I recently accidentally ended up with a bag of frozen chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts when I was planning to use for a chicken chili verde casserole.
At first I was a little disappointed for grabbing the wrong bag, but since I regularly make frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot, I knew I could easily make instant pot frozen chicken tenders too.
I realized that not only do I love cooking with frozen chicken tenders, I actually prefer cooking with them when I needed shredded or chopped chicken for a recipe.
Here’s why using instant pot frozen chicken tenders for recipes is so amazing:
- Frozen chicken costs less than fresh
- Frozen chicken tenders cost less than frozen chicken breasts
- Chicken breasts are often irregular sizes whereas chicken tenders are a uniform size
- Using your Instant Pot or a pressure cooker to cook frozen chicken tenders makes them really moist and ideal whether you need them sliced in a recipe or shredded.
Chicken Tenders Instant Pot Ingredients and Supplies:
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2.5 lb bag of frozen chicken tenders (we used the Trader Joe’s frozen chicken tenderloin)
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
An instant pot
How to make Instant Pot Chicken Tenderloins
Instant pot frozen chicken tenders cook up lickety-split and I know will become a recipe you use time and time again for salads, casseroles, soups, and other meal favorites.
Start by pouring 1 cup of chicken broth into the bottom of the instant pot or pressure cooker. You won't need to insert your rack for this recipe.
If I was using fresh chicken I’d add a little more liquid, but since these are frozen you only need 1 cup of broth.
Definitely do not use less than 1 cup of broth since that’s the minimum needed to allow your pressure cooker to create the steam and pressure needed to properly cook the chicken.
Add the frozen chicken tenders to your Instant Pot or pressure cooker, I love to use long-handled rubber tip tongs for the job.
You might also hear these called chicken tenderloin and those terms (chicken tenders or chicken tenderloin) can be used interchangeably.
Turn your Instant Pot to Manual or Pressure cook (depending on your IP model).
Close and tighten the pressure cooker lid and cook the chicken for 6 minutes on high.
Once the cooking time is done, do a natural release for 5 minutes and then remove the lid.
Remove the chicken tenders from the Instant Pot and let it cool slightly before slicing or shredding the chicken.
Shredding Instant Pot Chicken Tenders
While you can definitely shred the chicken tenders with a fork or even something like these nifty meat claws, if you have either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, you can quickly and perfectly shred the chicken in under 30 seconds.
Who knew shredding chicken could be so fast and easy?
Chicken Tenders Instant Pot Storage
While you might not need an entire bag of frozen chicken tenders for the recipe you’re making, it’s so easy to get them cooked all at once and then store the remaining cooked chicken in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for later use.
Freezing shredded chicken is super easy and a great way to keep extra on hand when you need it for a last-minute recipe.
To freeze shredded chicken :
Put the chicken in quart size freezer bags and squeeze the air out of the bag to help it last as long as possible. Frozen shredded chicken should keep for about 2 months.
We also LOVE to use our Seal-a-Meal to store pre-cooked frozen chicken! Vacuum sealed chicken pieces will last in the freezer for about 9 months.
Cooking instant pot chicken tenders from frozen is such an easy and economical way to have extra chicken on hand whenever you need it for a recipe. Let us know how things work for you and your pressure cooker!
Other Recipes You'll Love:
More favorites from Whole Lotta Yum
- Mexican Shrimp Salad
- Bone In Skin On Chicken Thighs Air Fryer
- Country Ribs Instant Pot
- Oven Ribs
- Air Fryer Turkey Breast Bone In
- Air Fry Chicken Tenders
- Best Egg Drop Soup Recipe
- Pork Ribs Dry Rub
- Recipe for Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
Danielle Witzigman says
Tip for 8 quart Instant pot. Did 2 cups of the chicken broth, eight chicken tenderloins 1/2 inch thick seasoned with lemon pepper from frozen, cooked on high for six minutes, did natural release for 15 minutes turned out perfect
I did 4 tenderloins and they were over cooked. Their temperature all were over 200 degrees. Yes they were frozen. I used a rack.
It's possible 4 tenders weren't enough in the pot. We used a bag of chicken tenders for recipe testing which was 2+ lb. Or it's possible your chicken tenders were smaller than the ones I'd used.
Cendy Knight says
Recommendation on time if you double the amount of tenders? I have a 4.8lbs package.
Sharlette R Madison-Gress says
I don't see where you say to use the salt and pepper. Are you adding it to the pot or using it after cooking?
Does the salt and pepper just get added to the frozen chicken in the pot before cooking?
I followed the recipe exactly as described and the chicken tenders were only partially cooked when I opened the instapot. Any variances on timing that should be considered?
It's possible they were a little larger than the brand used in the recipe, or it could be a difference in pressure cooker model? Or did it not natural release and a quick release was done instead? I would suggest putting the chicken tenders back in the instant pot for one more minute. if they're still a little raw on the inside.
Would the recipe change for the instant pot duo mini (3 qts)?
I don't believe so! I'm pretty sure it would still be the same cooking time.