close up photo of a white plate with rice and pineapple chicken
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Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken and Rice

Yes, this really does all get cooked in the Instant Pot at the same time. And NO, the rice isn’t mixed into the sauce! I have kids who are currently super sensitive to having their food mixed up, so having the chicken and rice separately? Amazing!
And there’s your reason why I cook this in a pressure cooker: Because the rice gets steamed to absolute perfection, right there in the pot while the chicken is cooking in the sauce. No need to wait for take out delivery with this delicious meal!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Extra Time 20 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 514kcal
Author Nora Rusev

Equipment

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast diced (about 1 inch pieces)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 onion cut into thin wedges
  • 1 can 8oz pineapple chunks or tidbits packed in juice, NOT drained
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 yellow pepper diced

For the Rice:

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

To finish:

  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Brown chicken: Set the instant pot to sauté. Add the oil and the chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper and cook until browned. Add onion, stir, and cook for 1 more minute. Switch off the instant pot.
  • Mix sauce: Add the can of pineapple (juice AND chunks) to the chicken in the instant pot. Add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and diced peppers and stir well, making sure you scratch any browned bits from the bottom of the pot (or you’ll get a burn warning).
  • Add rice: Place the trivet over the chicken. Add the rice to a an oven-proof dish (metal or glass work) that fits into the instant pot. Stir in the water, oil and salt and place the dish on the trivet.
  • Cook: Close the lid of the pressure cooker and set the valve to the “sealing” position. Choose “pressure cook” on high for 2 minutes. Once the cooker indicates the end of cooking time, do a 10 minute natural pressure release (just unplug the instant pot and leave it alone), then manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Finish: Open the lid and remove the rice and trivet. Fluff the rice with a fork. Stir together the remaining 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, cornstarch and water. Set the instant pot to sauté. Stir in the BBQ sauce mix and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve over rice.

    Video

    Notes

    A note about the firmness of the vegetables/pineapple:

    The pepper and pineapple will get soft and stir into the sauce (for so much delicious flavor!).
    If you want firmer chunks of pepper and pineapple in the final dish, stir 1 extra small can of pineapple chunks (drained) and 1 or 2 extra diced peppers into the chicken and sauce as you're adding the cornstarch to thicken.

    A note about the method to cook chicken and rice at the same time in the instant pot:

    Simply place a trivet over the chicken and sauce ingredients, then place a dish filled with rice and water on top of the trivet. You can use an aluminum dish or an oven-safe (!!) glass dish. Just make sure it’s deep enough to allow the rice to expand.
    I’m using a simple oven- and microwave safe food storage container. No need to buy any fancy equipment ☺️ If you want to eliminate any risk of a glass dish bursting all over your dinner, go for aluminum. I have never had the glass dish burst, but if you’re scared, don’t go for glass.
    I also just use the trivet that came with my instant pot, but it's a play with fire because the chicken can stick to the bottom a little that way (cooking time is very short, so it won't burn to a crisp, but I thought I'd note that down). If you have a trivet with slightly higher legs, that's perfect.

    Cooking Time:

    Since this is diced chicken, it cooks VERY fast. We’re talking 2 minutes of pressure cooking time. And yes, that’s really enough. I tried 5 minutes, 4 minutes AND 3 minutes before setting on the 2 minutes while I was testing this recipe.
    The rice cooks perfectly in 2 minutes, too, by the way, as long as you use a plain old long grain white rice.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 751mg | Potassium: 1014mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 1200IU | Vitamin C: 97.1mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1.8mg