Looking for a fast way to cook frozen chicken? Today I’m sharing my foolproof recipe to bake chicken. No need to thaw chicken for this recipe. Learn how to safely oven bake chicken, cook frozen chicken in your slow cooker, and tips for cooking frozen chicken in your pressure cooker.
If I had to point a finger at where I began to realize the beauty in make-ahead meals, I would point it to my bag of chicken I cook each week for our family.
This easy cooking tutorial takes just a few moments of effort to have a container full of prepared meat for sandwiches, wraps, or to be eaten on it’s own with veggies and fruit.
The best part is that with my easy technique, you can prepare chicken in bulk for your week right from it’s frozen state.
For our family of four, I prepare three pounds of chicken each week (one frozen bag of chicken breasts from ALDI, to be exact!) and we usually plow through these three pounds by Wednesday or Thursday of the week.
I never have any leftover because it is my go-to for making wraps for my husband to take for his lunch and it is the go-to for my kid’s busy activity nights.
I started making a habit of taking the chicken out first when I brought in my groceries and getting it roasting as I put the rest of the food away.
For five minutes of prep work, it has saved us at least a hundred bucks a month. Just think how much I am saving by eating at home instead of a Panera visit!
Before we begin, here are a few commonly asked questions about cooking frozen chicken!
What are the guidelines for safely cooking frozen chicken?
It is important to follow the USDA guidelines when preparing poultry. The USDA, specifically states, “Do not cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker or in the microwave; thaw it before cooking.”
Chicken can be cooked though from the frozen state in the oven or on the stove. Expect that your cooking time will be about 50% longer, if you do not thaw your chicken first.
Can you put frozen chicken in your crockpot?
No, the USDA advises NOT to put frozen chicken in your slow cooker because the internal temperature does not rise fast enough to meet food safety standards.
How long is frozen chicken good for?
A bag of frozen chicken, from your supermarket, should last approximately 9 months, according to the USDA.
Prepared cooked chicken though should be used within three months of freezing.
What is the safe internal temperature of chicken?
The safe internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius). A meat or instant-read thermometer is always your best guide. This is my favorite meat thermometer.
How long can you keep cooked chicken in the refrigerator?
Properly stored, cooked chicken will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Glass containers, with airtight lids, are my favorite for storing. When taking to potlucks, I rely on these inexpensive plastic containers for transporting.
3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen
Here are 3 techniques to cook frozen chicken breasts!
How to Bake Frozen Chicken
I have had people ask me at potlucks and gatherings how I bake my frozen chicken. After testing different temperatures of cooking frozen chicken and spice combinations, I am thrilled to share my favorite recipe.
This is the recipe I rely upon for topping salads, making chicken wraps, or as an accompaniment to a brown rice bowl.
Spread your frozen chicken breasts on two cookie sheets.
Don’t love the clean-up?
Consider lining the cookie sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick heavy duty aluminum foil.
Personally, I love these parchment squares because they make the whole clean-up process a little easier..
Brush or drizzle your chicken breasts with olive oil, salt generously, and finish with your favorite seasoning.
My secret ingredient (and this is no endorsement- just a HUGE fan!) is this Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic seasoning mix.
I found it in the spice aisle and it makes such a fantastic dry rub on the chicken that it tastes as good as anything you would get in a restaurant.
Since it is salt-free, I layer on the salt just the way I like and this helps to enhance the flavor of the chicken.
Baking frozen chicken is safe, according to the USDA.
How to Boil Frozen Chicken
Boiling chicken is another safe and effective way to prepare shredded chicken for your recipes. In a large pot, add a cup of chicken stock (or broth) and 4-5 frozen chicken breasts.
Bring this all to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until you have reached 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius).
Remember, if you are unsure if your chicken is done that a meat thermometer is a cook’s best friend.
How to Pressure Cook Frozen Chicken
You may recall my tutorial for preparing frozen chicken in your pressure cooker. My Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe is one of our most popular and is my favorite meal prep technique.
You can read a full tutorial on pressure cooking frozen chicken (or fresh chicken) in this post.
This recipe calls for 1 cup chicken broth on the bottom and resting seasoned frozen chicken on top.
Once again, cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast.
If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of cooking time at high pressure works great.
Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes.
Large pieces are best at 16 minutes.
Be sure to visit the entire tutorial to learn more.
Once the Instant Pot beeps, make sure your pressure cooker turns off (and doesn’t start the, “keep warm,” setting. Allow it to release naturally for ten minutes.
Once the ten minutes of pressure release are done, you can open the pot and shred your chicken.
I like to pour a bit of the chicken broth (or stock) on top to help the meat retain its moisture.
Bake Chicken Breasts From Frozen
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 8 servings
- 3 pounds frozen boneless chicken breasts
- Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Seasoning
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt & Pepper
- Preheat the oven for 375 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- Spread the frozen chicken breasts out over one or two cookie sheets.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken breasts and then sprinkle liberally with the seasoning mix, kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Allow the chicken to rest ten to fifteen minutes (to allow the juices to redistribute within the meat). Dice or shred for your recipes for the week.
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Looking for recipes that use shredded chicken? Check out these ideas!