Instant Pot Island Chicken Bowls with Pineapple Salsa

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Instant Pot Island chicken bowls are the perfect easy summer meal! Shredded chicken is tossed in a sweet and tangy teriyaki-inspired sauce, quickly cooked in the Instant Pot, then served over rice with a side of fresh pineapple and avocado salsa.

2 wooden bowls filled with white rice topped with island chicken and pineapple avocado salsa on a marble board

When it comes to summer food, I gravitate toward dishes that are fresh and simple. As much as I love cooking, the last thing I want on a hot day is to spend hours in the kitchen heating up my house, and I definitely don't want to sit down to anything too hearty. While it makes perfect sense to use your Instant Pot in the summertime, it can be hard to find Instant Pot recipes that are light and fresh instead of hearty soups and stews. That's where these tasty island chicken bowls come in! The chicken is made in the Instant Pot (or the slow cooker if you prefer!), so no heating the kitchen, they're topped with the most deliciously fresh pineapple and avocado salsa, and they come together in under 30 minutes. The whole family will be able to get behind these!

wooden bowls filled with white rice topped with island chicken and pineapple avocado salsa on a marble board

How to Make Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken

So, there are a lot of variations of what exactly makes an island-inspired chicken out there – from BBQ to sweet and sour to spicy, but for this recipe we decided to go with a teriyaki-inspired sauce for our chicken! The sauce is perfectly sticky, and hits all the right notes of sweet, tangy, and salty. The first step in making these island chicken bowls is putting the sauce together, which is a breeze with the Instant Pot!

  1. Reduce the coconut aminos. Coconut aminos are our secret weapon when it comes to making delicious soy-free teriyaki sauce! You'll simply set your Instant Pot to ‘saute' then add a cup of coconut aminos and let them simmer for 5-8 minutes reduced by half. This thickens the coconut aminos and concentrates their flavors.
  2. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Next, you'll add lime juice, sriracha, garlic powder, ginger, sesame oil, and pineapple juice to the sauce. Give it a whisk then turn off the Instant Pot.
  3. Add the chicken. Next up, you'll add 2 pounds of chicken to the Instant Pot. I personally prefer using boneless/skinless chicken thighs for Instant Pot recipes because they retain the most flavor and don't dry out – but if you prefer white meat you can use either chicken tenders or boneless/skinless chicken breast instead. Either way, you'll simply toss the chicken with the sauce and then set it to cook for 12 minutes.
  4. Make the rice. While the chicken cooks, make your favorite rice according to the package instructions. If you're eating grain-free, feel free to substitute with cauliflower rice instead!
  5. Make the pineapple salsa. To make the pineapple salsa, you'll dice up 2 cups of pineapple, an avocado, some cilantro, red onion, and a small jalapeno, then toss it with lime juice.
  6. Shred the chicken and thicken the sauce. Once the timer on the Instant Pot goes off, you can manually release the pressure, then pull the chicken out and shred with two forks. Turn the Instant Pot back to ‘saute' mode, then whisk together some arrowroot starch and water and pour it into the sauce. Whisk it again and let it come to a boil. Once the sauce is thickened, turn the pot off, then add the shredded chicken and toss to coat.
  7. Assemble the bowls. Spoon the rice into a bowl, then top with the chicken and pineapple salsa and serve!

wooden bowls filled with white rice topped with island chicken and pineapple avocado salsa on a marble board

There you have it, easy island chicken and rice bowls! We hope you and your family love this recipe as much as we do.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Looking for more summer-friendly, easy Instant Pot chicken recipes? This honey mustard Instant Pot chicken and potatoes is one of our all-time favorites! We also love making this Instant Pot Salsa Chicken in big batches to use for taco nights and burrito bowls, and this Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas & Rice is a one-pot recipe that your whole family is sure to love.

Looking for another deliciously fresh, bright, and super quick dinner bowl? These Caribbean Blackened Salmon Bowls, complete with coconut rice, sweet mango, purple cabbage, avocado, and fresh cilantro-lime sauce, are the perfect choice!

Print

Instant Pot Island Chicken Bowls with Pineapple Salsa

wooden bowls filled with white rice topped with Hawaiian chicken and pineapple avocado salsa on a marble board

With sticky-sweet chicken and a fresh pineapple and avocado salsa, these Island chicken and rice bowls are the perfect easy summer meal!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 00:10
  • Cook Time: 00:20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 5

Ingredients

For the Island Chicken
  • 1 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (may also use chicken breasts or tenders)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 4 1/2 cups cooked white rice or cauliflower rice, for serving

For the Pineapple Avocado Salsa

  • 2 cups pineapple, diced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, diced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the coconut aminos to the Instant Pot on saute mode and cook for 5-8 minutes, until thickened and reduced by half, then turn off the Instant Pot.
  2. Stir in the lime juice, sriracha, garlic powder, ginger, pineapple juice, and sesame oil. Add the chicken and toss to coat, then set the Instant Pot to ‘manual' and adjust to cook for 12 minutes.
  3. While the chicken cooks, make the pineapple salsa. Add all of the salsa ingredients to a bowl and toss to coat, then set aside.
  4. When the timer on the Instant Pot goes off, manually release the pressure, then remove the chicken from the pot and shred with two forks, or with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer.
  5. Put the Instant Pot back on ‘saute' mode, then whisk the arrowroot starch with 1/4 cup water. Pour the arrowroot mixture into the sauce and whisk to combine. Let the sauce come to a boil and thicken, then turn off the Instant Pot and return the chicken to the pot and toss it to coat with the sauce.
  6. Assemble the bowls with the rice, chicken, and pineapple salsa and enjoy!

Notes

To make in the slow cooker:

Thicken the sauce in a pot over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, until reduced by half, then add to the slow cooker along with the chicken and toss to coat. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Once the chicken has finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and transfer the sauce to a pot and continue following the instructions in step 5.

 

Comments

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  1. Kay says:

    Hi! You list adding pineapple juice into the instant pot in the directions but I don’t see an amount on the list of ingredients

  2. Rebecca says:

    Great looking recipe! There’s only 2 of us so I was thinking of halving the recipe to only 1 pound chicken breast. If so, should I reduce the IP cooking time? Thanks so much!

  3. Monika says:

    If using a slow cooker- do you make the sauce (add in lime juice, sriracha, garlic powder, ginger, pineapple juice, and sesame oil), before you add the uncooked chicken to the slow cooker? The recipe only specifies the reduced coconut aminos. More clarification on this would be greatly appreciated for slow cooker!

  4. Ariel says:

    I own a ninja foodi. Can I cook this recipe in that as well since there is a high pressure cooking mode?

    1. Melinda says:

      I made it in a Ninja Foodi and made it last night and it came out perfect!

    2. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad to hear that, Melinda! This one is on my menu this week too!

  5. Rebekah says:

    This recipe is amazing! We used half coconut aminos and half low sodium soy sauce because it’s what we had. I sort of screwed up and boiled the sauce a little too long with the arrowroot powder (made the texture weird) – but that’s my mistake, not an issue with the recipe! To make it a little healthier we used brown rice and actually didn’t use all the sauce. This will absolutely be added to our meal prep rotation! I’m hoping that the avocados don’t brown immediately since they’re covered in lime juice.

  6. Jessica says:

    The Fed And Fit Cookbook includes macros, Is it possible to also add macros to your online recipes?
    I am SUPER excited to try this one out tonight! Looks like a great weekday recipe. Thanks again!

    5.0 rating

  7. Laura says:

    Easy and super tasty! Sweet without being overpowering.

    5.0 rating

  8. Claudia says:

    This was SOOOO tasty. Even my 13 month old gobbled up the chicken.

    5.0 rating

  9. Lindsey says:

    what kind of pineapple juice do you suggest?

  10. Lisa Payne Kirker says:

    This was delicious! Cassy Joy and Amber, you two bomber disappoint!

  11. Martha says:

    This was my first instant pot meal. I love this recipe. Delicious

  12. Kate says:

    Hi! My grocery store didn’t have coconut aminos and I won’t get a chance to stop by another one before I make this. I have both soy sauce and Tamari at home (low sodium versions of each) and don’t have any food intolerances – would one of those work as a substitute? If so, would you recommend one over the other? Thanks!

  13. crystal tucker says:

    how long for frozen chicken breasts?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      12 minutes should still do the trick, Crystal! It’ll just take the Instant Pot a little bit longer to reach pressure!

  14. April says:

    This looks awesome! However our family has a coconut intolerance but no problem with soy. If I were to swap in soy sauce to make this how much should I use?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Soy sauce is much saltier than coconut aminos, so I’d recommend subbing 1/4 cup soy sauce + 3/4 cup chicken broth (rather than just soy sauce). Also, since the soy sauce + broth mixture won’t reduce down, skip the step of reducing at the beginning. I hope this helps, April! Enjoy!

