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Juicy Chicken Under 30 minutes

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

I am all about efficiency. I like to eat healthy, but I have to admit that I do not like to cook. I wish it was different that I found it relaxing like my husband or joyful like some. For me cooking is a task to be met! That being said I do have some tricks up my sleeve!

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast from fresh or frozen in 25 minutes from start to finish, simple ingredients and no sauté. (Can I get an Amen?)

Use for meal prep, quick dinner or you name it.

This pressure cooker chicken breast is my go-to on a busy weeknight or weekend (who am I kidding?!). Often it becomes shredded chicken that will be seasoned into salads, tossed into tacos or just stirred in with veggies, rice or pasta.

(Check this video to learn how to shred chicken like a pro!)

What You Will Need:

You really need only chicken breasts and water. Everything else is up to your taste and what you are planning to use cooked chicken breasts for.

If you are adding meat to salads, quesadillas or into sauces I would not worry about seasonings much.

If you are planning to eat cooked chicken breast alongside quinoa or brown rice and salad (meal prep style), then spices could be fun.


  1. Chicken breasts – fresh or frozen.

  2. Salt and pepper.

  3. Garlic powder, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning – up to preference.

  4. Dried herbs – I like since it adds some micronutrients in a delicious and easy way.

How to Cook Fresh Chicken Breast in Instant Pot
  • Add 1 cup water.

  • Place trivet pot.

  • Lay chicken breasts in a single layer.

  • Sprinkle with spices.

  • Rub onto each other.

  • Press Pressure Cook on High for 10 minutes if breasts are under 2″ thickness and 15 minutes if over 2″ thick breasts.

I prefer to let pressure out on “natural release”, but if in a hurry, allow it to naturally release for 5 minutes and then turn pressure valve to Venting.

Same recipe. Same cooking time. Same water amount for all sizes of instapots.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

Cook frozen chicken breasts just like fresh but For 15 minutes instead of 10.

Make sure each breast is separated. (kind of important step!)

If you add a blob of frozen chicken breasts, you will end up with raw meat inside and overcooked chicken outside.

Usually, I portion my chickens before putting it in the freezer. When you bring fresh chicken from the store, line each breast with small piece of parchment paper before adding to a bag and freezing.

Thaw for 5 minutes or run under cold water for easy parchment paper removal.

What Size of Instant Pot Can I Use?

Any –3 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart. (I have the mini and find it too small for most recipes, I would recommend the 6 quarts for families instead)

Same recipe. Same cooking time. Same water amount for all sizes.

Just make sure chicken breasts fit in a single layer. If your Instant Pot is small and you want to cook large amount of breasts, do so in a few batches. Piling up chicken in a few layers will result in undercooked chicken. (That’s where I am at, so probably getting a bigger pot soon…)

Also note that larger pressure cooker (like 8 quart) take longer to come to pressure – a bout 8-10 minutes.

Do I Have to Sauté Breasts Before Cooking?

I just had to comment. Many recipes online ask you to sauté chicken breast before pressure cooking in an effort “to lock in most of juices”. I can assure you I have cooked chicken breast in Instant Pot over 20 times and it comes out juicy if you follow my recipe. It might taste a bit better if you saute, but then again, Ain’t nobody has time (or energy) for that….

Can I Cook Breasts with Bones?

Yes. Even with skin on, if you wish. Same amount of time.

Does Size of Breast Matter?

6 oz or 10 oz – doesn’t matter. 10 minutes or 15 minutes of pressure cooking is enough time to cook standard American supermarket chicken breasts.

Can I Cook Just One Breast?

Yes, you can. You can cook as many or as little fit into a single layer. Same cooking time.

What to Do with Cooked Chicken Breast

Before we go onto uses for cooked chicken breast major tip – save that broth on the bottom of the pot. It is basically free chicken broth.)

I like to shred mine with an electric mixer! It is quick and shreds to perfection. You can also cube it to add to salads and tacos. You can even freeze it for later…

Check here my favorite Shredded Chicken salads recipes here!


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