Are you guys as BBQ obsessed as us?? This Paleo + Whole30 BBQ pulled chicken pretty much always sounds good, and we love it so much we give you Slow Cooker and Instant Pot instructions! Make pulled chicken tacos, a pulled chicken sandwich with lettuce buns, a bowl, throw it on a pizza…seriously there are so many ways to love this BBQ pulled chicken!
The Best BBQ Sauce
We don’t say “The Best” about things very often because let’s be real…there are TONS of options out there on the web and it’s a pretty big claim. BUT…Justin deserves kudos for this BBQ sauce because it really is THE BEST! There is no added sugar at all and it’s the perfect combo of savory, smoky, tangy and sweet!
Perfect For Meal Prep
You will love this BBQ pulled chicken recipe for meal prep. It’s super easy to make and takes little active cooking since the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker really does most of the work. You’ll probably wish you made a double batch because you can eat the leftovers so many different ways that you’ll never get bored of this shredded chicken!
We love this meal prep protein because you can use up the leftovers in a variety of ways that make it feel a little different every time! Some ideas to get you started are to make tacos with Siete tortillas or with lettuce shells, make a bowl with cauliflower rice and greens, stuff a baked sweet potato with the shredded chicken, throw it on top of a pizza or make a breakfast casserole with the chicken in it. Of course tortillas and pizza aren’t Whole30, but you do you. I’m sure the list goes on and on…where will you start?
Other Great Meal Prep Recipes
- Instant Pot Carnitas
- Homemade Keto Chicken Salad
- Beef Barbacoa
- Spaghetti Pizza Casserole
- Slow Cooker BBQ Beef
Your Turn To Try Our BBQ Pulled Chicken
Get your meal prep on this coming weekend, and make this BBQ pulled chicken. We bet you’ll be adding it to your regular rotation! Leave a comment below and let us know how it goes. Also, take a pic to share on Instagram. Tag us @realsimplegood so we can see and maybe even share on our account. Make sure you give us a follow if you don’t already. We’d love to stay connected!
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BBQ Pulled Chicken – Slow Cooker or Instant Pot (Paleo + Whole30)
- 4 lbs chicken thighs
- 1 onion, diced
For the BBQ sauce:
- 1 cup coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- Chop onion as noted.
- To make the BBQ sauce, pace all of the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk well to incorporate. Place 1/2 of the sauce in a container and refrigerate, you’ll it use after the chicken is cooked.
- Pour the other half of the sauce into the instant pot. Add the chicken thighs in on top of the sauce and the onions on top of the thighs.
- Press the “manual” button (or “pressure cook” button) and set the time to cook for 25 minutes at high pressure. Once the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes and then release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid and shred the chicken in the Instant Pot with two forks, mixing it with the juices.
- Serve topped with additional BBQ sauce as desired.
For the slow cooker:
- Follow steps 1 & 2 above.
- Place the chicken and onions in the slow cooker. Pour 1/2 of the sauce over the chicken.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Shred the chicken in the slow cooker with two forks, mixing it with the juices.
- Serve topped with additional BBQ sauce as desired.
I have made this in the crockpot and i now have an instapot and i want to try it. I looked at video that say you need liquid and bbq sauce doesn’t count. Do i need to add other liquid or use the rack ? Or just use bbq sauce ?
Hi there! Just as it’s written in the recipe card, you’ll just need to use some of the sauce. Let us know how it goes. 🙂
14 minutes in i got the message “ food burn” Did you use the rack for the meat ??
Also at what point should the valve be up ? I never saw it come all the way up
Any advice is appreciated. I love this recipe when i made it in crock pot but would love to learn how to make it faster
Shoot! We haven’t had that happen with this one, and we don’t use the rack for it. We’d recommend adding a 1/2 cup of broth to give it some more liquid. It will be more juicy than it is in the crockpot, but still taste delicious. The valve goes up once the IP has reached full pressure. I don’t exactly how many minutes that should take since we typically set ours and walk away. Sorry it didn’t go quite as planned for you. Hope you try again with a little broth added. We’ll add a note in the recipe in case anyone else has an issue as well.
