Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana - Dump and Go Dinner

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Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana - Dump and Go Dinner

The Cook
4 Servings
6 Ingredients

This Instant Pot Chicken Parmigiana freezer recipe would be my claim to fame in the kitchen! It is a rich tomato sauce (that is so very simple to make), over browned chicken with Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Your family will think that you slaved away all day to make this one!

4 Servings
6 Ingredients


  • 1 pound quarter Chicken, Boneless Breasts
  • ⅓ cups Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • ⅛ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 ⅓ tablespoons Butter, Salted
  • 16 ounces Tomato Sauce
Serving Day Ingredients
  • 1 ⅓ cups Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded



  • Labels

Cooking Instructions

Freeze For Later Cooking Day Directions

Easy Assembly/Dump and Go

These directions help you cook or prepare this meal PRIOR to being frozen for serving later (see Serving Day Directions when you are ready to prepare it to eat).

Why would I want to freeze this?

  1. Divide chicken among indicated number of containers.
  2. Add parmesan cheese, garlic powder, butter and tomato sauce on top of chicken.
  3. Label and freeze.

Make From Frozen Serving Day Directions

Prog. Pressure Cooker

These directions help you cook or reheat this meal AFTER it's been frozen for when you are ready to eat it.

  1. Prep from frozen
  2. **Depending on your container size/shape and your serving size, you may need to adjust cooking times given as it is based on 4 servings frozen in indicated container.**
  3. Add frozen contents to inner pot.
  4. Lock lid into place and seal steam nozzle.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  6. Quick release pressure.
  7. Add mozzarella cheese and replace cover for 5 minutes.

Make It Now Cooking Directions

These directions are for cooking this recipe to serve immediately and NOT to freeze for later.

  1. **Due to the nature of pressure cooking there is always room for inconsistency. The times given here are based on 4 servings fresh. If you are using more servings you may need to increase your cooking time.**
  2. Place chicken in Instant Pot.
  3. Add parmesan cheese, garlic powder, butter and tomato sauce on top of chicken.
  4. Lock lid into place and seal steam nozzle.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  6. Quick release pressure.
  7. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, replace cover and let melt for 5 minutes.


Join the discussion
  1. This sounds yummy! Are these chicken tenders already breaded? It says breaded chicken in the description, but it doesn’t have a step for breading them.

    1. This recipe has been tested by our test cooks several times. The oil serves two purposes here. It helps to cook the chicken first, then it is mixed in with the tomato sauce and cheese to create a creamy component to the dish. Enjoy!

    2. Can jarred tomato sauce be used or is it too thick? I errored on the side of caution and put in 12 oz jarred sauce and one cup of cooking wine. But for the future, does jarred sauce build up enough pressure? Thanks

  2. it no longer says breaded in the description – wish I would’ve read the comments before buying 5 lbs of chicken tenders. I’m browning them and the oil is quite hot and splattering everywhere, even though I have it on the “normal” saute heat setting. Not sure if it’s smart to put all the oil in at the beginning when using fresh pieces of chicken?

    1. This is our recommendation but you’re welcome to reduce the amount of oil if you like! We appreciate your feedback!

  3. I’ve read some places that additional water or broth needs to be added if using jar marinara sauce because the IP doesn’t come to pressure with some red sauces… I plan to use Barilla Marinara sauce. Will this be ok or should I add some water or broth?

    1. We’re a little biased but we think this recipe is wonderful as is 🙂 It’s also been tested multiple times (all our recipes are before they’re published). However, you’re welcome to add additional liquid if you think necessary. If you do, we’d love to hear how it turns out! Happy cooking!

  4. On the meal prep sheets it has that the chicken breasts should be cut into 4 pieces. Would it be possible to update the ingredients to reflect this? Last time I did it in the prep but had the recipe put together before I realized I wasn’t to use the whole breasts.

    1. Missy, ingredients are listed as whole items on the shopping list because that is how you would purchase them. We do not separate them or add prep notes there to prevent confusion in your grocery shopping trip. We leave that step at the prep instructions because that it how you should prepare that ingredient. We are so sorry for the confusion! We hope it still turned out okay! Just be sure to check your prep instructions first prior to cooking or preparing the meal for the freezer!

