• 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 medium, diced onion
  • 1 medium, diced apple

This Instant Pot recipe is a sweet and savory BBQ chicken with apples the whole family will love!

Rate this recipe:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
  • Yield
    6 servings
  • Prep time
  • Cook time
  • Total time
  • In Category
  • Level

Have you boarded the Instant Pot train? It’s incredible how much attention this kitchen accessory is getting, and I read that it was one of the main items gifted over the holidays. Some call it life changing, while others, like myself, really want to go all in with the Instant Pot, but find it easier to rest on my laurels when it comes to the kitchen (and of course, my beloved slow cooker).

One thing is for sure about the Instant Pot: it is an incredible way to put together a semi-gourmet meal in no time at all. And based on a recent group text with my high school friends who are all new moms, saving time is not only something many of us can get behind, it’s a necessity in this season of life.

Because I wasn’t overly comfortable with the Instant Pot just yet, we called upon our friend Caroline from Taste Love and Nourish to create a delicious entrée with our beloved apples to share with you. Pork and apples has become such a popular pairing, so when Caroline offered up a different protein to cook with (chicken), I was excited to see how it would come together.

The fact that this Instant Pot recipe takes 38 minutes from start to finish amazes me, as that seems to be just the prepping time associated with the meals I cook for my family (and we’re not eating fancy in the slightest). I also love this recipe features simple and minimal ingredients, most of which you probably have at home.

Similar to the other white meat, chicken and apples pair nicely together. Caroline used the Gala apple variety in this recipe and that is a good choice for the high pressure of the Instant Pot. The apple won’t turn to mush, and the juiciness will keep the meat from drying out. Our beloved Piñata® apple is a great substitute if you can’t find Gala.

One piece of advice Caroline offered along with this delicious recipe is to pay close attention to the owner’s manual of your particular pressure cooker, as cooking time and how to lock and release the lid can vary from brand to brand.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and since it’s all about saving you time, I would love to hear other Instant Pot recipes you’ve tried in the comments below. I hear desserts can be made with success in the Instant Pot, and that is definitely something I can get behind.


  1. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, molasses, maple, vinegar, mustard, garlic, water, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  2. Set your Instant Pot to [Sauté]. When the word “Hot” appears on the display, add the oil and allow it to heat for 10 seconds.  Add the chicken thighs.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Scatter the onion and the apple on top of the chicken pieces. Pour the BBQ sauce over top.
  4. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Press [Pressure Cook or Manual] then use the [+] or [-] button to set 10 minutes of pressure cooking time. Make sure the pot is in sealing mode.
  5. When the cooking time is done, natural release for 5 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  6. Serve the chicken thighs on a serving dish topped with the BBQ sauce.

* Frozen chicken thighs may be used in place of fresh chicken. Adjust the cooking time to 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories: 381
  • Protein Content: 38 g
  • Fat Content: 18 g
  • Carbohydrate Content: 17 g
  • Fiber Content: 3 g
  • Sodium Content: 620 mg
  • Sugar Content: 13 g