When a main course and a side dish can cook themselves together in one pot, I feel reminded that there is peace and goodness alive and thriving in my world. Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken, sweetened with dates and stuffed in a fluffy sweet potato, topped with a Ranch Coleslaw – this is my happy place.
Barbecue + Sweet Potato + Ranch.
There are a lot of widely accepted flavor combos out there (PB&J, Lime & Coconut, Tomato & Basil, Apple & Cinnamon), but for me, nothing quite compares with a smoky barbecue, fluffy sweet potato, and creamy cool ranch combination.
It's a combo I've spent the past few years of my life trying to convince the sweet potato haters of, and I'm proud to say that I've swooned the greatest hater of all – My Husband, AKA, Mr. “I hate sweet potatoes, I always have, don't even make them for me”.
“Did I win him over,” you ask?
You better believe your “on the fence sweet p'tater lovin' heart” I did.
I had to make this dish four times to get it right, but on that fourth try, as I sunk my fork deep into layers of kettle chips, cheese, slaw, chicken and sweet potato, I told the kids I would officially be giving up recipe writing because I had discovered the perfect recipe.
Just kiddin' – my ideas aren't done flowing yet! But in the moment, it felt like a really great, heroic type speech.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT BARBECUE CHICKEN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES
- ONE POT WONDER! The chicken, sweet potatoes, and from scratch BBQ sauce all get cooked up at the same time in the pressure cooker.
- THE SAUCE! I love me some barbecue sauce and this is a good one. We're not using a sugar/corn syrup loaded bottle of BBQ sauce here. We can do better! Instead, we're making a homemade BBQ sauce alongside the chicken. This has 3 advantages:
- 1) The chicken infuses the sauce with flavor
- 2) The sauce infuses the chicken with flavor
- 3) Bottled BBQ sauce is too thick and will burn to the bottom of the pot. This homemade sauce won't be thick until it gets blended in the end which means there is plenty of liquid to keep things from burning.
- NATURALLY SWEETENED: We're using the natural sweetness of pineapple juice and dates to sweeten this BBQ sauce. Depending on the brand of ketchup you use, there could be sugar in it. I like to use a minimally sweetened brand like Sir Kensington's.
- FLUFFY SWEET POTATOES! Nothin' cooks a potato better than a pressure cooker, and these sweet potatoes are so darn fluffy and soft – just beggin' for toppings.
- THE SLAW! BBQ always needs something cool and creamy by its side, and this ranch flavored coleslaw is a match made in heaven.
- THE TEXTURES! Fluffy potato, tender chicken, melty cheese, creamy avocado, and a double crunch factor of coleslaw and kettle potato chips.
HOW TO MAKE BARBECUE CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATOES IN THE PRESSURE COOKER
- Place chicken in the pressure cooker pot
- Add the remaining ingredients, finishing with ketchup on top so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pot
- Add a trivet of potatoes and cook
- Once done, remove and shred the chicken
- Blend the BBQ sauce until smooth and thick
- Toss the chicken with the sauce
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
HOW TO PROPERLY LAYER YOUR POTATO MASTERPIECE
- Fluff that sweet potato
- Add cheese first so it can melt
- Top with barbecue chicken (and some extra sauce if you please)
- Add a big scoop of Ranch Coleslaw
- Bring on the creamy avocados
- Finish with a big handful of crushed chips
And that is how we build a sweet potato dreamboat.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST BBQ CHICKEN STUFFED POTATO
- CHOICE OF CHICKEN: I like using chicken tenderloins since they don't dry out as easily as a chicken breast. If using a chicken breast, slice into chicken tenderloin shaped pieces – this will ensure they are tender, cooked through, and full of flavor. If you like chicken thighs, they also work perfectly with this recipe.
- LAYERING: Ketchup tends to burn on the bottom of the pot. To prevent this, add your chicken and all of your sauce ingredients and end with the ketchup on top of the chicken.
- SWEET POTATOES: Use a small to medium size sweet potato. If they're too big, they won't cook through as well.
- DON'T LIKE SWEET POTATOES? Swap for russet or Yukon gold. I will say, you'll be missing out on my all-time favorite flavor combo, but it's an option if you insist.
- HEALTHY COLESLAW: My trick to a healthy slaw dressing that doesn't lack in taste and creaminess is to use part yogurt and part mayo. I also added olive oil this time to amp up the silkiness even more.
- RANCH DRESSING: If you want to take an even easier route, use your favorite brand of ranch dressing for the cabbage sauce.
- THE CABBAGE: If you're feeling ambitious, grab a head of cabbage and thinly slice it yourself. However, I'm a total sucker for the many varieties of bagged slaw mix. My recent favorite being a mix of cabbage, kale, broccoli stems, and cabbage – YUM!
- LAYER IT TALL: The best part of this potato is sinking your fork through each and every layer, so go BIG!
- KETTLE CHIPS: This stuffed potato wouldn't be complete without a handful of crushed potato chips – salty crunchy heaven.
HOW TO STORE, REHEAT, AND FREEZE BBQ CHICKEN
- Store: Store leftover chicken, slaw, and sweet potatoes in separate containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Warm the potato and chicken separately in the microwave or stovetop until warm, then assemble as desired.
