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Instant Pot Chicken Breast


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This Instant Pot Chicken Breast is juicy, tender and flavorful. It’s served with a luscious gravy that’s made right in the Instant Pot after the chicken cooks.

Instant pot chicken breasts on a plate with one breast sliced.

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast

This Instant Pot chicken breast recipe is everything I love about the best Instant Pot meals. Exceptional flavor. A simple ingredient list. And it is so quick and easy to prepare.

Cooking chicken breast in the Instant Pot is an easy way to make moist and flavorful chicken. Here’s why:

  • Flavor! These chicken breasts are incredibly flavorful thanks to a delicious seasoning blend and luscious gravy. Browning the chicken in the Instant Pot before pressure cooking also builds flavor and gives it a nice golden brown crust.
  • Juicy and Tender. Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker makes it so moist and juicy. Be sure to allow for a natural release to keep the chicken tender.
Sliced instant pot chicken breast drizzled with gravy with mashed potatoes on the side.

This Instant Pot recipe is sure to become a regular in your house, just as it is in ours. Serve these Instant Pot chicken breasts with rice or mashed potatoes (perfect for spooning on extra gravy!) and a vegetable for an easy, delicious dinner.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for instant pot chicken breast recipe.

You’ll need only a few simple ingredients to make this easy Instant Pot chicken breast recipe.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: This recipe calls for 2 pounds of chicken breast. You can cook more or less chicken, just adjust the amount of seasonings as needed.
  • Seasonings: The chicken is seasoned with a simple spice rub made from paprika, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. You could also use this Chicken Seasoning to season the chicken breasts.
  • Olive Oil: You’ll add the olive oil to the Instant Pot when browning the chicken.
  • Chicken Broth: This is the cooking liquid that allows the pot to pressurize, and the broth also forms the base of the gravy. If you don’t plan to make gravy, you can use water instead of broth.
  • For the Gravy: To make gravy from the cooking liquid you’ll need butter and cornstarch plus water to make a slurry. The butter adds richness and flavor, and the cornstarch slurry thickens the gravy.

How to Cook Chicken Breast in the Instant Pot

Here’s a quick overview of how to make this Instant Pot chicken breast recipe. Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Stir together the paprika, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. Then rub the seasonings over all sides of the chicken. Seasoned raw chicken breasts on a cutting board.
  3. Heat the olive oil in the Instant Pot using the sauté function. Once hot, add the chicken to the pot and brown the meat on both sides. Then remove the chicken to a clean plate and turn off the pot. Browning chicken breasts in instant pot.
  4. Pour the chicken broth into the pot and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. This step helps to prevent the Instant Pot Burn Message. Deglazing instant pot with chicken broth in it.
  5. Put the metal trivet in the pot and put the chicken on top of the trivet.
  6. Close the Instant Pot and move the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  7. Pressure cook the chicken. How long to cook chicken breast in the Instant Pot depends on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes for small chicken breasts, 5 minutes for medium chicken breasts or 7 minutes for large (12 ounces each or greater) chicken breasts. 
  8. When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. The natural release helps to make tender and juicy chicken.
  9. Quick release any remaining pressure and open the Instant Pot. Let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.
Three cooked chicken breasts on trivet in instant pot.

How to Make Gravy

You can make a quick gravy from the cooking liquid, right in the Instant Pot:

  1. If desired, strain out the solids by pouring the liquid from the pot through a strainer. (This is optional and a matter of personal preference; I usually skip it.) Return the liquid to the pot.
  2. Turn on the sauté function. Add the butter to the pot.
  3. Stir together the cornstarch and water, then stir this cornstarch slurry into the pot.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the gravy thickens. Remove the inner pot from the base to stop the cooking process, and serve.
Sliced instant pot chicken breast served with gravy and mashed potatoes.

Can You Use Frozen Chicken?

