A sweet and tender dish, instant pot pulled chicken is the perfect easy weeknight meal. This pulled chicken recipe is easy to make with either fresh or frozen chicken and only takes a few minutes to throw together in your instant pot.
It’s no secret that we eat a lot of chicken in our house. Instant Pot pulled chicken is so versatile and easy to make in the Instant Pot. I show it served on a hamburger bun, but it could be served on salad, pizza, or even quesadillas.
This instant pot pulled chicken recipe was born out of my need for a change and leftover hamburger buns. It uses just a handful of ingredients that can usually be found in my refrigerator and pantry.
Making Instant Pot Pulled Chicken into a Freezer Meal
This recipe for instant pot pulled chicken is easy enough to throw together on a busy evening. Or you could make it into an instant pot freezer meal by throwing all of the ingredients together in a freezer safe bag and dumping into the instant pot when you are ready to eat it.
The cook time stays the same, it will just take a bit longer to pressurize as everything defrosts.
If you do plan on making instant pot pulled chicken an instant pot freezer meal, I highly recommend making more than one batch. Making multiple freezer meals at a time is really where freezer cooking saves you time.
Frozen vs. Thawed Chicken Breast
One of my favorite things about cooking in the instant pot is that I don’t have to defrost my chicken ahead of time. I buy the big bag of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts and just pull them out as needed.
Some recipes advise to keep the cook time the same for frozen chicken. When I have read this, the author has stated that the chicken thaws as it pressurizes. Although I do believe this to be true when making a recipe that is completely frozen, I have not found this to be the case when making a recipe with liquid ingredients and frozen chicken.
I do recommend you increase the cook time to 25 minutes, or risk having undercooked chicken. This has been my experience enough times that I always increase my cook time by 50% when working with frozen meat.
Ingredients in Instant Pot Pulled Chicken
(printable recipe is below)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1 cup water
- 4 hamburger buns
How to make pulled chicken in the instant pot
- Place chicken breasts in a small metal or glass bowl that fits inside of the Instant Pot.
- Season with salt and pepper and brush with 1 cup barbecue sauce.
- Pour 1 cup water in the Instant Pot.
- Add a trivet.
- Create a sling with aluminum foil (directions in this post) and lower the bowl of chicken into the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid and set to sealing.
- Frozen chicken: press the manual or pressure cook button and set to 25 minutes.
- Thawed chicken: press the manual or pressure cook button and set to 15 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Quick release the remaining pressure.
- Use the foil sling to remove the bowl of chicken.
- Drain any water in the bowl and shred with two forks.
- Mix In the remaining 1/2 cup barbecue sauce.
- Serve instant pot pulled chicken on warmed hamburger buns.
Special equipment used to make pulled chicken in the instant pot
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 498 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 96mg Sodium: 1534mg Carbohydrates: 66g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 39g Protein: 41g