How to Cook Chicken Breasts in an Instant Pot

Skip the rotisserie chicken and discover how to cook chicken breasts in an Instant Pot instead.

Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker isn’t as intuitive as some think. Before you break out your pot, take a peak at our tips for success on how to cook chicken breasts in an Instant Pot so you can have tender chicken ready for any meal.

By the way, here’s what those buttons on your Instant Pot actually mean.

How to Cook Chicken in an Instant Pot


  • Fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth (add more if using a larger pot)
  • Salt and pepper


Step 1: Season your chicken

Season your chicken breasts well with salt and pepper, then lightly spray them with cooking spray or brush with vegetable oil. Pour 1 cup chicken stock in the metal pot inside your Instant Pot and place the chicken breasts inside the pot. Secure the lid and ensure the vent is set to sealing.

Step 2: Cook it up

Next, select Pressure Cook (high) and set time to 6 minutes using the +/- keys. The pot will take roughly 5 to 10 minutes to come to pressure. Listen for the beep, indicating when the pressure cooking begins.

Step 3: Let them rest

Once the cook time has completed, allow your pot to naturally release for 5 minutes. Then use the safety precautions to perform a quick release for the remaining pressure. Remove chicken breasts from the pot using tongs and allow them to rest for 10 minutes prior to chopping or shredding for your favorite recipes.

What Are Some Flavor Ideas for Instant Pot Chicken?

Want to spice things up? Try some of these suggestions to quickly transform a plain chicken breast:

  • Change up the liquid: skip the chicken stock and opt for beer, apple juice or pineapple juice instead.
  • Add some Asian flair: add a tablespoon of miso paste and a splash of soy sauce to the chicken stock.
  • Go for Mexican flavors: add in 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder and finish off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice to the chicken stock.
  • Make it Mediterranean: add 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano and garlic powder to your stock.
  • Be bold with Buffalo chicken flavor: embolden your chicken stock with 1/4 cup hot sauce or your favorite wing sauce, 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon celery seed. Top finished chicken with blue cheese.

How Can I Use Instant Pot Chicken?

Now that you have cooked chicken, what can you do with all the meat? Try out some of our favorite chicken breast recipes:

When you’re ready to expand your skills past the Instant Pot, try our variety of chicken dinner ideas! For summer months, enjoy the outdoors and learn how to grill chicken breasts. Or, consider these slow-cooker chicken breast recipes.

Is It Safe to Cook Frozen Chicken?

Absolutely! It’s 5 p.m. and you forgot to defrost the chicken for dinner. No sweat! Check out our complete guide on How to Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot to get started. When it comes to other meats, learn if you can cook frozen meat in an Instant Pot.

Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners
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Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN
As a registered dietitian Wendy Jo touches on the science and facts behind food, but as a gardener and world traveler she savors the classical dishes our great-grandmothers once made. When she’s not in her kitchen, you can find her and her family exploring the US in their campervan, Olaf!