Barbecued chicken and sweet potatoes in the pressure cooker: the perfect combo for a weeknight dinner. Everything cooks in one pot—including the barbecue sauce!
Photography Credit:Coco Morante
Sweet potatoes seem to take forever when baked in the oven, but not so when you use an electric pressure cooker! I always whip out the Instant Pot when I want sweet potatoes in a flash—it’s my favorite way to cook them now, as they always come out moist and tender–never burned.
These BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a meal unto themselves. They’re loaded with tender, shredded barbecue chicken, then topped with gooey, melty cheese. This all-in-one Instant Pot dish is one of my slam-dunk dinners, and the single-serving leftovers are so easy to pack for lunch, too.
QUICK WEEKNIGHT DINNER IN THE INSTANT POT
I love making this dish in an electric pressure cooker for a few reasons:
- It’s a whole lot faster than using the oven—by about half the time.
- Everything cooks at the same time—the chicken and sweet potatoes
- I can make a side salad (or just relax) while it’s doing its thing—the pressure cooker’s alarm tells me when it’s done, and it comes out perfect every time.
New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.
HOW DO YOU MAKE EVERYTHING IN ONE POT?
This recipe makes use of an extra accessory—a tall metal steam rack. This is how you’ll cook the chicken and the sweet potatoes at the same time.
While the chicken cooks in the bottom of the pot, the sweet potatoes sit on the steam rack and cook right on top.
WHICH SWEET POTATOES TO BUY
This recipe relies on using single serving sweet potatoes. They’re a bit smaller than you might usually buy—they should be about 4 1/2 to 6 ounces each. This is the size commonly found in bags in the produce section of the grocery store, rather than sold loose.
If you use larger sweet potatoes, you won’t be able to fit six of them on top of the steam rack; however, you may simply use fewer sweet potatoes and increase the cooking time, if you like. Large (8 to 10-ounce) ones will take 12 to 15 minutes to cook through.
DO A QUICK PRESSURE RELEASE
To avoid overcooking your sweet potatoes, you’ll definitely want to perform a quick pressure release right when the pressure cooking program ends.
The sweet potatoes need just 10 minutes under pressure, and if they stay in the pot for another ten minutes before releasing the pressure, they will become too mushy. That’s because when the alarm goes off, there’s still a lot of heat and pressure built up in the pot, so foods will continue to cook until the pressure is fully released.
You can leave everything in the pot on the “Keep Warm” setting after cooking if you need to, but you’ll still need to do a quick pressure release.
Don’t worry if the skins split! You may find that the skins on the sweet potatoes split during cooking—that’s totally normal for pressure cooking, and they will still be delicious! The skins on pressure cooked potatoes (both sweet and regular varieties) will be soft, rather than crispy.
HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE
The leftover stuffed sweet potatoes will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can make them for dinner one night, then heat them up for lunch for a couple more days, too. They take 2 to 3 minutes to heat in the microwave.
You might want to leave off the cheese topping if you know that you’ll be reheating the sweet potatoes—it has a tendency to become chewy and tough by the time the sweet potatoes and chicken are heated through.
If you like, you may also freeze the chicken filling separately—just portion them out into silicone muffin pans or mini loaf pans. The single portions thaw much faster, and you can heat up as many as you like at one time.
WANT MORE INSTANT POT CHICKEN RECIPES?
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- How to Cook Chicken in the Pressure Cooker
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Taco Meat
- Instant Pot Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole
Pressure Cooker BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Recipe
If you’re making this recipe in an 8-quart pressure cooker, increase the water to 1 cup.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker Instructions: Decrease the cooking time under pressure to 8 minutes, and follow the rest of the recipe as written. Different stovetop cookers will vary in height—make sure that the steam rack and sweet potatoes will fit inside the pot before proceeding.
Stovetop Instructions: Steam the sweet potatoes in a steamer pot for about 20 minutes, or until you can pierce them with a fork. While the potatoes are steaming, cook the chicken separately in a skillet, searing it over medium heat as in the recipe below, then sautéing the onions and garlic, deglazing the pan with water (increased to 1 cup), adding back the chicken, and simmering, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Shred the chicken, reduce the cooking liquid in the skillet with barbecue sauce until thickened, then add the chicken back and toss to combine. Continue with the stuffing and broiling steps as written.
For the chicken:
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (if they’re more than 8 ounces, cut them in half)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 (4 1/2 to 6 ounces each) sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (homemade or your favorite brand)
For the toppings:
- 3/4 cup grated cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 green onions, sliced thinly
1 Sear the chicken: Season the chicken breasts all over with the salt and pepper.
Select the Sauté setting on your electric pressure cooker and heat the oil for 3 minutes, until shimmering. Using a pair of tongs, lower the chicken breasts into the pot and sear them for 3 minutes per side (6 minutes total), until lightly browned. Transfer the chicken to a dish.
