by Olena

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

by Olena

5 from 4 reviews

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken makes flavourful and healthy pulled chicken in 30 minutes total. Serve with rice, salad or make wraps and freeze for busy nights.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Instant Pot Pulled Chicken

I came up with Instant Pot BBQ chicken recipe thanks to my 10 real life friends who keep raving about my chicken burritos. Everyone makes a double batch and freezes for busy weeknights. So, I decided to create another Instant Pot wrap recipe.

However, this Instant Pot pulled chicken is so versatile. You can have it for a quick dinner with brown rice, salad or lettuce wraps for a low carb version. And no sugar laden BBQ sauce is involved. Simple, healthy and real ingredients only and as always.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken with cabbage, avocado, green onion and sesame seeds in a wrap

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Chicken: You can use boneless and skinless chicken breasts, thighs or a combination of both. I would not recommend bone in chicken because it will release more juices diluting the flavor and sauce. You can even use frozen chicken breasts. Just make sure they are separated and cooking time remains the same.
  • Onion adds sweetness and flavor to barbecue chicken. I used one giant Costco onion, “normal” grocery store onions would be two. 🙂
  • Liquid smoke is sold in small bottles in sauce or spice section of some grocery stores, smaller gourmet shops or on Amazon. It lasts for years in the fridge. While it adds smoky flavor of a barbecue sauce you can replace it with 1 tsp of smoked paprika or omit. It is not a recipe breaker but I highly recommend you find one to make healthy BBQ sauce and pulled pork as well. 🙂
  • Seasonings: Tomato paste, maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and chili powder “seal the deal”. No unknown ingredients. Easy!

How to Make Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

You can use 3 quart, 5 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart Instant Pot to make Instant Pot BBQ chicken. Ingredients will fit into any and cooking time remains the same. You can double the recipe in 6 or 8 quart pot.

Tip: New to pressure cooking? Check out my Instant Pot guide. Don’t have one yet? Check out which Instant Pot to buy.

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken ingredients include onion, chicken breasts, tomato paste and spices

  • Add all ingredients to Instant Pot and cook for 20 minutes on high pressure. No water is necessary – that is correct. Onion and chicken will release enough juices to create steam.
  • Release pressure immediately and shred chicken right inside the pot. How amazing is this?! If you let shredded chicken sit for 10 minutes it will soak up some of the juices. You do not have to thicken the sauce but I recommend so for true BBQ sauce experience, especially for wraps.
  • Thicken BBQ sauce by pressing Saute. Whisk cold water with cornstarch, pour into a pot and stir. Cook for 2-4 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and has thickened.

a bottle of liquid smokeInstant Pot BBQ Chicken cooked

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken inside the potadding slurry to thicken Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken wrap

How to Serve, Store and Freeze BBQ Chicken

BBQ pulled chicken dinner combination ideas:

You get the picture – possibilities are endless! And chicken is ready in 30 minutes from start to finish with minimal effort from you while you get the sides ready. Check out my other 40 healthy Instant Pot dinner ideas.

How to make and freeze BBQ chicken wraps:

  • Because of the sauce you can only make and freeze wraps right away. Do not refrigerate because wraps will get soggy.
  • To reheat, thaw first and then bake at 425 F degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  • This recipe makes 10 wraps using large whole wheat tortillas.

how to make chicken wraps with Instant Pot BBQ Chicken step by stephow to make chicken wraps with Instant Pot BBQ Chicken step by step

how to make chicken wraps with Instant Pot BBQ Chicken step by stephow to make chicken wraps with Instant Pot BBQ Chicken step by step

  • Fillings I used: shredded red, green or savoy cabbage; sliced avocado, green onion and sesame seeds.
  • I think if you add cooked rice, it will absorb some of the sauce making wraps more “dry”. Or “line” inside of tortilla with kale leaves (without ribs).
  • To help with wrapping, place filling to the edge closer to you, fold the front and then sides. When rolling keep tucking filling inside.

Refrigerate meat leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze cooked leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for at least 6 hours or longer in the fridge. Reheat in a pot by simmering on low with a tiny splash of water.

