If you have an Instant Pot, there are a few things you should definitely try using it for. One of my favorite ways to use my Instant Pot is to cook up some juicy Instant Pot chicken breasts! It’s super simple, creates juicy meat, and you can use the chicken in a range of recipes throughout the week.
Why cooking chicken breasts in the Instant Pot works
Instant Pot chicken breast is juicy, delicious, and entirely hands-off. After seasoning and preparing your chicken, place it in the Instant Pot, set the cooking time, and walk away. You can use that free time to prepare your sides, get some chores done, or even put your feet up and relax!
Not only is the Instant Pot hands-off and easy when it comes to cooking chicken breasts, it also guarantees a perfectly cooked piece of chicken every time. There’s no worrying about dried out or overcooked chicken and you can meal prep a bunch of chicken for meals for the week ahead in under half an hour.
Ingredients you’ll need
This recipe is simple. All you’ll need to make Instant Pot chicken breast are:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Chicken broth—You’ll use this in place of water for more flavorful chicken
- Avocado oil—For searing the chicken breasts
- Salt—You can add some pepper too if you’d like
- Garlic powder
- Italian seasoning
Do I need boneless or bone-in chicken breasts?
This recipe has the cooking times for boneless skinless chicken breasts. Although you can cook bone-in chicken breasts in the slow cooker, the cooking time would be longer because of the bone.
This recipe calls for fresh chicken breast. It is possible to use frozen chicken breasts if you increase the cooking time by at least four minutes. Check the internal temperature and make sure the chicken breasts have reached 165°F. If needed, use the Instant Pot in manual mode to cook your breasts for a few more minutes.
How much liquid do I need for chicken breasts in the Instant Pot?
You only need a cup of liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker to cook Instant Pot chicken breasts. This recipe uses chicken broth to give some added flavor to the juicy meat. If you’re planning on adding a bunch of spices or flavor to your breasts when you add them to a meal, you could use water instead. The liquid adds moisture to the chicken, and placing the meat on top of a trivet keeps it out of direct contact with the broth while ensuring even and equal cooking.
How long do chicken breasts take in the Instant Pot?
It doesn’t take long at all to make this Instant Pot chicken breast recipe. The entire process only takes half an hour. Searing the breasts takes eight to ten minutes and cooking them using high pressure in the Instant Pot takes 12 minutes. After that, allow ten minutes for the Instant Pot to release pressure and your chicken breasts are ready to serve!
I recommend not using the quick-release valve on the pressure cooker. Allowing the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally keeps your chicken juicy, as it soaks moisture back up while the Instant Pot is cooling down.
What makes chicken rubbery, and how do I keep that from happening?
When the meat doesn’t cook long enough in the Instant Pot, it can lead to rubbery chicken. To prevent this from happening, stick to the cooking times listed in the recipe. Your chicken should read 165°F on the thermometer after cooking to be safe to eat.
The other thing that can cause a rubbery exterior to your chicken breasts is when they get dry and overcooked on the inside. You can prevent this by using the trivet and the chicken broth listed in the recipe. As the Instant Pot cooks the chicken, the chicken soaks up the moisture from the broth, keeping the interior of the chicken nice and moist.
How can I use cooked chicken breasts?
There are so many ways to serve Instant Pot chicken breasts! Try using them in any recipe that calls for rotisserie chicken. You can shred the chicken and add it to a salad or sandwiches. They go great as your main dish served with gravy, potatoes, and other side dishes. You can slice them, add them to casseroles, mix them with some barbecue sauce, or cover them in cheese. Pretty much anywhere you need chicken, you can substitute the breasts from this easy Instant Pot chicken recipe.
How should I store the leftovers?
Allow leftover chicken breasts to cool slightly before storing to prevent the buildup of condensation. After cooling, store the leftover chicken breasts in an airtight plastic or glass container. Cooked chicken breasts will last up to three days in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer.