Chicken

11 Instant Pot Chicken Recipes for a Week of Meals—& Then Some

Plus, how to cook a chicken breast from frozen in 10 (!) minutes.

by:
March 11, 2019
Photo by Hélène Dujardin

Did you know that you can cook chicken breasts straight from frozen...in 10 minutes? In the Instant Pot, anyway. If chicken is comfort food, then Instant Pot chicken is comfort cooking.

One night after work, starving, I came home to an empty refrigerator. (Hey, it happens to the best of us.) I had just come back from vacation and, as I'm one of those people who clears out his fridge even when he's only gone for a short weekend, I hadn't yet made my grocery run to restock my provisions.

Then, I remembered the freezer. In it was a half-empty pint of cookie dough ice cream and a pack of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Desperate, I threw them (the chicken breasts, not the ice cream) into my Instant Pot—still 100-percent frozen and unfeeling—along with a can of crushed tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and some spices. I set to Pressure Cook on High for 10 minutes. Though it took a few minutes to come up to temperature from frozen, and then for the pressure to release, the chicken came out fully cooked and perfectly juicy.

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Top Comment:
“I make an instant pot chicken with wild rice and mushrooms soup using rotisserie chicken. Ingredients: 1/2 rotisserie chicken, pulled off bones and diced coarsely 1 small yellow onion, diced 3 ribs celery, diced 1/2 - 1 cup ready to eat matchstick or jullienned carrots 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced (i like this best with shitake mushrooms, but have used portabella, button, crimini, or oyster fresh mushrooms. I have also in a pinch, soaked a bag of dried mushrooms in hot water, and then when softened, chopped them to bite sized pieces and added both the mushrooms and the broth to the soup.) 2 quarts homemade chicken stock, or two quart boxes store bought (like Swanson) 1 - 2 tbsp. EVOO 1 cup wild rice, rinsed 1/2 tbsp. chicken flavored Better Than Bouillion 1/3 - 1/2 cup white wine Directions: Saute the onions until tender in the EVOO in the instant pot on Saute. Add the celery and saute until tender. Add the carrots and saute until tender. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to incorporate flavors, cover and cook at soup or rice setting (high heat and pressure) for 40 minutes. Allow pressure to release. Serve with crusty sourdough bread.”
— Meg O.
Comment

Humorist Arnold H. Glasow once wrote, "You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it." (In this case, you get the chicken by failing to plan dinner in advance, then saving the night by pressure-cooking it.)

In case you need another reason to believe in the magic of the Instant Pot, below are 11 quick and easy chicken dinners to make a convert out of anyone.


Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

From stock to stew, the Instant Pot makes chicken and dumplings a more streamlined option. "Mine are these fluffy biscuit-like dumplings that float like clouds atop a simple stew of large pieces of tender chicken studded with bright orange carrots and flecks of herbs," Sheri Castle writes. "This meal is so comforting that it feels restorative."

"Happily for you, I’m not about to suggest using a can of cream of mushroom soup in this (or any other) recipe," says Urvashi Pitre, writer of the popular blog Two Sleevers. "But, happily for you, if you like cream of mushroom soup, you won’t miss it after you try this recipe."

"Butter chicken, also known as chicken makhani, is more like a treat than an entrée," claims cookbook author Archana Mundhe. "This heavenly, creamy curry highlights the robust flavors of Kashmiri chile, dried fenugreek leaves, and garam masala."

The other day, Food Stylist Anna Billingskog and I were discussing the many merits of the Instant Pot. But the greatest thing it churns out? Soups, stocks, and broths. This Vietnamese-inspired number from Martha Stewart is fresh and zingy, thanks to lots of herbs, fish sauce, and lime juice.

Special thanks to community member BellaRasa for adapting my mother's stovetop recipe for the Instant Pot. "I just throw everything in and skip the poaching step," she told me. I've since tested her method and added a pressure-cooker variation in the directions.

