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Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

$8.22 Recipe/$2.06 Serving

Instant pot shredded barbecue chicken is the perfect weeknight recipe! This easy, healthy recipe is ready in under 30 minutes. Make this with boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs for a paleo, gluten free, Whole30 friendly meal!

Instant pot full of instant pot bbq chicken with a fork holding up the shredded chicken over the instant pot.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Instant pot shredded BBQ chicken is ready in under 30 minutes and so easy to make. This is the perfect recipe for the nights you don’t feel like cooking but still want something delicious on the table! You will not believe all the creative ways you can use shredded BBQ chicken!
  • Be sure to make extra, the leftovers are just as good and since this recipe is super versatile, you don’t have to worry about eating the same thing multiple days in a row (unless you like that kind of thing).
  • Personally, this recipe has been so great for meal prep. This instant pot shredded barbecue chicken is perfect with meal prepped rice and a quick vegetable or stuffed in a sweet potato for a quick and easy lunch recipe!
Steps to making instant pot bbq chicken (Top left: raw chicken covered in bbq sauce. Top right: the chicken after it is done cooking, before shredding in the instant pot. Bottom Left: the cooked chicken being shred on a white plate. Bottom right:The chicken fully shredded before adding it back to the sauce.)
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What do you need to make instant pot BBQ chicken

Instant pot BBQ chicken in the instant pot before the shredded chicken has been stirred with the thicken sauce

Tips for making instant pot barbecue chicken

This recipe is so simple. You just add the chicken to the instant pot, add barbeque sauce and water and let it cook on high pressure for about 15 minutes. Let naturally release or manually release if you are short on time.

Since barbeque sauce is naturally pretty thick, it’s important to add a little water so that the instant pot will come up to pressure. Without water, you will likely get a BURN error.

  • For each pound of chicken you add, you will need 3/4 cup of BBQ sauce. The water in the recipe will not change!
  • Depending on how thick the sauce is that you choose, you will need between 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup of water to get the instant pot up to pressure.

After the bbq chicken is done cooking, you will likely need to thicken the barbeque sauce since you added water to get it up to pressure. To do this, just make a slurry of water and arrowroot powder or tapioca flour and water.  See the recipe card for details on how to do this.

Instant pot BBQ chicken recipe in the instant pot. The shredded chicken is being stirred into the sauce.

What BBQ sauce should you use?

Use whatever your favorite brand is. Personally I love to make homemade BBQ sauce since I can control the ingredients and it’s pretty cost effective. My two favorite recipes are

How to serve shredded barbeque chicken

  • Stuffed sweet potatoes
  • Sliders
  • Pizza
  • Nachos
  • Tacos
  • Sandwiches
  • Salads
  • BBQ plates
  • Pitas or wraps
Large bowl filled with instant pot bbq chicken with a fork holding the shredded chicken over the bowl.

What are good sides for this chicken

Some of my favorite side dishes would be great with this instant pot BBQ chicken!

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Large bowl filled with instant pot bbq chicken with a fork holding the shredded chicken over the bowl.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

$8.22 Recipe/$2.06 Serving
Instant pot bbq chicken is the perfect weeknight recipe! This easy, healthy recipe is ready in under 30 minutes. Make this with boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs for a paleo, gluten free, Whole30 friendly meal!
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot barbecue chicken, instant pot bbq chicken, pressure cooker bbq chicken
Prep Time: 1 min
Cook Time: 28 mins
Total Time: 29 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Guided Recipe Video

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or boneless skinless chicken thighs - $6.99
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce - $1.15
  • 1/4 cup water - $0.00
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot or tapioca flour - $0.08
  • 2 tbsp water - $0.00

Instructions

  • Add the chicken breast to the insert of the Instant Pot. 
  • Pour the water and barbecue sauce over the chicken and close the instant pot.
  • Be sure the instant pot vent is turned to sealed. Turn on high pressure for 15 minutes. 
  • After the instant pot comes up to pressure and cooks for 15 minutes, you can manually release the pressure or allow it to naturally release. 
  • Take the chicken breast out of the instant pot and shred them on a plate with two forks. 
  • To thicken the sauce, turn the instant pot on Saute mode.
  • Make a slurry by combining 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder or tapioca flour to 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Stir well
  • Pour the slurry into the barbeque sauce after the chicken is removed. Stir well. Allow to cook 2-3 minutes on sauté until the sauce starts to thicken. 
  • Turn off the instant pot once it reaches the thickness you like, as it will continue to thicken with heat. 
  • Stir the shredded chicken back in and serve hot or cold. 

Notes

Budget saving tip: Instead of chicken breast, use boneless skinless chicken thighs. This recipe would be $6.22 Recipe/$1.56 Serving using this swap.
Storage: Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
228
Fat
 
3
g
Carbohydrates
 
23
g
Sugar
 
17
g
Protein
 
24
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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