Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast | Chicken Breasts Recipes | Chicken Recipes | Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

Learn the Secrets on how to cook the Most Tender & Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast. Super Easy & Quick Game-Changing Method yields moist & sliceable pressure cooker chicken breasts for salad, taco, sandwiches and more!

Jump to: Recipe | Step by Step Cooking Guide

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5 from 31 votes

We’re overwhelmed with your love & thrilled to hear your rave reviews for our Game-Changing Poaching Method to cook Instant Pot Whole Chicken! Thank you~ 🙂

Ever since we’ve published our Whole Chicken Recipe, many of you have reached out to ask if the same method works for cooking chicken breasts in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

So, our experiment goal is to create a very versatile basic Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe that yields juicy, tender, and moist chicken breasts for you to slice, shred, or dice.

Get ready for some Juicy Tender Chicken Breast in Instant Pot! 😀

You can serve this sliceable chicken breasts in a salad, or make shredded chicken for taco filling, chicken sandwiches, chicken enchiladas, wraps…

Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast | Chicken Breasts Recipes | Chicken Recipes | Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

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Cooking Tips for Instant Pot Chicken Breast

1. 4 cups (1L) of Water is not a typo!

For this recipe, we’re using the deep poaching method in Instant Pot to cook the chicken breasts. So it’s critical to ensure all your chicken breasts are at least 95% submerged in the salted water.

What is Deep Poaching Method?

The Deep Poaching Method involves cooking food submerged in liquid at a relatively low temperature.

This method allows the proteins to denature without pulling out too much moisture out of the food. That’s why poached food comes out so moist and tender!

Poaching is most commonly used for cooking delicate or fragile food that might easily fall apart or dry out using other cooking methods, such as eggs, fish, or poultry.

2. Pressure Cook at High Pressure 0 Minute

Yes! You can “pressure cook” at 0 (zero) minute! How can that be?!

We’re setting the pressure cooking time to 0 (zero) minute because we’re using the heat generated during the “building pressure” stage AND the “depressurizing” stage (i.e. when Instant Pot is natural releasing) to cook the whole chicken.

Ensure to measure your chicken’s internal temperature with a Food Thermometer, and the chicken breast’s internal thickest part reaches at least 165°F (74°C) after resting.


Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast | Chicken Breasts Recipes | Chicken Recipes | Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Super Easy & Quick Game-Changing Method to make the Most Tender & Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast. Very versatile basic Instapot Chicken Breast Recipe for you to slice, shred, or dice to serve in salads, or taco filling, chicken sandwiches, chicken enchiladas, or wraps.
5 from 31 votes
Print Rate This Recipe
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 - 8
Calories: 190kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add Spice & Salt: Add 5 tsp (35g) fine sea salt, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp (1g) dried thyme, 1 tsp (0.9g) dried rosemary, and 1 tsp (0.8g) dried oregano to Instant Pot. (*Note: Don't worry! This amount of salt won’t make the chicken breasts too salty. You can skip the salt & spice if you are dressing up the chicken breasts after pressure cooking). Pour in 4 cups (1L) cold water in Instant Pot.
  • Pressure Cook Chicken Breasts: Add 1 - 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in Instant Pot. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 0 minute (zero minute), then 10 - 12 minutes Natural Release.


    -For 1 Chicken Breast: Natural Release for 12 minutes
    -For 2 Chicken Breasts: Natural Release for 11 minutes

    -For 4 Chicken Breasts: Natural Release for 9 minutes

    *Note: 0 minute (zero minute) is not a typo! We're using the heat from the "Pressurize" Stage + "Depressurize" Stage to cook the chicken breast in Instant Pot.
  • Check Chicken Breasts' Internal Temperature: Place chicken breasts on a chopping board, then check internal temperature at its' thickest part with an accurate thermometer. 
    *Note: The USDA recommends 165°F (74°C) as the safe internal temperature for cooked chicken. If the temperature is off by more than 10°F, quickly place the chicken breasts back in Instant Pot. Close the lid, then let the residual heat in Instant Pot cook the chicken breasts for 1 - 2 more minutes. If not, let the chicken breasts rest until it reaches 165°F (74°C). For Reference, our chicken breasts jumped to 165°F (74°C) after resting for 3 minutes.
  • Serve Chicken Breasts: Once the chicken breasts have reached 165°F (74°C), slice and serve immediately. You can also shred the chicken breasts, then serve them in sandwiches. Now you know the secrets to cook juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast! Enjoy!~ 🙂
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Recipe Notes:

*Rate the Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you! ?

