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Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Quick Family Dinner

Easy Instant Pot Shredded Barbecue Chicken is one of the first things I tried cooking when I purchased my Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker. This is the easiest chicken dinner that I make on a regular basis.

It is a family favorite, easy to make for an unplanned dinner as the supplies are always on hand.  A quick barbecue chicken sandwich is perfect for busy work and school nights when everyone is tired and hungry. 

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Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Quick Family Dinner with coleslaw

Barbecue beef & barbecue pork are traditional barbecue sandwiches. Our family usually doesn’t eat pork and as we are trying to cut down on a lot of beef, I thought I’d give it a go with barbecue chicken.

My first try making Barbecue Chicken in the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker was an immediate hit with our college students and my teenage son.  Joey and Jim and Ben especially like it so I always make it when all the men are home.

Using the Instant Pot to make a shredded chicken sandwich for an easy dinner was the first appliance I reach for when making dinner for a crowd.  It is so easy to cook with as it is one pot and does not heat up the kitchen.

I always take my Instant Pot on vacation and this is a traditional first-night dinner for any of our beach vacations. Not an alliance you can take on a plane but easy to squeeze in the car for a driving vacation.

Supplies Needed:

Simple Recipe Fast & Easy

Add frozen chicken breasts to the bottom of the Instant Pot with a 1/2 cup of water and half of chopped onion. Next, add a half 18 oz bottle of  Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce.  This has been our favorite for years but you can use whatever barbecue sauce you like.

Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Quick Family Dinner with coleslaw

When using frozen chicken for this dinner I set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 20 minutes.  That is all you have to do.  Depending on how cold your ingredients are, depends on how long it will be until your chicken is done.  It will take longer than 20 minutes.  But the timer stays the same as the timer starts to move when the cooker reaches cooking pressure.

The chicken doneness works best when you let the pressure cooker release the steam by itself.  This takes about 8 to 10 minutes.  Just enough time to get together a salad or coleslaw.  Release the pressure and make sure to keep your hands and face away from the stream. 

Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Quick Family Dinner with coleslaw

 Remember that you can not open the lid until the pressure is released.  This is the best safety feature is you can not open it by mistake.

After the pressure cooker has released the steam, open the lid and set it aside.  Next, place a cooked chicken breast or two on a plate or large, and using two forks shred the chicken as you would any pork or beef roast.

Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Quick Family Dinner

After the chicken is shredded, add additional barbecue sauce from the bottle or from the pressure cooker pot. Serve this on Sandwich buns and enjoy.

Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Quick Family Dinner


Perfect Vacation Dinner

This dinner we also take this with us when we go on our beach vacation.  I take my electric pressure cooker on every beach vacation. I bring along our favorite barbecue sauce, we purchased chicken at Sam’s Club and it is a quick easy inexpensive dinner when we’ve spent an entire day playing at the pool and the beach.

You can read all about my tips for saving money on a Beach vacation by getting all the information here!

Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Quick Family Dinner with coleslaw

How To Make Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken

You can start with fresh or frozen chicken breasts, 1/2 of an onion chopped in a rough chop, you can leave this out if your family does not like too much onion, and a bottle of your family’s favorite barbecue sauce.

I add one cup of water to make sure there is enough steam to get the recipe up to pressure, put on the lid set to seal, and set on high pressure for 20 minutes. I like to have extra barbecue sauce to add as I shred the chicken with two forks. That is all it takes.  Have buns on hand.

Make coleslaw or a salad and you have a work-night dinner done in no time and time to spend with the family. 

Check Out These Budget Friendly Instant Pots

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Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Quick Family Dinner with coleslaw

Shredded Barbecue Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Chicken

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Susan @ Craftingafamily.com
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American


Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken


Units Scale
  • 5 Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 large Onion chopped
  • 1 18 oz bottle Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 cup Water


  1. Add 1 cup of water and a half a bottle of the barbecue sauce in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  2. Add 1/2 onion which is chopped into large chunks.
  3. Top with the chicken breasts and coat the chicken with the sauce in the pot. Place the top of the Instant Pot and set on the seal, and set high pressure for 20 minutes.
  4. You can use either fresh or frozen chicken, the pressure cooker will adjust time, based on the coldness of your chicken.
  5. When the timer is done allow the pressure cooker to release its steam naturally (10 minutes).
  6. Remove the lid and with two forks shred chicken.
  7. Add additional barbecue sauce to the shredded chicken or the sauce in the pressure cooker and mix.
  8. Serve over buns.


  • Serving Size: 4
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

I take my electric pressure cooker on all of our beach vacations. For more info check out 4 Tips to Save Money on your Beach Vacation.  You will find money-saving strategies I use when traveling with the family.  As well as other recipes I make for dinner on our beach trips to save time and frustration.

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Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken Quick Family Dinner with coleslaw

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  1. Another great chicken recipe! I love that you take the Instant Pot with you on vacay!! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday!


  2. Super yummy, my friend! We love seeing you at Tuesday Turn About!

  3. Simple and delicious. Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop. Can’t wait to see more with Wednesday.

  4. Omgosh I love it when I can play all day and come home and dinner practically makes itself. Pinned it–thanks for linking up!

  5. I love my pressure cooker! I was skeptical and scared to use it at first thought, haha. Now I use it for anything I can, it is so easy! I love bbq chicken and this recipe made me hungry.

  6. That sounds delicious! I actually don’t have a pressure cooker but I’ve heard so many good things about them. Maybe I’ll ask for one for Christmas! =)

    Did you know you can easily shred chicken using your KitchenAid mixer? That was a game changer for me when I realized I no longer had to kill my hands shredding chicken!

    1. Wow, I did not know about using my mixer to shreds chicken. Yes the worst part is having a hungry family in the kitchen while you are struggling with two forks. Thanks for the info. Any tip on how to do this?

  7. I have an Instant Pot which I love. I haven’t tried shredded chicken in it, though. Looks yummy!

    I followed you here from I’m an Organizing Junkie. Feel free to check out my Instant Pot recipes. Have a beautiful week!

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