~ Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Recipes are a quick and easy answer to “What’s for Dinner?” No need to thaw that chicken, either. Just toss it in, and dinner will be ready in no time! From frozen chicken breasts to thighs to a whole chicken … lots of delicious recipe ideas for whatever you’ve got in the freezer! ~
Ugh … did you forget to pull the chicken out of the freezer to thaw??
Or maybe you hadn’t planned on cooking tonight … but all the plans changed, and suddenly everyone’s dashing in the door asking what you’re making for dinner?
Yep. Been there! I just wish I would’ve know about this magic solution sooner!
Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot!! Brilliant! (Cue a choir of angels singing “Hallelujah”!)
Why Instant Pot Recipes with Frozen Chicken Are Such Lifesavers!
• Quick and Mostly Hands-Off
The Instant Pot uses pressure to cook foods quickly.
And, most Instant Pot recipes are pretty low-maintenance. No peeking or stirring or babysitting the food. Which leaves you plenty of time to help with homework or throw in some laundry or (woohoo) put your feet up for a sec!
• Safer Than the Slow Cooker
Crock-Pots are another busy-week lifesaver.
But, if you’ve read our extremely popular post about whether it’s safe to use frozen meat in your Crock-Pot, then you know it’s not a great idea to throw rock-hard, frozen chicken in the slow cooker.
(Yes, I know lots of people still do it. But technically, it’s not smart from a food safety perspective. Why risk it??)
The Instant Pot cooks frozen chicken much faster and gets it out of the temperature “danger zone” in plenty of time.
• Really Versatile
Cooking frozen chicken in the Instant Pot gives you so many yummy options … so very easily!
Pick one of these terrific recipes to try tonight, and you’ll see exactly what I mean!
(Note that some of the recipes below are written specifically, ONLY for cooking frozen chicken, while others offer the option to cook either fresh (thawed) chicken or frozen.)
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Recipes
Asian-Inspired Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
The flavorful, sweet yet sour sauce packs lots of umami punch, thanks to a delicious combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, sriracha, maple syrup, fish sauce and sesame oil. Although the recipe card focuses on fresh chicken, the article helpfully includes directions to cook your chicken thighs directly from frozen – just keep them in the pressure cooker for a few extra minutes!
Instant Pot Frozen Whole Chicken
Skip the rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and try this simple recipe instead. An effortless spice rub featuring staples like garlic powder, oregano and black pepper, plus a slow, natural release after cooking add up to succulent, flavorful chicken. With loads of good reviews, it's a must-try idea for a quick dinner your whole family will love!
Chicken Fried Rice in the Instant Pot
Traditional Chinese fried rice is made in a wok with pre-cooked rice. But if you don't happen to have leftover rice in your fridge (or you're just short on time), this speedy recipe is the answer! Grab some frozen chicken tenderloins and choose from the suggested veggies to ingeniously pull a meal together FAST!
Easy Moroccan Chicken
The spices, tomato, aromatics and figs create a knockout sauce for your succulent chicken. Who would've thought you could get such bold flavor in just minutes with frozen chicken and an Instant Pot?!?
Instant Pot Chicken and Mushroom Soup
This creamy soup leverages frozen chicken, wild rice, rosemary, and veggies like mushrooms and carrots to create a quick, hearty meal. Cozy comfort food in a jiffy!
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
The Instant Pot beautifully creates moist and juicy, fall-off-the-bone chicken drummies. Easy! And you can change up the dry rub seasonings or barbecue sauce to make it different every time!
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast
If you love having shredded chicken on hand for meal prepping, the fastest way to success is with your Instant Pot. After cooking, you can stash the shredded, juicy chicken breast in your fridge in an airtight container, or in a freezer bag you can keep frozen and at-the-ready for several months. This super-helpful post includes a handy cook-time chart for different amounts of chicken, options for shredding, and lots of ideas for how to use your delicious chicken.
