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Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken

This easy Instant Pot BBQ pulled chicken recipe is a staple in our kitchen. It’s saucy, flavorful, and made with simple ingredients.

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plate filled with shredded chicken in BBQ sauce

Recipe Feature

  • This simple recipe is perfect to use as the base of many dishes: sandwiches, low-carb lettuce wraps, top baked potatoes, or pasta.
  • It required minimal prep time, and the whole recipe is fail-proof and made in less than 30 minutes.
  • Make this ahead and use it as part of the meal plan for the following week.
  • This protein-loaded dish is gluten-freelow carbrefined sugar-free.

Key Ingredients

ingredients to make shredded chicken

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken. I always choose chicken thighs since it has more fat and guarantees the moistest BBQ chicken meat. Plus, it’s easy to shred with two forks.
  • BBQ Sauce. Choose your favorite kind. If you want to keep it sugar-free, choose the right kind. If serving to children, choose mild and not spicy kind. If you are looking for homemade naturally sweetened BBQ sauce, this recipe makes delicious Instant Pot BBQ chicken.
  • Onions. The Vidalia Onions have a mild flavor and work perfectly here.
  • Ghee. Adding some kind of healthy fat to the pot first before adding chicken helps to avoid the burn warning and adds to the flavor.

How to Make It

Step 1. Add melted ghee to the bottom to deglaze the pot, add diced onions. Place chicken in the Instant Pot. Add the sauce on top.

instant pot insert with chicken and tomato sauce

Step 2. Cover with lid and seal the instant pot. Set a timer for 10 minutes on high pressure.

Instant Pot with set timer on 10 minutes

Step 3. Once the timer is off, and you hear the beeping sound, carefully release the pot’s pressure and open the pot.

cooked chicken with bbq sauce in the instant pot

Step 4. While it’s still warm, using two large forks, shred the chicken.

shredded chicken in BBQ sauce inside instant pot

Tips For Success

  • Trim fat from chicken thighs if desired.
  • Choose flavorful and BBQ sauce since we are not adding extra spices.
  • To avoid the burn warning, add ghee and liquids first.
  • To keep chicken moist, don’t overcook.
  • For best flavor. Once the chicken is shredded, taste and adjust the flavor based on your taste buds. If needed, add salt, a splash of apple cider vinegar, chili powder. When serving, top with more sauce.
  • To shred, use two large forks or a hand mixer.
  • Store in the air-tight containers in the fridge or freeze for future use.

Serving Ideas

  • Serve on sandwiches or use it as topping in pizza
  • Make BBQ pulled chicken tacos
  • For low-carb meal, serve it in lettuce wraps

close up image of fork with pulled chicken meat

More Instant Pot Recipes

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plate filled with shredded chicken in BBQ sauce

Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken

Natalia-Flavorful Home
This easy Instant Pot BBQ pulled chicken recipe is a staple in our kitchen. It's saucy, flavorful, and made with simple ingredients.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • instant pot


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 Vidalia onion small, diced small
  • 2 lb chicken thighs
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce Primal Kitchen brand
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Deglaze the pot. Turn on saute setting, add ghee, once melted add diced onions, add sauce, water, layer with chicken.
  • Cover with lid and seal, turn on high pressure for 10 minutes with natural release after for 10 minutes. Once cooked, open and shred the chicken with two forks or a hand mixer.


  • For best flavor, use chicken thighs meat, and don’t overcook the chicken.
  • To keep it sugar-free and gluten-free, I used Primal Kitchen BBQ sauce.
  • To avoid the burn warning, add liquids first. 


Calories: 341kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 19gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 367mgPotassium: 344mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 149IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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