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Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot: How To + Video

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Never worry about forgetting to thaw the chicken again with this easy tutorial for how to cook frozen chicken in an instant pot. Whether you want to batch cook, meal prep, or make a casserole, this tutorial will walk you through cooking chicken breasts and chicken thighs from frozen using your Instant Pot.

How to cook frozen chicken in the instant pot.


Why Should You Cook Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot

Using your Instant Pot to cook frozen chicken is such a time saver! Not only does it stretch the versatility of your Instant Pot, it gives you the ability to prepare a lot of meat at one time. You can then use your cooked chicken for casseroles, tacos, salads, lunches, or freeze it for later. If you are a bulk shopper, you may also save money.


What Kind of Chicken Can Be Cooked From Frozen in an Instant Pot

This tutorial for cooking frozen chicken in an Instant Pot may be used on a variety of cuts. You may use this tutorial to cook frozen chicken breasts and chicken thighs, boneless, or bone-in, skin-on, or skinless.  It is not recommended to cook drumsticks or wings this way because the meat will fall off the bone.




How To Season Frozen Chicken

Since the chicken is added in a frozen brick to the Instant Pot, there is no special seasoning method required. Just add the onion and spices to the pot, close the lid, and cook. As the chicken cooks and breaks apart in the pot, the seasoned broth and pressure will adequately season the chicken. The result is tender, juicy, and savory cooked chicken.


How Long To Cook Frozen Chicken in an Instant Pot

A few ingredients and half an hour is all you need to take chicken from frozen to juicy and shredded. Even if your chicken is in a frozen brick, like mine in the video, 30 minutes will cook the chicken through perfectly. You can choose to quick release or manually release the steam. 

I have put a video tutorial together to help guide you through the process but essentially, this is a dump and cook recipe.



Cook frozen chicken thighs in the Instant Pot.


What Size Instant Pot Should Be Used To Cook Frozen Chicken

A minimum of a 6 quart capacity is needed to cook the chicken using this tutorial. An 8 quart may also be used without adjustment to the cooking time (because there is already sufficient liquid in the pot). It is not recommended to use the mini 3 quart Instant Pot as the chicken and liquid will not fit.



Is the Chicken Tough After Cooking

Not at all! The Instant Pot, which is a pressure cooker, cooks the chicken under just enough pressure to cook the chicken through without drying it out, thanks to the steam. Plus, all of the broth that the chicken is cooked in also keeps the chicken tender and juicy. If you increase the cooking time then you run the risk of having tough chicken.


Recipes To Try Using Cooked Chicken 

You can use the chicken that you cooked from frozen in the instant pot in a variety of recipes. Here are few suggestions:


Homemade chicken broth made in the instant pot with frozen chicken.


What To Do With The Leftover Broth

Cooking your chicken with this method gives the added bonus of incredibly flavorful homemade chicken broth. Strain the broth with a fine mesh sieve and store it in mason jars in the refrigerator or freezer. It should stay fresh in the refrigerator up to 10 days or freezer for 6 months or more. You can even pour the broth into ice cube trays, freeze, and then bag up the individual cubes for the next time you need a little bit of broth for a sauce, like my keto country gravy!




How To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot

How To Cook Frozen Chicken In The Instant Pot

Yield: about 5 cups of chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 5 to 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt (or 1 rib of celery)
  • 2.5 to 3 lbs frozen chicken breasts or thighs


  1. Place the frozen chicken in the pot. Pour the water over the top and sprinkle with spices. Add the onion around the chicken.
  2. Close the lid and seal the vent. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  3. Quick release or manually release the steam.
  4. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer chicken to a bowl.
  5. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large measuring cup and strain the broth. Transfer to glass jars.
  6. Store the chicken and broth in the refigerator up to 1 week or freezer up to 6 months.

Did you make this recipe?

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