Cooking Chicken With Pressure Cooker


Cooking chicken with pressure cooker is an easy method of making dishes like chicken noodle soup, chili, and chicken pot pie. Pressure cookers are handy appliances that speed up the cooking process. There are lots of benefits to using a pressure cooker. Check out these tips on how to cook chicken with a pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Chicken Recipe



Instant Pot chicken makes for incredibly tender and flavorful chicken in minutes! A quick and easy chicken recipe perfect for the beginner or the expert! 

One of the requests I’ve been getting for some time now has been, “do you have any pressure cooker recipes?” And while we all probably remember those ancient pressure cookers that clanked and growled from our grandmother’s kitchens, the newer models (both stovetop and electric) have definitely come a long way!

I thought I’d begin by sharing one of my absolute favorite pressure cooker recipes – this pressure cooker chicken. It has to be one of the ways that I use my Instant Pot the most while getting fabulous results. It is also one of the absolute easiest pressure cooker recipes. Perfect for those who just received a pressure cooker and are dipping their toes into using it as well as for those who have had theirs for a longer period of time and just need a reliable recipe to turn to week in and week out to help them get supper on the table. This is the one!

Instant Pot Chicken Recipe

I have electric pressure cookers, by two different brands – both of which I love dearly. One is by Cuisinart and the other is by Instant Pot. While the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker and more, I’m only talking about the pressure cooker aspects of it at the moment. Both the Cuisinart and the Instant Pot have easy to understand control panels and unlike watching Grandmother use hers in the 70s, I’ve always felt comfortable using both of them. I also have a stovetop pressure cooker/ canner and that I primarily use for canning.

I do recommend reading your user manual from front to back before you begin using it so that you understand the settings, venting procedures, and such.

So, are you ready to dig into this recipe? You won’t believe how easy it is!

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Recipe

Here’s how I do it, I toss four frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts in, add water, seal it, close the vent, and set the pressure to high for 10 minutes. Then, after the 10 minutes, I quickly release the pressure and remove the chicken. That’s it! From frozen to tender, juicy, delicious, and almost like a miracle chicken in 10 minutes!


From that point, you can use your pressure cooker chicken any way that you desire. From serving it with side dishes to shredding it to use in all sorts of recipes. I like to do both!

I’ve shared with you before how I like to make shredded chicken for the week to use in recipes using my slow cooker, I still do. Sometimes, I’ll use the slow cooker and sometimes I’ll use the pressure cooker and sometimes I’ll just bake it in the oven. It depends on the mood I’m in. Gosh at the possibilities!

Here’s my pressure cooker chicken printable recipe card. I hope you love it as much as we do!

How to Cook Chicken in the Instant Pot

Need chicken fast? The pressure cooker is the way to go! This method is fast, simple, and foolproof. Keep the seasoning simple or mix it up depending on how you’re serving the chicken.

Boneless Skinless Chicken in the Instant Pot
Coco Morante

It’s so convenient to have already-cooked chicken in the fridge. You can use it for salads, sandwiches, last-minute pasta dishes…or any time you are trying to round out a meal with a some protein, really!

Instant Pot Chicken Is So Easy!

Cooking chicken in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot works similarly to poaching. The biggest difference is that you use less liquid and you can press a button and step away while the pot is doing its thing.

The chicken cooks in water, seasoned with salt, bay leaves, and garlic for a little bit of extra flavor. You can add any aromatic spices or vegetables to the water, really, depending on how you want to flavor the meat. Ginger and green onion would be nice if you plan to use the chicken on top of an Asian-style salad, for instance.

Three cooked chicken breasts in the instant pot

How Long to Cook Chicken in the Instant Pot

Boneless chicken breasts and thighs cook in the same amount of time—just 10 minutes at high pressure will do it! Just be sure to arrange the meat in a single, even layer in the pot, as it cooks more evenly that way. It should reach about halfway up the chicken.

This timing works for a 1 1/2 to 2 pound batch of boneless chicken. If you’re cooking more meat (3 to 4 pounds), increase the cooking time to 15 minutes to ensure that it is cooked through. For a smaller amount of meat (1 pound or less), decrease the cooking time to 8 minutes.

Coco Morante

Cook Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot

Yes, you can cook chicken from frozen! You’ll just need to adjust the cooking time and method a little bit. Take a look at this handy guide for more details:

Ways to Use Cooked Chicken

The cooked chicken can be used in any recipe that calls for precooked chicken. Shred, slice, or cube it as needed, then use it however you like!

