Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls.
Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls, the deliciously quick and easy meal. Shredded chicken in a sweet and spicy pineapple BBQ sauce. All made in the instant pot (along with slow cooker and stove-top variations). Serve this up bowl style…with quinoa, fresh pineapple salsa, avocado, and crispy fried garlic chips. Bonus, this saucy BBQ chicken is great leftover for lunch. Pile it high onto your favorite toasted bun for a yummy BBQ chicken sandwich. The perfect weeknight dinner…comes together in minutes and so delicious too!
It’s that time of year when I’m reminded of my childhood favorite, BBQ chicken. Did anyone else eat plenty of BBQ chicken as a kid? My dad would grill chicken and smother it in BBQ sauce pretty much all summer long. It was easy, and not one of us complained. We all loved it, and to this day BBQ chicken just screams laid back summer nights to me.
I have to say, I’m really excited for summer this year. Of course I’m always excited, but my body is very ready for the long days of summer sun, slightly more relaxed vibes, summer tomatoes, fruits, and basically all the other wonderful things that come along with summertime. Fully aware that we still have about a month left of spring, but I’m excited for all that’s to come.
The one thing I really want to do more of this summer? Well, the one thing other than just chill out for two minutes? Is use my instant pot and slow cooker more! For whatever reason, everyone assumes that the instant pot/slow cooker should only be used during the colder months. Maybe because typically the things cooked inside them are soups, stews, and chili’s. But we all know that so much more can be made in our instant pots (and slow cookers), the options are really endless.
And the best part? Cooking in the instant pot creates almost no heat in your kitchen. Making it the perfect cooking method for the hot days ahead…when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven…or even step outside…if you live in a humid climate…which I do not. But not going to lie, I kind of wish I did.
What I love about this chicken recipe is that it’s one of those one and done kind of dinners. This chicken has very little prep and takes just minutes to come together, great for weeknights!
You can pressure cook, slow cook, or even cook this on the stove (use the method that works best for you) right along with the BBQ sauce, pineapple chunks, and spicy jalapeños. I like to make my homemade BBQ sauce. The recipe is in the HBH cookbook, but there’s a similar version here too. Store-bought is fine as well. If using store-bought, I highly recommend the Primal Kitchen BBQ sauce. It’s the healthiest I’ve seen on the market (no added sugars!) and it’s delicious too.
While the chicken is cooking, prep all the ingredients for the bowls. I love using quinoa for this recipe. It’s a nice switch up from the usual rice, plus it takes only 20 minutes, so it is super fast. I usually have already cooked quinoa waiting in my fridge for busy nights, so it’s my go-to.
For the salsa, I kept it simple, since I wanted the flavors from the BBQ sauce and the pineapple to really come through. I used fresh romaine lettuce, plenty of fresh pineapple and lime juice. I added cherry tomatoes for a burst of sweet flavor and color. Then I got a little fancy, and made some fried garlic chips. Which are especially good and add a nice crunch too.
Once the chicken has finished cooking, lightly shred it. Then it’s assembly time. Layer up the quinoa, salsa, saucy chicken, and I like to finish each bowl with avocado and fresh chives.
Nothing too over the top, but this is feel good food for sure. Completely addicting thanks to that sweet and spicy pineapple BBQ sauce, but healthy too!
While I like to serve this BBQ chicken bowl style, it’s equally delicious piled onto your favorite toasted bun. Top with slaw, and make it into a BBQ chicken sandwich. Great for picnics or whatever your needs may be. You could even do fun slider buns when serving guests.
The leftovers the next day make for a delicious chopped BBQ chicken salad. Maybe with a little honey mustard too? Yes, that would be very good. Just a thought.
Either way you serve this chicken, I have high hopes it will be well loved. It’s certainly one of my newer “back pocket” recipes.
If you make these Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls
Shredded chicken in a sweet and spicy pineapple BBQ sauce. All made in the instant pot (along with slow cooker and stove-top variations) and served up bowl style...with quinoa, fresh pineapple salsa, avocado, and crispy fried garlic chips. The perfect weeknight dinner!
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups BBQ sauce, homemade or store-bought (if using store-bought, I like Primal Kitchens BBQ Sauce)
- 2 tablespoon pineapple juice
- juice from 2 limes
- 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
- 2 jalapeños, chopped, and seeded if desired
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- kosher salt and pepper
- 3 cups cooked quinoa or rice
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, and or cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 5 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 4 fresh chives, chopped
- fried garlic for serving (optional)
1. In the bowl of your instant pot, combine the chicken, 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce, pineapple juice, juice of 1 lime, 1 cup pineapple chunks, 1 jalapeño, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high pressure/manual for 8 minutes. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function and release the steam. Shred with two forks and stir in the cilantro and remaining BBQ sauce, if desired.
2. Meanwhile, make the salsa. In a bowl toss together the remaining 1 cup of pineapple chunks, remaining jalapeño, tomatoes, basil or cilantro, juice of 1 lime, and a pinch of salt.
3. Divide the quinoa among bowls and top with the lettuce, pineapple salsa, the chicken, and avocado. Sprinkle with chives and fried garlic, if using. Drizzle the chicken with the remaining BBQ sauce left in the bowl.
1. In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine the chicken, 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce, pineapple juice, juice 1 lime, 1 cup pineapple chunks, 1 jalapeño, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Once the chicken is done cooking, shred with two forks and stir in the cilantro and remaining BBQ sauce, if desired.
2. Follow the directions as directed above for steps 2-3.
1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken on both sides, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce, pineapple juice, juice of 1 lime, 1 cup pineapple chunks, and 1 jalapeño. Cover and simmer the chicken for 1-2 hours. If the sauce gets too thick, add water to thin the sauce out. Once the chicken is done cooking, shred with two forks and stir in the cilantro and remaining BBQ sauce, if desired.
2. Follow the directions as directed above for steps 2-3.
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