Instant Pot BBQ Chicken (toddler, kid + adult approved)
This Instant Pot BBQ Chicken is an easy meal that the entire family will love – from picky toddlers to adults! This meal comes together in one pot and in less than 30 minutes. Using only 4 simple ingredients, this easy chicken dish is lower in sugar yet still packed with flavor.
My entire family loves this easy BBQ chicken recipe!
Reasons to Love this BBQ chicken
- can be served to the whole family – even picky eaters
- prepped in less than 5 minutes
- lower in sugar
- can be made in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker
- great added to sandwiches, salads, wraps and over baked sweet potatoes
- dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes
- 1 pot meal
- can be made gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free
For this Instant Pot BBQ Chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
- Chicken – you can use either boneless skinless chicken breasts or thigh in this recipe.
- BBQ sauce – you can use any BBQ sauce in this recipe but I would go with a mild version if serving to the kiddos;)
- Crushed Tomatoes – we add in some crushed tomatoes to make this recipe not overly sweet, which is important if you are serving to toddler or kids.
- Spices – we add in some mild chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper to bring out any depth that we lost for using less BBQ sauce – trust me it works. You will never miss not using straight BBQ sauce in this recipe.
How to Make
- Add Chicken: place the chicken in the Instant Pot.
- Add Spices: sprinkle the chicken with mild chili powder, paprika salt and pepper.
- Mix Together: In a small bowl, mix together the BBQ sauce and the crushed tomatoes. Pour this mixture over the chicken.
- Cook: set for 10 minutes on high pressure. Naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes and then manually release the rest of the pressure.
- Shred Chicken: take the chicken out of the Instant Pot and place it on a cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. Or you can place the chicken into a stand mixer and shred the chicken on low, yes this really works!
- Important – Put Some Chicken Aside: once shredded, the chicken won’t have a ton of BBQ sauce on it. This is a great time to put some aside for your kiddos if they won’t go for the full BBQ sauce chicken.
- Also Important: Carefully pour the BBQ sauce out of the instant pot into a small bowl or measuring cup (don’t worry, we will add some of this back in later). Because the chicken releases water when cooked, I have found that most of the time when I cook chicken in an Instant Pot there is just way too much liquid. I have found that most kids don’t like soggy salsa chicken so I like to control the amount of BBQ sauce that goes back into the Instant Pot with the chicken. I usually use about half in this recipe, but this will vary every time.
- Add Chicken and BBQ Sauce: place the shredded chicken back into the Instant Pot and then add the BBQ sauce back in a little at a time, until you have the right chicken and salsa ratio.
How to Serve to family
Baby – Baby-Led Weaning or Finger Foods
You can definitely serve this meal to baby as well – shredded chicken without the bbq sauce, whole strawberries (they can hold onto the stem) or quarter smaller strawberries, 2-3 inch sticks of cucumber cut into quarters and a slice of the roll.
You can serve this meal to toddler and is similar to how you would serve to baby – shredded chicken with a little bit of BBQ sauce, half of a roll, cucumber moons and quartered strawberries.
This is a great meal for picky eaters as it has some familiar and new foods (see below for more tips) – chunks of chicken without the BBQ sauce (you can add a dollop on their plate if you want), a half of a roll, cucumber moons with ranch dipping sauce and cut strawberries.
The ideal is to start having your kids plates looking similar to your plate – BBQ chicken sandwich, pickles, salad with chopped cucumbers and whole strawberries.
A fun and healthy meal for adults – a couple of BBQ chicken sandwiches, a huge salad with chopped cucumbers (dressing not shown), pickles and some strawberries. You can sub any veggie you want for the salad if a salad isn’t your thing.
Tips on How to Serve to Toddlers + Kids
For toddler, you might want to serve the chicken shredded or in small chunks before adding back in the BBQ sauce. This way the chicken has flavor but isn’t overpowering. If your toddler loves BBQ sauce, by all means, add in the sauce. Paired with quartered strawberries, sliced cucumbers and a half of a roll. Simply yet nutritious.
