This recipe for Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken yields deliciously tender shredded barbecue chicken with minimal effort! You can use it to make pulled chicken sandwiches, tacos, and salads.
During those weeks when I’m lacking dinner inspiration, more than once, pulled BBQ chicken has come to the rescue!
I love how easy it is to make a big batch of this and eat it in different meals during the week.
Or you could make this and bring it to a summer party, picnic, or potluck. Corn on the cob, potato salad, sliced tomatoes, fresh watermelon, coleslaw, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers are all perfect too, but this will be the star of the show. Everyone loves BBQ chicken!
And not to worry if you have leftovers because this freezes very well!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Minimal ingredients, maximum flavor. Choose a good BBQ sauce (or make your own) because that’s the predominant flavor you’ll taste!
- It doesn’t get any easier. The Instant Pot makes quick work out of this recipe, but you can also easily make it in a slow cooker with delicious results.
- Serve it up however you like. You can make this pulled BBQ chicken into tacos, burritos, rice bowls, sandwiches, grilled cheese, or eat it as-is with a bunch of sides!
The Best Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe
Once you make pulled BBQ chicken in the Instant Pot, it will become your go-to method!
Not only is it very easy to make shredded or pulled chicken in the Instant Pot, but it requires minimal ingredients.
The chicken cooks in a fraction of the time compared to other cooking methods, without sacrificing any of the flavor!
Ingredients in Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken with Barbecue Sauce
- Olive oil
- Chicken breasts
- Salt and black pepper
- Chicken stock
- BBQ sauce
Step-by-Step Guide for How to Make Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken
- Drizzle the oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot. Add the chicken breasts, chicken stock, salt, and black pepper.
- Pour the BBQ sauce on top.
- Turn the pot on Manual, High Pressure for 10 minutes and then do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
- Shred the chicken with 2 forks or use a handheld electric mixer. To thicken the sauce, turn the pot on Sauté and cook the chicken and sauce together until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
How to Store BBQ Pulled Chicken
Once it’s cooked, let the pulled BBQ chicken cool to room temperature, and then store it covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Or you can store it in an freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
You can also easily make pulled BBQ chicken in a crockpot. Cooking in a slow cooker also has its perks!
The great thing about using a slow cooker to make pulled chicken is that you can turn it on in the morning before you head to work, and then come home to a hot dinner waiting for you.
How to Make BBQ Chicken in a Crockpot or Other Slow Cooker:
- Add all ingredients to a slow cooker. (See recipe below for specific ingredients and amounts. However, omit the chicken stock from the recipe below if you’re making this in a slow cooker.)
- Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
- Shred the chicken with 2 forks or with a handheld electric mixer.
Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken FAQs
Does BBQ Sauce Count as Liquid in an Instant Pot?
No, BBQ sauce doesn’t work as liquid in an Instant Pot. This is why this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of chicken stock in addition to BBQ sauce.
How Do You Make Pulled Chicken Less Watery?
The more finely you shred the chicken, the more liquid it will absorb and the less watery the final result will be. Additionally, you can turn on the “Sauté” function on the Instant Pot to evaporate off some of the liquid if necessary.
What Should I Serve with Pulled BBQ Chicken?
Any dish that you’d take to a potluck would be perfect! Here are a few delicious ideas:
- Microwave Corn on the Cob
- Black Beans
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Watermelon Salad Recipe with Feta
- Instant Pot Easy Keto Mac and Cheese
- Cornbread Muffins
- Baked Beans
- White Bean Roasted Red Pepper Salad
What to Make with Leftover BBQ Chicken
- BBQ chicken salads, like this Keto BBQ Chicken Salad Bowls (use a low carb BBQ sauce if you want to keep the carbs down)
- Rice bowls, similar to this Turkey Taco Rice Salad Bowl
- BBQ shredded chicken sandwiches or grilled cheese (use low carb rolls or paleo bread)
- Casserole; just spoon some BBQ pulled chicken into a gratin dish, top it with shredded cheddar, caramelized onions, and sauteed mushrooms or bell peppers, and broil it until the cheese is melted
- Pasta dinner; toss the pulled chicken with some pasta and add any veggies you like, such as corn, scallion, etc.
- And of course you can serve Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken with all the fixings, like corn on the cob, potato salad, cornbread, coleslaw, baked beans, collard greens, etc.
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Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- Fresh cilantro
- Dill pickle chips
- Bread and butter pickle chips
- Red onion
- Sliced jalapenos
- Drizzle the oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot. Add the chicken, stock, salt, black pepper, and BBQ sauce to the pot. Turn the pot on Manual, High Pressure for 10 minutes and then do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
- Shred the chicken with 2 forks or use a handheld electric mixer.
- To thicken the sauce, turn the pot on Sauté and cook the chicken and sauce together until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Top with any garnishes you like and serve.
- Nutrition Information: Information was calculated with regular (not sugar-free) BBQ sauce, and without any of the optional garnishes.
- BBQ Sauce: You can use your favorite homemade BBQ sauce or store-bought BBQ sauce for this recipe.
- Freezer-Friendly: This recipe freezes very well; reheat it in a microwave or on the stovetop.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on April 8, 2020. It was updated with more information on February 22, 2022.
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