Nutrition:

Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 601mg | Vitamin A: 1% | Vitamin C: 2.4% | Calcium: 4.9% | Iron: 9.4%
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine: World
Keyword: chicken breast instant pot, chicken breast recipes, chicken breasts, chicken recipes, healthy instant pot recipes, instant pot chicken, instant pot chicken breast, instapot chicken breast, pressure cooker chicken breast, pressure cooker chicken recipes
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!

Step-by-Step Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Guide

Here are the ingredients for cooking Chicken Breast in Instant Pot:

Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast Recipe Ingredients

1

Add Spice & Salt


Add 5 tsp (35g) fine sea salt, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp (1g) dried thyme, 1 tsp (0.9g) dried rosemary, and 1 tsp (0.8g) dried oregano to Instant Pot.

*Note: Don’t worry! This amount of salt will not make the chicken breasts too salty.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast: add spice and salt in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

*Pro Tip: You can skip the salt & spice if you are planning to dress up the Instant Pot Chicken Breasts after pressure cooking.

Pour in 4 cups (1L) cold water in Instant Pot.

2

Pressure Cook Chicken Breasts


Add 1 – 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast: pressure cook chicken breasts in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Close lid and turn Venting Knob to Sealing position.

Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 0 minute (zero minute), then 10 – 12 minutes Natural Release

  • For 1 Chicken Breast: Natural Release for 12 minutes
  • For 2 Chicken Breasts: Natural Release for 11 minutes
  • For 4 Chicken Breasts: Natural Release for 9 minutes

*Note: 0 minute (zero minute) is not a typo! We’re using the heat from the “Pressurize” Stage + “Depressurize” Stage to cook the chicken breast in Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker High Pressure Program 0 minute

3

Check Chicken Breasts’ Internal Temperature


Place chicken breasts on a chopping board, then check internal temperature at its’ thickest part with an accurate food thermometer.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast: check chicken breasts internal temperature with food thermometer

*Note: The USDA recommends 165°F (74°C) as the safe internal temperature for cooked chicken.

*Pro Tip: If the temperature is off by more than 10°F, quickly place the chicken breasts back in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Close the lid, then let the residual heat in Instant Pot cook the chicken breasts for 1 – 2 more minutes.

Our single chicken breast (below photo) recorded at 157°F (69°C), then it jumped to 165°F (74°C) after resting for 3 minutes.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast: check chicken breasts internal temperature with food thermometer

Our double batch of chicken breasts (below photo) recorded at 156°F (69°C), then jumped to 165°F (74°C) after resting for 3 minutes as well.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast: check chicken breasts internal temperature with food thermometer

4

Serve Instant Pot Chicken Breast


Once the Instant Pot Chicken Breasts have reached 165°F (74°C), slice and serve immediately.

You can serve this sliceable instapot chicken breasts in a salad, or make shredded chicken for taco filling, chicken sandwiches, chicken enchiladas, wraps…

Now you know the secrets on how to cook juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts!

Instant Pot Chicken Breast | Instapot Chicken Breast | Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast | Chicken Breasts Recipes | Chicken Recipes | Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

Enjoy your Juicy & Tender Instant Pot Chicken Breast!~ 🙂

Tools for Instant Pot Chicken Breast

 


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Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Update on this recipe. I saved the broth and my husband added onion, celery, carrots, uncooked Amish noodles, a little olive oil, and some water and made chicken noodle soup. No extra herbs were needed even though he added some water. It was the best chicken soup! 😋

  2. Wonderful flavor. Mine was a little over cooked, though (180+ degrees). Next time I’ll do a 5 minute natural release and go from there. If it’s not 165 degrees, I can heat it a little longer, but if it’s overcooked, I can’t undo that. Regardless, it was still very good. Thanks for your delicious recipes.

  3. I love your website! It’s a boon to people with Instant Pots!

    I just tried this recipe and thought the chicken was a bit overcooked. When I measured the temperature with a meat thermometer it was 195 F. I’ve also discovered that some of the recipes are just a little bit off.

    It recently occurred to me that I actually have an 8 quart version, not a 6 quart version. How would I adjust the cooking times for this recipe, and in general for other recipes that are based on a 6 quart version?

    1. Hi Chaeric,

      thank you for your love and support 🙂

      The get up to pressure time will be longer for the 8 quart vs the 6 quart.

      For our recipes will 0 minute cooking time, you will want to reduce the natural release time by a few minutes to compensate for the longer get up to pressure time.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  4. I made this exactly as written. The chicken was very flavorful and tender, perfectly salted and spiced. I did two breasts for a total of 1 lb. of chicken and did a NPR for 11 min. They were 165 degrees when I took them out, and seemed slightly dry when I sliced them. Next time I will check them after 10 min NPR so they can rest a bit to come up to 165. They should be perfect. This is a great recipe! Thank you

  5. The BEST chicken breast I ever made! I the breast for chicken soup but I “sampled” almost half of it. I used the poaching liquid in my chicken soup!
    It was the WOW factor! Thank you for this recipe!