Tuck a few slices of chicken into a sourdough sandwich, or top a salad to make a light lunch. Toss cubed chicken into a soup or pasta dish. Mix shredded chicken with BBQ sauce or hot sauce for sliders or tacos.

BONUS: Chicken Broth!

As a bonus, cooking chicken this way yields about two cups of chicken broth! Save it in the fridge or freezer for later, use it as a base for a soup, or cook up an extra flavorful batch of rice or quinoa, subbing the broth for water.

Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken

This step-by-step guide for the best Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken recipe is going to be your new weeknight go-to! In no time at all you’ll have the most tender fall-off-the-bone chicken with crispy skin. 

a whole chicken in a pressure cooker

Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken

My life has seriously changed since I started using my pressure cooker. Everything cooks up so fast and the flavors are unbeatable! This recipe for pressure cooker whole chicken is something I’ve been testing and working on to master. I’ve finally figured out the magical formula and am so excited to share this recipe with you all.

I kept this recipe nice and basic with a compound butter massaged and spread under the skin of my chicken. It’s the little things that will take your cooking to the next level! This will be a meal you and your family will always look forward to.

Ingredients in Pressure Cooker Whole Chicken

This recipe is very easy to customize. Feel free to get creative and use your favorite herbs and seasonings! Try out a dry rub if you want to reduce calories. Keep scrolling for the full recipe and ingredient amounts.

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • Whole chicken – I used a 3 lb chicken and used some twine to tie the ends of the legs together.
  • Butter – I always use unsalted butter to have more control over the amount of sodium in my chicken.
  • Herbs – Use fresh herbs if possible! They make a wonderful difference. I used thyme and rosemary. If you use dried herbs, cut the amounts called for in half.
  • Garlic – I love to use lots of garlic! You can use as much or as little as you like.
  • Lemon zest – I have a microplane to get perfect and tiny lemon zest. It really brightens up the flavors.
  • Salt & pepper – Season as per your own preference.
  • Chicken broth – We need liquid to build up pressure. You can use any broth you have handy or even water.

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in a Pressure Cooker

I used a Ninja Foodi to cook this chicken. The instructions will be the exact same for any other type of pressure cooker, including Instant Pot. The difference is that the Ninja Foodi is also an air fryer so we could crisp the chicken up right in the same pot.

  1. Make the compound butter: Mix the butter, garlic, herbs, lemon zest, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
  2. Season the chicken: Carefully create pockets between the chicken’s skin and meat with your hands. Spread the prepared butter under the skin. Make sure to get both breasts and legs.
  3. Pressure cook the chicken: Pour the broth into the pressure cooker pot. Place the chicken on your pressure cooker’s wire rack inside the pot. Melt the remaining compound butter and brush half of it over the chicken. Cook on the pressure setting for 15 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then quick release the rest.
  4. Air fry the chicken: Using the air crisp function, set the temperature to 400F. Brush the chicken with the remaining butter. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until browned.

The chicken you use may be larger or smaller than mine. A good rule of thumb is to pressure cook your chicken for 5-6 minutes per pound. I’ve tested the times for cooking chicken in a pressure cooker, and have found that many recipes call for too much time. My method will give you tender and perfectly cooked chicken without the bird completely falling apart.

process shots showing how to cook a chicken in the pressure cooker

How Do I Crisp the Skin Without an Air Fryer?

If you don’t have an air fryer, you can use the broil function on your oven. Prepare a baking sheet with a wire rack. Carefully place the chicken on the rack and broil for around 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on the chicken, until the skin has browned to your liking. This may take more or less time depending on your oven.

Can I Use a Frozen Chicken?

You definitely can! The only difference is that you won’t be able to put the compound butter underneath the skin of your chicken. Spread the compound butter on top of the chicken. Pressure cook your chicken for 10-12 minutes per pound and use the same instructions as per the recipe for crisping the chicken.

overhead shot of a roast chicken with roasted potatoes on a white platter

How to Make Chicken Gravy

  1. Strain the drippings from the pot of your pressure cooker using a sieve into a saucepan then skim the excess fat using a spoon.
  2. Add a sprig of each rosemary and thyme, then bring the drippings to a simmer.
  3. Add a cornstarch slurry (1 tsp each cornstarch and water) and whisk well. Mix up more of the slurry and add it a splash at a time, while whisking, until the desired thickness has been reached. The cornstarch needs heat to thicken up so make sure the gravy is bubbling.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a gravy boat.

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