The "Oops! I Forgot to Thaw the Chicken" Dinner


Use your Instant Pot® to turn frozen chicken breasts, basmati rice, and whatever veggies you have on hand into a filling and delicious dinner on those nights when you don't have time to mess with thawing your chicken. This is the perfect recipe if you forgot to take out the chicken from the freezer. Every time I make this I am so happy with how tender and juicy the chicken is, as well as how perfect the rice comes out; fluffy, never mushy.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
4 servings


  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed

  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 carrots, sliced

  • 1 shallot, sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, sliced, or to taste

  • 2 (8 ounce) frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  1. Pour rinsed rice into the bottom of a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®). Stir in broth, olive oil, and salt. Add carrots, shallot, and garlic. Place frozen chicken breasts on top, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning over everything.

  2. Close and lock the lid. Select Poultry function, or high pressure, according to manufacturer's instructions; set timer for 12 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

  3. Release pressure using the natural-release method according to manufacturer's instructions for 5 minutes. Release any remaining pressure carefully using the quick-release method. Unlock and remove the lid. Check the temperature of the chicken breasts at the thickest section; an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

  4. Remove the chicken breasts and fluff the rice with a fork. Place the rice and vegetables on a plate. Top with chicken breasts and sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

Cook's Notes:

The chicken breasts should be separated and frozen. If they are frozen together, add an extra 1/4 cup liquid and increase cooking time by 5 minutes.

You can use any seasoning powder you prefer: Cajun, taco, curry. Any powdered mix will work.

I have only used brown basmati rice with this recipe. Using white rice will require adjusting cooking time and amount of liquid.

If the chicken breasts are not cooked through after the initial cook time, seal the lid and cook another 3 to 5 minutes, adding 1/4 cup liquid if needed.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

338 Calories
8g Fat
38g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 338
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 967mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 373mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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