2 Cook the onions and garlic: Add the onion to the pot and sauté for about 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds or so, just until it is no longer raw.
3 Assemble everything in the pressure cooker: Add the water and use a wooden spoon to nudge any browned bits off of the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken back to the pot, nestling it in with the onions and garlic.
Lower a tall metal steam rack into the pressure cooker, making sure all of its legs are touching the bottom of the pot. Arrange the sweet potatoes on top of the rack in a single layer.
4 Pressure cook the potatoes and chicken: Secure the lid on your pressure cooker in its Sealing position. Cancel the Sauté program, then select the Manual or Pressure Cook program for 10 minutes at high pressure. (It will take about 10 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
While the recipe cooks, line a sheet pan with foil and set it aside.
5 Release the pressure: As soon as the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the Pressure Release to its Venting position, releasing the steam. (At this point, the pressure cooker can be left on the “Warm” setting for up to 10 hours.)
Use tongs to gently transfer the sweet potatoes to the foil-lined sheet pan. Remove the chicken to a cutting board or dish.
6 Make the BBQ sauce: Stir the barbecue sauce in with the liquid and onions in the pot. Cancel the Keep Warm program, select the Sauté setting, and let the mixture boil and reduce for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and glazy (the timing will vary slightly depending on how much sugar is in your barbecue sauce).
7 While the sauce is reducing, use a pair of forks to shred the chicken.
8 Mix the chicken with the BBQ sauce: Turn off the Sauté program. Add the chicken back to the pot and toss to combine.
9 Stuff the potatoes and broil: (You can skip this step if you like. Everything is already cooked through—it’s just to get the cheese bubbly and browned.)
Heat your broiler to high with a rack positioned a few inches below the heating element.
Split the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then stuff them with the chicken mixture. Top each sweet potato with two tablespoons of shredded cheese.
Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown in spots. Remove from the oven, then sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. Serve hot.
Leftovers will keep for 3 to 4 days and can be reheated in the microwave.
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BBQ Pulled Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato (Instant Pot)
My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.
Time Saving Tips
Not only is this a Whole30 Buffalo Chicken recipe that goes from ingredients to belly in under 20 minutes, but it is absolutely delicious!! More importantly, I’m about to teach you something that’s going to save you SO MUCH TIME. They’re topped with ranch, chopped celery, and fresh parsley, and there is nothing boring about this meal, friends!
If you have an Instant Pot, stop whatever it is you’re doing.
This recipe is going to CHANGE YOUR LIFE, so I’m going to go ahead and recommend that you read this whole post.
The first step of making BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes is by making the BBQ chicken. I sprayed a 9吉-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and placed 3 chicken breasts inside.
Next, I poured on my favorite BBQ sauce, which is Stubb’s Sticky Sweet Sauce. I love that this sauce just has a few simple ingredients and has such great flavor. You could use any BBQ sauce your family prefers.
I baked my chicken at 375 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.
After the chicken was done cooking, I shredded it but you could also dice it if you prefer. If you are short on time, you could easily use shredded rotisserie chicken and toss it in BBQ sauce and you are good to go.
Follow the instructions above on how to bake sweet potatoes. After they are baked, remove from the oven and cut down the center. Fill the center of each baked sweet potato with BBQ chicken.
Top the stuffed potato with shredded mozzarella cheese, diced red onion and cilantro. Return pan to the oven and broil on high for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Don’t those look amazing? Not only were they so delicious, but they are pretty healthy too. Each potato has roughly 350 calories and 18 grams of protein so you stay full and satisfied.
These stuffed sweet potatoes have all the flavor of BBQ Chicken Pizza and even my picky eaters loved them. They also work great as leftovers. I simply scooped out the inside of my leftover refrigerated potato onto a plate and microwaved it for a minute or so.
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Whole30 BBQ Chicken Sweet Potatoes
I love this recipe for many reasons, but especially because it feels like comfort food and is still Whole30 compliant! By swapping out traditional sugar-loaded barbecue sauce with a Whole30 compliant brand (or homemade), you get all the same great flavor without the unnecessary empty calories. Barbecue sauce is one of those items that’s an easy swap when introducing a clean eating lifestyle. Check your labels – so many of our store-bought condiments are full of sugar and preservatives and can easily be replace with cleaner versions. I especially love Thrive Market for clean, Whole30 approved sauces, dressings, and condiment options.
Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
These barbecue chicken stuffed sweet potatoes are insanely delicious! I’ve been eating them everyday for the past week and I’m not even close to getting tired of them, and I just know you’re going to love them too!
My new Instant Pot has been awesome, but up until now I had only used it to make bone broth. It only takes a couple hours to make a batch of bone broth (versus 24-48 hours in a slow cooker), so needless to say even for that use alone, it’s so worth getting one. I made the shredded chicken in my Instant Pot in just 20 minutes! Don’t worry if you don’t own one just yet, I’ve also included directions for making the shredded chicken in your slow cooker too! You could always use leftover chopped chicken if you prefer, whatever is easiest for you.