  15. Heidi says:

    Silly question-The nutrition info info is for 5 servings. So assuming the info is per serving?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Yep, the nutrition info is per serving!

  16. Christina James says:

    Delicious!!!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Wahoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed these tasty bowls!

  17. Jacqueline M says:

    My entire family complimented me on this recipe. This is a rare occurrence that everyone likes what I cooked and this is the second time it has been with one of your receipes. I may start cooking your receipes exclusively.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So good to hear, Jaqueline! This recipe is actually on my menu this week too!

  18. Jolie says:

    Anyway to make this on the stove top? Don’t have an instant pot or slow cooker.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Sure! We recommend making your shredded chicken and sauce separately if you’re going the stovetop route.
      For the chicken – sear the chicken on both sides in a hot pan, then cover it with chicken broth, place a lid on the pan, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until you’re able to easily shred it with two forks.
      For the sauce – add the coconut aminos to a pan on the stovetop, let simmer until thickened and reduced by half, then add in the lime juice, sriracha, garlic powder, ginger, pineapple juice, and sesame oil. Give it all a good stir, add the arrowroot starch + water mixture, and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for a few more minutes.
      Once your shredded chicken + sauce are finished, just toss them together! Enjoy, Jolie!

  19. Carole says:

    This looks amazing!!
    Is there a pdf or printable version?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      There sure is! At the top of the post, just under the disclaimer, there is a yellow printer icon to the right of the ‘jump to recipe’ button! Enjoy, Carole!

  20. Anna da Palma says:

    This recipe prints really tiny. Any way you could fix that? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Thanks for letting us know! We’ll take a look at it!

  21. Sarah says:

    So excited to try this!! Does the cooking time change at all for tenders vs breasts? Thanks!

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Nope, same amount of time, Sarah! Enjoy!

  22. Ana says:

    Any ideas how to adapt this recipe to a Thermomix?
    Thank you very much!

  23. Lisa says:

    I am so curious about the amount of sugar in this recipe I guess you need to eat small portions?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      This recipe serves 5, and the nutrition facts are attached to the recipe card if you’d like to see specifics. Enjoy, Lisa!

  24. Julie Ann Price says:

    This has become an all-time fave for us. I’ve done in it with chicken in the crockpot, and it’s so simple and full of flavor with the perfect sweet/savory balance. I’ve also used leftover pork from meal prepping and warmed it on the stove “crispy pork bowl” style (from COEAW) then added the sauce in – SUPER GOOD! 10/10 recommend cooking the jasmine rice in coconut milk for added richness & Hawaiian vibes.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Oooh, I LOVE that! It’s one of my favorites too…I’ll have to try it with crispy pork! Thanks for sharing this with us, Julie Ann!

  25. Clare says:

    I have made this twice and can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. The flavor is really strong and almost too tart and salty. Any advice?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Hi Clare! This dish does have a bold Hawaiian flavor. What brand of coconut aminos are you using? We’ve found that the Big Tree brand tends to be a little bit saltier. As far as the tartness goes, you can try replacing the pineapple juice with chicken broth! I hope this helps!

  26. Sarah says:

    I love this recipe, my family finds it too salty. Is there anything I can do to reduce the saltiness? I’ve tried coconut aminos and low sodium gf soy sauce.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      Hi Sarah! We use Coconut Secret coconut aminos and have found that it’s less salty than other brands. You can also either skip the reduction step and add an extra 1/2-1 tbs of starch at the end, or if you find it too salty after it’s already made, you can thin the sauce with water and add more starch to thicken it until you get the flavor you’re looking for! I hope that helps!

  27. Karen says:

    Sounds so good! If I have pre cooked shredded chicken, how do I adjust?

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      I’d recommend making the sauce in a pot on the stove, letting it simmer until thickened (5-8 minutes), and then tossing your precooked chicken in the sauce! Enjoy…these are really yummy!

  28. Sonya says:

    I made with soy sauce and chicken broth substitute as directed in comments, cut Sriracha in half for the kids and left out jalapenos but served with extra Sriracha. I made it with chicken breast and found that I needed to cook it another 3 minutes to be able to shred it easily. I used canned diced pineapple and used the juice in there to cut down on prep and things to buy Really yummy! I’ll be making it again

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you loved it and made it your own, Sonya!