Low-Carb Sweet & Smoky Pulled Chicken

4.6 stars, average of 75 ratings

Low-Carb Sweet & Smoky Pulled ChickenPin recipeFollow us 125.8k

I only recently got my first pressure cooker. I was super hesitant at first, but once I realised that I could make a perfect healthy bone broth in an hour and a half, I was hooked.

This is a recipe that I cook in my slow cooker a lot, so I tweaked it slightly to work with both a slow cooker and a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Moist and tender threads of chicken breast enveloped in a rich, sweet, smokey low-carb sauce.

Eat it in lettuce cups, over baby spinach, with cauli-rice or shirataki rice. I like to top mine with a hefty dollop of sour cream for added healthy fats and to offset the richness of the sauce. Enjoy!

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Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per serving)

Net carbs4.3 grams
Protein29.2 grams
Fat12.7 grams
Calories259 kcal

Calories from carbs 7%, protein 47%, fat 46%

Total carbs5.8 gramsFiber1.6 gramsSugars2.9 gramsSaturated fat2 gramsSodium824 mg(36% RDA)Magnesium49 mg(12% RDA)Potassium674 mg(34% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

  • 750 g chicken breasts, skinless and boneless (1.65 lb)
  • 400 ml unsweetened tomato passata (sauce) (13.5 fl oz)
  • 100 ml apple cider vinegar (3.5 fl oz)
  • 3 tbsp Swerve or Erythritol (30 g/ 1.1 oz)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp molasses (20 g/ 0.7 oz) - see note below
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos (45 ml)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml)
  • Optional: 1 cup sour cream, full-fat yogurt or creme fraiche to serve

Note: A tablespoon of molases will add about 2 grams of net carbs per serving. If you want to achieve similar results but don't want to add extra carbs to your keto meal, you can swap the 3 tablespoons of Swerve for 3-5 tablespoons of brown sugar substitute such as Sukrin or Lakanto.


  1. Place the chicken breasts into the base of your Instant Pot. Combine all other ingredients (except for the olive oil) in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
    Low-Carb Sweet & Smoky Pulled Chicken
  2. Pour sauce over chicken breasts and place lid on pot.
  3. Lock off and set to pressure cook on high for 15 minutes (or slow cook on low for 6 hours). Once finished, release the steam if applicable and remove the chicken.
    Low-Carb Sweet & Smoky Pulled Chicken
  4. Place the chicken in a dish and shred with two forks. If the sauce is too runny, you could thicken it with about 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum, but I’ve never had to. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.
    Low-Carb Sweet & Smoky Pulled Chicken
  5. Combine well until the chicken is coated from all sides. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and combine.
    Low-Carb Sweet & Smoky Pulled Chicken
  6. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 7 days. Best served with non-starchy veggies such as zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash, shirataki rice or in crispy lettuce leaves. Low-Carb Sweet & Smoky Pulled Chicken
  7. Optionally, serve with sour cream, full-fat yogurt or creme fraiche. Low-Carb Sweet & Smoky Pulled Chicken

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Chicken, breast (without skin, raw)
0 g28.1 g3.3 g150 kcal
Tomato sauce (passata), unsweetened
2.6 g0.8 g0.2 g17 kcal
Apple cider vinegar
0.2 g0 g0 g4 kcal
Swerve, natural sweetener (Erythritol and chicory inulin based)
0.3 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Garlic powder, spices
0.3 g0.1 g0 g2 kcal
Pepper, cayenne, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Paprika, smoked (spices)
0.2 g0.2 g0.1 g3 kcal
Coconut aminos (substitute to soy sauce)
0.5 g0 g0 g2 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g9 g80 kcal
Total per serving
4.3 g29.2 g12.7 g259 kcal
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Naomi Sherman
Creator of NaomiShermanFoodCreative.com

Naomi Sherman

Naomi is the force behind Naomi Sherman, Food Creative. She is passionate about recipe development, food photography and styling.

An accomplished home cook who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease eight years ago, Naomi started to explore the connection between healthy, whole food and her symptoms, and a new love was born.

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Comments (19)

How do I calculate the serving size?😕


Hi Karla, if you do need to be precise then I suggest weighing the whole batch and then dividing into 6 equal sized portions. When it comes to foods like these I'd rather not give estimates as weight can vary for batches and depends on factors such as evaporation.


Is there additional olive oil, beyond the 1/4cup in the sauce, that is to be drizzled over the chicken at the end (step 6)?  Step 1 says to mix all other ingredients together for the sauce - which I assume means the 1/4c oil listed in the ingredients.  Not sure  if the oil is saved for the end or in the sauce. Thanks for any clarification!  - I really love the KetoDietApp! It has simplified my Keto transition and life so much.  Thank You Martina!


Thank you so much Anna, I appreciate your kind words! There is a big update that we just released - you will love it! 😊
That's correct - it is all ingredients except for the olive oil, although it won't make a big difference if you use it in step one. I just prefer to do that in the final step.


Ooh this definitly is mydaughter's comfort food. Thank you very much.


Thank you for your kind words!


Hi.  Can you freeze it.


Yes, you can freeze this meal. I prefer to freeze it in batches of 2 servings so that it's easy to defrost just what I need.


Wow, this recipe is amazing! Followed exactly using the crockpot timing. Also, I did not add the optional molasses. Tangy, smokey and rich BBQ chicken as promised. For my taste there is enough sauce for even one more chicken breast, so I likely will do that next time. This is a keeper and I would make for non-keto eaters.


Thank you Kim!


How can I cook this on the cooktop or in the oven? I don't have a pressure cooker & not a fan of slow cookers.


You could bake it in the oven covered with a lid or baking foil. I'd bake it at 150 C/ 300 F (fan) for 45-60 minutes.


I let it simmer in a regular cooking pot on the stove. Checking now and again for the chicken not to overdo. Works perfectly.


Hello what are the calories per serving.


Hi Mary, full nutrition facts are in the table above.


This is delicious! I made for dinner and dressed with créme fresh and cilantro. Thank you for such a tasty, satisfying keto option!


Jen, thank you for your lovely feedback, I'm glad you enjoyed!


What is tomato passata?


It's tomato sauce (added in the ingredients to clarify) - I hope this helps!