Easiest Ways to Cook Frozen Chicken

Easiest Ways to Cook Frozen Chicken

It’s late and time for dinner, but you just realized you forgot to unthaw your frozen chicken. You quickly look through your freezer but the only food you can find is your frozen chicken. For certain people, keeping frozen convenience foods is not an option; whether that be a lifestyle choice or a budget choice. If that’s the case, you have two options. Either cut your losses and order takeout or find the easiest way to cook frozen chicken.

But how can you cook frozen chicken? Your mother always taught you that it had to be unthawed first, so is cooking frozen chicken even possible? Not only is cooking frozen chicken possible, but it’s also surprisingly simple and easy to do.

Can You Freeze Baked Beans? Find it Here!

So, the next time you come home and realize you forgot to unthaw your chicken, don’t freak out. Instead, follow this simple guide that will teach you how to cook frozen chicken. These are my favorite ways to cook frozen chicken.

Cooking Frozen Chicken Breasts in an Instant Pot

Instant pots are the latest trend in the food world. Instant pots offer their customers extreme convenience as well as the option to cook almost any kind of food. What’s even more surprising is that many people actually prefer the taste of chicken that has been prepared in an instant pot! Using an instant pot is extremely simple, even for newbie chefs. Here’s how to cook frozen chicken breasts in an instant pot.

Follow these Instructions:

  1. Place your desired amount of chicken breasts into the instant pot. Then, pour chicken broth or water over the chicken breasts until they are slightly saturated.
  2. Season your chicken breasts to taste. You could use salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, or any spices you enjoy.
  3. Place the lid back on the instant pot. Make sure you turn the steam release valve to the “sealing position,” and then press the “manual” button. Depending on the amount of chicken, set the instant pot for a cook time between 10-20 minutes
  4. Once the chicken has been cooked, allow the instant pot to release pressure for 10 minutes. Then, carefully turn the steam release valve to the venting position. Once all of the pressure has been released, you can open the lid.
  5. Use a thermometer to verify that the chicken has reached 165°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can cut it into the thickest part of the chicken breast and make sure that it isn’t pink.

Cooking Time:

  • Frozen Chicken Breasts – 10 to 15 minutes
  • For Frozen Chicken Thighs/Wings – 12 to 15 minutes
  • Frozen Chicken Tenders – 5 to 6 minutes

That’s it! Once your chicken has reached 165 degrees F it’s ready to be eaten and enjoyed.

Cooking Frozen Chicken in the Oven

If you don’t have an instant pot or are intimidated by using one. You can always cook frozen chicken in the oven and receive amazing results! Follow these quick steps to learn how to cook frozen chicken in the oven.

Follow these Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the frozen chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Generously season your chicken to taste. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your seasoning! If you’re planning on adding a sauce, I would recommend waiting to add the sauce until the last 10 minutes.
  3.  Bake the chicken for roughly 30 to 45 minutes. When it’s finished, use a thermometer to verify that the chicken has reached 165°F.

Cooking Time:

  • Frozen Chicken Breasts – 30 to 45 minutes
  • For Frozen Chicken Thighs – 65 to 75 minutes
  • Frozen Chicken Tenders – 25 to 35 minutes
  • Frozen Chicken Wings – 45 to 55 minutes

Cooking Frozen Chicken on the Stovetop

Yes, you can still cook frozen chicken on the stovetop. It just takes some extra precautions. For example, I would recommend that you simmer the chicken rather than sauté it. Because the chicken is frozen, sautéing the chicken runs the risk of a charred exterior and an undercooked interior. If you’re interested in cooking frozen chicken on a stovetop, follow these short steps.

Follow these Instructions:

  1. Season your chicken as desired. Then, place it in a pot.
  2. Cover the chicken with chicken broth or sauce. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the chicken for 40 to 65 minutes (the exact time will depend on the type of chicken you’re cooking as well as the amount).
  4. Use the thermometer to verify the chicken has reached 165°F.

Cooking Time:

  • Frozen Chicken Breasts – 40 to 50 minutes
  • For Frozen Chicken Thighs – 65 to 75 minutes
  • Frozen Chicken Wings – 55 to 70 minutes

Key Takeaways

  1. Use a thermometer. If I haven’t stressed this point enough, let me reiterate it again. Your chicken needs to reach a temperature of 165°F in order to be safe for consumption. You do not want to deal with the nasty side effects of eating undercooked chicken.
  2. Don’t cook frozen chicken in a microwave or slow cooker. A microwave will cook the frozen chicken too quickly, which will result in the exterior being finished long before the inside has reached 165°F. On the other hand, a slow cooker will cook the frozen chicken too slowly. If the chicken spends too long at a temperature between 40°F and 140°F, the chicken could grow bacteria and become too dangerous for consumption.
  3. Cool the chicken before serving. After you’ve finished cooking your chicken, make sure you let it sit for 5 minutes or so in order to let the chicken cool down. I know it smells amazing, but the wait will be worth it and your mouth will thank you!


There you have it! If you’re short on time or forgot to unthaw your frozen chicken, there are several simple ways to cook your frozen chicken. As a general rule of thumb, cooking frozen chicken takes about 50% more time to cook than defrosted chicken. This is an easy rule to remember when trying to calculate the time it will take to cook frozen chicken.

For an added life hack, I like to prepare some pasta while the chicken cooks. Once the chicken is fully cooked, slice it up and add it to the prepared pasta with a dressing of your choice (I personally prefer to add pesto).

Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to cook frozen chicken, you may choose to never defrost your chicken again. The next time you’re on your way home and you think about stopping by a drive-thru and grabbing fast-food chicken, remember the chicken breasts that are waiting for you at home in the freezer.

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