Instant Pot-Cooking Chicken for the Week in 22 minutes

Instant pot chicken is going to save you time, money, and effort to get a delicious meal on your table so you have time for life! If you’re looking for a simple way to prepare boneless skinless chicken breasts fast, take a look at this… chicken cooked in the pressure cooker for chopping or shredding chicken for delicious tender chicken to use in many recipes.

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This post will help you get meals on the table fast all week long.

I show you how to easily cook and shred chicken and give you a dozen great recipes to use the chicken in as well.

I just love it when I’ve planned ahead for the week and have all the dinners in mind I want to make.

Often that doesn’t happen, but let’s pretend it happens every week.


This is my new TIME SAVER.

Cook the chicken you need all at once.

Sounds simple enough, right. But what if you haven’t planned out your weeks’ meals and just want to incorporate chicken into most of your meals, great! That is where my TIME SAVER tip really comes in handy.

I cook 6 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts in my traditional stovetop pressure cooker in 22 minutes. Yes, you heard me right, they were all finished cooking and ready to be added to the many many options of meals I was about to make this week.


You can use this same instruction for boneless skinless chicken thighs as well, chicken thighs are more tender than chicken breasts so use which you prefer.

I have instructions on the new electric Instant Pot BELOW

This idea is great for the weeks when you will be CRAZY at dinnertime.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker… Place the chicken on a baking sheet covered with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees. If the chicken is really thick, filet it so it’s thinner and cooks quicker. But for tender shredded chicken you are looking for the chicken to be cooked a little longer (but not at a high temp as that would make it tough) so give it maybe 10 more minutes if you have thick chicken, or are finding it’s tough to shred. Keeping the chicken covered when you remove it from the oven for 15 minutes will help steam the chicken and keep it tender, so it’s best to let it rest before trying to shred it.

Alternatively, you can use a slow cooker to cook the chicken, check out my post on the slow cooker method HERE.


Instant Pot Chicken Cooking time


I used a stovetop pressure cooker for 20 years, this is the one I use.

UPDATE: using an electric pressure cooker- INSTANT POT

I now use an electric pressure cooker an INSTANT POT.

I purchased a 6 quart Instant Pot 9 in 1. It’s simple to use and I’m happy it doesn’t need monitoring like the traditional stovetop version I previously used.

With the electric version, you do not need as much water as you’re able to seal the steam inside while it’s cooking. The stovetop version releases steam continuously as it cooks. So for 3 lbs of chicken, only 1 cup of water is needed, as the steam does not release like on the older versions when cooking.

 Since the electric version stores up the steam, it cooks quicker than the stovetop version. For every 2-3 lbs of chicken, I set the pressure cooker to 6 minutes (it takes time to come to pressure so it’s always cooked when I release the steam) for 4-6 lbs I set it to 10 minutes.

 You can do a quick release or allow the pressure to come down on its own for the chicken. The chicken cooks best if it’s the same size, so if you have very large or thick chicken breasts, cut them in half lengthwise before putting them in the instant pot.

I do a quick release if I’m looking for the chicken to be cut into chunks, but if I want to shred it, I most often allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes, then do a quick release if any pressure if left.

If you want the chicken to shred easily cooking the chicken for 12 minutes will the internal temperature higher and that means the chicken will be cooked a little longer and be able to break apart and shred easily.

If you want the chicken to be cut into chunks, 10 minutes is good. Allow the chicken to cook a few minutes, then cut it with a knife into chunks.

I place 6 pounds of boneless skinless chicken into my pressure cooker with 4 cups water. (note there is no need to use this much water in an electric pressure cooker as the steam does not release as you cook it)

The water is just coming over the cooling rack in the pressure cooker, that way the chicken isn’t sitting in the water and I have plenty of chicken stock when I’m done.

It takes 10 minutes for it to come to the proper pressure and I cook it for 12 minutes with the pressure regulator rocking high.

I then place all the chicken into my KitchenAid mixer and turn it on high for about 30 seconds and it is then all shredded. No standing there with two forks shredding it until my hands hurt anymore.

Now want some meal ideas for all this chicken,

Shredded chicken would go in any of these meals nicely…






To make it easy I package 2 cups of shredded chicken into quart-sized plastic bags. They can be frozen or kept in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

Don’t forget you will also have 4 cups of chicken broth, you can use it to add to sauces…


Pasta Fagioli


or even a

Chicken Pot Pie

the options are endless and I will have a few new recipes with shredded chicken to share with you soon!

Another GREAT post on cooking chicken for the week is my post on How and Why I cook chicken for the week all at once.


The Instant Pot: saves you time, money, and effort to enjoy life!

You’ll save time, its fast cooking tender chicken for a wide variety of recipes, it’ll save you money, you can buy larger portions of chicken and cook at once to use for many meals which is cost-effective and will save you from making dinner each day, and you’ll have more time and energy to enjoy life!

shredding chicken


  1. So I don’t have a pressure cooker (although it I love the quick cooking idea) but shredding the chicken with the mixer? Mind. Blown. I’m putting that one with “why didn’t I think of that”. 🙂

  2. Great post! I will be using the KA trick to shred the chicken next time I cook up a batch. Having the chicken done ahead makes such a difference in meal prep and it is so moist in the pressure cooker.

    I will be adding chicken lettuce wraps to the list of meals.

    1. Wow — what a dream it was to shred the chicken from my new pressure cooker with my Kitchen Aid. Thanks for a life changing post 🙂 My son said the shredded chicken would be great on a chicken Caesar because you’d get chicken in every bite instead of just a few. Tonight it’s chicken tacos and chicken enchilada soup.

  3. I have lots of kitchen appliances, but one that I don’t have is a pressure cooker, although I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I’d love to get one – thanks for sharing how you use it make chicken!

