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

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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!

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


Instant Pot Island Chicken Bowls with Pineapple Salsa

4.80 — Votes 25 votes
By Cassy Joy Garcia
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
With sticky-sweet chicken and a fresh pineapple and avocado salsa, these Island chicken and rice bowls are the perfect easy summer meal!


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!

Recipe 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.


Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 17.3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1.9g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 1137.2mg | Fiber: 4.2g | Sugar: 8.5g

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 497
Keyword: fresh pineapple salsa, instant pot chicken breast, Island chicken bowls

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    10/10 AMAZING!! Everyone in my family loved this dish. It is super easy and quick to make. You need to make this!!

  2. 5 stars
    This took me out of my comfort zone and recipe rut! Despite me messing up the first part of the recipe, this turned out great. The whole family tried all elements and everyone raved about the chicken . My daughter and I were fans of the salsa…glad to have some leftover for a snack with some chips tomorrow!

    1. So glad your family enjoyed this, Heather! And that sounds like a DELICIOUS snack!

  3. 5 stars
    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. 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!

  4. 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. 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!

  5. 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. 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!

  6. 5 stars
    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. 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!

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

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

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

  9. 4 stars
    This recipe prints really tiny. Any way you could fix that? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

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

    1. 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!

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

    1. 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!

  11. 5 stars
    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. So good to hear, Jaqueline! This recipe is actually on my menu this week too!

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