Instant Pot Frozen Chicken for Meal Prepping Shredded Chicken and Chicken Bone Broth in One Pot with No Extra Dishes (Instant Pot Whole Chicken Frozen)
Prepping a Whole Frozen Chicken & Bone Broth
One of the easiest ways to meal prep is to make a whole chicken’s worth of shredded chicken that is ready to go for future meals. You can use this for chicken tacos/bowls, pot pie, BBQ chicken sandwiches, fried rice….use your imagination! Each of those becomes much easier if you’ve got cooked chicken ready to go. And you can use the same instant pot to immediately make a batch of bone broth. It’s SO easy, and you’ll use the entire chicken this way! No waste, plus the best chicken broth. You’ll never want to go back! This is also a great way to prep chicken if you’re squeamish about raw chicken. You hardly handle it and there’s no countertop prep necessary.
Note: the chicken is seasoned very simply so that you can use it for ANY recipe. Also, if you’re new to the Instant Pot, remember to allow lots of time for the instant pot to come up to pressure, and time for the pressure release. 60 minutes of cook time actually is 2 to 2.5 hours. then additional time for the broth. But your active work time is under 10 minutes which is why I looooove to do this!
After the recipe, keep reading for meal tips, storage tips, and more.
Ingredients for Shredded Chicken
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Recipe Steps Part 1: Cooking the Whole Frozen Chicken
Step 1:Remove all packaging from chicken. Not only plastic wrap, but there may be butchers twine (string), and/or a packet inside of the chicken. If the neck is in the chicken that’s fine.
Step 2: Rinse the chicken in warm water to remove some of the ice. Sometimes you may not even see some of the packaging mentioned above until you do this!
Step 3: Put the chicken directly into the Instant pot. Do not worry if the chicken goes above the Max line, but do make sure that you can fit the lid on. I have a 6qt Instant Pot and haven’t had any be too big yet. If you’ve got an 8qt you shouldn’t have any issues.
Step 4: add about 1/4 cup of water to the instant pot. You don’t need as much as a normal recipe because the remaining ice will melt off the chicken.
Step 5: Season liberally with salt, pepper, and minced garlic (you can use garlic powder or granulated garlic if that’s all you have!) You want a layer on here so the seasoning gets all the way through.
Step 6: Cook on High Pressure for 60 mins and allow it to naturally release completely.
Step 7: Remove the chicken onto a platter or plate and shred chicken. As you shred, move the shredded pieces into a glass storage container to save. Any scraps, skin, bones, or “questionable” bits that don’ put straight back into the instant pot. They’ll make the broth great! After you’ve used the forks, I recommend using your hands to pull off the meat. You want to get ALL the meat off to use for meals.
Tip: a SUPER fast way to shred chicken is to use a Kitchen Aid with the paddle. Just be sure you only put in the “good meat” into here. You really don’t want to be mixing up the bones and/or the skin and fat.
Step 8: Pour about 1 cup of the “juices” from the instant pot back onto the shredded chicken. This will keep it nice and moist for your future meals. If you skip this you risk dry, chewy chicken. You can add a bit more, but you don’t want it sitting in broth so use your judgement.
Step 9: Eat as is, or add into your favorite recipe. You’ve seasoned it simply, so you could make an Asian stir fry one night, then enchiladas the next. It’s all up to you! Now onto the broth…..
Ingredients for Chicken Bone Broth
*I always recommend saving veggie scraps, things like the bottom of celery, the parts you peel off onions, the ends of zucchini etc. These things add in flavor and nutrients into chicken broth. It’s totally okay if you don’t have them, but for next time start saving them! I have a gallon ziploc bag in my freezer at all times for this. It also makes kitchen cleanup super fast!
Recipe Steps Part 2: Making Chicken Bone Broth
Step 1: In your instant pot should be the entire chicken carcass and all the cooking juices. DON’T pour these out. You want all that flavor! Just leave everything right in the instant pot.
Step 2: Add in herbs, salt, pepper, and veggie scraps if you have them. Fill with water up to the max line. Do NOT go above the max line for broth.
Step 3: Cook on High Pressure for 60 mins. You can quick release pressure or allow to naturally release. I just deal with it when I have the time to., so that usually means I let it naturally release.
Step 4: Get a large mixing bowl, and put the mesh strainer over it. Pour the broth through the strainer to remove any veggie scraps or chicken.
***IF you want to do multiple batches, you can! Add in more herbs, salt, and pepper, full up to max, then pressure cook for 2-3 hrs for the 2nd batch, then 4hrs for the 3rd bath. Between batches, break up the bones (literally snap them in half or stab with a fork) to allow more collagen to get into the broth.
Step 5: Pour into large mason jars and refrigerate for no more than 7-10 days. OR…..
Step 6: To freeze for cooking, place a silicone muffin tin on top of a cookie sheet (it’s MUCH easier to move into the freezer), then fill each muffin tin 3/4 full. Then freeze until solid.
Step 7: pop out the pucks of broth and save in a gallon bag. Repeat until you’ve frozen all the broth.
Notes & Substitutions
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Hi, my name is Rachel Smith. I’m a personal finance nerd, Aldi connoissuer, book lover, yoga enthusiast, and budgeting wiz. I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska but currently call Michigan home. I want to help people with their finances and eating healthy on a tight budget (no matter what your cost-of-living area is!)