"While this old-fashioned country recipe traditionally uses an entire chicken—preferably a tough old bird—here I use chicken thighs, which braise beautifully in the pressure cooker," Ann Mah advises. "For the braising liquid, I like to use an inexpensive (don’t spend more than $10), medium-bodied red wine like a Beaujolais Villages. Buttered broad noodles are a traditional accompaniment."

Contributor Posie (Harwood) Brien's recipe is, in her words, "a simple weeknight chicken dinner with a sticky-sweet honey garlic sauce. I like to serve this over greens mixed with rice or mashed sweet potatoes."

"Cacciatore means 'hunter' in Italian and refers to a dish cooked with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, and sometimes wine," Whole90 founder Melissa Hartwig writes. "This version doesn’t contain any wine and subs zucchini noodles for the standard wheat pasta or rice that is usually served with the chicken, but it still has amazingly rich flavor."

Pressure-cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts with frozen broccoli for a quick and easy dinner that's on the table in under an hour. "It’s clean, absolutely delicious, and will leave you oh-so satisfied," Hartwig says. "The best part? It’s one of my kids’ favorites."

"This super-simple yet flavorful Mexican-style chicken will add great pizzazz to your dinner table," Pitre writes. "It’s a great way to change up your chicken game."

Perhaps the one recipe Pitre is most known for is her Instant Pot variation of butter chicken, which turns chicken breasts into a glorious tomato curry. It was so popular, it sparked a book deal—and even a nickname, The Butter Chicken Lady.

Urvashi Pitre recipes excerpted from Instant Pot Fast & Easy © 2019 by Urvashi Pitre. Photography © 2019 by Ghazalle Badiozamani. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Melissa Hartwig recipes excerpted from The Whole30 Slow Cooker © 2018 by Melissa Hartwig. Photography © 2018 by Ghazalle Badiozamani. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

What's your favorite Instant Pot chicken recipe? Let us know in the comments below.

18 Comments

Susan March 17, 2019
You had me at "I threw them (the chicken breasts, not the ice cream) into my Instant Pot—still 100-percent frozen and unfeeling..." There are fireworks going off in my brain right now!
 
Eleanor S. March 17, 2019
I love Urvashi Pitre’s butter chicken!! I’ve made it so many times that I’d have to say it’s my go-to.

I’ve been wanting to try the sesame chicken recipe that you mentioned as well! Just a note though, it’s credited to Alex Snodgrass in the cookbook 👍🏻
 
Mary A. March 17, 2019
Hi! Need help on size of an Instant Pot. Does the size-6 or 8 at.- make a difference when using. Like crockpots, for 4 to 6 chicken breast, use 6 qt.
 
Meg O. March 14, 2019
The following shortcuts make the total prep time less than 30 minutes, and make a whole pot of soup for you while you are under the weather. I don't know about you, but I never want a complicated or lengthy recipe when i don't feel good.
Hope you feel better soon.
Chicken wild rice and mushroom soup
if you want a homemade taste to your chicken soup, you have to use a decent broth, or improve the flavor of a store bought one.
You can make what tastes like homemade and only takes about a half hour total, including time on the stove:
1 onion (small yellow) diced or faster, 1 bunch scallions, diced (wash scallions and dice using kitchen shears)
you will saute that in your soup pot in a small amt. EVOO until tender
2 ribs celery, diced or sliced to the size pieces you like in your soup. Add to onion and saute until tender. (I've never seen these already prepared in grocery store, so you will have cut them if you want them. If too ill to take the time, just use some celery salt instead of regular salt in the soup to get the flavor)
1 handful matchstick carrots, ready to eat, from grocery store. Add to pot and saute until tender.
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced. Add to pot and saute until tender.
Add:
2 quarts chicken broth, homemade if you have it, store bought if necessary, but then need to add flavor,
I use chicken flavored Better than Bouillion, about 1 heaping tsp. (has salt in it, so be careful not to make your soup too salty)
1 - 2 cans cooked wild rice, drained and rinsed.
meat of 1/2 a rotisserie chicken, cut to bite sized (i can buy this already prepared in my local grocery store)
heat to boiling, simmer 5 minutes.
Serve with sourdough bread or crackers.
Since I'm using pre-cooked wild rice, and using already cut mushrooms and carrots, and already cooked rotisserie chicken, the only parts I need to prepare are the celery and onion. The onion can be faster and easier if you wash a bunch of scallions and use your kitchen shears to cut them up.
Enjoy your soup and feel better soon.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. March 14, 2019
Thank you so much, Meg!
 