  5. This sounds great but I’m a little confused. I want to prepare this for the freezer. Are you using frozen breaded chicken tenders which you brown and then freeze again or raw chicken tenders?

      1. I am also confused about this. The recipe description at the top says “breaded” but there’s no sign of bread crumbs in the ingredients. Was there a previous version that used breaded frozen chicken?

      2. I’m confused about the amount of chicken breasts this recipe calls for. In the above comment you say 3lbs but in the ingredients list it says “1 pound quarter Chicken, Boneless Breasts”. I’m not sure what this means.

        1. I think that was referring to something else (I have edited that response). For this recipe, (serving 4), it is 1 pound of chicken breasts, quartered. So, each breast would be cut into 4 pieces so that it cooks more evenly in the IP. Hope that helps!

  6. The breaded part is missing from the ingredients. I too should have read the comments. I browned the chicken breast in considerable less oil and used tomato sauce, not marinara sauce. I love your recipes and have been using them for years. Can you please update this page so the information is correct?

  7. I often have frozen chicken breasts on hand. Do I have to do the saute step or is there a quick option for frozen breasts?

    1. You don’t have to saute at all, but it does help to keep the meat from drying out some. If you try it, let us know how it works out!

    2. I will be trying using the frozen chicken tender soon. Did you try using the Frozen Chicken? If you did, how did it turn out?

  8. Love the recipe, thank you. Mine scorched a little bit of the bottom; can you tell me how you avoided that????

  9. Are there guidelines for adjusting the time for increased quantities in the Instant Pot? I’ll be freezing a number of containers and will want to cook 2 at a time from frozen. I’m new to all this. Thanks!

  10. I am still confused. CAN I bread the chicken? WIll that work? I don’t feel like it is truly CHicken Parmesan without the breading.

    1. Tami, you could definitely bread the chicken, but I’m not sure the breading would hold up under pressure cooking. I think it would get soggy, which is probably why this recipe doesn’t call for it. If you decide to try it, be sure to let us know how it turns out!

  11. I made this as directed for dinner tonight. It was amazing! Thank you, because good recipes are hard to find. My family loved it!

  12. Did anyone have issues with getting a “burn” message on their instant pot? This pot is new to me but I followed he directions and am not sure what I’m doing wrong. Stopped it and opened it a few times to retry (as manual instructed) but kept getting the error.

    1. Kaitlin, we are so sorry you had trouble! “Burn” shows up when something has burned and scorched the bottom of the pot due to an insufficient amount of liquid required to come to pressure. It usually won’t never come to pressure in it’s current condition. You’ll have to open the pot, scrape the bottom of the bowl and clean off the scorched or burnt parts. You should be able to start again by adding more liquid. In this instance, we might suggest adding more tomato sauce. If you still don’t have success you may consider adding 1/4 cup of water. You just want to be careful not to dilute your meal too much. You may even consider reducing the cooking time as well to prevent over cooking. We hope this helps Kaitlin!

    2. Mine had that message, but I ignored it and let it go ahead and cook. Apparently a small portion of the chicken had burned on the bottom. The chicken was fully cooked, but the meal itself was gross. Waaaay too much tomato sauce, which ended up greasy from the lean chicken breasts. My family gave this a thumbs down. 🙁

      1. I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t turn out for you. Thanks for letting us know. I’ve passed this onto our Menu Builder team for review.

  13. I think the dish is very tasty, but I also had the problem with the pasta burning to the bottom of the pot a bit, not so much as to ruin it, thankfully. Anyway, I wonder what else could have been done to prevent that from happening?

    1. We’re sorry that this recipe didn’t come out exactly as you’d hoped. This recipe has been thoroughly tested by our test cooks, but we understand that sometimes others still have a different experience at home. If the burning occurred while browning the chicken, you could try setting the saute function on a lower setting next time. Thanks for your feedback!

  14. I’ve only checked two of the chicken recipes, but neither has any nutritional information. This is discouraging, as I am keeping track of calories and will not plan to prepare meals which don’t contain that info.

