Pulled BBQ Chicken

Gluten Free

Pulled bbq chicken

Pulled BBQ Chicken is so good for a million different dinners! My favorite way to enjoy pulled BBQ chicken is to have pulled chicken sliders! Here you will find an amazingly easy Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken ready to be used to complete your favorite meal!

This Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken is full of flavor and super easy!

Comfort food and healthy do not always come together but this BBQ pulled chicken meets the best of both world! Below you have the option to make your own super simple BBQ sauce that is crazy good and healthy!

WHAT?!

Homemade BBQ sauce is actually super simple to make and will be the best BBQ sauce you ever had. Use it for more then this pulled chicken.

Why you will love this Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken

  • 10 Minutes to Prep
  • Super Easy
  • Extremely Tasty
  • Healthy (Soy Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free)
  • Family Friendly
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Is pulled BBQ chicken healthy?

Yes! This pulled BBQ chicken is healthy because of the homemade BBQ sauce. Often times sauces and marinades purchased from the store can contain lots of salt, sugar and preservatives. 

By taking 2 minutes to make your own BBQ sauce you omit all the bad stuff and get to enjoy a healthy BBQ dinner.
 
No sugar! Only natural sweeteners like raw honey which makes this a great healthy recipe you will want to enjoy over and over again!
 

Ingredients you will need for this pulled BBQ chicken.

  • chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)
  • tomato paste
  • cinnamon
  • raw honey
  • apple cider vinegar
  • chili powder
  • water
  • cumin
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • ground mustard

What if I do not want to make my own BBQ sauce?

 
No problem! This recipe can easily be a 2-ingredient pulled BBQ chicken recipe if you want to use your favorite BBQ sauce. 
 
In that case just add 1 cup of any pre-made sauce to the instant pot when cooking and omit all the extra ingredients. So all you will need is the chicken breasts or chicken thighs and your favorite BBQ sauce. 
 

How to make the BBQ sauce?

SUPER EASY! In the past sauces have intimidated me. But this one is as simple as throwing all the sauce ingredients together in a food processor or high speed blender and blending until smooth. It takes a few minutes!
 

How to make this pulled bbq chicken in the slow cooker?

Just throw everything into a slow cooker and let it cook on low for 4-6 hours then shred and serve. No mess, no fuss and a delicious home-cooked dinner! 

You can also make this bbq chicken in a crock pot. Whatever you have at home and prefer to use this bbq chicken recipe is perfect for you. 

 
 
 
 
 

 

What cut of chicken can I use?

Chicken thighs are the best for full flavor but you can also use chicken breasts. If you use chicken breasts then cook closer to 4 hours so you do not overcook the breasts. 
 

What to serve with pulled BBQ chicken?

My favorite side to go along with bbq pulled chicken is a red cabbage slaw! But your can also serve baked beans, street corn, collard greens, potato salad or any other favorite bbq sides. 
 

How to store instant pot pulled bbq chicken?

After cooking store in fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
 

Do I need a slow cooker for this recipe?

You do not need a slow cooker if you have an instant pot as this recipe is designed to be cooked in the instant pot. However you can use a slow cooker or crock pot for this recipe. 
 

How long should you cook bbq chicken in a crockpot?

Cook this bbq pulled chicken is a slow cooker or crock pot on low for 4-6 hours. If you are cooking chicken breasts stay closer to 4 hours and if you’re cooking chicken thighs then you can go closer to 5 or 6 hours. 

If chicken is frozen when you place it into the slow cooker add 30 min cook time and check temperature to be sure it is fully cooked.  

*See FAQ’s and specific tips following recipe below. (so you don’t have to scroll for a million years to find the food 😉 ).

