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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!

overhead photo of Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls

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.

Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken in instant pot bowl

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.

overhead close up photo of Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls

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!

overhead close up photo of Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls

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.

overhead photo Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls

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

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 397 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Instant Pot

  • 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. 

Slow Cooker

  • 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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  1. 3 stars
    This ended up a bit bland for my taste, I would use a concentrated spicy sauce next time. I used lots of red pepper flakes when serving. I highly suggest using basil, it makes everything taste super fresh.

    1. Hi! I am sorry to hear that! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help! Otherwise, I hope you love all the other recipes of mine! xTieghan

  2. LOVE THIS! I tried it with chicken thighs the second time around and I found that the sauce really thinned out. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Ellen,
      My only thought would be that the chicken thighs produced more oils and juices which caused the sauce to thin out. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  3. Hi! Can i use chicken thighs instead of breasts for this? If I can, should I change the cooking time or can I keep everything the same?

  4. 5 stars
    Made it for dinner tonight and loved it! Used less jalapeños just because I was cooking for my 1 year old but so good!

  5. This was delicious! Love the fresh salsa on top. You are SO creative with garnishing your dishes with different textures and flavors!

  6. 4 stars
    While the taste of this recipe was delicious, the sauce did not come out as thick as I’d hoped. Probably more user error than the recipe.

  7. I’ve made this twice so far and LOVE it! The flavor is so addicting. Last time I took the leftover chicken and made some tostadas, so good. Might be good on pizza too! Endless possibilities with this recipe!

  8. 4 stars
    Made 4 bowls, and then put the leftover chicken and salsa on pizza crust with Mexican cheese, love how versatile (and delicious!) this chicken is!

    1. Wow yum!! I am so glad you loved this and could make another meal out of it! Thank you Katie! xTieghan

  9. This was absolutely fantastic! Such a wonderful combination of flavours. I’m in Canada, and I used Cattle Boyz brand BBQ sauce – it was the perfect flavour with a touch of heat. I would make this again in a heartbeat!

  10. 3 stars
    I was so excited to make this in the instant pot but I got a burn message once it came to pressure. Any tips or ideas on why that may have happened? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kira! I am sorry you had some trouble. Honestly I am really unfamiliar with the burn message as I have never gotten that message when using my instant pot. Do you have a newer Instant Pot model by chance? I have noticed that people with a newer model tend to get the “burn message” while people with an older model (mine is the older model) don’t receive it. Did you do anything differently than listed? Any details you can give me will help me to problem solve the issue better. Again so sorry for the trouble, but hope I can help! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    Another fantastic recipe, thank you Tieghan! A great balance of sweet and savoury. It was so easy to make and was delicious!

    I used black rice instead of quinoa because that’s what I had but I reckon quinoa would also be great.

    I’ll definitely make this again, thanks for sharing.

  12. This looks delish! Now that the weather is warming up, I’m wanting to lighten up dinner some.

  13. I made this with jackfruit too for my sister who’s a vegetarian and it came out great!!!! Love this recipe 🙂