  6. I cooked 7 larger size chicken breasts (4.5 pounds) in 5 cups of water. They were directly out of the refrigerator, not frozen. I used the same amount of salt and seasonings in the recipe. Zero minutes at high pressure and 10 minutes natural release. They turned out perfectly! Tender, not too salty, and completely cooked.
    This was a test run for chicken I will use in a Taco Bar for my son’s graduation party next week. Thank you for another great recipe 🙂

  7. I just tried this method and will never cook chicken breasts any other way! They came out so moist and tender and they were definitely the correct temperature. I changed up the seasoning a bit by adding some garlic and onion powder and left out the bay leaf since I didn’t have one available. The recipe is a definite winner! Thank you Amy and Jacky!!

  8. The recipe for the poached chicken was excellent. Once cooked, the chicken can be used in many different ways. It was tender and juicy. Another winner!

  9. Another question, is it better to use this recipe or your Hainanese chicken rice recipe for chicken legs IF I want to use skin-on breast meat? Thank you.

  10. Love this method of cooking chicken breasts. I came back to read the recipe to verify seasonings, and I have been forgetting bay leaves! So glad I read again. The flavor is superb. Thank you Amy and Jacky.

  11. It was so good! Chicken very most. I was anxious, since haven’t used instant pot much every though I’ve had since Christmas but instructions were really easy. Thank you

    1. Hi Sheryl,

      Happy to hear how the chicken came out.
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  12. I am so impressed!!! Chicken breast is usually so dry. I was able to get a deal on chicken breasts at aldi. This method of cooking turned out the best chicken that I was able to slice and make sandwiches, tacos, ect. Everyone who had some raved!!! Thanks so much.

  13. Chicken breasts and I have never come to an understanding on how to be perfectly cooked. Until now! These were the juiciest, most flavorful breasts I’ve ever made. Saved some of the cooking liquid too for future use. Thanks for the perfect recipe!!

  14. Fantastic recipe! I made this chicken to go with lime cilantro rice. I substituted your recipe spices with 2 teaspoons of my homemade taco seasoning and 3 teaspoons of sea salt. Perfect pairing with the rice. Thank you A&J!

  15. Today I tried chicken breasts in my Instant Pot for the second time. I made it to put on my lunchtime salads. My first time I thought that 5 teaspoons salt much too much, so I added much less and no herbs. Those chicken breasts were nicely poached, sliced beautifully cold, but had little flavor . Today I added the salt called for in the recipe, substituting Mrs. Dash Chicken Grilling Blends for the herbs and was amazed by the flavor. The chicken breast is appropriately salted through the entire breast. I think the herb blend added a nice bit of extra flavor. I can see omitting herbs altogether or substituting another for a different flavor. This recipe worked so beautifully! My chicken breasts were mostly frozen going in, but the chicken reached 165 degrees easily. Thank you for recipes you have experimented with enough for me to trust.

  16. Tried it and the recipe is phenomenal. My questions are if I want to cook let’s say 8 pieces of breast, would I just double everything accordingly? And keep pressure cooking time the same 0.

    1. Hi Andres,

      Late Reply! (We were on a trip to Asia) Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe 🙂

      With that amount of water, the get up to pressure time will be very long so I will say the natural release time will be quite a bit shorter.

      Have fun cooking & please take care
      Jacky

  17. This is the best chicken. I make it every Sunday for my meal prep for the week. Have you every changed up the spices for a different flavor, like cumin, garlic, pepper?

    1. Hi Caryl,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe!

      Yes, those spice will always work great.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  18. I have a question that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere else. Whenever I cook chicken breasts they come out with white “stuff” all over them. How do I avoid this? I either have to strain the broth or throw it out. Don’t like that white granular stuff…..don’t even know what it’s called! lol
    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question! The white stuff are cooked protein. They are completely safe and the best way is to strain the broth.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  19. I am delighted to finally have a method I for cooking chicken breasts in the Instant Pot that results in moist, slice-able chicken! Thank you!

    1. Hi PlainJane,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe!

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  20. Tried this tonight. 5 stars!
    I used vegetable broth and Indian seasonings as I wanted to make curry out of half the chicken breasts at a later date.
    For 6 whole breasts I allowed to natural release 15 minutes. ( mostly because I forgot about them).
    I cooked rice at the same time in a pot in pot on a tall trivet.
    The breasts we had for dinner were juicy and very tasty. Not dry at all. The broth was fragrant and nicely seasoned. I let it cook down on sauté for about 10 minutes as I put the saved by breasts in the fridge and got everything on the table.
    I added a can of coconut milk and 2 tbsp of red curry paste, 1 tbsp garlic Siracha sauce and 1 tbsp ground garam masala to the sauce and put the breasts back in for a few minutes.
    Fan-super-tastic.

