These chicken breasts are fall apart tender and cooked to perfection in the Instant Pot. This recipe makes a quick and easy dinner that’s perfect on sandwiches, on rice or even by itself. So much saucy and delicious flavor in this Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken!
Are you looking for an easy Instant pot chicken recipe that everyone will love? This shredded chicken is exactly what you need on your family’s dinner plates. It’s super simple to make and always turns out delicious!
I love how versatile this recipe is. You can serve it over pasta, rice or in tacos and fajitas. You can even pile it high on a slider (hello game day recipe!). Add it to a salad, in a sandwich or even over some nachos. There’s so many ways you can use this recipe in meals.
This recipe serves about 8 people making it a great option to serve a small group of friends or family. If it’s just a few people in your home, you can enjoy the leftovers. I personally love leftovers because then I don’t have to cook the next day.
What You’ll Love About Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- Easy recipe to use in your Instant Pot
- Makes a good sized amount of chicken to serve to friends and family
- Many ways to use it in meals and appetizers
- Ready to eat in about 30 minutes
- Fairly hands off recipe with your Instant Pot doing most of the work
- Tender, saucy and flavorful
Ingredients for Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Lemon pepper
- Onion powder
- Sweet paprika – Did you know there are three different types of paprika? Sweet paprika is often labelled as just paprika.
- Celery seeds
- Chicken broth
- BBQ sauce – Use your favorite brand or whatever you have on hand
How to Make BBQ Shredded Chicken Breast in the Instant Pot
Step One: Unpack and dry chicken breasts. Place on a large plate. Set aside.
Step Two: In a small bowl, combine all the spices: lemon pepper, salt, onion powder, sweet paprika and celery seeds. Mix until combined.
Step Three: Sprinkle the mixed spices on the chicken breasts and gently rub in.
Step Four: Place the chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.
Step Five: With a fork, make a few pokes in each breast.
Step Six: Add the chicken broth and BBQ sauce.
Step Seven: Close the lid and set to cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes.
Step Eight: Use natural release pressure for 15 minutes.
Step Nine: Take the breasts out of the Instant Pot and put into a large bowl or plate.
Step Ten: With 2 forks, shred the chicken and put it back in the BBQ sauce in the Instant Pot. Mix around so the chicken is covered in BBQ sauce. Serve hot.
Equipment Needed to Make Instant Pot Pulled Chicken
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- Instant Pot – I used a 6 quart Instant Pot.
- Measuring cups
- Mixing bowl
What to Serve with Your Shredded BBQ Chicken
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Cheeseburger Pizza
- Air Fryer Pizza
- Party Potatoes
- Can’t find lemon pepper? Use 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
- Substitute garlic powder for the onion powder.
- Try smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika. It will change the flavor slightly.
- No celery seeds? Try caraway seeds or simply leave them out.
- Use either low sodium or regular chicken broth.
- If you like it really saucy, use extra BBQ sauce.
Best Way to Store Leftover Shredded BBQ Chicken
Store any leftover BBQ chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I Freeze Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken?
Yes, this recipe freezes well. Add the cooled leftovers into a freezer safe bag. Lay it flat in the freezer for easy storage. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat
I typically reheat my leftover BBQ chicken in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Microwave times vary so make sure to check it periodically.
You can also reheat on the stovetop or in the oven.
- Poke the raw chicken breasts with a fork so that the flavors will permeate into them.
- After shredding the chicken, I like to add it back into the sauce in the Instant Pot. This way all the freshly shredded chicken will be coated in the delicious BBQ sauce. Mmm flavor!
- Store the chicken in the Instant Pot until you are ready to eat.
- You might need to let the cooked chicken breasts cool a few minutes before shredding them with the forks. They will be hot.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
If you didn’t have time to thaw your chicken breasts first, don’t worry too much. You can cook them from frozen in the Instant Pot. Add about 15 minutes on to the cooking time. The rule of thumb is to add about 10 minutes of cooking time for each pound of frozen chicken in the Instant Pot.
Can I use Homemade BBQ Sauce?
Use homemade bbq sauce if you like! If you have your own favorite recipe, use it in place of the storebought BBQ sauce. This Spicy BBQ Sauce and KFC Honey BBQ Sauce look delicious.
What Kind of Chicken Can I Use to Make Shredded Chicken?
I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken breasts. I find it the easiest to shred and I always have some in my house. We eat a lot of chicken.
You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
The key here is that you want the chicken to be boneless so it will be super simple to shred with forks.
How to Shred Chicken with Two Forks
Grab two forks from your utensil drawer and place one in each hand. Hold the chicken breast with one fork and use the other fork to scrape down the side to shred.
Is BBQ Sauce Enough Liquid for the Instant Pot?
No, BBQ sauce won’t be enough liquid and will burn if you just add that with your chicken. You need to also add the cup of chicken broth as listed in the recipe directions.
Can I Make Shredded BBQ Chicken in the Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can make this recipe in the slow cooker although it will take a lot longer. You’ll need to slow cook it for about 6 to 7 hours on LOW or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH.
Instant Pot Recipes
- Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken
- White Bean and Turkey Chili
- Instant Pot Potatoes
- Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs
Check out all my Instant Pot recipes and tips.
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Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken
These chicken breasts are fall apart tender and cooked to perfection in the Instant Pot. They make a quick and easy dinner that's perfect on sandwiches, on rice or even by itself. So much saucy and delicious flavor!
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large breasts)
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice
- Unpack and dry chicken breasts. Place on a large plate. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine all the spices: lemon pepper, salt, onion powder, sweet paprika and celery seeds. Mix until combined.
- Sprinkle the mixed spices on the chicken breasts and gently rub in.
- Place the chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.
- With a fork, make a few pokes in each breast.
- Add the chicken broth and BBQ sauce.
- Close the lid and set to cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes.
- Use natural release pressure for 15 minutes.
- Take the breasts out of the Instant Pot and put into a large bowl or plate.
- With 2 forks, shred the chicken and put it back in the BBQ sauce in the Instant Pot. Mix around so the chicken is covered in BBQ sauce.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 919mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 27g
El Green says
Made this today for a potluck with 20 people, I tripled the recipe and it was perfect! Thank you!