It is safe to cook frozen chicken in an Instant Pot. This is convenient if you forget to thaw your chicken ahead of time. To use frozen chicken in this recipe:

  • Brown the frozen chicken breasts in olive oil in the Instant Pot before seasoning them.
  • Put the chicken broth in the bottom of the pot and put the browned frozen chicken on top of the trivet.
  • Then sprinkle the seasonings on the chicken.
  • Pressure cook on high pressure 10 minutes for small chicken breasts, 12 minutes for medium chicken breasts or 15 minutes for large chicken breasts, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release. Use an instant read thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165° F for food safety.

See this Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breasts recipe for more information.

Juicy instant pot chicken breasts served with gravy and mashed potatoes.

Serving Suggestions

Pair these chicken breasts with a few side dishes for an easy, healthy dinner. Serve them over Instant Pot mashed potatoes, brown rice or noodles and spoon the gravy over the top. Vegetable sides that complement the meal include roasted green beans, glazed carrots and air fryer broccoli.

This Instant Pot chicken breast is also perfect for chopping and using in your favorite recipes that call for cooked or shredded chicken. In this case, you can skip the gravy.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Instant Pot chicken breasts are great for meal prep! If you make them ahead, follow these tips for storing and reheating the chicken.

  • Refrigerator: Store cooked chicken breasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Once cool, slice or chop (if desired) and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To Reheat: Reheat gently in the microwave or a 350° F oven. To keep the chicken moist when reheating, add a tiny splash of water to the dish and cover to trap in the moisture while reheating.
Three cooked chicken breasts on a plate.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Love this recipe? Try one of these easy Instant Pot chicken recipes next:

Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken breast instant pot, instant pot chicken breast
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Inactive Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 228kcal
This Instant Pot Chicken Breast is juicy, tender and flavorful. It's served with a luscious gravy that's made right in the Instant Pot after the chicken cooks. Serve with your favorite side dishes for an easy, delicious meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (or water, use 1.5 cups for 8 quart pot, use broth if you plan to make gravy)

To Make Gravy (Optional)

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tablespoons water

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Rub the seasoning mixture over all sides of the chicken.
  • Heat the olive oil in the Instant Pot using the sauté function. Once hot, add the chicken breasts to the pot and brown on both sides. Remove chicken to a clean plate. Turn off the sauté function.
  • Pour the broth into the pot and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Place the metal trivet in the pot and put the chicken on top of the trivet.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and move the steam release valve to the sealing position. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes for small chicken breasts, 5 minutes for medium chicken breasts or 7 minutes for large (12 ounces each or greater) chicken breasts. The Instant Pot will take 7-10 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will start counting down.
  • Once the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes (just leave the pot alone; it can be on keep warm). Then move the steam release valve to the venting position to allow any remaining steam/pressure to escape. Open the lid and use an instant read thermometer to check that the chicken has cooked through to at least 165° F. (If it's not done, you can turn on sauté to bring the broth to a boil, then turn off the pot and put the lid back on for a few minutes to finish cooking the chicken from the residual heat.)
  • Let chicken rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.

To Make Gravy (Optional):

  • Remove trivet from pot. If desired, pour the liquid from the pot through a strainer to strain out any solids and then return the liquid to the pot. Turn on sauté. Add the butter to the broth in the pot.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the 1 ½ tablespoons each of cornstarch and water. Stir this cornstarch slurry into the liquid in the pot. Bring to a boil and cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the gravy thickens. Remove from the heat (take the inner pot out of the base), season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

Notes

To use frozen chicken breasts:
  1. Chicken breasts should be separated and not frozen in a large mass.
  2. Brown the frozen chicken breasts in olive oil in the Instant Pot before seasoning them.
  3. Put the chicken broth in the bottom of the pot, scrape up any browned bits, and put the browned frozen chicken on top of the trivet.
  4. Sprinkle the seasonings on the chicken.
  5. Pressure cook on high pressure 10 minutes for small chicken breasts, 12 minutes for medium chicken breasts or 15 minutes for large chicken breasts, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release. Use an instant read thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165° F for food safety.
Cooked chicken breasts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or a 350° F oven. To keep the chicken moist when reheating, add a tiny splash of water to the dish and cover to trap in the moisture while reheating.

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 397mg | Potassium: 615mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 356IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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