Instant-Pot Pulled Chicken Lettuce Cups

You asked, we delivered. Here is a pressure cooker recipe worth drooling over.

Photography by  The Eclectic Kitchen

Photography by The Eclectic Kitchen

It’s tangy, warm, comforting and a breeze to put together. As moms, The Eclectic Kitchen and I are always on the hunt for easy one pot meals that can feed a small army for a few days! This bbq pulled chicken is SO beyond easy and versatile. In this recipe we used the chicken to make lettuce cups, The combination of the crisp cool lettuce and the warm zesty chicken topped with creamy bleu cheese and pickled onions is like a party in your mouth! It would also be awesome on a salad or hamburger buns as a bbq chicken sandwich. I hope you have fun with this recipe! please leave a comment below to tell us what you think!

Photography by  The Eclectic Kitchen

Photography by The Eclectic Kitchen

Instant-Pot Pulled Chicken Lettuce Cups

Recipe by: Skylar Edberg in collaboration with The Eclectic Kitchen

Yield: 6-8 servings  

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes for chicken, Overnight for onions


For the pickled onions:

  • 2 small red onions, very thinly sliced

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 1 cup white wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons granulated cane sugar, raw preferably

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½  teaspoon dried thyme leaves

    For the Chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon sweet red paprika

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (Breast can be substituted)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced into ¼ inch strips

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste

  • ½ cup broth of choice


For the pickled onions:

Place the onion slices in a large mason jar, use two if necessary. In a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the hot water, vinegar, sugar, salt and dried thyme leaves until sugar and salt are dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture over the onions, tightly seal the lid to the jar/jars and allow the onions to pickle in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight for best results.

For the chicken:

In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Season the trimmed chicken thighs with the spice mixture and rub the spices into the meat to ensure an even coating.

Remove the lid from the Instant Pot, push the sauté button and heat the olive oil for about 2 minutes until it shimmers in the bottom of the pot. Sauté the onion slices for about 5 minutes until softened. Next add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute longer to allow it to caramelize. Cancel the sauté function, add the broth and scrape the bottom of the pot well to prevent burning.

Add the seasoned chicken thighs on top of the onion then pour 1 cup of bbq sauce over the chicken.

Secure the instant pot lid and lock the steam valve. Cook on manual high pressure for 20 minutes

When the pot has finished its timer, wait 10 minutes to allow the steam to naturally release.

Using two forks carefully shred the chicken thighs and add extra BBQ sauce if desired.

Serve the Chicken in lettuce cups topped with the pickled onions, bleu cheese and bacon crumbles or serve on hawaiian slider rolls alongside sweet potato fries or tater tots! This chicken is meant to be versatile for all types of occasions!