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The Best Instant Pot Poached Chicken

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Need something quick and easy for dinner? As a mom myself, I get it! Sometimes we just need to get dinner on the table. This Instant Pot poached chicken recipe is just what you need for a quick and easy dinner that everyone will love!

Instant Pot Poached Chicken

This poached chicken pressure cooker recipe is a real game changer and the perfect addition to your latest recipes.

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What is Poached Chicken?

Poached chicken is chicken that is completely covered or submerged in liquid. It is not boiled chicken. Instead, it is a gentler technique that keeps the chicken at a set, constant temperature.

Poached Chicken Vs Instant Pot Boiled Chicken

When using the Instant Pot, there are two options for cooking chicken: the pressure cook function and the steam function. Both of these can be used to poach or boil chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. But why use one over the other?

Boiling chicken with the pressure cook function creates a more tender and moist chicken that falls apart easily, making it great for shredding and adding to dishes like tacos or a chicken salad.

Poaching the chicken with the steam function creates a firmer, more intact cooked chicken that can be used in dishes like sandwiches or stir-fries.

Poached Chicken Nutrition Information

Poached chicken is a healthier option compared to boiled or fried chicken. It is lower in calories and fat, making it a great option for those watching their weight or following a healthy eating plan.

Poaching also helps preserve the amino acids in the chicken, making it a more nutrient-rich option. Chicken is a great source of protein, and when cooked correctly can also provide a good source of B-vitamins and minerals like phosphorus and selenium.

Why You’ll Love This Poached Chicken Instant Pot Recipe

I love this recipe because it’s quick and easy, but here are some other reasons why you’ll love this recipe, too:

Great for picky eaters. Season this poached chicken any way you like. For picky eaters, you can just use salt and pepper.

No special ingredients. Besides a little garlic, broth and bay leaves, you won’t need any special ingredients to make poached chicken.

It’s super quick. Poached chicken breasts can be cooked and on the table in less than 30-minutes. So, if you are in a hurry, this is the perfect recipe. You will also have time to slice it beautifully. Usually, I use a knife or meat slicer. If you don’t have one, you can choose the best meat slicer here.

Instant Pot Poached Chicken Ingredients

As I stated above, you don’t need any special ingredients to make Instant pot poached chicken.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. (3-4 large skinless breasts)
  • Chicken Broth: I find that using broth makes all juicy chicken breasts even more delicious. If you don’t have broth, you can always use water and bullion cubes as your cooking liquid. You’ll need 1 cup of chicken broth or water.
  • Poached Chicken Seasoning: If you have picky eaters like mine, you’ll love that you only need salt, pepper, crushed garlic, and a bay leaf for seasoning. In this recipe, I use 1-2 bay leaves, 4 crushed garlic cloves and a pinch of salt and black pepper.
poached chicken Ingredients

How To Make Instant Pot Poached Chicken

So how do you make this poached chicken instant pot recipe? Here are the instructions.

It’s an easy instant pot recipe and perfect for chicken sandwiches or other chicken recipes such as our famous Poached chicken and mango salad recipe.

Step 1: Season Your Instant Pot Chicken Breast

First, season your chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and any additional seasoning you choose.

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Step 2: Place Chicken In Pressure Cooker

Place the chicken in the Instant pot, pour the chicken broth or chicken stock over it, crush the garlic and add the bay leaves to the pot.

Step 3:Pressure Cook Your Poached Chicken Breasts

Next, secure the instant pot lid, put the sealing vent on the lid into the “sealing” position, and push the “manual” or “pressure cook” button for 12 minutes.

Step 4: Release The Pressure – Natural or Quick Release

This poached chicken Instant Pot recipe yields juicy poached chicken whether you pressure release naturally or do quick release. It depends on your time.

Instant Pot Poached Chicken

I find that a natural release keeps the chicken breast more tender than a quick release.

Step 5: Serve Your Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Once the pressure is released, carefully remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and serve as desired.

Slice the poached chicken up for sandwiches or salads, make shredded chicken for tacos or soup, or use in your favorite chicken recipes.

Serve and Enjoy your chicken breast recipe!

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Do I Have To Use Chicken Breasts For Poached Chicken?

I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts when making poached chicken, but you don’t have to. If you choose, you can use chicken strips, poached chicken tenders, boneless skinless thighs or another cut you prefer.

You can poach chicken breast boneless or bone in. You could switch the chicken breasts for poached chicken thighs or poach a whole chicken.

Just note that cooking time may vary slightly depending on the cut or size of chicken you use.

