How to Cook Chicken Breasts in an Instant Pot–Easy Shredded Chicken

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Quickly and easily cook fresh or frozen chicken breasts in an Instant Pot for a simple way to yield shredded chicken for various recipes.

shredded chicken on a plate with instant pot in background

How many times have you (like me) forgotten to thaw out meat for dinner? Or maybe you had no plans for dinner and need to come up with something? If you have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you are in luck!

This easy recipe for cooking chicken breasts in an Instant Pot is hands off, and can use fresh or FROZEN chicken. That means if you forgot to thaw, you are still in luck. Even better is you can cook a large batch of chicken breasts this way for shredded chicken to use in many different recipes.

How to Cook Chicken Breasts in an Instant Pot

You’ll need an Instant Pot. I have a 6qt. Instant Pot 7 in 1 Duo. You’ll also need a trivet. I highly recommend using a trivet as it helps the chicken cook more from the steam, instead of in the liquid. In multiple tests the chicken stayed moist when cooked on the trivet compared to no trivet.

chicken breasts on a plate before being cooked in instant pot

Season the chicken liberally on both sides. Place the seasoned chicken breasts in the inner pot of the Instant Pot on top of the trivet. Pour 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth into the Instant Pot. Note that if you are using a larger Instant Pot, you may need more liquid. As a general rule, I like to add enough liquid to reach the bottom of the trivet, but definitely consult your Instant Pot or pressure cookers instructions for liquid amounts.

New to Instant Pot?

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Place and lock the lid. Make sure to turn the pressure knob to the sealing position. Use the manual setting on high pressure to cook for 8-10 minutes. If you have larger thicker chicken breasts, I would use 10 minutes. It will take 5-7 minutes to build up pressure.

When the timer beeps, let the steam naturally release for 5 minutes. Then flip the valve to the venting position to release the rest of the steam.

Watch the 1:30 video for the steps

Can I use Frozen Chicken Breasts for Instant Pot Chicken Breasts?

Yep. In fact, 99% of the time I cook ours using frozen chicken breasts. I simply add 2-3 minutes to the cooking time. They cook more evenly if the frozen chicken is separated a not just sitting in the pot in a clump.

How to Shred Chicken Breasts after Cooking

One more reason this recipe for Instant Pot chicken breasts is that you can use it to cook up chicken to shred and use later in other recipes. I use shredded chicken alot when I cook. Check out these 12 shredded chicken recipes you can use in a pinch.

shredded chicken on a plate with instant pot in background

To shred, simply place the chicken breast on a plate. Use two forks to gently pull the meat apart. When cooked just right, the chicken should pull apart easily!

Here’s a tip for quickly shredding a lot of chicken at once. Remove the trivet from the Instant Pot but leave the chicken. Take a hand held mixer to the chicken breasts and after about a minute you’ll have shredded chicken! You can also do this with a stand mixer.

cooked and shredded chicken on fork

More chicken recipes you’ll love!

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How to Cook Chicken Breasts in an Instant Pot

How to Cook Chicken Breasts in an Instant Pot

Yield: 4 chicken breasts, 4 cups shredded chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Juicy and flavorful shredded chicken in minutes with this easy Instant Pot Chicken Breast recipe. Use fresh or frozen chicken breasts for easy cooking.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (water will work too)


In a small bowl, combine the seasonings together.

Liberally season both sides of each chicken breast with the seasoning mixture.

Add chicken broth to the inner pot of a 6qt Instant Pot *

Place trivet inside the inner pot.

Add the seasoned chicken breasts to the pot, on top of the trivet.

Place the lid on and lock in place. Turn the valve to the sealing position.

Use manual or pressure cook setting on high. Set timer for 10 minutes (if breasts are thinner, use 8 minutes, and for frozen use 13).

When cooking is over, let the steam naturally release for 5 minutes. Then flip the valve to venting to release the rest of the steam.

Remove the chicken and serve as is or shred to use in other recipes.


If you have a larger Instant Pot or different model, refer to the user manual to determine how much liquid your specific model needs. Some need 2 cups for example.

Alter the seasonings for your own personal preference if desired.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 cup shredded
Amount Per Serving Calories 206Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 104mgSodium 726mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 38g

Nutrition values are automatically calculated by third-party software using global standards. Please note that values can vary based on product brands and different nutritional calculators. The values stated here are only for a basic reference and are not evaluated by medical or nutritional professionals.

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