Freezer meal: Add all ingredients to a bag and swoosh chicken around to separate so it doesn’t cook in a frozen blob. Freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag or these re-usable 1 gallon silicone bags I am obsessed with! Cook from frozen following the rest of the recipe.

Enjoy and eat less Baby Ray’s. 🙂

More Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

Instant Pot Pulled Chicken

Print

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

5 from 4 reviews

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken makes flavourful and healthy pulled chicken in 30 minutes total. Serve with rice, salad or make wraps and freeze for busy nights.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 large (2 lbs) boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs or both
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 oz tomato paste, low sodium
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg’s liquid aminos)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider or white vinegar
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke (1 tsp smoked paprika or omit)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

For chicken wraps:

  • 10 large whole wheat tortillas
  • 5 cups shredded green, red or savoy cabbage
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 10 tsp sesame seeds
  • Ground black pepper, to taste (a must!)

Instructions

  1. In any size Instant Pot, add chicken, onion, tomato paste, maple syrup, soy sauce,  vinegar, liquid smoke, chili powder and garlic powder. No water is necessary – that is correct. Onion and chicken will release enough juices to create steam.
  2. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 20 minutes.
  3. Release pressure right away using Quick Release method and open the lid.
  4. Shred chicken with 2 forks right inside the pot. You do not have to thicken the sauce but I recommend so for true BBQ sauce experience, especially for wraps.
  5. Press Saute.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk cold water with cornstarch, pour into a pot and stir.
  7. Cook for 2-4 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and has thickened. That’s it!
  8. Serve barbecue chicken in sandwiches, sliders or quesadillas. You can even use meat to top nachos or baked potatoes. For low carb dinner serve with salad or make lettuce wraps. Enjoy with brown rice and steamed broccoli. Sky is the limit.
  9. To make chicken wraps, for each wrap place 1/2 cup shredded cabbage, 1/2 cup meat, 3 slices avocado, 2 tsp green onion and 1 tsp sesame seeds on 1 large tortilla on the edge closer to you. Fold the front and then sides. When rolling keep tucking filling inside.

Refrigerate meat leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for at least 6 hours or longer in the fridge. Reheat in a pot by simmering on low with a tiny splash of water.

Freezer meal: Add all ingredients to a bag and swoosh chicken around to separate so it doesn’t cook in a frozen blob. Freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag or these re-usable 1 gallon silicone bags I am obsessed with! Cook from frozen following the rest of the recipe.

Notes

  • You can use frozen chicken breasts. Just make sure they are separated and cooking time remains the same.
  • You can use 3 quart, 5 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart Instant Pot. Ingredients will fit into any and cooking time remains the same. You can double the recipe in 6 or 8 quart pot.
  • Because of the sauce you can only make and freeze wraps right away. Do not refrigerate because wraps will get soggy.
  • To reheat, thaw first and then bake at 425 F degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  • I think if you add cooked rice, it will absorb some of the sauce making wraps more “dry”. Or “line” inside of tortilla with kale leaves (without ribs).

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

9 comments on “Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

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  1. Yes yes yes… Love this five star recipe . I Did make the shredded chicken in the instant pot using this recipe and added different flavors than you used. I love your recipes and always come back to them because you make smart suggestions about how to serve and what to make as a side or alternate recipes that are relevant! Half of the recipes I find are through your “you may also like” list 🙂
    You are original, and like your web name I foodREAL … You seem real 😁. I would like to know about your Ukrainian heritage and food…your culture 💙

    1. Thank yo I for your detailed review, Raina. Helps me to understand and serve you guys better. You can search my website for posts about me under Life section.:)

  2. ifoodreal is literally one of the best healthy recipes blogs out there! I love this recipe especially for weight loss and I am so grateful that i have found your blog. it not only helps to lose weight but keep it off as well! Love this stuff!

  3. Fallowed the recipe word to word but had to add salt, dry mustard, ground black pepper and worcestershire sauce for deeper flavor. Otherwise it is a fantastic recipe! Definitely will make it again Thank you Olena for your amazing recipes!

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