Instant Pot Chicken Salad

instant pot chicken salad

Step-by-Step Guide on how to make Instant Pot Chicken Salad with our “Zero-Minute” method! Quick and easy to make tender and juiciest Instant Pot chicken for salad. Tasty, light, and refreshing chicken salad with balanced flavor and a nice crunch. Simple appetizer or summer meal for lunch, dinners, parties, potlucks, or BBQ.

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chicken salad instant pot

We’re thrilled to hear you love our “Zero-Minute” Method for making Tender & Juiciest Instant Pot Chicken Breasts! So, we’re excited to share more quick and easy chicken recipes with you.

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a favorite classic summer salad mainly made of chicken with mayonnaise, vegetables, and fruits. Somewhat like the classic North American Potato Salad or Egg Salad.

Tender juicy chicken with crunchy celery bits, fragrant dill, and light creamy dressing. One satisfying bite with a nice crunch and balanced flavors.

This simple yet versatile Instant Pot Chicken Salad is quick & easy to make, and deliciously refreshing to eat.

You can make it ahead, then serve it as an appetizer, snack, or dinner salad. You can also use it as a filling for Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Wraps, Chicken Pita, Sliders, and more.

chicken salad

What You Need to Know for Instant Pot Chicken Salad

The chicken is key to the salad, so it’s essential for the chicken to be tender, juicy, and flavorful.

For this chicken salad recipe, we’re using a simple technique called deep poaching to cook chicken in Instant Pot.

From our dozens of chicken experiments, this method yields the most tender and juiciest Instant Pot chicken breasts. More tender and juicier chicken than boiled chicken.

Through experiments, we created the “Zero-Minute” method to use this cooking technique with our Instant Pot.

Instant Pot High Pressure for zero minute

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“Zero-Minute” Method – Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 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 chicken.

Measure the chicken’s internal temperature with a Food Thermometer. And make sure the temperature at the chicken’s thickest part reaches at least 165°F (74°C) after resting.

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! If your Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker doesn’t let you set “Zero minutes”, you can set it to “Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 1 minute”.

4 Cups (1L) of Water is Not a Typo!

Since we’re using the deep poaching method, it’s critical to make sure all your chicken are at least 95% submerged in the water.

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

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Salad

chicken salad recipe

Here are the ingredients for making Chicken Salad in Instant Pot:

how to make chicken salad

Step 1

Pressure Cook Chicken Breasts

First, add 4 cups (1L) cold running tap water, 2 tsp (14g) fine salt, and 3 (885g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts in Instant Pot.

chicken breasts in Instant Pot

Close lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing position.

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

Note #1: 0 minutes (zero minutes) is not a typo! We’re using the heat from the “Pressurize” Stage and “Depressurize” Stage to cook the chicken breasts in Instant Pot.

Note #2: If your Instant Pot doesn’t let you set “Zero minutes”, set it to “Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 1 minute”. Then, press “Cancel” once it comes up to pressure.

Amy + Jacky’s Tips For Frozen Chicken Breasts: Adjust the pressure cooking time to Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 3 minutes, then Natural Release for 18 to 20 minutes.

Instant Pot High Pressure for zero minute

After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure by turning the Venting Knob to Venting Position.

When the Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.

Step 2

Shred Chicken Breasts

Place the chicken on a chopping board. Then, check the internal temperature at the chicken’s thickest part with an accurate Food Thermometer.

pressure cooker chicken breasts

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

Amy + Jacky’s Temperature Tips: If the chicken’s internal temperature is off by more than 10°F, quickly place the chicken back in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, then let the residual heat in the Instant Pot further cook the chicken for 1 to 2 more minutes.

With two forks, shred the chicken. Then, let the shredded chicken cool to room temperature.

Shredded Chicken

If you like, you can use your desired dressing and seasonings to dress up this tender and juicy shredded chicken. If so, you can skip Steps 3 and 4 below. Or you can freeze this shredded chicken for later.
Step 3

Make Instant Pot Chicken Salad

Now, place shredded chicken in a large mixing bowl.

