How many times have you forgotten to take the frozen chicken out of the freezer? Forgetting to remove the chicken from the freezer is probably the worst cooking-related mistake that can ruin a delicious meal.
Don’t worry about the hassle of cooking frozen chicken; there are three simple ways to do it in less than 40 minutes that will prevent your dinner from going horribly wrong.
Our Instant Pot is our go-to appliance for making chicken in the shortest amount of time possible; who can resist a delicious homemade dinner that only takes a few minutes to prepare? The oven and the air fryer both work well, and we’ll show you how to cook frozen chicken in an Instant Pot in the section below!
We have three quick and simple freezer-to-plate techniques that will turn your tough, crumbly frozen chicken into tender and juicy meat with little effort, whether you are craving pasta with creamy sauce or a crispy salad topper. We want to make sure you can quickly prepare dinner using frozen chicken!
Additionally, we’ve included some recipes that use frozen chicken. Here are a few of our favorites: Crescent Chicken Roll-Ups, Pizza with BBQ Chicken, and Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad.
The most conventional method of cooking frozen chicken is in the oven. Don’t worry if you don’t have an air fryer or an instant pot; you can still get flavorful, moist chicken. Although it takes a little longer than the others, this approach is effective.
The air fryer method cooks the chicken so well and is quicker than using an oven. You might not be able to fit as many chicken breasts in the basket of your air fryer as you could in an oven depending on its size. Three chicken breasts could fit in my air fryer. I like to top frozen chicken cooked in an air fryer with breadcrumbs, but you can omit them if you prefer.
My preferred method for cooking frozen chicken in the instant pot It turns out so moist and is ideal for slicing or shredding chicken. You will need a trivet for this method. Trivets are typically included with instant pots, but I misplaced mine and had to purchase one at Target. The chicken will essentially boil instead of steam if you place it directly into the broth or water without using a trivet, and the texture will be more rubbery. See the recipe card below for our instant pot method!.
Is It Safe to Cook Chicken from Frozen?
The USDA claims that you can safely cook frozen chicken breast as long as you abide by a few guidelines. First, make sure to allow your chicken to cook for at least twice as long as it would if it were thawed. For instance, a recipe that calls for cooking chicken for 20 minutes when it is thawed will take about 40 minutes to prepare when the chicken is still frozen. Second, never use this method with a large lump of chicken that has been frozen together; rather, use individual chicken pieces that can be spread out into an even layer to cook safely. Finally, check that the breasts have reached 165°F using an instant-read thermometer as you would with any chicken dish.
Additionally, chicken cooked from frozen is still delicious and will have the tender chicken texture we expect from breasts thanks to a few pantry staples. Although it won’t be as juicy as chicken that has properly thawed, it also won’t be inedible rubber.
Can I Cook Frozen Chicken in a Slow Cooker or Crock Pot?
The short answer is no, and I will explain why. The USDA advises against letting chicken sit in the “danger zone” for longer than two hours, whether it is raw or cooked. The “danger zone” is between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. It must either be kept warm at 140 degrees or in the refrigerator at a temperature lower than 40. The majority of crock pot recipes take longer than two hours, so the frozen chicken will spend too much time in the “danger zone.” Frozen chicken does not heat up quickly enough to reach 140 degrees before the two-hour mark as thawed chicken does.
Recipes You Can Make with Frozen Chicken
How long does it take to cook a frozen chicken breast?
- 30 to 45 minutes for frozen boneless chicken breasts weighing 4 to 6 ounces.
- 45 to 60 minutes for frozen chicken breasts (bone-in) weighing 6 to 8 ounces.
Can you cook frozen chicken breast without defrosting?
It’s great news that the USDA says it is completely safe, but keep in mind that cooking frozen chicken takes about 1.5 times longer than cooking thawed chicken.
How long does it take to bake frozen chicken breast at 400?
Bake frozen chicken breasts in a covered baking dish in a 400F oven for a total of 35 to 40 minutes. Uncover and season the chicken about halfway through baking time. Make sure the chicken breasts are arranged in the pan in a single layer.
How long does it take to cook a frozen chicken?
You should know that it will take roughly 50% longer than if you start with a chicken that is fully thawed as a general rule of thumb. Therefore, if roasting a 5-pound chicken normally takes 1 1/2 hours, it would take at least 2 hours and 15 minutes if it were frozen.