This Instant Pot Chicken Breast recipe will show you how to cook the best, perfectly juicy, and flavorful chicken breast in the pressure cooker. The delicious gravy is a bonus!
Why This Recipe Works
Did you know that you can make a juicy, tender, and flavorful chicken breast in your Instant Pot? It only takes 5 minutes of pressure cooking time and 5 minutes of pressure release. A good sear on each side ensures the chicken breast is juicy and the gravy is flavorful. I love serving the chicken with mashed potatoes and salad or roasted veggies. This recipe is a must-try for beginners and pressure cooking fans!
I used a 6qt Instant Pot to make this dish, but 3qt and 8qt can be used as well. Just make sure to check the amount of liquid needed to build pressure for a specific size of the pot.
- chicken breasts: boneless skinless, roughly the same size;
- chicken stock: necessary liquid for building up the pressure; if you are not making gravy, use water instead;
- minced garlic: adds flavor since chicken breasts tend to be quite plain;
- olive oil: for browning the chicken, this step adds flavor; avocado or grapeseed oil can be used as well;
- seasoning: kosher salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder.
How to make Instant Pot chicken breast?
- Start by mixing the seasoning in a small bowl and season chicken breasts on both sides.
- Heat up olive oil in the Instant Pot and brown each chicken breast on both sides. This is when you are creating the flavor for the chicken and the gravy so be patient.
- Remove chicken from the pressure cooker and deglaze the bottom of the pot with a little bit of the chicken stock. Scrape any cooked-on bits, there is a ton of flavor there.
- Pour the rest of the chicken stock into the pot. Set the trivet inside and arrange the chicken breasts on top.
- Close the lid and press the manual or pressure cook setting.
- Set timer to 5 minutes (7 minutes for large chicken breasts).
- Once the timer is done, do not flip the pressure valve. Let the pressure release naturally.
- Open the IP and remove chicken and trivet.
- Mix cornstarch with water and add to liquid in the IP. You can cook it for a few minutes on the saute setting. It will thicken into a delicious gravy.
What to serve with this dish?
Since I always make gravy with the liquid left from cooking the chicken breast, I love serving it with mashed potatoes and stuffing or salad. More side dishes to serve along with this chicken breast:
- Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- The Best Roasted Broccoli
- Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Easy Mashed Cauliflower (for a perfect low-carb meal)
You can serve it chopped or sliced on a salad:
- Do not release the pressure manually. If you switch the valve to venting after the cooking cycle ends, all the moisture from the chicken will be sucked out and the meat will be dry. Always wait for the pressure to release naturally when cooking meat in the Instant Pot.
- Be patient when browning the chicken. If you are trying to flip the meat and it seems stuck to the pot, that means it's not ready to be flipped. Wait. Be patient. This step builds flavor for the chicken but also for the gravy.
- Do not add hot water to cornstarch. To make the slurry for gravy, mix cold water with cornstarch until there are no clumps visible. If you add hot water, the cornstarch will cook and clump up.
Yes, chicken thighs are perfectly cooked in the Instant Pot. Follow my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Thighs for full instructions.
I do not recommend using frozen chicken breast because frozen meat can't be browned and you won't have the delicious flavor on chicken and the gravy. If you want to cook frozen chicken breast and don't care for the gravy, simply place frozen meat on a trivet, add chicken stock to the bottom of the pot and cook for 2 to 4 minutes longer than the fresh chicken breast. The Instant Pot will take longer to come to pressure (up to 12 minutes).
Any leftovers should be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can use them to make a variety of dishes. To reheat, use a microwave or stove.
Yes, you can add cut-up potatoes and arrange them in the liquid. Use a mix of water and stock. Once the cooking time is over, remove the chicken and trivet and mash the potatoes right in the pot. You can also add baby potatoes, cut in half, around the chicken on a trivet, and still make the gravy from the liquid.
Absolutely! The steps are the same, except you may need less liquid for the Instant Pot to build up pressure. Check the instruction manual for the exact number of ounces needed.
More Instant Pot recipes:
For more recipes using the digital pressure cooker, feel free to browse our Instant Pot Category. Also, check out my Instant Pot Guide for Beginners, filled with all the info you need to get started with your new appliance! Seeing BURN message on your IP? Read my Instant Pot Burn Message post to learn why and how to save your dish.
If you like this recipe and make it, let me know in the comments below! Don't forget to rate it if you enjoyed it!
Instant Pot Chicken Breast
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders and Italian seasoning.
- Sprinkle over each chicken breast, on each side.
- Make sure the stainless steel insert is in your Instant Pot.
- Press "saute" setting and wait 2 minutes. Add olive oil to the Instant Pot.
- Place chicken breast in the pot and brown on each side for about 3 minutes. This is when you are creating the flavor so be patient.
- Remove chicken onto a plate and set aside.
- Add minced garlic to the Instant Pot and stir a few times. Let is brown slightly in the leftover oil. Press "cancel/off" button.
- Add 1/4 cup of the chicken stock to the Instant Pot and deglaze the bottom by scraping any cooked on bits with a wooden spoon. Add remaining stock to the pot.
- Place trivet in the Instant Pot and arrange all chicken breasts on top.
- Close the lid and set valve to "sealing" position. The newer models do it on their own.
- Make sure the Instant Pot is set to cook at HIGH pressure. Press "manual" setting and set timer to 5 minutes. The IP will beep after a few seconds and it will start coming to pressure. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Once the timer is done, press "cancel/off" button and do not flip the sealing valve. Let the Instant Pot release the pressure naturaly. It will take about 5 minutes. Carefully open the lid away from your face (there will be some steam left in the pot). Remove the chicken onto a plate and set aside. Remove trivet from Instant Pot.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Add to the liquid remaining in the pot. Whisk well. You can press "saute" setting and cook it for a minute or two until thickened.
- Serve chicken with gravy.
- The 5 minutes of cooking time is perfect for chicken breast between 6 and 8 ounces. If your chicken breasts are larger (up to 12 ounces), add 2 more minutes of cooking time.
- If you don't want to make gravy, you can use water for the liquid required for pressure cooking.
- You can adjust seasoning to your liking, by adding your favorite spices. I recommend using coarse sea salt if possible. It will make the gravy very rich. Use 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, if possible.
- We are using garlic twice: one to season the chicken and one to make a flavorful base for the gravy.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.