Here are some fun ways to make this meal more approachable for picky eaters. Serve the chicken without the sauce and with a fun food pick or utensil that isn’t a fork. Using fun picks or utensils makes sometimes challenging food seem a little more fun. Add cut strawberries into a fun silicon cupcake liner or bowl. Add their favorite dip along with the cut cucumbers. Serve meal with a roll if the rest of the family is eating it. Don’t deprive them of the foods you know they will only eat, let them have them. You might consider serving their initial portion in smaller portions.
Try to start making your kids’ plate look similar to your plate. Add fun picks to foods that your kids are on the fence with, this makes them more fun and approachable. Add bigger pieces of chopped veggies along with their favorite dressing to a salad so they can see foods they recognize even if they don’t recognize the kale salad.
MORE EASY FAMILY DINNERS
- Cheesy Garlic Broccoli Pasta
- DIY Family Dinner – Turkey Taco Bowls
- DIY Family Dinner – Greek Platter
- Easy Tomato Soup with Cheesy Bread Dippers
- Easy Salsa Chicken Tacos
- Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Green Bean “Fries” (toddler, kid + adult approved)
DID YOU MAKE THIS BBQ CHICKEN FOR YOUR FAMILY?
I’D LOVE TO KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT! LEAVE A COMMENT AND A ⭐️ RATING BELOW 👇
Get the recipe: Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 3/4 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp mild chili powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the chicken in the Instant Pot.
- Sprinkle the chicken with mild chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the BBQ sauce and the crushed tomatoes. Pour this mixture over the chicken.
- Set for 10 minutes on high pressure. Naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes and then manually release the rest of the pressure.
- Take the chicken out of the Instant Pot and place it on a cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. Or you can place the chicken into a stand mixer and shred the chicken on low, yes this really works!
- Put some chicken aside for younger kids, once shredded, the chicken won’t have a ton of BBQ sauce on it. This is a great time to put some aside for your kiddos if they won't go for the full BBQ sauce chicken.
- Carefully pour the BBQ sauce out of the instant pot into a small bowl or measuring cup (don’t worry, we will add some of this back in later). Because the chicken releases water when cooked, I have found that most of the time when I cook chicken in an Instant Pot there is just way too much liquid. I have found that most kids don’t like soggy salsa chicken so I like to control the amount of BBQ sauce that goes back into the Instant Pot with the chicken. I usually use about half in this recipe, but this will vary everytime.
- Place the shredded chicken back into the Instant Pot and then add the BBQ sauce back in a little at a time, until you have the right chicken and BBQ sauce ratio.
Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
- Using the same ingredients, you would cook the chicken in a slow cooker for 4-6 hours or until cooked all the way through.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @babyfoode on Instagram and hashtag it #babyfoode!
8 Comments on “Instant Pot BBQ Chicken (toddler, kid + adult approved)”
If doubling the recipe, do I need to cook the chicken for longer?
(Btw I’ve made this several times. I find that it tastes the best when I use Stubbs BBQ sauce)
Do you add water when making this recipe in an Instant Pot? I thought you always had to add water, but I’m new to using an Instant Pot (so basically I have no idea what I’m doing 😂)
I have always found that the bbq sauce in this recipe replaces the water but you can always add in 1/4-1/2 cup of water if you prefer.
Sounds good! I’m making this recipe again tonight. I’m excited to see how it turns out with just the BBQ sauce (last time I put in a little water). Thank you!
9 times out of 10 this recipe gets a burn warning! What am I doing wrong? Should I use the trivet?
I’ve never seen the burn warning light, scary! You can try adding in 1/2 cup of water. Let me know of that works.
I’m not sure how to approach this if I’m making for BLW for a 9 month old and how to cook the meal without having the BBQ sauce on the chicken. Can you offer some tips?
You can make this recipe as is, and when the recipe is done you can take out the chicken and cut it into strips or shred it for your baby. Most of the bbq sauce will be at the bottom and just a little flavor should be left on the chicken. If there is too much sauce, you can wipe it off with a paper towel before serving. Hope that helps.