Healthy Orange Chicken
Oranges, honey, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and ginger create a rich, sweet and savory sauce that cooks right along with your chicken. And it's easy to adjust to use fresh or frozen chicken thighs or even chicken breasts, simply by slightly changing the cook time. Fabulous on top of rice or noodles with a little bit of parsley, cilantro, or a squeeze of lime juice!
Easy, Healthy Instant Pot Tortellini Soup with Frozen Chicken
Mmmmm ... such hearty comfort food! Yet there’s no cream to add calories, and the chicken, spinach and other veggies pack a healthful punch that makes this soup a nutritional winner, too! After cooking on high pressure and doing a quick release of steam, you ingeniously use the Instant Pot's sauté function to cook the spinach and tortellini (without overcooking them).
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Leg Quarters with Garlic and Green Onions
Whole chicken legs are sprinkled with a simple spice combination, garlic and sliced green onions, then cooked in the Instant Pot until the meat is juicy and tender. Then, a quick trip under the broiler (topped with more garlic and green onions) yields delectably golden brown, crispy skin. An impressive weeknight dinner that you could even pass off as company-worthy!
Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup
Shredded chicken, two kinds of beans, corn, and diced tomatoes are kicked up with zesty taco seasoning. A perfect, wholesome meal for chilly evenings or busy weeknights! Super versatile, too – be sure to note all the tips for adjusting the seasonings and the spiciness, and using different types of beans and veggies.
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
This is a terrific base recipe for using your Instant Pot to cook frozen, boneless skinless chicken breasts that turn out perfectly moist and tender every time. It offers lots of helpful hints, including suggestions in the post for different seasonings to try if you don't want to go totally plain-Jane.
Frozen Chicken Thighs in the Instant Pot
From frozen rock-hard to tender and fall-off-the-bone in just minutes! Accented with lemon and Italian seasoning, this versatile chicken recipe has lots of options for you. Add onions if you'd like, go skinless or choose skin-on for a crispy finish under the broiler, and create a spoonable sauce by thickening the cooking stock before serving. Mmmmmmm ... what will you decide?!?
Instant Pot White Bean Chicken Chili
This recipe starts with dried beans and frozen chicken breasts ... so you might wonder if it could possibly get any easier. Why, yes. Yes it can! Because you don't even have to soak the dried beans. Just dump everything in, and start your pressure cooker. Dinner will be ready in no time!
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Tenders
A super-fast way to serve up kid-favorite chicken tenders. This base recipe is also great for quickly making simple chicken tenderloins to top a chicken salad, pasta, and more!
According to the USDA, it is safe to do so (but only in the pressure cooker mode – not while using the slow cooker mode). The reason for this is that pressure cookers (and electric pressure cooker models like the Instant Pot) cook food fast enough that it doesn’t linger too long in the “danger zone” and potentially become unsafe to eat.
Nope! There’s no need for that extra step. As you can see from the recipes showcased here, you simply put the still-frozen chicken right in the Instant Pot (with your liquid and any other cooking ingredients) and start the pressure cooker. Easy!
Definitely! You generally need about 1 cup of liquid (whether that’s a cup of water, chicken broth, fruit juice, etc.). You can also add seasonings, veggies, sauces and other ingredients to cook right along with the frozen chicken.
That can vary widely, depending on the size and amount of chicken. For example, a few frozen chicken tenderloins will cook fairly quickly (in just a few minutes) compared to a whole chicken (which will take 30-60 minutes depending on size). In general, you simply add a few extra minutes to the cooking time if you’re using frozen chicken in a recipe instead of fresh/thawed chicken.
The best way to ensure your frozen chicken has cooked completely in your Instant Pot pressure cooker is to use a meat thermometer and check the internal temperature. Chicken should be cooked to 165°F (according to the USDA). Be sure to test the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone.
Try Making Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Tonight!
With so many easy recipe ideas to choose from, the hardest part will be … ahem … just choosing which of these favorite Instant Pot recipes to try first!
From there, it’s all pretty easy-peasy, thanks to that handy, helpful Instant Pot waiting on your counter.
Fire that baby up, grab some chicken outta the freezer, and tonight’s dinner will be ready in a twinkling!