One of my favorite ways to use my Instant Pot is for meal prepping! This Instant Pot Poached Chicken recipe is perfect for cooking a bunch of chicken that you plan to use in lunch boxes or other recipes throughout the week.
Instant Pot Poached Chicken Recipe
I work from home and when things get really busy, I can tend to skip lunch if I don’t have anything ready-to-grab out of the fridge. (There’s only so many times you can make eggs for lunch.)
I’ve been trying to be better about that this year and one thing that has majorly helped is cooking some additional protein at the beginning of the week that I can quickly add to an easy recipe.
This poached chicken recipe has been perfect – it yields juicy, tender chicken that shreds effortlessly. It takes less than 5 minutes to prep, and about 20 minutes total time in the Instant Pot. You literally just toss all of the ingredients in the pressure cooker and turn it on.
This poached chicken can be shredded or chopped and added to your favorite chicken dishes – whether you’re using it for lunch prep or to save cooking time during the week. You can also save the cooking liquid to use as broth for other recipes throughout the week.
Some recipes this poached chicken would be perfect for include:
- Homemade quesadillas
- Quick burritos (breakfast burritos, too)
- Chicken Caesar Wraps
- Chicken Salad – like this Dill and Asparagus Chicken Salad
- Power bowl with chicken (add rice, veggies and salsa or your favorite condiment)
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Avocadoes (or even a standard buffalo chicken dip)
- Add to a salad recipe for added protein
- Chicken nachos
- Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas
- Quick chicken curry
- Add to your favorite chicken casseroles
Can this poached chicken be frozen? Yes. You can freeze this chicken either whole or shredded for up to 3 months without any flavor or quality loss. Store in an airtight freezer container or freezer bag. (This set of freezer containers is a crazy bargain.)
Can I poach a whole chicken using this method? Yes, just increase the cooking time to 20 minutes.
Can I use frozen chicken breasts in this recipe? Yes, increase the cooking time to 15 minutes. Ensure that the chicken has reached 165ºF.
Why poach the chicken instead of using another method? Poaching the chicken is not only super quick and easy using your Instant Pot, it ensures that the chicken doesn’t dry out while making it fork-tender for easy shredding, slicing or dicing.
Do I have to use the spices called for in this recipe? Absolutely not. I kept the seasoning pretty basic so that my chicken would be super versatile for a variety of recipes, but if you already know what you’ll be using your chicken for, you can spice it up accordingly and save yourself some time/effort later.
Why do you use bone-in chicken? Honestly, I just used what was cheapest. Bone-in chicken is usually way cheaper than boneless, but it’s frustrating to use in a lot of recipes because it changes the cooking time and its annoying to remove the bones. The bone does add some flavor during the cooking process and the poaching method makes it super easy to remove the bones afterwards. You can use boneless chicken, if preferred.
Instant Pot Poached Chicken Ingredients
Chicken broth or water – you can use our Instant Pot chicken broth for this recipe
Salt and pepper
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: swap out the seasonings, as desired.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
How to Poach Chicken Breasts in the Instant Pot
Season chicken as desired.
Place chicken in Instant Pot.
Crush the garlic with the back of your knife and add to the Instant Pot along with the bay leaves.
Pour in the broth and secure the Instant Pot lid.
Cook at manual for 12 minutes.
Natural or quick release, as desired. (If using frozen chicken breasts, do a natural release.)
You can store the chicken breasts whole, or shred them before refrigerating.
Save the broth for any recipe requiring chicken stock.
Grab your free printable for our Instant Pot Poached Chicken recipe:
- 3-4 large chicken breasts
- 1 cup broth or water - you can use our Instant Pot chicken broth for this recipe
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper
- Season chicken as desired.
- Place chicken in Instant Pot.
- Crush the garlic with the back of your knife and add to the Instant Pot along with the bay leaves.
- Pour in the broth and secure the Instant Pot lid.
- Cook at manual for 12 minutes.
- Natural or quick release, as desired. (If using frozen chicken breasts, do a natural release.)
- You can store the chicken breasts whole, or shred them before refrigerating.
- Save the broth for any recipe requiring chicken stock.
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This easy poached chicken recipe is perfect for ensuring that you have cooked protein on-hand and ready to quickly add to a variety of recipes.