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Instant Pot BBQ Chicken with Homemade Sauce (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

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Football season is among us, and I figured a recipe like this would be a hit for tailgating or watch parties at home.

You know why? Because:

  1. It feeds A LOT of people
  2. It’s extremely easy!
  3. You can make it in advance
  4. It heats up well
  5. Most importantly, it’s delicious – duh

HOMEMADE BARBECUE SAUCE IS A HEALTHIER OPTION

I decided to try making homemade barbecue sauce for this recipe for a couple different reasons. First off, I’ve never done it before, so I was genuinely curious to see how it would turn out! Spoiler alert: freaking amazing.

In addition, I knew homemade sauce would be much lower in sugar and sodium than the BBQ sauces you’d find in the stores. Of course, you can totally use your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce if that’s what you prefer, or if you’re short on time! But if you have certain dietary restrictions, homemade sauce might be a great option for you!

I also like that you can customize homemade sauce according to your taste buds. Make it spicier or sweeter, etc.! I was SUPER impressed with how it turned out.

My dad can be hard to please when it comes to “healthy stuff” and substituting chicken over beef or pork, etc. But alas, he loved this recipe! So I guess I’d call it *picky eater-approved*. Hopefully that applies to any picky kiddos out there as well. ; )

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

This Instant Pot BBQ Chicken can be served up multiple ways. Obviously, you can go the traditional route and serve it up on a (whole wheat) hamburger bun. It is also delicious on toasted, whole wheat bread. Lastly, you can serve it on top of a bed of greens for a healthy, gluten-free option if needed! I’ve done all three. : )

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Chicken is high in selenium, phosphorus, and niacin. Selenium can help support the immune system, phosphorus can help support strong bones and teeth and niacin can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

By Camryn Goldstein

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken with Homemade Sauce (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:35 minutes
  • Servings: 12

Ingredients

Homemade Barbeque Sauce:
15 ounces tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste 6 ounces
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses or honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t like spicy; add more if you prefer very spicy, up to 1-2 tsp)

BBQ Chicken:
1 cup water or low sodium chicken broth
3 pounds chicken breasts frozen
1.5 cups homemade barbecue sauce

Instructions

Homemade Barbeque Sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together all of the ingredients: tomato sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, Worcestershire, smoked paprika, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using).
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover with a lid slightly ajar so that the pot is mostly covered to deter splattering, but steam can still escape and the sauce can reduce.
  3. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  4. Measure out roughly 1.5 cups of the sauce to be used in the instant pot. Reserve the rest to be used for dipping, putting on top of your BBQ chicken sandwich or serving with other dishes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

BBQ Chicken:

  1. Place the ingredients in the instant pot in this order: 1 cup of water, chicken breasts, then 1.5 cups of homemade barbecue sauce. DO NOT STIR. You want the water to stay at the bottom so the instant pot comes to pressure.
  2. Place the lid on the instant pot (or Ninja Foodi) making sure the valve is in the sealed position. Press manual (high pressure) and set to 15 minutes.
  3. Once it is done, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. (AKA, let it just sit there for 10 minutes without touching it.) Once the pressure has fully released, open the lid, transfer the chicken breasts to a large bowl and shred with two forks or chicken shredding claws.
  4. Transfer shredded chicken back to instant pot and stir to coat in sauce. Add more BBQ sauce if desired. Enjoy on BBQ sandwiches, salads and more!
Homemade Barbeque Sauce: In a medium saucepan, stir together all of the ingredients: tomato sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, Worcestershire, smoked paprika, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using). Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover with a lid slightly ajar so that the pot is mostly covered to deter splattering, but steam can still escape and the sauce can reduce. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Measure out roughly 1.5 cups of the sauce to be used in the instant pot. Reserve the rest to be used for dipping, putting on top of your BBQ chicken sandwich or serving with other dishes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. BBQ Chicken: Place the ingredients in the instant pot in this order: 1 cup of water, chicken breasts, then 1.5 cups of homemade barbecue sauce. DO NOT STIR. You want the water to stay at the bottom so the instant pot comes to pressure. Place the lid on the instant pot (or Ninja Foodi) making sure the valve is in the sealed position. Press manual (high pressure) and set to 15 minutes. Once it is done, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. (AKA, let it just sit there for 10 minutes without touching it.) Once the pressure has fully released, open the lid, transfer the chicken breasts to a large bowl and shred with two forks or chicken shredding claws. Transfer shredded chicken back to instant pot and stir to coat in sauce. Add more BBQ sauce if desired. Enjoy on BBQ sandwiches, salads and more!

Nutrition Information

Per Serving: Calories: 274; Total Fat: 2 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 66 mg; Sodium: 1317 mg; Potassium: 930 mg; Carbohydrate: 31 g; Fiber: 5 g; Sugar: 20 g; Protein: 32 g

Nutrition Bonus:

Vitamin C: 25%; Vitamin A: 36%; Iron: 26%; Calcium: 3%

Scoop, mix, go further!

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