Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe (2024)

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This is my tried and true method for making Instant Pot chicken breaststhat are tender, juicy and delicious!

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe (1)

This is my method for fresh (not frozen) boneless, skinless chicken breasts. And it might just become your new favorite way to cook chicken breasts.

I’ll report backin another post once I hack the frozen chicken breast! 🙂 They are a little tricker, in my opinion.

If you want to make something similar on the stovetop with a grill pan or cast iron skillet, see my other grilled chicken breasts recipe. It is one of my most popular recipes of all time!

If you want an oven baked chicken breast recipe, I have a fantastic recipe those too. Air fryer chicken breast is also a great recipe to check out.

OR if you want more of a shredded chicken recipe, check out my Instant Pot shredded chicken method.

Butback to these instant pot chicken breasts!

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe (2)

It’s fun to get super creative and fancyin the kitchen sometimes. But simple and basic can also be delicious. I come back around to my most simple and basic recipes more often than not.

This particular recipeis such a great basic, easy recipe to have on hand. These chicken breasts are great to enjoy with a couple simple side items (salad and Instant Potsweet potato, for example) as a simple meal.

I often use these for weekly meal prep as well. Instant Pot chicken breasts are also a great diced up over pasta or salad. You can meal prep and make them ahead, and eat off them for a few days after.

How to make Instant Pot chicken breasts

First, gather your ingredients.

Ingredients

For tastiest results, always use the best quality ingredients you have access to. To make this Instant Pot chicken breast recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • oil (I use avocado, but you can use coconut or canola – something with a high smoke point is best!)
  • boneless skinless chicken breasts (uncooked)
  • garlic salt (or you can use garlic powder + regular salt)
  • black pepper
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • 1 cup of water (or chicken stock)

Seasoning

I season these up in a pretty basic way, and it is veryversatile. This blend goes well with almost anything. I use garlic, salt, pepper, basil and oregano.

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe (3)

You can change up the spices to suit your preference, though. Use the same cooking time, and season with taco seasoning, Italian seasoning or barbecue sauce.

Cooking Instant Pot chicken breasts

First, brown the chicken on both sides to lock in as much juiciness as possible. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, and remove from pot with the tongs.

Next, you will need a little bit of cooking liquid. Add 1 cup water to the bottom of the pot (may need more for 8 quart models), plus the trivet. Place the chicken on top of the trivet in a single layer.

Lock the lid, and cook on high pressure for a cooking time of 5 minutes. After that pressure cooking cycle finishes, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for an additional 5 minutes. Then quick release the remaining pressure using the quick release lever.

Remove the chicken from the pot, and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving for maximum juiciness.

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe (4)

Pay attention to the size of your chicken breasts to ensure appropriate cook time. If you are unsure, you can always use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.

Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days.

And check out my Instant Pot recipe archives for more easy Instant Pot recipes.

FAQ’s for Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

Why are my Instant Pot chicken breasts tough?

The most likely cause for this is overcooking. For best results, weight your chicken breasts on a food scale and watch the cook time very carefully, including time left in pot after cooking is complete.

How long does chicken take in Instant Pot?

It depends on what type of chicken, and what cut you are making. This recipe resembles a grilled chicken breast, and it takes about 15 minutes of cook time, plus a bit of come-to-pressure time.

Can you overcook chicken in an Instant Pot?

Yes, this is easy to do using a quick cooking method like pressure cooking. To avoid overcooking, pay close attention to chicken breast size, and watch your cook time very closely. Even an extra minute can cause the meat to overcook.

Can I use frozen chicken breasts?

I would not recommend it, although several members of my audience have written in, saying they had great results using frozen chicken breasts. I myself have had mixed results. So for consistent results, I recommend using fresh, thawed chicken breasts.

Can I use cutlets or thin chicken breasts?

I would not recommend thin cuts, since they will become overcooked. Make sure you use regular whole chicken breasts.

Can I make this in a 3 quart and/or 8 quart model?

Yes! Just use the minimum fill requirements for the liquid in your particular model/ size.

Can I use chicken stock/ broth in place of water?

Sure! That definitely works, and I have used stock a bunch of times. After realizing that the liquid doesn’t touch the chicken, I tried using water and didn’t notice much difference. So I have used water ever since.

Can I make shredded chicken using this recipe?

