is one of the most versatile proteins. You can serve it with veggies, pasta, rice, and salads. These instant pot chicken breasts are also great for sandwiches and wraps.
The texture of instant pot chicken breasts is what really makes them shine. All you need is a couple of spices to make the chicken more aromatic. Here’s everything this recipe calls for.
- Chicken breasts. Skinless and boneless.
- Spices. I use a blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and pepper to add flavor to these instant pot chicken breasts.
- Salt. To taste.
- Olive oil. To saute the chicken breasts. Any cooking oil will work.
- Chicken broth. While water will work too, using chicken broth is a good idea in case you decide to make gravy using the leftover liquid.
How to cook chicken breast in an instant pot
This instant pot chicken breast recipe suggests searing the chicken breasts before pressure cooking them. Doing this enhances the texture of the chicken and makes them look more appetizing.
Step 1 – Prep the chicken
Pat dry the chicken breasts. In a small bowl, whisk together all spices and salt and rub them on the chicken.
Step 2 – Sauté the chicken
Set the instant pot to sauté setting and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts and give them a good sear on both sides. Remove the chicken from the instant pot.
Step 3 – Add broth and cook
Pour a cup of broth into the instant pot. Place a trivet in the instant pot and place the chicken breasts on it. Close the lid, set the valve to the sealing position, and set the instant pot to high pressure for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes and quickly release the rest.
Remove the chicken from the instant pot, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
How long should you cook chicken breast in an instant pot?
This recipe suggests that you cook 2 pounds of fresh chicken breast for 5 minutes under high pressure. But the cooking time varies depending on the weight of the chicken breast. Here’s a guide to follow when cooking chicken breast in an instant pot.
- 1 lb – 4 minutes
- 2 lb – 5 minutes
- 3 lb – 6 minutes
- 4 lb – 8 minutes
- 5 lb – 10 minutes
Tips to make the best recipe
- Make gravy. The leftover liquid is a perfect base for gravy. Simply set the instant pot to the sauté setting and bring the liquid to a boil. Mix a tablespoon of cold water with two tablespoons of cornstarch and add the slurry to the broth. Cook for a few minutes until the liquid thickens.
- Don’t over-sear the chicken breasts. Searing the chicken breasts for 1-2 minutes per side is enough to get a beautiful color on them. Oversearing the chicken breasts will burn the seasoning and dry them out.
- Set a timer for natural pressure release. If it takes longer than needed, the chicken breasts will overcook.
The beauty of this method of cooking chicken breast is just how versatile it is and easy to customize. Here are some ideas:
- Use herbs. Chicken pairs well with a range of herbs. Oregano, thyme, and rosemary are some of the best herbs to use for chicken. You can also use Italian seasoning to give instant pot chicken breasts an easy boost of flavor.
- Make it spicy. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the spice mix if you enjoy your chicken a little bit spicy.
- Marinade the chicken. You can marinate the chicken breasts in advance using your favorite flavor combinations.
To store. Store leftover chicken breast in the fridge. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this chicken will be good for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze. Wrap each chicken breast with food wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. You can also shred the chicken breasts before freezing them.
To reheat. Reheat the chicken breast in the microwave or in the oven until hot.
More instant pot recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
If your chicken breasts cooked in the instant pot have turned out tough and rubbery, you probably haven’t cooked them long enough. They may also be chewy if they are overcooked.
Adding a cup of water or broth to the instant pot is usually enough to cook chicken and other foods. Instant pots with an 8-quart capacity often need 2 cups of liquid to function properly. Check the user manual of your instant pot to find out what is the minimum amount of liquid you should use.
Yes, you can overcook chicken in a pressure cooker. In fact, overcooking a chicken is easy when using a pressure cooker as you can’t check the level of doneness of the chicken while it cooks. Overcooked pressure cooker chicken is dry and chewy.
You can totally cook frozen chicken in a pressure cooker without worrying about thawing it. Make sure to cook frozen chicken 4 to 5 minutes longer than fresh chicken so that it defrosts and cooks through.
Instant Pot Chicken Breast
- Pat dry the chicken breasts and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the spices. Rub the spices on the exterior of the chicken.
- Set the instant pot to sauté setting and add the olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add the chicken breasts and sear on both sides. Remove the chicken from the instant pot.
- Pour the chicken broth into the instant pot and place the trivet inside. Add the chicken breasts and close the pot.
- Set the valve to sealing and set the instant pot to high pressure for 5 minutes. Once the instant pot beeps, naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes, then quickly release the rest.
- Remove the chicken from the instant pot and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
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