Flora March 15, 2019
Thank you!! :) wonderful site, wonderful people here.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. March 15, 2019
Aw <3
 
Meg O. March 14, 2019
Check out my recipe below.
If you use canned cooked wild rice, instead of raw, then your soup doesn't need to cook for more than 5 minutes to heat through. that makes the total time to put together less than 1/2 hour, and it will make 2 quarts of delicious chicken soup.
 
Flora March 15, 2019
Thank you so much!!!
 
Flora March 14, 2019
Hi Eric, I am looking for a clean and delicious recipe for a chicken soup - I am a bit under the weather - and was wondering if you could point me to your favorite one. I have instapot but I am super open to cooking on my stove. Any advice is super appreciated!

Thank you!

Flora
 
Author Comment
Eric K. March 14, 2019
Flora, oh no! I'm sorry you're sick. When I'm not feeling great, I just go super straightforward with my soup: chicken (either wings or a whole bird broken up), water, garlic cloves, and onion in the Instant Pot, high pressure for about 30 minutes and released naturally. It has that clean chicken taste and nothing else. This Big Little Recipe follows a similar idea: https://food52.com/recipes/78532-simplest-chicken-noodle-soup

Do you like fish sauce and Vietnamese flavors? Sometimes I'm in the mood for stronger things like this when I'm sick:
https://food52.com/recipes/80669-martha-stewart-s-instant-pot-vietnamese-style-chicken-soup

Feel better!
 
Flora March 15, 2019
Thank you so much!!!! I made it yesterday and I am feeling so much better!
 
Author Comment
Eric K. March 15, 2019
I’m so glad!
 
Meg O. March 12, 2019
I make an instant pot chicken with wild rice and mushrooms soup using rotisserie chicken.
Ingredients:
1/2 rotisserie chicken, pulled off bones and diced coarsely
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1/2 - 1 cup ready to eat matchstick or jullienned carrots
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced (i like this best with shitake mushrooms, but have used portabella, button, crimini, or oyster fresh mushrooms. I have also in a pinch, soaked a bag of dried mushrooms in hot water, and then when softened, chopped them to bite sized pieces and added both the mushrooms and the broth to the soup.)
2 quarts homemade chicken stock, or two quart boxes store bought (like Swanson)
1 - 2 tbsp. EVOO
1 cup wild rice, rinsed
1/2 tbsp. chicken flavored Better Than Bouillion
1/3 - 1/2 cup white wine
Directions:
Saute the onions until tender in the EVOO in the instant pot on Saute.
Add the celery and saute until tender.
Add the carrots and saute until tender.
Add the mushrooms and saute until tender.
Add the remaining ingredients, stir to incorporate flavors, cover and cook at soup or rice setting (high heat and pressure) for 40 minutes.
Allow pressure to release.
Serve with crusty sourdough bread.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. March 12, 2019
Sounds amazing!
 
Mary A. March 17, 2019
I would like to buy an Instant Pot, can you advise me if I must times cook for 4 or less. Sometimes, maybe 9 or more. So, does it make a difference what size - 6 or 8 quart. Like crockpots supposed to be filled over half . Thank you for any information.
 
Urvashi P. March 11, 2019
Thank you so much for sharing two of my recipes in this! I can’t wait to try your mom’s recipe as well. Also thanks for sharing my cookbook ❤️
urvashi
Www.twosleevers.com
 
Author Comment
Eric K. March 11, 2019
We love your recipes!