Add finely diced celery, 1 tbsp (15g) dijon mustard, and ⅓ cup (82g) full-fat mayonnaise to the shredded chicken. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

chicken salad in instant pot

Add in ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp (2.4g) finely chopped parsley leaves, 1½ tsp (3g) finely chopped dill, and 1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Step 4

Season & Serve Chicken Salad

Taste and season your Instant Pot Chicken Salad with salt and black pepper. For reference, we added 4 to 5 pinches of fine salt.

instant pot chicken for salad

How to Serve Chicken Salad

You can serve this “zero-minute” chicken salad at room temperature or chilled. There are lots of delicious ideas on how you can serve this refreshing chicken salad.

You can serve a simple summer meal with this chicken salad on top of fresh salad greens. Or serve it on a platter with a spread of fresh garden vegetables, pickles, fruits, nuts, seeds, or cheese.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches: Make tasty chicken sandwiches by adding lettuce, tomatoes, avocadoes, salad greens, and sliced cucumbers with the chicken salad. You can serve it on croissants, crusty artisan bread, pita bread, buns, toasted baguette, or crackers.

Chicken Wraps: You can also make lettuce wraps or tortilla wraps with this refreshing chicken salad.

What Goes Well with Chicken Salad

Chicken salad goes well with many side dishes and soups. Here are some tasty ideas for you:

Side Dishes

Soups

Enjoy your Refreshing “Zero-Minute” Instant Pot Chicken Salad!

4.75 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Chicken Salad

Author: Amy + Jacky
Make Instant Pot Chicken Salad with our "Zero-Minute" method! Quick and easy way to cook tender and juiciest chicken for salad. Light, refreshing chicken salad makes a tasty appetizer or summer meal for lunch, dinners, parties, potlucks, or BBQ.
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Servings 6 - 8
Total Time 30 mins
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Ingredients

  • 3 (2lbs or 885g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups (1L) cold running tap water
  • 2 teaspoons (14g) fine salt

Dressing & Seasoning

  • cup (82g) full fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) dijon mustard
  • 2 ribs (170g) celery , finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon (2.4g) parsley leaves , finely chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoon (3g) dill , finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice from half lemon (67.5g)
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.78g) garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Instructions 

  • Pressure Cook Chicken Breasts: Add 4 cups (1L) cold running tap water, 2 tsp (14g) fine salt, and 3 (885g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts in Instant Pot.
    Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 0 minutes (zero minutes), then 10 minutes Natural Release. 
    *Note: 0 minutes (zero minutes) is not a typo! We're using the heat from the "Pressurize" Stage and "Depressurize" Stage to cook the chicken.
  • Shred Chicken Breasts: Place chicken on a chopping board, then check internal temperature at its’ thickest part with an accurate food thermometer.
    With two forks, shred chicken, then let them cool to room temperature.
    *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 back in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, then let the residual heat in Instant Pot cook the chicken for 1 to 2 more minutes. If not, let the chicken rest until it reaches 165°F (74°C). For reference, our chicken jumped to 165°F (74°C) after resting for 3 minutes.
  • Make Chicken Salad: Place shredded chicken in a large mixing bowl. Add finely diced celery, 1 tbsp (15g) dijon mustard, and ⅓ cup (82g) full-fat mayonnaise to the shredded chicken. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Add in ¼ tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp (2.4g) finely chopped parsley leaves, 1½ tsp (3g) finely chopped dill, and 1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • Season & Serve: Taste & season chicken salad with salt and black pepper. For reference, we added 4 to 5 pinches of fine salt. You can serve this refreshing chicken salad at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!~ 🙂

Notes

Setting Zero Minutes: If your Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker doesn't let you set "Zero minutes", set it to "Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 1 minute". Then, press "Cancel" once it comes up to pressure.
For Frozen Chicken Breasts: Adjust the pressure cooking time to Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 3 minutes, then Natural Release for 18 to 20 minutes.
Rate Amy + Jacky's Recipe: If you've tried our recipe, rate the recipe in the Comments section. Thank you!
Calories: 196kcal
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken salad in instant pot, chicken salad instant pot, instant pot chicken salad, instant pot chicken salad recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 445mg | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.5mg
instant pot chicken salad | chicken salad instant pot | chicken salad in instant pot | instant pot chicken for salad
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