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Instant Pot Chicken Breast or Thighs (Meal Prep)

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Are you unsure of how to cook boneless chicken in the Instant Pot? I will share my basic Instant Pot chicken breast or thighs! Tender, juicy chicken each and every time. Dice, shred, or chop or freeze! Perfect for meal prepping.

instant pot shredded chicken on a plate

You could use this chicken in so many ways. I love to make Chicken Caesar Wraps, use the chicken in Salads, or pair with rice or quinoa on the side.

Instant Pot Chicken

Now you don’t have to meal prep with this chicken. Cook it up and serve for dinner if you will. You can also use a vacuum sealer and freeze your chicken for meals later on!

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What Can I Do With This Chicken

  • Freeze For Later
  • Meal Prep Lunches And Dinners
  • Top Salads
  • Stir in Pasta Salad
  • Serve Up For Dinner
  • And So Much More

Can I Use Frozen Chicken

You can use frozen chicken in the Instant Pot! That is one of the perks of this Instant Pot. Toss your chicken in frozen.

The big thing to take into consideration is that it will take your Instant Pot longer to come to pressure when you use frozen meat in your pressure cooker.

The cook time will stay the same whether it is frozen or fresh!

Can I Use Bone-In Chicken

The cook time for bone-in chicken will be different than boneless. You will want to cook your bone-in chicken for 10 minutes followed by a 5-minute natural release.

As always double check internal temperature using a meat thermometer.

How To Cook Chicken In The Instant Pot

raw chicken in a bowl with seasoning

Step 1: Start by placing your chicken in a bowl and sprinkling on any seasonings that you may want. I did a dry chicken rub as I wanted my chicken seasoned.

If you want a seasoned chicken go for that or if you want plain just do a salt and pepper so the flavor is very mild.

raw chicken in instant pot

Step 2: Start by placing the trivet in your Instant Pot. Then place chicken and chicken broth into the Instant Pot.

It is okay if smaller pieces fall but for most part keep it on the trivet.

cooked chicken in Instant Pot

Step 3: Now you will place your lid on your Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to sealing. Do manual/high pressure for 5 minutes.

Once the timer beeps saying the cook time is done, allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then you can release any remaining pressure.

shredded chicken on a plate with two forks

Step 4: Now you will remove chicken from Instant Pot, and let rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes.

Then shred, chop, or dice up your chicken. You can serve right then in a meal, or use this Instant Pot chicken for meal prepping for the week, or freezing.

How Much Broth Or Water To Use For Size Of Instant Pot Used

Depending on the size of your electric pressure cooker will depend on the amount of water needed. Larger Instant Pot’s need a bit more water than say a small one.

Quick Minimum Liquid Required In Instant Pot

  • 3 Quart Instant Pot – 3/4 cup water/broth
  • 6 Quart Instant Pot – 1 cup water/broth
  • 8 Quart Instant Pot – 1 1/2 cup water/broth

This amount of liquid is for any recipe used, so it is great to make note for any recipes you plan to make later on.

Will I Adjust Cooking Time For A Lot Of Chicken Being Cooked At Once

You will find that no matter if you do a little or a lot of chicken, the cook time will remain the same on your Instant Pot.

Now, with extra chicken, you will find your Instant Pot takes longer to come to pressure. This is totally normal and nothing to be concerned about. Same if you are frozen chicken.

shredded chicken on a plate with Instant Pot behind it

How To Know Chicken Is Done

Use a meat thermometer and check the internal temperature of your chicken. Reach for a larger piece and probe the center of the meat.

You want the meat thermometer to reach 165 degrees. If you have extra-large pieces of chicken you might find you need to cook an additional 1-2 minutes depending on the size.

Storing Leftover Chicken

Instant Pot meal prep chicken is one of my favorites. I shred the chicken than pair with quinoa, rice, etc.

You will find that you can store your leftover chicken in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Use your best judgment in terms of quality.

Or if you are cooking chicken in bulk, freeze your cooked chicken! I freeze in packages that I will use for one meal. So I just thaw a package and then use for pasta casseroles, mix with quinoa salad, topping salads, using to meal prep for a few days, and more.

If You Are New To Instant Pot

Here are some more post that might help get you feeling more comfortable cooking with your pressure cooker. These are beginner post to learn how to pressure cook.

Do I Have To Shred Chicken

If you make Instant Pot chicken you can leave the pieces of chicken whole, or chop or shred. You don’t have to shred. I just was meal prepping for the week and shredded is what I needed.

shredded chicken in Instant Pot

Seasoning Chicken In Instant Pot

Want to season your chicken? Here are a few ideas of how easy and versatile you can adjust your chicken so that you get the flavor you want.

Dry Rub Chicken

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dry Chicken Rub (this is what I used)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Lemon Pepper Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • Or do fresh lemons with some pepper in pressure cooker

Taco Chicken

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or do a homemade blend)

Italian Chicken

Plain Chicken

  • Season with salt and pepper before cooking

As you can see the Instant Pot is so versatile in terms of flavoring your chicken. Those are just a few ideas, but feel free to get creative.

Whether you are cooking frozen chicken breasts and thighs or fresh, all of these flavors will work.

shredded chicken on a plate with two forks

Instant Pot Chicken

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Learn how to cook Instant Pot chicken for shredding, chopping, or dicing. A great Instant Pot chicken recipe for meal prepping or an easy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken breast or thighs (boneless)
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1-2 tablespoons seasoning of your choice ( I did a dry rub)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Start by placing your trivet in your Instant Pot.
  2. Pour your water or chicken broth into the Instant Pot.
  3. In a bowl, you will add all your chicken and mix with the seasoning on your choice. Massage the chicken to ensure all sides of the chicken are evenly coated.
  4. Place your chicken in the Instant Pot on top of the trivet. Place lid on and make sure your valve is set to sealing.
  5. Do a manual/high pressure 5 minute cook time. Once the timer goes off, allow your Instant Pot to naturally release for 10 minutes.
  6. Manually push off any leftover pressure. Then remove chicken and place on cutting board, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Then serve chicken up as is, shred, dice, or serve however you would like.

Notes

  • If you use bone-in chicken do a 10 minute high cook time, with a 5-minute natural release.
  • Make sure the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 165 degrees.
  • You can season your chicken however you would like.

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