This recipe makes chicken with the texture of a piece of grilled chicken. So no, I would not recommend this for shredded chicken. Instead, try my Instant Pot shredded chicken, which uses chicken thighs.

Can I use the poultry button instead?

Sure! I have used the poultry button, but I have never noticed much of a difference.🤷🏼‍♀️ In fact, I use “manual” high pressure in almost all of my IP recipes. 😎

How do I cook boneless chicken thighs in the Instant Pot?

Chicken thighs have a different cook time than chicken breasts. So I would definitely recommend checking out my Instant Pot chicken thigh recipe for that.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

If you are not a crazy Instant Pot lady like me who has two Instant Pots, you can wrap your chicken breasts in foil while you make another side to go with it. Or if is a longer cook side (like the black eyed peas), make the side first, and then the chicken breasts. Of course, an extra inner pot comes in handy! Here are my favorite sides to serve:

  • Instant Pot “Baked” Sweet Potatoes
  • Instant Pot black eyed peas
  • Instant Pot mashed potatoes
  • Lemon garlic roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Quinoa Black Bean salad
  • Roasted broccoli and mushrooms
  • Tortellini pasta salad
  • Spiralizer Greek salad
  • Greek quinoa salad
  • Green beans with caramelized onions and almonds
  • Greek pasta salad
  • Classic potato salad (includes Instant Pot instructions)
  • Greek potato salad
  • Roasted thyme carrots

Salads to top with Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

These make a fantastic make ahead option to make salads all week. Here are my favorite salads using these chicken breasts:

  • Greek salad with chicken
  • Chicken BLT salad with avocado
  • Copycat Newk’s Favorite Salad
  • BBQ ranch chopped salad
  • Grilled chicken salad with raspberries, walnuts and artichoke hearts
  • Cobb salad

My Instant Pot Chicken Recipe Collection

If you love easy chicken recipes to make in your Instant Pot, you might like to check out my recipe collection here (click the image below to go to the post).

This post may contain affiliate links, which pay a referral fee to me at no additional cost to you. My full affiliate disclosure can be seen here.

  • Instant Pot– I am using a 6 quart
  • Tongs are very helpful when placing the chicken in hot oil, and removing it after cooking. Just be sure and wash the tongs with hot soapy water before you handle the finished product to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Measuring spoons
  • Trivet that comes with your Instant Pot

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Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe (6)

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Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

This is my tried and true method for making Instant Pot chicken breasts that are tender, juicy and delicious!

Course Main Course

Cuisine American

Keyword chicken, chicken breast, instant pot

Prep Time 2 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 22 minutes

Servings 3

Calories 170 kcal

Author Marjorie @APinchOfHealthy

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon oil (I use avocado, but you can use coconut or canola – something with a high smoke point is best!)
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (uncooked)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt per chicken breast (or you can use just garlic powder and regular salt)
  • dash black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the sauté function on the Instant Pot at the highest setting, and add oil to the pot.

  2. Season one side of the chicken breasts.

  3. After the display reads “hot,” carefully add the chicken breasts, seasoned side down, to the pot. I use tongs to avoid hot oil splatter.

  4. Add seasoning on the second side.

  5. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, and remove from pot with the tongs.

  6. Add 1 cup water to the pot (may need more for 8 quart pots), plus the trivet.

  7. Place the chicken on the trivet.

  8. Lock the lid, and cook on manual high for 5 minutes.

  9. Allow the chicken to naturally release for 5 minutes, and then quick release the rest.

  10. Remove the chicken from the pot, and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving for maximum juiciness.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Note: Regarding chicken breast sizes, each breast was between 6 and 8 ounces. (6.7, 7.3 and 7.7 to be exact!) Also, butterflied (halved) chicken breasts or chicken cutlets will not have the same cook time as whole chicken breasts. I recommend using whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts

Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

Amount Per Serving

Calories 170 Calories from Fat 63

% Daily Value*

Fat 7g11%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Cholesterol 72mg24%

Sodium 329mg14%

Potassium 418mg12%

Protein 24g48%

Vitamin A 35IU1%

Vitamin C 1.3mg2%

Calcium 6mg1%

Iron 0.4mg2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts Recipe (7)

Note: This recipe originally appeared on A Pinch of Healthy January 11, 2017. It has been updated with better photos and clarified instructions.

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