How Long to Boil Chicken Breast? [Boneless, Bone-In, and Frozen]

How long to boil chicken breast? If you want less fat in your diet, chicken breast is one of the best meats and boiling is one of the best cooking methods. But how long does it take to boil chicken breast? In this article, I’ll answer this question, including the time it takes to boil boneless, bone-in, and frozen chicken breast.

How long does it take to boil boneless chicken breast? An average-sized boneless chicken breast should take about 10 to 15 minutes to boil.

How long does it take to boil bone-in chicken breast? An average-sized bone-in chicken breast should take about 20 to 30 minutes to boil. It takes longer to boil bone-in chicken breast because it takes longer for the bone to heat up.

How long does it take to boil frozen chicken breast? It takes about 50% longer to boil frozen chicken breast than non-frozen chicken. Frozen, boneless chicken breast should take about 15 to 25 minutes to boil. Frozen, bone-in chicken breast should take about 30 to 45 minutes to boil.

To know when the chicken is fully cooked, you can insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast. The chicken breast is fully cooked once the temperature is 165 F (74C).

Read on to learn more about how long it takes to boil a chicken breast, including a boneless, bone-in, and frozen chicken breast.

How Long Does It Take to Boil Chicken Breast – Boneless?

Chicken breasts are available in most grocery stores as boneless and bone-in. Both are also usually available with skin on and skin off (skinless). The skin being on vs off doesn’t affect the boiling time much, so we will only look at boneless vs bone-in chicken breast.

The length of time to boil boneless chicken breasts depends on the quantity you wish to boil. The more chicken breast you boil all together, in the same pot, the longer the boiling time will be.

How long to boil boneless chicken breast? On average, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to boil one boneless chicken breast. If you boil about four boneless chicken breasts all at the same time, it could take about 15 to 20 minutes to boil.

You can speed up the time it takes to boil the chicken breast by cutting them into smaller pieces before adding them to the pot of boiling water.

How to Boil Boneless Chicken Breast

To further give you an idea of the boiling time, here’s a recipe for boiling boneless chicken breast.

The following are the ingredients you need:

  • 4 medium-sized chicken breasts
  • 4 cups of water or chicken broth
  • 1 medium-sized onion, cut into half but not peeled
  • 3 carrots, cut into chunks but not peeled
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns

Procedure for boiling boneless chicken breast:

  1. In a large pot, place the four boneless chicken breasts, along with the peppercorns, celery, carrots, and onions.
  2. Then, slowly pour water or chicken broth in the pot. Make sure that you cover the four pieces of chicken with enough water or chicken broth.
  3. Cover the large pot and then bring it to a boil. After several minutes, reduce the heat to allow it to boil gently.
  4. Four pieces of average-sized boneless chicken breasts are expected to boil in about 15 to 20 minutes. Set a timer to 15 minutes. Check the chicken after 15 minutes. If, after 15 to 20 minutes, the meat is still pinkish, continue boiling them. Wait until the meat is no longer pinkish.
  5. Remove the chicken and let it cool.

Boiled chicken is very versatile – you can use it in many different dishes. It is great shredded into a salad or a soup. Use it to top nachos or taco. Or add it into a sauce for pasta. The options are endless with this lean protein source. It is quite bland by itself, so make sure to season it after it is boiled.

How Long to Boil Chicken Breast with the Bone In?

how long does it take to boil chicken breast

There are consumers who prefer to buy bone-in chicken breasts. It is said to be more flavorful when boiled. Also, it produces better chicken stock or bouillon after boiling.

This chicken stock is used as an ingredient for soups, gravies, and sauces, among others. It can also be consumed directly as it has many health benefits too.

All these health benefits are different from the health benefits you get from eating boiled boneless chicken breasts.

How long to boil bone-in chicken breast? On average, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to boil one bone-in chicken breast. The bigger the chicken breast, the longer it will take.

Remember to insert a meat thermometer to the thickest part of the chicken breast to tell if it is fully cooked. It is fully cooked once the internal temperature reaches 165 F (74C). For bone-in chicken breast, don’t let the thermometer touch the bone as this can affect the temperature reading.

How to Boil Bone-In Chicken Breast

Boiling bone-in chicken breasts is basically the same as boiling boneless chicken breasts. This means that you can follow the above-mentioned recipe to boil bone-in breasts. However, make sure to closely monitor the boiling time as the bone-in one boils slower than the boneless one.

For bone-in chicken breasts, the boiling time is about 30 minutes. If you notice that the meat is still raw, continue boiling it until the meat is no longer pinkish in color.

Some people who are on a strict diet consume boiled bone-in chicken breasts straight from the pot. They eat it without adding any other ingredients or condiments to it. Others use it as an ingredient for other recipes. This means that after boiling, they also shred, cut, or chop it into pieces according to the recipe they will use.

As we have earlier discussed, boiling bone-in chicken breasts takes longer than boiling boneless ones. The truth is, whether you are boiling, grilling, steaming, or frying chicken breasts, the bone-in one takes longer to cook than the boneless one. The heat that radiates throughout the meat also plays a big factor.

For boneless and skinless chicken breasts, there are no bones to conduct heat, and there is no skin to retain moisture. Thus, it cooks faster than the bone-in ones. However, boneless ones dry faster too.

How Long to Boil Frozen Chicken Breast?