- Freeze: Place chicken in a freezer-safe container or ziptop bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Sweet potatoes can also be wrapped in foil or plastic wrap and frozen for up to 3 months. The coleslaw will not freeze well.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS FOR BBQ CHICKEN STUFFED SWEET POTATO
The coleslaw can be made up to a day in advance. It will be softer and a little runny, but it still tastes delicious.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BARBECUE CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATOES
When I think barbecue, I think salads!
VARIATIONS OF BARBECUE CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATOES
- Spicy BBQ Chicken: Double the red pepper flakes in the barbecue sauce for a spicy kick. This goes amazing with the sweet potato and cool ranch topping.
- BBQ Chicken Pizza: Use the leftover chicken to make a pizza! You can even experiment with using the leftover potatoes to make this Sweet Potato Pizza Crust.
- BBQ Chicken Wrap: To a large tortilla or wrap, add a smear of mashed sweet potatoes, add chicken, coleslaw, and some crushed chips, and wrap.
When I hear BBQ I think party! Whether it's a family get together in the backyard, or a weeknight dinner with my kiddos, this towering stuffed sweet potato just makes me so happy.
I beg of you to trust me on the flavor combos and give it a try ASAP. Be sure and report back to tell me what you think!
MORE INSTANT POT MEAT AND POTATO RECIPES
- Instant Pot Stuffed Italian Meatloaf with Smashed Red Potatoes
- Instant Pot Pot Roast with Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Ribs with Baked Potatoes (look for the trick in the post)
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT BBQ CHICKEN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES AND COLESLAW
- Instant Pot
- Tall Trivet
- Immersion Blender
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato with Ranch Coleslaw
Creamy sweet potato stuffed with BBQ chicken, topped with a cool ranch coleslaw.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken tenders (see note)
- 6 ounce can pineapple juice
- 7 pitted dates
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼–½ teaspoon red pepper flake
- 1 cup ketchup (preferably a minimally sweetened brand like Sir Kensington's)
- 5 – 6 small sweet potatoes
For the Coleslaw
- 4 – 5 cups thinly sliced cabbage (or bag of coleslaw mix)
- ¼ cup mayo
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed for less spice
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- ¼ cup fresh chives
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 – 2 tablespoons water, optional to thin dressing if needed
For serving: shredded cheese (sharp white cheddar cheese, Monterey jack, pepper jack, etc), diced avocado, crushed kettle potato chips
- Arrange chicken in a single layer in the bottom of the pot (or as close to a single layer as possible). Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the sweet potatoes, in the order written above. Do not stir.
- Place a tall trivet on top of the chicken and arrange sweet potatoes on top (no need to poke holes in the potatoes).
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place cabbage in a bowl.
- Blend coleslaw sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add water if the sauce is thick; you want it on the loose side.
- Pour about half of the sauce over the coleslaw, toss, and add extra sauce if desired.
- When pressure cooking is complete, use a natural release for 10 minutes, followed by a quick release of any remaining pressure.
- Set potatoes aside.
- Place chicken in a bowl and shred.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the barbecue sauce in the pot until smooth. May also use a tabletop blender.
- Add about half of the barbecue sauce to the chicken and toss. Add extra sauce if desired.
- To serve, slice the potatoes long ways and fluff. In this order, top the potato with cheese, chicken, coleslaw, avocado, and crushed kettle potato chips.
- Chicken tenders have the best texture for this recipe. If using chicken breasts, cut them lengthwise into strips similar to chicken tenders. May also use chicken thighs.
- Avoid large sweet potatoes, they may not cook all the way through in 15 minutes.
- Russet or Yukon potatoes can be used in place of sweet potatoes if desired.
- May use your favorite ranch dressing in place of the sauce for the cabbage.
- The dates add both sweetness and thickness to the sauce. I don’t suggest replacing it with a different sweetener.
Keywords: Barbecue Chicken, Sweet Potato, Stuffed Sweet Potato
After trying (and absolutely loving) your “Coconut Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato with Tangy Slaw and Peanut Sauce” this version was next on my list to try. It did not disappoint – it’s another winning flavor combination!
Candice, Thank you for enjoying my game of “How many different ways can I stuff a sweet potato”. I could go on for days!
So yummy! I made this over Labor Day weekend because it was too hot to cook. I don’t own a tall trivet, so the first night I served it on buns. Tonight I made the sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot (still too hot to cook) and heated the leftover chicken. Delicious! This will be part of our regular rotation. Thank you for another fantastic recipe.
Maria, I love the sandwich idea, I’m not sure why I haven’t tried it that way yet. I’m excited that you loved it! It’s one of my most favorites of all time.
I made this last week – doing something I try not to do. I had friends over for dinner and tried a brand new recipe! And – my husband isn’t a sweet potato guy, either. So he sorta gave me the side eye when he saw it. But. It’s a wonderful meal – I loved it, husband loved it and so did our friends. What seems like an odd combination is perfect all together! Thanks for it – and for being my go-to recipe source! 😊
Mary, Now that is brave! My guests have come to expect that I’m usually experimenting on them, haha! I’m so glad it was a hit for you, it’s one of my favorite recipes right now.