Thank you for the response! I will try again. I transferred it to the crockpot that day and still had a delicious meal !
You’re welcome! Let us know how it goes when you try the instant pot again. Hope your week is off to a good start!
This really is the best whole30 BBQ chicken in the land, I make it all the time, often with frozen chicken because it’s so easy and have messed up the amounts countless times and it still comes out great, thank you!!
We’re so glad you love this one, Allison! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your review! We really appreciate your support. 🙂
My daughter drooled and said, “thank you Erica for making this delicious recipe.”
Haha! Glad it was a hit! I can’t take credit though…Justin came up with this one! 😉
The little ones loved it too! ?
Love how this recipe turned out!! The chicken was super tender and the sauce was perfect. Definitely making this again soon.
Hooray! We are so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks so much for giving it a try and for taking the time to come back and share. We’re so grateful you’re here and hope you find more recipes to love on our site! 🙂
Any concerns using chicken breast instead of thighs? Hoping to cook today!
If you have really thick chicken breasts you may need to increase the cooking time but otherwise it should be fine.
My husband and I love this recipe. Do you have the nutrition information for it though?
Hey there – we don’t track nutrition info on all of our recipes since we don’t track it personally. It’s one of our favorite things about our Paleo lifestyle. We really don’t worry about counting calories, fat, etc. because we are always eating real, minimally processed food. If needed, you could use an app or online calculator like myfitnesspal to get an estimate though if needed.
That’s too bad because people on keto really need to track carbs etc.
We advise using an online nutrition calculator like myfitnesspal if needed.
what are you supposed to do with the chopped onions if you are using the IP recipe? they are not mentioned in the IP instructions
Sorry about that, they should go in along with the chicken to cook. The recipe is now updated.
Do you use bone-in or boneless chicken for this? It looks delicious and I’d love to try it this weekend!
We use boneless chicken thighs! Hope you love it! Let us know! 🙂
When making this the second time I noticed the spices were a tablespoon each. Is that correct? Today I only put in a teaspoon of each and it seemed plenty flavorful. I did use a tablespoon of Dijon and a tablespoon of yellow mustard. I also used a 6 oz can of tomato paste even though the recipe only calls for 4 oz and sauce still tasted great.
Thanks for the recipe it is easy and delicious.
The recipe as written is what we used. Glad yours turned out well!
Delicious! I was so happy with the bbq sauce since I’ve tried a few homemade versions that are terrible! I made the recipe as is and it’s officially in our meal rotation.
Thank you for all your recipes. I have great luck with everything I’ve made from your site.
Thank you! So glad you are enjoying our recipes :).
Making this today! So looking forward to this! Making it was some slaw 😉 I’ll come back and tell how it turns out!!
Hi! I’d like to try this recipe with a whole chicken. Would there be a significant difference between using a crock pot versus an instapot –( I don’t have an instapot)?
Thank you! Sounds super yummy!
Cooking a whole chicken is significantly different than just chicken thighs. You could try just cooking the chicken in your crockpot with some of the sauce on it. Then you’d have to shred/pull the chicken once it is cooked and toss it with extra sauce for the true BBQ chicken flavor.
For the sauce, what kind of mustard? Ground mustard or yellow mustard? Sorry just hoping for clarification.
Just regular yellow mustard, although we’ve done it with dijon as well. Both turn out great!
This. was. amazing! We had purchased everything to make a different recipe for shredded BBQ chicken until this one showed up in my Instagram feed. The sauce is incredible, the chicken super flavorful, and very little effort required (we made it in the crockpot). The BBQ sauce is some of the best we’ve tried. Thank you for a super flavorful sauce that deosn’t contain any sugar!
So glad you found our recipe and enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment, we appreciate it 🙂
I made this in the crockpot this weekend and it is so yummy! The only modification i made was adding salt to my chicken and added crushed red pepper to the sauce, I like spicy. This was seriously delicious and even my boyfriend said it was good. And when he says something’s good, I know I have to keep it on rotation because he complains about EVERYTHING! Thank you for sharing this recipe! ❤
So glad you enjoyed the recipe – even your boyfriend! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment 🙂