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.
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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!
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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Assemble the bowls. Spoon the rice into a bowl, then top with the chicken and pineapple salsa and serve!
Instant Pot Island Chicken Bowls with Pineapple Salsa
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)
- 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.
- 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.
- While the chicken cooks, make the pineapple salsa. Add all of the salsa ingredients to a bowl and toss to coat, then set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Assemble the bowls with the rice, chicken, and pineapple salsa and enjoy!