A complete 360 BBQ Chicken Dinner, ready in under an hour, and all components of the meal are cooked at the same time in the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper! YAY!
When you want a complete dinner, cooked all at the same time, the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper delivers! Of course, there are one-pot dump meals, like my recipe for Spaghetti in the Ninja Foodi or this delicious Shepherd's Pie recipe, but sometimes we want the components of our meal to cook separately.
This is absolutely possible as I will show you with this EASY and delicious BBQ Chicken Dinner, but it does require some thinking. The trick to having your 360 meals turn out perfectly is to pick ingredients that will take the same time to cook or won't be ruined if cooked longer than the minimum cooking time.
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I was really in the mood for BBQ chicken and wanted a dinner that reminded me of an outdoor BBQ dinner and this meal was PERFECT! The tangy cabbage reminds me a vinegar-based coleslaw, but better! The chicken was perfectly cooked and tender with a great BBQ flavor, and the potatoes were a perfect texture for mashing or just adding some BBQ sauce with the juices from the chicken, like I did!
What is a 360 meal?
If you haven't yet heard of a 360 meal, you aren't alone! When I first saw it being posted in my Ninja Foodi 101 Facebook group, I had no idea what this meant. Turns out, it's pretty simple! A 360 meal is referring to a meal where your protein, starch, & vegetable are cooked at the same time, but not together like in a casserole.
At least, this is what I'm understanding it to be. Of course, I could be completely wrong... but, it makes sense to me! If you go all the way around your round dinner plate, it would be 360 degrees. Most well-balanced meals are made up of a protein, starch, and vegetable. Hence, a 360 meal!
They can also be called complete dinners, but that's not as catchy! 360 meals, in my opinion, also tend to be on the healthier side and I'm working hard to keep all my 360 meal recipes under 500 calories.
What is Pot-in-Pot Cooking?
Pot-in-pot cooking refers to cooking in the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker or other pressure cooker and placing some or all of the food in a container of some sort. You have probably done some pot-in-pot cooking even if you didn't realize it. If you have made a cake or a cheesecake, like this delicious Turtle Cheesecake in the Ninja Foodi, you have done pot-in-pot cooking because the cake batter was in a separate pan.
Pot-in-pot cooking can be a great way to stack food and cook meals all at one time. The trick is picking components that will cook in the same time frame.
For example, I could not switch this BBQ chicken for a pork shoulder because the pork shoulder would take much longer to cook than the chicken thighs, and the cabbage and potatoes would be overdone and mushy.
I could switch out the purple cabbage for green without any problems or I could even use kale or collard greens instead of the cabbage because they will have about the same cooking time.
What accessories do I need for Pot-in-Pot cooking?
(affiliate link)8' x 2' Fat Daddio Pans: I use these pans all the time when pot-in-pot cooking. They conduct heat very well, and fit perfectly when stacked.
(affiliate link)6' x 2' Fat Daddio Pans: I use the 6" Fat Daddio pan to sit on top of the rack. It fits perfectly and gives enough clearance for the PC lid to close.
(affiliate link)Grifiti Bands: These bands are what I use to secure the pan to the underside of the rack. The assorted pack gives you all the options for different configurations.
(affiliate link)Silicone Covers: These covers are wonderful to use to cover the Fat Daddio pans to prevent water from diluting your seasonings. *I did cut down the purple one some so it fits on the 8" Fat Daddio pan and does not interfere with the rack.
Can I use a different cut of chicken?
I know chicken breasts are probably the most popular cut of chicken to cook with and yes, you can use them. They will need to be frozen and no larger than 8 ounces in order for them to cook properly.
Many chicken breasts you get today can be a full pound a piece and very thick. The best way to make sure they cook properly in a pressure cooker is to cut them through the middle. This way you have a thinner chicken breast and it will cook more evenly when pressure cooked.
I really recommend using chicken thighs in this recipe for the best outcome. Chicken thighs are very forgiving, even when pressure cooked. So, you end up with a perfectly tender and juicy piece of BBQ Chicken.
You will see in this recipe, I also call for frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs. When I filmed the video, which you can watch right here: BBQ Chicken Dinner ~ 360 Meal in the Ninja Foodi, I put in one thawed chicken thigh to see how it would work. It was slightly overcooked, but not horrible. So, you can use thawed chicken thighs if you want to.
You can also use skin on chicken thighs and I would keep the PC time the same, but increase the broil time at the end to finish cooking and crisp up the skin.
Do I have to use BBQ sauce?
Of course not. You can season the chicken any way you'd like. You can also skip the vinegar and replace it with water or chicken broth if you prefer. The seasonings and thin liquid can always be changed and that will not affect the outcome.
If you love BBQ sauce and just don't have any on hand, here is a quick 10-minute BBQ sauce that can be made right in the (affiliate link)Ninja Foodi Hot Cold Blender. If you don't have the blender, you can cook it in the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker and then use a blender or an (affiliate link)immersion blender to puree it.
Can I double this BBQ Chicken Dinner?
Unfortunately, not really. While the 2 pounds of cabbage will probably feed about 6 people, it will be difficult to get more than 1½ pounds of frozen chicken thighs in the 2" Fat Daddio pan or other 2" pan. You can try to use a 3" pan, but even then I would be concerned that the chicken would not cook correctly if they are stacked on top of each other.
You will have a little more flexibility and room if you are using the 8 quart Ninja Foodi, but I tested the recipe using the 6.5 qt and I don't think doubling the amounts will work very well.
How to make a 360 BBQ Chicken Dinner in the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper
Slice the cabbage into 1" wedges and lay on the bottom of the inner pot. Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar.
Place the frozen chicken thighs in a single layer in the 8" x 2" pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour ½ cup (4 ounces) of BBQ sauce on top. Cover with foil or a silicone cover.
Using a Grifiti band, secure the 8" pan to the underside of the rack. Please see video or post for details. Nestle the rack into the inner pot, pressing down on the cabbage if needed.
Quarter your potatoes and place in a 6" x 2" pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on top of the rack towards the front of the Ninja Foodi.
Place the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes and allow to natural release for 5 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure.
Remove the potatoes and cover to keep warm. Remove the rack and the Grifiti bands. Put the pan with the chicken on the rack in the low position. Baste with remaining BBQ sauce and Broil for 5-10 minutes or until the internal temp of the chicken reads 165° F.
Plate, Serve, Enjoy!
BBQ Chicken Dinner
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 pounds purple cabbage
- 1 ½ pounds chicken thighs frozen, boneless-skinless
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 ounces BBQ Sauce Link to homemade 10 minute BBQ in post
- Slice the cabbage into 1" wedges and lay on the bottom of the inner pot. Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar.
- Place the frozen chicken thighs in a single layer in the 8" x 2" pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour ½ cup (4 ounces) of BBQ sauce on top. Cover with foil or a silicone cover.
- Using a Grifiti band, secure the 8" pan to the underside of the rack. Please see video or post for details. Nestle the rack into the inner pot, pressing down on the cabbage if needed.
- Quarter your potatoes and place in a 6" x 2" pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on top of the rack towards the front of the Ninja Foodi.
- Place the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes and allow to natural release for 5 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure.
- Remove the potatoes and cover to keep warm. Remove the rack and the Grifiti bands. Put the pan with the chicken on the rack in the low position. Baste with remaining BBQ sauce and Broil for 5-10 minutes or until the internal temp of the chicken reads 165° F.
- Plate & Serve. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.