Instant Pot Chicken Recipe

Sometimes something as basic as chicken breasts can be surprisingly tricky to do well at home. It either turns out rubbery, or bland, or dry and overcooked — or a combination of all those things. It's always smart to have easy, fast recipes in your arsenal for when you need a basic protein source to add to grain bowls, salads, or just alongside some roasted vegetables. Healthy staples like this Instant Pot chicken recipe are fool-proof, even for the most novice of at-home cooks. We got this gem from Kristen Carli, the Registered Dietitian and food blogger extraordinaire from Camelback Nutrition & Wellness

If you are new to the world of Instant Pots, this chicken recipe could be an excellent entry-level starting point, since it's so simple and doesn't require a lot of ingredients or brain power. Read on for a detailed play-by-play on the easiest Instant Pot chicken recipe on the 'net right now (or ever?).

Gather the ingredients for your Instant Pot chicken

As previously mentioned, this Instant Pot chicken recipe does not involve a ton of components. You'll need three boneless, skinless chicken breasts; 1/2 a cup of chicken broth (any brand works); 1 teaspoon of salt; and a 1/2 of a teaspoon of black pepper. That's it! That's all she wrote. You probably have all that in your fridge right now.

We asked Carli about whether this recipe would be the same protocol with a different part of the chicken. "Same steps apply for other parts of the chicken including dark meat or chicken thighs, for example. Just be sure to add a few minutes to the cook time to be sure the chicken is cooked through," she confirms. So if you're a dark meat enthusiast (or that's all you've got in the house and you want to make this immediately), you can certainly execute it successfully sans white meat.

Place the chicken and other ingredients in the Instant Pot

When the Instant Pot is plugged in and ready, place broth in the bottom of it before adding anything else. Then add the chicken breasts, and sprinkle them with the salt and pepper. 

If you would like a more flavorful variety, you can also add a chicken marinade when cooking this recipe. At this point in the recipe, you can get creative depending on what you're in the mood for with the meal. We asked Carli about the option to zest up this Instant Pot chicken recipe and she confirmed it has lots of options. "I love to toss in a bottle of buffalo sauce plus one ranch seasoning packet for the best buffalo chicken. I also love including a bottle of bbq sauce for easy barbecue chicken. You can also do this with a bottle of honey mustard dressing too. This method of cooking is incredibly versatile," she says.

Pressure cook the Instant Pot chicken on high for 8 minutes

When all the ingredients (and any marinade or flavoring you might want to add) are in the Instant Pot, close the lid then turn the valve to sealing and select "Pressure Cook" on high for eight minutes. Eight minutes sounds like a dream cook time for chicken breast, right? All praise be to the makers of Instant Pot. Who would ever want to wait for 45 minutes for chicken breasts to bake in the oven ever again? In case you are new to the Instant Pot, there is something called a sealing vent. Word to the wise, not having this sealed is a classic Instant Pot mistake, and you always want this sealed during use of the pressure cooker.

By the way, we've got plenty to choose from if you more Instant Pot recipes, from soup to fish to whole chicken. The Instant Pot really is a great tool to have in your kitchen if you like your meals ready fast.

Allow the Instant Pot chicken to naturally release

The next part of the recipe instructs you to "allow to naturally release," once the timer goes off. We asked Carli to break this down a little more. For any potential new Instant Pot users, that direction might seem a little confusing. Basically, when you're using an Instant Pot, which is a pressure cooker, there are two ways to release the aforementioned sealing vent, quickly and naturally. "Quick release involves switching carefully by hand to allow the steam to rapidly release and the pressure to come back down. Natural release involves waiting until this happens on its own. Once it has come back down to normal pressure, you will be able to open the lid," Carli explains. 

After the natural release goes down, remove the lid and take out the chicken breasts with a pair of tongs. Set them on a cutting board or large plate. 

Shred the Instant Pot chicken if desired

After you've removed the chicken from the Instant Pot, you can use two forks to shred it into that perfect shredded chicken texture — oh, you know the texture we're talking about. You could also use kitchen shears to cut it into chunks that can be added to salads for an extra dose of lean protein. Or eat one breast at time with a fork and knife, we certainly put no limits on the way in which you want to consume this chicken. 

If you're thinking this could be a good Instant Pot chicken recipe to use as meal prep for the work week, you would be correct. This meat should stay good in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days. The Instant Pot chicken would also be delicious for tacos (and we've got the perfect homemade taco seasoning too).

Instant Pot Chicken Recipe
4.9 from 27 ratings
An Instant Pot is the perfect vessel for taking plain old chicken breasts and delivering a tasty meal in a flash. Plus, this dinner is easily customizable.
Prep Time
Cook Time
plate of shredded Instant Pot chicken
Total time: 15 minutes
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  1. Place broth in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add chicken breasts, salt, and pepper.
  2. Close the lid. Turn the valve to sealing and select Pressure Cook on high for 8 minutes.
  3. Once the timer goes off, allow to naturally release. Remove lid and chicken breasts. Shred if desired.
Calories per Serving 257
Total Fat 5.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 149.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Total Sugars 0.5 g
Sodium 545.0 mg
Protein 46.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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