You’re in luck if you’ve already purchased my eBook, Get Sauced, as the barbecue sauce recipe is in it! Both the Sweet Barbecue Sauce and the Spicy & Smoky Barbecue Sauce take only a couple minutes to make, and are also whole 30 compliant! My eBook contains 33 sauce recipes (38 with the variations) and they’re what make paleo so easy and sustainable for me! If you haven’t noticed yet, I’ll often be sharing recipes that include sauces from my eBook to show you how delicious they are when paired with different meals, and to give you fun & new ways to use them! If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, now’s the time!
Did you know I just started a business Facebook page? I’ve been asked by so many of you on here if I have a Facebook page, so I finally got one published last week! You can find my page HERE, and I’d so appreciate if you gave it a “like!”
I hope you enjoy this recipe for my barbecue chicken stuffed sweet potatoes!
BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This meal uses something we like to call “planned overs.” Planned-overs or planning for leftovers in your weekly menu not only can save you time but also help you avoid wasting food. This recipe utilizes leftover chicken but you could swap in other lean meats like ground beef or turkey. Top with your favorite toppings and you’ll have a colorful meal that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. This meal will make you wish you had leftovers of your leftovers.
4 medium sweet potatoes
½ lb. chicken breast, cooked
¼ c. barbecue sauce
½ c. cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ c. red onion, diced
¼ c. fresh cilantro
Cook sweet potatoes using one of the following methods:
- Microwave – Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork. Place in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until fork tender.
- Multi-cooker - 1 cup water in bottom. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork. Place on trivet in pot. Lock cover in place and set vent to closed. Manual setting for 15 minutes or until fork tender.
- Oven - Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork. Place in an oven-safe dish. Bake 400 F for 50 minutes or until fork tender.
Cook or reheat chicken to 165 F. Shred chicken and add in barbecue sauce. Mix until chicken is coated. Top each sweet potato with a quarter of the chicken, cheese, onion and cilantro.
Makes four servings. Each serving has 270 calories, 6 g fat, 18 g protein, 34 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 360 mg sodium.
This recipe is part of the Social Eats Project. To learn more about it go here .
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ⅓ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup barbeque sauce
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook on Medium, turning once or twice, until soft, about 20 minutes. (Alternatively, bake potatoes at 425 degrees F until tender, about 45 minutes.) Transfer to a clean cutting board and let cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat chicken and broth in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot. Keep warm.
Holding each potato with a kitchen towel to protect your hands, make a lengthwise cut to open the potato, but don't cut all the way through. Pinch the ends to expose the flesh. Divide butter, salt and pepper among the potatoes, scraping with a fork to incorporate the butter.
Top the potatoes with the chicken mixture and sprinkle with Cheddar. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve the potatoes topped with sour cream, barbecue sauce and scallions.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
Peel and cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 1/4-inch slices. Place the slices into the pressure cooker's steamer basket. Sprinkle slices with salt.
Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Mix well.
Pour orange juice into the cooker (see Editor's Note, below). Place the trivet and the steamer basket with the sweet potatoes into the pot. Sprinkle the potatoes with brown sugar mixture. Place butter pieces on top.
Lock the lid into place and bring the cooker up to full pressure (15 pounds per square inch) over high heat. Once pressure is reached, reduce heat to low and cook for 7 minutes.
Quickly release the pressure using the method recommended by your cooker's manufacturer. Do not discard the cooking liquid.
Remove the steamer basket from the cooker and carefully place potatoes into a serving dish. Return the cooker to the stove and bring cooking liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently, until the cooking liquid is reduced and syrupy, 5 to 7 minutes. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon.
Pour syrup over sweet potatoes and serve.
Chipotle BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Heather Dessinger 5 Comments This post contains affiliate links.
Inside: Adapted from these buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes, this BBQ-inspired recipe is full of flavor and easy to make.
Maybe it’s a temporary growth spurt, or maybe I need a second fridge. Either way, lately my boys have been coming in from an afternoon of play ready to inhale everything in sight. Sometimes they ask me what’s for breakfast when I tuck them into bed. If they knew second breakfast was a thing, they’d be asking about that, too.
And I love it. I love that they play hard and then fill their bellies with nourishing food. But also? I don’t want to be in the kitchen all day. Adapted from these buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes, these BBQ chicken stuffed sweet potatoes are one of my “go to” recipes right now because they’re full of flavor, satisfying, and easy to make.
We usually load ours up chicken slathered in honey chipotle BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, diced green onions, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream, but they’re delicious with banana peppers and red onions, too. They also go great with a big salad and homemade ranch dressing – I hope you love them as much as we do!