How to Steam Chicken Breast

how to steam chicken breast

How to steam chicken breast and how long to steam chicken are common questions in the kitchen. After you have discovered just how delicious your steamed wontons are (my favorite!) you might like to try steaming something else.

Learn how to steam chicken and discover a brand new way of making it. After all, your steamer is a very handy piece of apparatus. So how about steaming a chicken? This is very healthy since you don’t need to add fat, and the water (the steam) keeps the meat moist and juicy.

how to steam chicken breastHow to Steam a Whole Chicken

Cook small birds, like the Cornish hen, whole or larger ones in pieces, maybe just the breast or even quarters if you have a larger steamer.

If you do not have an electric steamer, you can use a bamboo steamer or metal rack above a pan of simmering water, or you can suspend the meat on a rack at the bottom of a tightly-covered pot.

If you are using a regular steamer, half-fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil adding spices or herbs (these will permeate the chicken).

Put your chicken pieces in the steamer without overcrowding them. Make sure there is some space between each one so the steam can get in, circulate, and cook the chicken evenly. Cover the pot and let the chicken cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until done. That’s how easy it is to learn how to steam chicken.

If you prefer to put the chicken on a rack at the bottom of a pot, then bring one inch of water to a boil and put the chicken in a heatproof cooking dish.

Cover it tightly and put it on the rack. This should take about the same amount of time to cook, and you can eat the extra broth with chicken as soup or even add some chicken or beef wontons to it.

How Long Does it Take to Steam Chicken?

After rinsing the chicken and putting it in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water, give it about half an hour. The chicken is done as soon as the juices run clear.


How to Steam Chicken Breast

How to steam chicken breast the easy way. If you have a steamer, you can make this fat-free chicken recipe. It’s easy and a great way for moist chicken breast results. You can use the resulting chicken in anything from shredded chicken recipes to sandwiches, salads or whatever else you’re craving.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Steaming


  • 1 boneless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf and some fresh thyme
  • 1/4 sliced small yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) water or white wine
  • Black pepper, as needed


  1. Put the onion, bay leaf and thyme in a heavy-bottomed pot then add the chicken.
  2. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper.
  3. Add the liquid.
  4. Cook it for 5 minutes then turn off the heat.
  5. Leave the lid on! Don’t even crack it open.
  6. After 15 minutes more, cut into the thickest part and check it’s cooked through (no pink left).
  7. If not steam it for another few minutes then check again.


  • Swap the bay leaf and thyme for a slice of fresh ginger if you like. I always keep fresh ginger in the refrigerator – it’s also great to add to hot water for homemade ginger tea!
  • If you’re using ginger instead of the bay leaf and thyme, consider swapping the white wine or water for Japanese sake.
  • Keep leftovers in the steaming liquid to infuse more flavor into the meat and also to keep the chicken moist.
  • Wondering how to steam chicken in Instant Pot? Give it 10 minutes on high pressure then release the pressure fast. Fresh chicken takes 10 minutes and frozen somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes.
  • Steam the chicken in an Instant Pot for 15 minutes on high pressure then release it for 5 if you’re planning to make shredded chicken.
  • Steamed chicken (cooked via any method) will keep for a maximum of 4 days in the refrigerator.

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Is Steamed Chicken Healthy?

Since you aren’t using any fat, it’s a very low calorie method of cooking your chicken. How many calories is steamed chicken? Well, an average chicken breast with nothing added is 185 calories depending on size of course.

Does Steamed Chicken Taste Good?

It does as long as you add tasty seasonings. Steam it without any seasonings and it will be rather plain, since chicken has quite a neutral taste. If you’re cooking the chicken to make chicken salad, for example, you are fine adding the flavors after cooking instead of before. If not, you might like to use a marinade or rub or just add seasonings before steaming.

Can I Steam Frozen Chicken?

Do you have to fully defrost chicken before cooking? Can you cook chicken if still a little frozen? Can you cook chicken straight from the freezer?

Yes you can but it is going to take about twice as long if it’s frozen, so make sure you plan the meal accordingly. Remember the juices must run clear and the interior must be piping hot before serving.

Tips for Steaming Chicken

Add onion and carrots to the steaming water to add flavor to the chicken, or marinate the chicken pre-steaming. Don’t open the lid of the pot while steaming for the best results.

Leave the steam to build up. If you lift the lid to peek, the steam will come out and the cooking time will be extended.

how to steam chicken breast