BBQ Pulled Chicken – Made in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker!

Recipe by Alison Needham for California Prunes

This meal comes together in minutes but tastes like it simmered for hours, thanks to the Instant Pot. Make the California Prune BBQ Sauce ahead of time (it keeps for up to a month in the fridge) and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes! See notes for instructions on how to prepare the chicken in a slow cooker.

Servings: 8
Prep Time:
Cook Time:


  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 ½ cups California Prune BBQ Sauce, divided
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper


Put the chicken thighs into the stainless inner cooking pot of an Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup of the BBQ sauce and chicken broth over the chicken and toss to coat. Sprinkle the mixture with the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and stir again to combine.

Place the lid on the Instant Pot making sure the valve is in the sealed position. Press manual (high pressure) and set to 12 minutes. When it’s done, carefully turn the valve to release the steam (quick release style). Use a clean dishcloth to mute the sound and the steam that billows out. Remove the lid and using a slotted spoon, scoop the chicken out of the instant pot into a serving bowl. Shred chicken with two forks and stir in reserved BBQ sauce.

Serve chicken on buns topped with coleslaw.


IF YOUR CHICKEN IS FROZEN – no problem! Simply add 3 additional minutes to the cook time in the Instant Pot.

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS: Place chicken, 1 cup of BBQ sauce, garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper into the bowl of a slow cooker (omit the chicken broth). Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or high heat for 3-4. Shred and serve as directed