Instant Pot Meal – Chicken Breasts from Frozen with Rice & Carrots

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In less than 30 minutes, you can have an entire meal with tender chicken breasts, creamy risotto-like rice, and sweet carrots thanks to the Instant Pot.

In less than 30 minutes, you can have an entire meal with tender chicken breasts, creamy risotto-like rice, and sweet carrots thanks to the Instant Pot.

How many times have you reminded yourself to take the chicken out of the freezer only to discover that, after you started doing 10 other things, you totally forgot? For me, more often than I’d like to admit.

I have written about cooking chicken from frozen in a post aptly named How to Cook Chicken Breasts from Frozen and one for Chicken Parmesan Using Frozen Chicken Breasts. Both of these recipes use the oven.  The cooking times are based upon information from the USDA. Basically, it says you need to add about 50 percent more cooking time.

So, when I’m crunched for time and need to get a meal on the table in less than 30 minutes, I turn to frozen chicken breasts. And to make it even quicker, I put those frozen chicken breasts into the Instant Pot!

If you want to just cook plain frozen chicken breasts, head over here for the info. This is ideal for meal prep or for when you want plain chicken quickly.

If you want a full meal that starts with frozen chicken breasts, then turn to the recipe below. It uses frozen chicken breasts, uncooked rice, and uncooked carrots. That all goes into the Instant Pot and then blammo, you have a delicious one-pot dinner.

There is no fussing with multiple settings. All of the ingredients go in at the same time, you lock the lid in place, turn the vent to seal, and set the time. In the time it takes to round up the kids and set them to the task of setting the table, dinner is ready to be served. Supper saved!

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Instant Pot Meal – Chicken Breasts from Frozen with Rice & Carrots


  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

IMPORTANT: This recipe has VERY mixed reviews in the comment section below. For that reason, I took the recipe down and retested it twice. It worked perfectly both times. While the recipe was down, I got the following in an email, “Hi there, I used a recipe off of your website last week in my new instant pot.  I saved the link because my family liked it so much!  However, I went back to make it tonight and the link no longer works. :-(  Can you tell me where I can find a post of your “Frozen Chicken breast, rice and carrots” instant pot recipe?”

I do not doubt the negative reviews that this recipe has received at all. But given my own success with this recipe, and that email, and some other positive feedback, I have decided to republish the recipe. I’ll also tell you more about how I made it:

  • My instant pot is an 8 quart one, this one.
  • I used chicken breasts that were 6-8 ounces each. Larger chicken breasts might throw off the recipe. I’ve updated the recipe to reflect this.
  • My chicken breasts are individually frozen, meaning that they were not frozen in a big clump. I either buy them already individually frozen or I bring fresh chicken breasts home and freeze them in a single non-touching layer on a cookie sheet before transferring them to a freezer bag. I’ve updated the recipe to reflect this.
  • I have now tried this recipe both with rinsed and non-rinsed rice. This doesn’t seem to affect burning or sticking. There was a little bit of sticking with both versions. The latter resulted in a wetter finished rice. Either way, the rice was creamy and soft, like risotto almost. I’ve left the rice unrinsed in the recipe.
  • Note that many commenters have said that they used an extra 1/2 cup of chicken broth (so 2 and 1/2 cups instead of 2 cups). I haven’t yet tried this but the comments seem to be positive.

I’m truly sorry to those of you for whom this recipe has failed. I’m afraid to recommend that anyone else try it at this point. But if you’re brave and do, please leave a comment below letting us all know how it went. Good luck!


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4  (6-8 ounces each) individually-frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. Italian herb blend, or your favorite dried herb blend
  • 56 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces

Instructions

  1. Measure rice into bottom of the Instant Pot.
  2. Add chicken broth and salt and pepper, stir to combine.
  3. Lay the frozen chicken breasts on top of the rice. Season the chicken breasts with the Italian herb blend or your favorite herb blend.
  4. Lay carrots on top of the rice.
  5. Cover pot, lock on the lid, and set the steam release valve to Sealing
  6. Select Pressure Cook and make sure it’s set to high. Set the time to 9 minutes.
  7. When the cooking cycle has finished, allow the pot to sit for 5 minutes, and then do a quick release by moving the valve to Venting.

Notes

You can make this recipe with fresh chicken breasts as well.  Set the cooking time to 7 minutes. Allow the pot to sit for 5 minutes, and then do a quick release by moving the valve to Venting.

This recipe was originally published in July 2018 and was updated in October 2019.