I also recommend adding extra seasoning for bone-in chicken such as herbs, if poaching a whole chicken to help raise the flavor profile. To know exactly how to cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, check out this Instant Pot Whole Chicken Recipe.

Can I Make This Poached Chicken Recipe In The Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can make this recipe in the slow cooker, but note that cooking times will vary. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours, until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Make sure to add the garlic and bay leaves during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Can I Double This Instant Pot Boiled Chicken Recipe?

Yes, you can easily double this recipe by doubling the ingredients and adjusting the cooking time to 14-16 minutes on high pressure.

Can You Poach Frozen Chicken Breast?

Last week my sister asked me, can I cook poached chicken from frozen in a pressure cooker? You see, she loves to be able to grab frozen chicken breasts directly from the freezer as she is super busy and doesn’t always have time to defrost meat.

Luckily the answer is yes! You can cook frozen chicken breasts in your Instant Pot. In fact you can cook anything in the Instant pot from frozen! Check out our Frozen Meat in the Instant Pot post for more information!

How To Make Poached Chicken Breast From Frozen

If you want poached chicken from frozen then simply follow the instructions for Instant pot poached chicken but increase the cooking time from 12 minutes to 15 minutes.

Your frozen chicken breasts will be perfect once cooked.

Will The Frozen Chicken Breasts Still Be Juicy?

Poaching chicken from frozen in the Instant Pot requires a few extra minutes of high pressure. This additional time will enable the frozen chicken to turn out just as juicy and delicious as thawed chicken.

Can I Freeze Instant Pot Poached Chicken After It Has Been Cooked?

Yes, this Instant pot poached chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag.

You may want to shred the chicken before placing it into a freezer bag. Simply thaw before using the cooked chicken in your favorite recipes.

What To Do With Poached Chicken

There are lots of ways to serve poached chicken. You can serve the chicken breast whole, shred chicken, slice the chicken or cut it up into squares. You may want to add flavor such as soy sauce or Italian dressing before serving.

Some of my favorite ways to serve poached chicken are:

-Serve your chicken breasts with salads or on top of a bed of grains.

-Add Shredded chicken to tacos or burrito bowls.

-After poaching chicken stuff it into pita bread or wraps.

-Sliced for use in Asian dishes such as lo mein

-Add the instant pot poached chicken to a Chicken and Feta Pasta Salad.

Yield: 4

Instant Pot Poached Chicken

poached chicken in the instant pot

Instant Pot Poached Chicken is a quick and easy meal not only to enjoy by chicken lovers but by everyone.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3-4 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup broth or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • (additional seasoning as desired)


  1. Season chicken as desired.
  2. Place chicken in Instant Pot.
  3. Crush the garlic with the back of your knife and add to the Instant Pot along with the bay leaves.
  4. Pour in the broth and secure the Instant Pot lid.
  5. Cook at manual or pressure cook for 12 minutes.
  6. Natural or quick release, as desired

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 251mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 39g

Did you make this recipe?

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Other Seasonings To Add When Poaching Chicken

Feel free to experiment with different seasonings for added flavor. Some options include:

-Italian seasoning blend

-Cajun seasoning blend

-Garlic powder

-Onion powder

-Curry powder

-Lemon pepper seasoning blend

-Chinese five-spice blend

Best Side Dishes For Poached Or Boiled Chicken

Not sure what to make with this deliciously juicy poached chicken? Here are some of our favorite pressure cooker recipes and side dish options:

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Become An Expert At Cooking Chicken Breasts In Your Instant Pot

Cooking chicken in the Instant pot can be a total game changer for your weekly meal prep or busy weeknight dinners.


Take a look at our Ultimate Guide To Cooking In The Instant Pot to become an expert at cooking all types of recipes in the pressure cooker.

Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Check out our Instant Pot Category for more inspiration. And don’t forget to check out our Instant Pot Community Group on Facebook for even more Instant Pot recipe ideas from fellow pressure cooker fans! Happy cooking!

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One Comment

  1. I made the poached chicken breast. I used 4 frozen Costco boneless skinless chicken breast and set the timer for 15 minutes. Other than that, I followed the directions precisely. It worked out perfectly and I will continue to use this recipe to poach my chicken from now on. My one cup of cooking liquid turned into approximately 3 cups which I saved after removing the cooked chicken from the pot. I cleaned everything up while the chicken cooled. I tasted it and needed more seasoning than I used prior to cooking. I shredded it with 2 forks seasoned it liberally with additional salt and pepper. I ended up with 1 lb. 2 oz. of shredded chicken. It’s for our Tuesday lunch so I poured the reserved liquid on it so it wouldn’t dry out. I think it’ll make great chicken salad. It was quick and easy. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

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