    You guys are my go to for IP SUCCESS. .

  21. Tried this method and using a large breast (a little over 1lb.). It came out around 125-130 F. Any suggestions? I tried it again but instead of 0 minutes I used 1 minute and it was about 135 F. Please help.

    1. Hi Sameer,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question!

      If this is the case, you can quickly close the lid and allow the chicken breast to cook in the hot water for another 5 minutes.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

    1. Hi Bill,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question!

      It will be enough. Please take a look at the photo on Step 2.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

    1. Hi Kirsten,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      I recommend an extra 2 – 3 minutes natural release time.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  22. Could you please test frozen chicken breasts.
    I think like me a lot of people are curious to see if you have any actual input rather than guessing.

    Thank you.

  23. This chicken was amazing. Moist, tender, excellent flavor and texture. This will be my go-to recipe for chicken from now on. The bonus is the water turns into a wonderful broth. I will use just a little less salt so the broth won’t be quite so salty.

  24. I sent a comment in the other day with no reply.?
    I have tried your method 2 times in a 3qt IP. 2 boneless breasts each time. First time they were thawed, the second time they were frozen. Cooked 0 minutes and 11 minutes NPR. Both tries yielded dry chicken. I’m sure the 3qt IP is the difference. Do you have any suggestions?
    I’d appreciate a reply.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Sorry to hear what happened. The last comment was filtered into the spam box by our system 🙁

      Dry chicken breast usually means the meat is overcooked.

      Do you remember the temperature when you measured it with a meat thermometer?

      If the temperature is too high, I recommend reducing the natural release time.

      Please take care & have an amazing week
      Jacky

  25. I look forward to trying this and finally beating my “dried chicken breast blues”!

    What do you think of a substitution of chicken broth for water? Would this have any effect on the poaching process?

  26. Made this for dinner this evening , come out perfect. Added chicken to a salad,very tender and tasty, will use the remainder in a stir fry , again Thank You for another great recipe.

  27. Hello and Happy Thanksgiving, Amy and Jacky
    I was wondering if this method could be used on boneless thighs. We like dark meat in our family.

  28. What size Chicken breasts do you use? They vary so much.. That’s the hardest thing with the instant pot recipes. Figuring out what size to use or if you should cut then up into several pieces.
    Love all your recipes. Please keep them coming.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      Our chicken breasts are roughly 300g. As long as the chicken breasts are at least 95% covered in the cooking water, the cooking time should be the same.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  29. This method is perfect. Two huge bone-in chicken breasts came out juicy and fully cooked. I seasoned the breasts for Butter Chicken and added curry leaves instead of bay leaves.

    I’m looking forward to testing other meats cooked with the Zero Minute method. Highly recommended for chicken so far. I will write about this in a future blog.

    1. Hi Wilma,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      I don’t think you will be able to fully submerge 8 – 12 chicken breasts in 4 cups of water.

      You will need to increase the amount of water and the natural release time will probably be a lot lower.

      I recommend doing a quick release as soon as the pressure cycle has ended. Measure the temperature and place the chicken breasts back into the water if the temp is too low.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. Hi Donna,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      We haven’t tested this with frozen chicken breasts, but i think you will want to increase the pressure cooking to 1 – 2 minutes.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  30. I assume recipe is for fresh chicken breasts. Can I use frozen breasts? If so, does time change? Can this be done in a electric pressure cooker instead of an Instant Pot? If so any changes to recipe? Can cooked chicken be frozen afterwards to be used at later date? Sorry for so many questions. I am disabled & alone & this looks like something that could be beneficial for me. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Sabrina,

      This will work in an electric pressure cooker without any change.

      We haven’t tested this with frozen chicken breasts, but i think you will want to increase the pressure cooking to 1 – 2 minutes.

      I recommend freezing the chicken raw and cook them on demand.

      Please take care & have an amazing week ?
      Jacky

    1. Hi Ella,

      We haven’t tested this with frozen chicken breasts, but i think you will want to increase the pressure cooking to 1 – 2 minutes.

      Please take care & have an amazing week 🙂
      Jacky

  31. What size is a serving in the Nutrition Facts? I don’t see anything in ounces or grams. Maybe it’s there and I’m missing it. Thank you.

    1. Hi Nutsy,

      We haven’t tested this with frozen chicken breasts, but i think you will want to increase the pressure cooking to 1 – 2 minutes.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. Hi Stacey,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      This is one of the best ways to cook chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.

      Chicken breasts will be drier after storing in a refrigerator and microwaving.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      thank you for your question ?

      It doesn’t matter as the keep warm mode will not kick in well after the natural release.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

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