    Is it only your designated low calorie meals which have nutritional info?

  15. I just tried making this from frozen, following your directions, and the chicken came out raw in the center. It’s back in for another go around but I’d love to know what the real from-frozen cook time should be since I have a second one in the freezer.

    1. I’m sorry for your frustration. Sometimes with these meals, if it’s been frozen into a solid cylinder container, (as opposed to one with a wider base), you may need to cook for a few minutes, release the pressure and break meal/meat apart, (because it has been frozen so compact), and then bring back to pressure to continue cooking. The IP will come back to pressure quickly since it’s already been heated! Again, I apologize for the inconvenience.

  16. Two questions: by ‘tomato sauce’ do you mean jarred pasta sauce? and if I want to make only two servings, do I still need the same about of sauce in order to have it come to pressure?

    1. You can use jarred pasta sauce, or you can use canned tomato sauce…totally up to you. And the pressure cooker requires at least 1 cup of liquid to come to pressure. So, if you like less sauce, you could use just a cup.

    1. Hi Jill, the general rule is to add 2-5 minutes onto the cook time for every 2 increase in serving size. Here’s a helpful post to help you make adjustments in the Instant Pot.

  17. I made this from the freezer directions tonight and the Parmesan and sauce burned severely to the bottom. I suspected this would happen as the sauce mixture seemed too thick for the instant pot. Ended up having to transfer to the oven and add more Parmesan back in. There was no scraping to save this. My pot needed to be scoured with steel wool to get it off.

    1. Julie, we are so sorry you had these issues! Can we ask, did you make it for 4 servings, or did you adjust it? Did you cook the entire meal from frozen, or just the chicken? We would love to help make some recommendations to improve your experience! While we wait for your response, we want to be sure to share this post with you that gives some great recommendations for Instant Pot troubleshooting! >>

  18. This is chicken with cheese added, not Chicken Parmigiana. Why would I saute first and then freeze if I have to saute it after freezing also? Seems like it doesn’t save much time.

    1. Great question, Michelle. You saute the chicken BEFORE freezing so you seal in the flavor and juices of the chicken. The helps improve the texture and taste of the chicken in the Instant Pot. The reason you saute the chicken AFTER freezing, is to help thaw the meat out. Because you are cooking this from frozen in your Instant Pot, a few minutes on saute allows the chicken more time to fully cook. I hope that helps! And trust us when we say it is a really delicious recipe! A fan favorite for sure!

  19. Is “1 pound quarter Chicken, Boneless Breasts” the same as “1 pound of boneless chicken breasts cut into quarters”?

    I haven’t yet tried chicken recipes in my IP, I’m wondering if the chicken will turn out soupy, stew-like consistency?

    Thank you!

    1. Yes, you will need to quarter your chicken breasts (cut into 4 pieces). They’ll be roughly the size of a small chicken thigh, so you end up with large pieces of chicken in sauce rather than a soup-like consistency. This recipe makes plenty of sauce so you can add some pasta or spaghetti squash at the end if you’d like!

  20. We made this recipe today and cooked half for dinner and froze the other half for dinner on another night. We LOVED it! I put the trivet into the instant pot before everything else, then the chicken, then everything else. I did this to try to prevent the possibility that the burn message might come on. I covered the instant pot with saran wrap and put it into the fridge. I had to go out but when my husband came home 2.5 hours later he removed the saran wrap and put the instant pot on. He also made some pasta and when we all got home everything was ready. It was soooo yummy! There was plenty of sauce so next time we’ll use that for the pasta. Thanks for this great recipe!

  21. I am really confused by this recipe. Both the “Cook from Frozen” and “Cook Now” directions say 15 min on high in the IP. Is that true if I don’t thaw the bag first? And the comments talk about saute-ing the chicken. ???

    1. In general, the cook time is the same whether from fresh or frozen because the IP will take longer to come to pressure when cooking from frozen (thus actually resulting in a longer cook time). As for the saute step, yes, the original version of this recipe had you sear the chicken using the saute function prior to freezing, but we found that made very little difference in the final recipe outcome so we no longer include that step. Hope that helps!

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