Instant Pot™ Frozen Turkey Breast Recipe for Thanksgiving (No Need for Thawing!) by Melissa Vickers

Poultry Holidays Dinner
7 months ago

Instant Pot™ Frozen Turkey Breast Recipe for Thanksgiving (No Need for Thawing!)

This week marked the second of three Thanksgivings we’re having spread over six weeks or so – I guess we are making up for lost time during COVID! This time I decided to try using my Instant Pot™ to cook the turkey breast ... frozen. What a game changer!

I hate cooking a whole bird. I don’t like dealing with the carcass afterwards, and we really don’t care about dark meat, and even when my kids were still here, nobody really cared about drumsticks. So the little 3-pound  turkey breasts have been our standard for years. I’ve roasted them in the oven and I’ve cooked them in the slow cooker, but never with a frozen bird or in the Instant Pot™. Success!!

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes plus 10 minutes to rest
Total Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced in approximately 3/4-inch slices
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 frozen boneless turkey breast, about 3 pounds (I used Butterball, one Savory Herb and one Cajun)

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Place frozen turkey breast under running warm water for 3 to 4 minutes to loosen gravy packet from turkey. Place gravy packet in a medium bowl of hot water to completely thaw while seasoning the turkey and sautéing vegetables.
  2. Turn Instant Pot™ to the sauté function. Add butter and melt. Add onions and celery and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onions are translucent, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth and stir, scraping any bits off bottom of pot. Add gravy packet, stir to combine. Turn off the pot.
  3. Place trivet in bottom of pot and place turkey on top of trivet. Place lid on pot and lock, setting steam release knob to “sealing.” Cook on manual setting for 65 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. Once you can remove the lid, check the temperature with a meat thermometer and ensure the bird is cooked to at least 165 degrees F.
  4. Remove turkey breast from pot and transfer to a cutting board. Cover completely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes while you make the gravy.
  5. Remove trivet. Using a large slotted spoon (an Asian strainer works great!), remove vegetables.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and water until smooth.
  7. Turn the pot to sauté and allow broth to come to a boil. Slowly pour in the cornstarch mix while stirring, until desired thickness is reached. (Gravy will thicken as it sits.) Remove netting from turkey and slice.

Note: f you want more seasoning on the breast than comes with it, you can make a mixture of sage, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc. Rub the bird with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and rub the spice mixture all over the bird before cooking.

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Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

Instant Pot™ $50 & Up
Chicken Broth $1 & Up
Cornstarch $1 & Up

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Donna John
What a great idea!!
Elisa Schmitz
What a genius move, Melissa Vickers ! I don't like dealing with the turkey carcass, either. Might need to try this recipe (and even when it's not Thanksgiving)!

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