You know that go-to meal that’s a family favorite? It’s the one that’s easy to make and so delicious you look forward to it all day long. Well, for our family, lately that recipe is Pineapple Barbecue (BBQ) Chicken Tacos. It began a few months ago when I was about to food prep shredded chicken for meals throughout the week, except when I went to put everything in the Instant Pot, I decided to change things up and make something new for lunch instead. I have been craving all things pineapple lately, and I wanted Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos with warm, melted Monterey Jack cheese.
While I could have made the shredded chicken and topped it with pineapple salsa, I wanted to try it a different way. I ended up with tacos that are easy to make and so delicious. We’ve been making Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos about once a week for a while now, and they are perfect for lunch or dinner on Taco Tuesdays or any time you want tacos!
You can use fresh pineapple for this recipe, or you can use canned pineapple. If I use canned pineapple, I select pineapple chunks canned in pineapple juice. If you want to use fresh pineapple, you’ll want to select a nice, ripe pineapple to maximize flavor.
Barbecue (BBQ) Sauce
I think this recipe works well with any type of barbecue sauce. We’ve tried it with an original flavor type of BBQ sauce, a honey BBQ sauce, a Carolina-style BBQ sauce, and a homemade BBQ sauce. It was all delicious. My recommendation is to use the flavor of BBQ sauce you enjoy the most and the pineapple and chili garlic sauce will give the tacos additional flavor.
Chili Garlic Sauce
I use store-bought chili garlic sauce for this recipe. I am currently using the Huy Fong Foods Chili Garlic Sauce because it adds a depth of flavor to the tacos, and it also makes this recipe easy to prepare. That said, you can use any type of chili garlic sauce or even make it yourself!
Boneless skinless chicken breasts work great for this recipe. I use fresh or thawed; however, I have also tried this recipe with partially frozen breasts as well and it works well. Sometimes things are busy and you need to get food on the table fast for everyone, so this is great for moments like that. You’ll want to follow the Instant Pot manual for recommendations on adjusting the cook time for frozen poultry. It is important to cook the chicken thoroughly before shredding and serving it in the tacos.
Pressure Cooker versus Slow Cooker
I use the Instant Pot for this recipe; however, you can also use a slow cooker. If you would like to use a slow cooker instead, you can combine the olive oil, chicken breasts, pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, and chili garlic sauce (exclude the BBQ sauce) in a slow cooker and cook on High for 3 to 4 hours or on Low for 6 to 8 hours. You will want to shred the chicken, drain most of the liquid, and add the BBQ sauce and stir to combine. Let the shredded chicken warm in the slow cooker for 5 minutes with the BBQ sauce and then serve on flour tortillas with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Makes 8 tacos
- Instant Pot*
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
*A slow cooker can also be used for this recipe.
- 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 can of pineapple or 2 cups of fresh pineapple and 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- 3/4 to 1 cup barbecue (BBQ) sauce
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 8 soft flour taco tortillas
- Coat the bottom of your Instant Pot’s inner pot with olive oil. Place chicken breasts in the inner pot.
- Add pineapple and pineapple juice and chili garlic sauce to the pot.
- Close the lid and set the steam valve to the sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to the Poultry setting, or Pressure Cook on High, and set the timer to 15 minutes.
- Quick release the lid and discard most of the excess liquid. Using two forks, shred the chicken and add the BBQ sauce to the chicken and remaining liquid and stir to combine. Close the lid of the Instant Pot let the shredded chicken warm for 5 minutes. Serve on taco tortillas and top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Enjoy!
- Alternatively: Heat a skillet on low heat and warm a taco tortilla in the skillet. Add pineapple BBQ shredded chicken and top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Warm until cheese is melted and taco shell browns slightly. Repeat for each taco. Enjoy!
Inspired by Delish Instant Pot Shredded Chicken.