In case you are wondering if frozen chicken breasts can be boiled, the answer is yes. If you don’t have enough time for thawing, you can directly place it in a pot and follow the above-mentioned procedure for boiling chicken breasts.

But since it is frozen, the boiling time will be noticeably longer than when boiling thawed chicken breasts. In fact, boiling time maybe 50 percent longer than usual — or even longer than that.

How long to boil frozen chicken breast? If you are boiling frozen boneless chicken breast, then you have to wait for approximately 23 minutes before it boils completely. For frozen bone-in chicken breast, you might have to wait for 45 minutes. However, it also all depends on how frozen your meat is. What I can assure you, though, is that whether your meat is frozen or not, it is nonetheless safe to boil!

We’ve answered the question, “how long to boil chicken breast on a stove?”, including “how long to boil boneless chicken breast?”, “how long to boil bone-in chicken breast”, and also “how long does it take to boil frozen chicken breast?” Next, let’s look at the health benefits of boiled chicken breasts.

Health Benefits of Boiled Chicken Breasts

The chicken breast is considered the healthiest chicken meat of all, as it is the leanest cut of chicken. According to the data released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a four-ounce serving size of chicken breast roughly contains the following nutritional content:

  • 85 milligrams of sodium
  • 75 milligrams of cholesterol
  • A gram of fat
  • 26 grams of protein
  • 110 calories

Therefore, if you find it difficult to minimize your calorie intake, eating chicken breasts is recommended for you.

Aside from being an excellent source of lean protein, chicken breast is also an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals. These include:

  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C

3 Recipes for Boiled Chicken Breasts

Below are three easy and delicious boiled chicken breast recipes. These recipes don’t take long and are perfect for sharing with your family or friends, or for a quick way to treat yourself.

1. Chicken Noodle Soup

how long to boil frozen chicken breast

Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 cup of sliced carrots
  • 1 ½ cups egg noodles
  • ½ pound chopped boiled chicken breast*
  • 1 can of vegetable broth
  • 4 cans of chicken broth
  • ½ cup of chopped celery
  • ½ cup of chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

*1/2 pound of chicken breast is about one medium-sized chicken breast. How long to boil chicken breast to shred? As mentioned before, it should take about 10 to 15 minutes to boil one medium-sized boneless chicken breast, and about 20 to 30 minutes to boil one medium-sized bone-in chicken breast.

Procedure

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, then add celery and onion.
  2. Cook it for about five minutes or until tender before adding the vegetable broth and chicken broth.
  3. Stir in the boiled chicken breast, noodles, oregano, basil, carrots, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bring it to a boil, minimize heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes before serving.

2. Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of seasoning salt
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • ½ cup of minced green bell pepper
  • 2 medium chopped green onions
  • A cup of chopped celery
  • 1 ½ cups of dried cranberries
  • A teaspoon of paprika
  • Single cup of mayonnaise
  • 4 cups of cubed boiled chicken breast

Procedure

  1. Gently mix together the paprika, mayonnaise, and seasoning salt in a bowl.
  2. Add the nuts, onion, bell pepper, celery, and dried cranberries.
  3. Then, add the chopped chicken breast, mix well, and season with black pepper.
  4. Refrigerate for an hour.

3. Baked Chicken and Rice Chimichangas

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 4 burrito-size flour tortillas
  • 1 ¼ cups of shredded Colby-Jack cheese
  • 5.6 ounce of Spanish rice
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin
  • ⅔ cup of salsa
  • 1 ½ cups of boiled shredded chicken breast

Procedure

  1. At 425 degrees Fahrenheit, preheat the oven. With parchment paper, line a baking sheet.
  2. In a bowl, put the boiled and shredded chicken breast, oregano, cumin, and salsa. Then, mix gently.
  3. Cook the Spanish rice according to the package instructions. Then, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In the chicken mixture, gently stir the rice as well as the shredded cheese. Place a generous and even amount of the mixture on each of the four tortillas. Wrap and place them on the lined baking sheet. Make sure that it is seam side down. Then, brush evenly with oil.
  5. Bake them in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until they turn crispy and golden brown.
  6. Serve it with toppings of your choice (optional).

Conclusion – How Long Does It Take to Boil Chicken Breast?

How long to boil chicken breast? An average-sized boneless chicken breast should boil for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. An average-sized bone-in chicken breast should boil for roughly 30 minutes.

How long to boil frozen chicken breast? In terms of frozen chicken breasts, it will take you longer than usual to boil them. A frozen boneless chicken breast may take approximately 23 minutes to boil. Whereas, a frozen bone-in chicken breast may take approximately 45 minutes to boil. Whether your chicken breasts are thawed or frozen, this should not be a problem for you. Either way, it is always safe to boil them.

How long to boil boneless skinless chicken breast? The time it takes to boil boneless skinless chicken breast is about the same as boneless skin-on chicken breast. So it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to boil boneless skinless chicken breast.

But, of course, there are other factors that you have to consider when it comes to boiling time. If the chicken breast is smaller than the standard size, the chances are that it will boil faster. If the chicken breast is bigger than the usual size, expect it to boil slower.

Now that you know exactly how long it takes to boil chicken breast, you can use this excellent lean protein meat for a wide variety of dishes. Some popular boiled chicken dishes that you can make include chicken noodle soup, chicken salad, and chicken chimichangas.