Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Tenders are really easy to achieve time and time again! This post will walk you through exactly how to achieve tender & juicy shreddable or dice-able chicken tenders every time! Perfect for meal prep!
Instant Pot Chicken Tenders- Shredding, slicing or dicing!
Since receiving my first Instant Pot (from my mom! LOVE YOU!) I have cooked a lot of chicken. Especially once I started blogging, recipe development and recipe testing! I feel like I am constantly buying more chicken at the store!
I have cooked with both chicken breasts and chicken tenders. I have tested and perfected Chicken breasts, as you can see and get more details about it on my Instant Pot Chicken Breast Post.
I get asked all the time by readers why their chicken breasts didn’t turn out well, it’s either undercooked or rubbery or just plain not edible.
I go into a lot more detail in my Chicken Breast post, but we all know that chicken breasts are never the same size! I could get a package of A’s one day and the next the package could be DD’s! 😉 As you could imagine, a standard cook time across the board for all chicken breasts just doesn’t make sense.
It’s no wonder people have so many problems with them! In all of my recipes using chicken breasts, I always eliminate those variables so you can have consistent results time and time again.
Instant Pot Chicken Tenders > Chicken Breasts
Chicken Tenders though, are a different story! They come in a pretty standard size. Sure, one might be slightly smaller or larger than another, but nothing drastic like we see in chicken breasts.
This is one of the reasons I love cooking with chicken tenders! Set cook times WORK! I have tested and tested and tested. These times are perfect.
Not only is there no guess game, but I find that chicken tenders always come out so much more.. well.. TENDER! than chicken breasts do. Generally, I have a hard time pulling them out of the Instant Pot with a fork because they are just falling apart!
How to make Chicken Tenders in the Instant Pot
As with all Instant Pot recipes, you’ll need a thin liquid first and foremost. I like to use chicken broth to give the chicken a bit more flavor, but water would work if needed.
Then put all of your chicken tenders into the liquid. Pictured here, I use frozen but fresh will work too. (I’ll go over timing for each below.)
Season as you’d like, I usually use salt, pepper and sometimes some onion powder.
For frozen chicken tenders: Cook on Manual HIGH for 6 minutes, followed by a 6 minute NPR before turning the knob to release the pressure manually.
For fresh chicken tenders: Cook on Manual HIGH for 3 minutes, followed by a 6 minute NPR before turning the knob to release the pressure manually.
This is what the chicken tenders looked like after 6 minutes on HP with the 6 min NPR.
Can you believe how easy that is? Now it is time to decide whether you want to slice, dice or shred the chicken.
If you want to slice or dice the chicken, I suggest waiting 5-10 minutes to let the chicken cool a bit before slicing to insure nice, clean cuts.
If shredding the chicken, I suggest using you hand mixer! It works complete magic in a matter of seconds!
Using your Instant Pot Chicken Tenders for meal prep
One of my favorite ways to prepare for the craziness of life (and to help calm the anxiety of not having control of everything!) is to have chicken, cooked and prepped, ready to go in my freezer.
How many recipes have you found online that call for 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken? I know I’ve come across quite a few!
I like to cook an entire bag of chicken breasts in my Instant Pot at the beginning of the month. I then dice half and shred the other half before freezing for use within that month.
To freeze, let the diced or shredded chicken cool completely and then freeze in zip top bags. I usually measure out and place 2 cups of chicken in each bag.
I like to pull all of the air out of the bag. I then flatten the chicken so the bags will stack easily.
Once frozen, the chicken is ready whenever you need a quick and easy meal! When needed, simply pull out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes.
Or, you can run the baggie under hot water and you’ll have room temperature chicken in no time!
Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Tenders (Fresh or Frozen)
- 2 cups thin liquid chicken broth or water
- chicken tenders as many as you want, either fresh or frozen
- Pour the thin liquid into the liner of the Instant Pot.
- Place chicken tenders into the liquid.
- For fresh chicken tenders, cook on manual HIGH for 3 minutes followed by a 6 minute NPR.
- For frozen chicken tenders, cook on manual HIGH for 6 minutes followed by a 6 minute NPR.
- Your chicken is now ready to shred, dice or slice to use in your favorite recipe or to store in the freezer!