    1. I use the flat paddle to shred beef or chicken.The one in the photograph, I have two one white and one silver. The mixer comes with the white version.

  4. Hi Diane-I have the same pressure cooker that you do and love it. Thanks so much for sharing the great idea and the fantastic sounding recipes to give that chicken a home.

    I’m using my pressure cooker more and more these days-it sure is a time saver.

  5. I just started doing this for a week’s worth of meals by cooking it over the weekend. How long would you say I can keep the shredded chicken in the fridge before I would need to start freezing it? TIA!

    1. The cooked chicken will lasts about a week. If I know I’m not going to use all of it in a week, I freeze it as soon as I realize this.

  6. When you say ” The water is just coming over the cooling rack in the pressure cooker, that way the chicken isn’t sitting in the water and I have plenty of chicken stock when I’m done.” do you mean you sit the chicken on the little grill rack looking thing that came with the pressure cooker for steaming? I have the newwave 5 in 1 pressure cooker.

  7. I love doing this. I have a 6 qt electric pressure cooker and live how quick it does chicken (and roasts). We shred the chicken with the KA also. My kids used to hate being me shred but now they are mice than happy to user the KA to do it. I’ll have to try adding a little more water when I do my chicken to get plenty of stock. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Diane- I just cae aross your blog today on pinterest- I have a question for you- you say above that you place 6 pounds of boneless skinless chicken into my pressure cooker with 4 cups water. The water is just coming over the cooling rack in the pressure cooker, that way the chicken isn’t sitting in the water and I have plenty of chicken stock when I’m done.
    What is a cooling rack – I have seen a trivet but putting 4 cups water will not keep the chicken above the water level.

    secondly I dont have a kitchen aid – I have another electric grinder can i use it for shredding the chicken – that is a wonderful idear of yours

    1. Hello, my pressure cooker has a rack it rests slightly above the bottom of the pan. It has holes in it.It’s ok if some of the water is touching the chicken and it will depend on the size of your pressure cooker and how wide it is as to whether or not the water will be on the chicken. I don’t think it’s curtail either way. If you use a pressure cooker, use your best judgement.
      I’m not sure how the electric meat grinder would be as I haven’t used one. I prefer the chicken shredded not ground, you can shred it with two forks or slice it finely if you prefer.
      Thanks for your questions, I hope my answers are helpful.

  9. Diane I have a prestige pressure cooker which has a trivet and if you pour 1 cup of water in the cooker on the trivet the trivet would be below the water level and the chicken would be sitting in the water
    is there a picture on the website of the cooling rack that you mentioned

  10. How many inches above the bottom of your cooker will the cooling rack rest my trivet touches the botto so the chicken will be submerged in the water

    1. I think it will be fine if they are in the water. My rack is about about an inch above bottom I believe.

  11. Hi Diane. I followed your instructions today and my chicken turned out great and shredding it worked perfectly! I couldn’t believe how quickly the KitchenAid shredded it. I had serious doubts that it would even work, but it worked like a charm. Thank you so much!

  12. Thank you so much for this recipe. I have been using my pressure for decades, but have never made this. I am getting ready for a work team and needed shredded chicken breast and I usually buy it in the cans at Sam’s. What a money saver this is! Bought the chicken on sale, came right home and cooked the chicken in the pressure cooker (do you cool immediately or let the pressure drop on its own accord?) and then shredded! About half the cost of buying the cans!! I’m also cooking a pork loin and will try to shred it in the Kitchen Aid. Thank you so much for your wonderful ideas!!

    1. I cool the pressure cooker with water, it seems like I’m always in a hurry 🙂 and I do pork spare ribs in the pressure cooker and they are also a family favorite. Yes it is a HUGE money saver to buy, cook and shred chicken your self vs. buying it already done, and it tastes better too. Glad you liked it.

  13. I also cook a whole (bone-in) chicken which is sometimes on sale really cheap, in my crockpot. It usually lasts us for two dinners and a lunch or two and it’s as easy as adding herbs, the chicken and either chicken stock and/or a little butter to the crock pot.

  14. What a great idea. I was given a pressure cooker pot but it is a small one. Do you have any recipes that I could use in the smaller pot, For example could I do this chicken recipe in my cooker.?

    1. what size is your pressure cooker? You can adjust most recipes to accommodate the size pressure cooker you have.

    2. it is the small 4 qt one. This all new to me and I know I can do a cornish hen, rice, vegetables . Thanks for answering.

    3. I think you’ll be able to put up to 3lbs of chicken breasts in a 4 qt pressure cooker with about 2 cups water to recreate the chicken I made in this post.
      Here are some more recipes you’ll be able to make in a 4qt pressure cooker.
      You can cut this recipe in 1/2
      Here are more recipes to use shredded chicken in

  15. I am always making chicken and this will save me a TON of time, thanks so much, I see more recipes I’ll be using it in too.

  16. Dianne, getting back to cooking chicken in pressure cookers, I have a good old fashion Presto stove top one. I cannot for the life of me find a recipe for cooking chicken thighs in one. All recipes are for “Instant pots”. Can you please find me a recipe for cooking chicken thighs in my Presto stove top pressure cooker. If you do, I will follow you forever. Thx Paula

    1. Hi Paula,
      Most “Instant Pot” recipes are easily adaptable if they call for chicken breast and you want to use chicken thighs. If you are using boneless skinless the time is 12 minutes. I used a Presto stovetop pressure cooker for years before getting the newer electrical type. If you’re using the bone in I’d add 5 minutes. Were you looking for a more specific recipe? A particular flavor. You can add what you like, garlic and onion, or soy sauce, and some brown sugar. Let me know if you need more info, I’d be happy to help! Feel free to email me with any more questions [email protected]

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