How do you make Pulled BBQ Chicken? 👇 

Pulled BBQ Chicken

Enjoy this easy pulled bbq chicken that can be cooked in an instant pot or slow cooker. It’s the perfect dinner for guests or a fast weeknight dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken, Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken
Servings: 6
Author: Hannah Stewart

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs or chicken breasts
  • 1 cup favorite bbq sauce optional make your own sauce following instructions below

Homemade BBQ Sauce (Blend Together)

  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp raw honey
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard

Instructions

  • [If making homemade BBQ sauce] Add sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. (You may have to scrap sides once or twice).
  • Use 1 cup of sauce for cooking the chicken and reserve the rest to use when serving.
  • Add chicken into instant pot and pour 1 cup bbq sauce over chicken.
  • Lock the lid and cook it manually for 12 minutes. Let the Instant Pot come to pressure before starting the timer.
  • When the timer goes off, use the natural release for 10 minutes. After use the quick release.
  • Remove chicken, shred and remove bones and then pour extra sauce over shredded chicken to fully coat. Serve and enjoy!

Freezer Directions:

  • Label Freezer bag with recipe name, cooking from frozen directions and expiration date (todays date plus three months).
  • Add sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. (You may have to scrap sides once or twice).
  • Add all ingredients to labeled gallon freezer bag.
  • Store in freezer for up to three months.

Cooking from Frozen Directions:

  • Thaw overnight in fridge or in the morning in some warm water (meal may not be 100% thawed but that is ok).
  • Add freezer bag contents into instant pot.
  • Lock the lid and cook it manually for 14 minutes (12 minutes of thawed). Let the Instant Pot come to pressure before starting the timer.
  • When the timer goes off, use the natural release for 10 minutes. After use the quick release.
  • Remove chicken, shred and remove bones and then pour extra sauce over shredded chicken to fully coat. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe can easily be made in a slow cooker or crock pot just set all ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low 4-6 hours. 
  • Use your favorite BBQ sauce for the recipe, anyone will work.
  • For some extra kick in the BBQ sauce add some chipotle pepper or adobo sauce.
  • Serve pulled chicken on buns, over a salad or even to top off nachos or pizza. 

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How freezer meals will change your life.

Makes homecooking Easy

Only spend one hour in the kitchen for a whole week of dinners. Day of, throw your freezer meal in the slow cooker or instant pot and enjoy dinner!

feel confident

Knowing you have a fool proof systen for something that is easy and works gives you confidence in the kitchen. So wether you're a seasoned chef or occational home cook the method of freezer cooking will work for you!

Eat Healthier

Because you're prepping the freezer meals with fresh foods you're eating healthier. Anytime you cook at home instead of eating out you get the benefits of healthier food.

Enjoy less stress

Have you ever felt the pressure of forgetting about dinner, or having to cook at the end of a long day?! No more, just grab something out of the freezer and you're good to go.

To learn more about how freezer cooking can help make your life easier sign up for FOOD FOR THOUGHT! Get healthy recipes, meal plans and hacks straight to your inbox weekly. 

Frequently asked questions

No problem! Just throw the freezer meal in your instant pot and cook it manually for 14 minutes instead of 12 minutes. 

Not this homemade bbq sauce. Traditional or storebought bbq sauce can be high in sodium and sugar. Which is why this homemade bbq sauce is perfect! Low in sodium and no artificial sugar. 

A premade bbq sauce is going to be very high in sugar, additives and sodium. Homemade bbq sauces are healthy and supar easy to make!

I love using leftover bbq chicken top top of chips for bbq chicken nachos. Or you can top off a pizza for a bbq chicken pizza. You could also make bbq chicken sliders and get really fun by topping it off with slaw.

If you have a dry chicken issue adding in a sauce is a great way to add some flavor and a better texture. This bbq sauce will go a long way making dry chicken into an amazing mouthwatering dinner. 

Absolutely! This recipe was created with the intent of being a healthy clean eating freezer meal! So you can feel good about what you’re feeding your family. 

SO MANY THINGS! You can use it with other meats, for a sandwich, for nachos, or any other creative things you can think of. Just lick the bowl if you like…no judgement here 😉 

Don't forget to pin this recipe and save it for later! 👇

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