Shredded Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe

Prep Time:5 mins

Cook Time:30 mins



An Easy Shredded Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Recipe that’s fall apart tender, flavorful and incredibly saucy. This healthy dinner in ready in 30 minutes – perfect on top of sandwiches, sweet potatoes, salads and more.


  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablepoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce (I used Stubbs Original)
  • 1/4 cup chicken bone broth

Cook Mode Prevent your screen from going dark


  1. To an instant pot add chicken breast, chicken thighs, spices, onions, bbq sauce and chicken broth.
  2. Close lid and secure.
  3. Set Instant Pot to Pressure Cooker setting, on High for 14 minutes.
  4. Once done, do a natural release for 15 minutes then press the pressure valve to do a forced release for the rest.
  5. Shred chicken with two forks, a stand mixer or a hand mixer.


  • Serving Size: 4 oz.
  • Calories: 188
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 372 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 22 g
  • Cholesterol: 33 mg

Easy Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

This is the time of year where the ever so loved Instant Pot will be your best friend. School has started back up, sports are a in full swing which means as soon as 3pm hits everything is on hyper-speed until bed time. Which means dinner needs to be fast.

Enter the Instant Pot. This baby can make tender beef barbacoa in an hour and juicy flavorful BBQ Chicken in 30 minutes. It’s perfect for those days where you know you’re going to be running around and just need an easy button for dinner.

What you’ll need for this BBQ Chicken Recipe

Now this recipe at your mommas recipe. I didn’t just put chicken breast in the instant pot, pour bbq sauce over it and call it a day. I added some umami! It’s filled with spices, onions, chicken bone broth for depth of flavor (and to keep this juicy) and then you top it with your favorite bbq sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken – I use both boneless skinless chicken breast and thighs in this recipe. It adds a ton of flavor!
  • Spices – This is where it’s at – you’ll need garlic powder, smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, cinnamon, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Onion – Use yellow or sweet onion here. Just a rough chop is fine because they’ll be cooked in the Instant Pot.
  • Chicken Broth – You’ll definitely need some liquid in the instant pot to cook your chicken or things will burn. I choose to use chicken bone broth instead of regular broth. It gives you more nutrients from the bone and more depth.
  • BBQ Sauce – Go with your favorite BBQ Sauce on this part. I like to use Stubbs or Sweet Baby Rays.

How to make BBQ Chicken in the Instant Pot

This recipe comes together in 30 minutes from start to finish. It is definitely a no fuss no frills dinner. Just add everything to the Instant Pot, turn it on, let the pressure release and voila. Dinner is served. We like to serve it – classic style on a bun, stuff it in sweet potatoes, put in tortillas for a fun taco night or add on top of a salad. Here’s how to make it:

Add Ingredients: To your Instant Pot add chicken breast, chicken thighs, garlic powder, smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, cinnamon, thyme, salt, pepper, onions, bbq sauce and chicken bone broth.

Prepare Instant Pot: Close lid and secure, making sure pressure valve is turned in the correct direction.

Set Mode: Turn your Instant Pot to Pressure Cooker mode, on High for 14 minutes. Start.

Release: Once done, do a natural release for 15 minutes then press the pressure valve to do a manual release for the remaining pressure.

Shred it: Shred the chicken to your desired texture with two forks, a stand mixer or a hand mixer.

Can I use frozen chicken for this recipe?

Yes! You can definitely use frozen chicken for this recipe. The Instant Pot will take a few extra minutes to pressurize because the chicken is frozen, but the cook time will be the same. If, however, your chicken breast are gignormous I’d recommend adding another 5-8 minutes to the cook time and let the natural release go another 10 minutes longer to ensure your chicken is cooked through.

How to store the leftovers?

This recipe makes enough for a crowd, so you’ll definitely have leftovers. If you plan to reinvent dinner and use the bbq chicken again later in the week I’d recommend stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 4 days. If you’d love to freeze, store in a freezer safe storage bag, make sure all the air is removed and place in the freezer. The shredded bbq chicken will keep for up to 3 months.

Tips & Tricks for Shredded Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

  • Variety of Meat. I find using both chicken breast and chicken thighs adds so much flavor to you end product. However, if you want to keep it lean then just stick with the chicken breast.
  • Add the Chicken Broth first. Instant Pots can be a little finicky. Make sure you add the chicken bone broth then the chicken into the Instant Pot first. This will help ensure you don’t get a “burn” notice and that the bbq sauce doesn’t burn.
  • What if I get a burn notice. If you get a burn notice there are a couple of things to do. First off, don’t freak out, your Instant Pot will cool down for you. It’s not going to blow up, there are built in safety precautions. You can add more liquid. Next time, just give your your ingredients a quick stir to make sure everything is sauced up properly.
  • Sweeter Side. If you like your sauce on the sweeter side I would add a dried dates or 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *