Jalapeno Strawberry BBQ Chicken

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shredded chicken bbq

Every once in a while I like to play a game called “What’s In My Fridge Door?”

It’s a gameshow where the recipes are made up and the ingredients don’t matter!

Seriously, if there is one thing I have picked up in my culinary journey is the ability to look into the depth of my fridge and pull out ingredients to make what I often refer to as “trash dinner” – that’s what you win at the end of my game!

I know, I know, I’m not doing a great job at selling this game of mine – but maybe I can convince you with this recipe.

For this iteration of “What’s In My Fridge Door” I had to figure out how to use strawberry jalapeno jelly and chicken in one dish. It’s sort of like playing a mini version of “Chopped” – use what you can find to make something delicious!

This ability to transform old ingredients into new recipes is one of my favorite things to do! And it’s how you end up with a tangy strawberry jalapeno BBQ sauce that’s worth recreating – heck, you know it’s good when I’m trying to get rid of old ingredients and have to end up re-buying them because I figured out something amazing.

What’s In My Fridge Door?

Here the ingredients I dug out of my fridge to make this dish!

  • jalapeno strawberry jelly – now good for more than just cream cheese and bagels, I think I got this jelly as a Christmas gift?
  • ketchup – always have some of this handy in my fridge, it’s a base for BBQ
  • pickled jalapenos (and brine) – picked these up for a cookout, no idea what to do with them now, so into the pot they go
  • garlic and onion – another staple ingredient to keep handy at all times
  • lime juice – for some added twang
  • honey – to pump up the sweetness
  • worcestershire – I used the rest of my bottle, time to get a new one!
  • parsley, onion and garlic – powdered and dried, adds a boost to flavor the BBQ
  • everything topping buns – something different from plain ol’ sesame seed
  • cold pickles and onions – for popping on top, keep ’em chilled for tastiest results
  • chicken breasts – for the protein, though you can totally use the BBQ sauce on pork, beef and more!

Now that I’ve made this… I might just have to go back out and re-buy all of the ingredients at least one more time!

Instant Pot vs Slow Cooker

There are two different ways you can prepare the BBQ chicken: in a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) or a slow cooker (Crock Pot). Ultimately, you can use either, but if you use the slow cooker method, you will have to get the stovetop and pans involved, which means more dishes.

In the Instant Pot

To prepare the BBQ chicken in the Instant Pot, here are the settings you will use:

  • saute mode – to get a little bit of color on the chicken prior to cooking all the way through and also to thicken the sauce at the end
  • slow cook mode – this recipe can be made on the slow cook setting over several hours OR
  • pressure cook – if you need this dish in a dash, feel free to pressure cook for 15 minutes instead. (Recommended: add extra water if you plan on pressure cooking.)

In the Slow Cooker

If you want to make this chicken in a slow cooker or you don’t have a multifunction pressure cooker, here are the extra steps you’ll want to follow:

  • sear in a skillet over high heat – give the chicken a nice golden pan fry (don’t worry about cooking it all the way through)
  • slow cooker/crock pot – cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours
  • leave out the water – excess liquid will make the BBQ sauce runny. If at the end of cooking it is still too runny, you can transfer to a pot on the stove and simmer until thickened.

You will also want to consider using a hand mixer to shred the chicken when it is finished cooking. The secret to the perfect shred is a hand mixer!

shredded chicken bbq

Jalapeno Strawberry BBQ Chicken

The Starving Chef
Use your Instant Pot or slow cooker to make the most perfectly shreddable BBQ chicken.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Simmer Time 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Sandwiches
Cuisine Instant Pot, Sandwich
Servings 4


  • 16 oz chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup jalapeno strawberry jelly
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapenos
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup water for pressure cook method
  • 4 everything seasoned buns for serving
  • sweet onion sliced for serving
  • sliced sweet pickles chilled



  • Turn the IP on saute mode. When the screen reads hot, add the oil and sear the chicken breasts on both sides – about 2-3 minutes per side. The chicken will NOT be cooked through. Cancel the saute setting then put the IP on slow cook. Stir in the rest of the ingredients (minus the water). Put the IP on slow cook mode and cook for 3-4 hours on HIGH, or 6-8 hours on LOW. When cooked, use a hand mixer or forks to shred the chicken. Serve hot on everything buns with pickles and onions.


  • Heat a skillet with oil over medium high heat on the stovetop. Sear the chicken breasts on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. The chicken will NOT be cooked through. Transfer the seared chicken to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients (except water). Cook on HIGH 3-4 hours, or LOW for 6-8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. Use a hand mixer or forks to finely shred the chicken. Serve hot with everything buns, pickles and onions.


  • Turn the IP on saute mode. When the screen reads hot, add the oil and sear the chicken on both sides – about 2-3 minutes per side (the chicken will NOT be cooked through). Cancel the saute mode. Add the rest of the ingredients, in addition to the water, then put on the lid and close the valve to pressure cook. Put the pressure cooker on pressure cook for 10 minutes. The IP will come to pressure over 10 minutes before the timer starts. When the timer goes off, let the IP depressurize naturally or carefully perform a quick release. If there is still excess liquid, remove the chicken breasts and put the IP on saute mode. Continue to simmer on saute mode for about 10 minutes to thicken the sauce. Return the chicken to the thickened sauce then use a hand mixer or forks to shred the chicken. Serve with everything buns, onions and pickles. Enjoy!
Keyword BBQ, chicken, jalapeno, loose meat sandwich, strawberries
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