A no-fuss recipe for slow cooker BBQ pulled chicken. Just set and forget until it’s time to eat. Serve with coleslaw, pickles and chips or your favorite sides!
If you’re craving a simple, no-fuss slow cooker BBQ pulled chicken sandwich, this recipe is for you. It’s as easy as some chicken breasts in the slow cooker, mixing the sauce and pouring it over the chicken and setting it to cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Come back, shred the chicken, toss it back in the sauce and you’re ready for a delicious BBQ sandwich.
Serve the delicious, fall-apart juicy BBQ chicken on some burger buns, sliders, sweet Hawaiian rolls, or brioche buns. I went with brioche. You’ll get about 4 big servings on a regular brioche bun or 6 servings on smaller burger buns. There’ll be even more servings if you decide to go for sliders. Don’t forget coleslaw, your favorite pickles and some chips, or other sides like potato salad, cornbread, Texas toast, blackened corn, creamed corn, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, baked beans, or some veggies. Let’s start cooking.
SLOW COOKER BBQ PULLED CHICKEN RECIPE TIPS
Make sure to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and pat them dry before lining them up in the slow cooker. You’ll want skinless chicken breasts because the fat from the skin will melt in the slow cooker and dilute the sauce BIG TIME. This is the same reason we fully defrost the chicken and pat it dry after. And while you’re patting it dry, yank off any excess fat you see on the edges. Same reason: fat in slow cooker = BAD.
As for the sauce, it’ll look super thick once you mix it all together, thicker than you’d want it. Don’t worry about this, the chicken will produce a little juice while cooking and this will thin the sauce down a little. You’ll also have a lot of sauce to go around so once you finish shredding everything, add the sauce in gradually until you’ve reached the level of sauciness you want. Feel free to keep the leftover sauce for dipping or for adding later once you reheat.
What to Serve with BBQ Pulled Chicken
Serve with some sides like coleslaw, your favorite pickles and some chips, or other sides like potato salad, cornbread, Texas toast, blackened corn, creamed corn, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, baked beans, or some veggies.
I personally like balancing out the flavors and hot and cold so I throw in cold coleslaw to balance out the hot sandwich, textured fluffy cornbread, some corn and a creamy side like mac and cheese to balance out the tartness of the thick BBQ sauce. Last but not least, some regular natural flavored potato chips to reset the palate in between bites!
And that’s about it. Enjoy and have fun digging in. Let me know how you liked it, what substitutions you made and what you paired it with in the comments below!
MORE SLOW COOKER RECIPES TO TRY
- Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
- Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich
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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken
- Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
A no-fuss recipe for slow cooker BBQ pulled chicken. Just set and forget until it’s time to eat and serve with coleslaw, pickles and chips!
- 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1/4 cups BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- Arrange chicken breasts in a 6 qt. slow cooker.
- Combine BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne to make a thick sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts.
- Cook chicken on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours.
- Shred the chicken on a cutting board with two forks. Transfer the shredded chicken to a large mixing bowl.
- Stir to mix the sauce in the slow cooker then add this sauce to the shredded chicken while mixing until it’s your desired level of sauciness.
- Dish and serve hot over buns.
- Some may like their BBQ chicken saucier than others. Adding the sauce to the pulled chicken lets you customize your level of sauciness.
- Scroll up to RECIPE TIPS for more useful tips, suggestions and ingredient substitutions.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 4 hours
Comments & Reviews
Tiffany Podlesni says
I made this for Super Bowl and my guests loved it! I didn’t have Cheyenne so I substituted it for red pepper flakes. I also did this with boneless skinless chicken thighs. This recipe hit the spot for everyone who tried it! It is SO good! Will definitely be making this a staple for parties and pot lucks! Flavor is amazing and has a nice kick to it! Served on small Hawaiian rolls with pickles onions and cole slaw! So good thanks for sharing this recipe!
The Cooking Jar says
Woohoo! You’re very welcome, Tiffany. I love hearing how it was a hit with everyone on such a big day! Thank you for trying it out and sharing. Love Hawaiian rolls 🙂
Judy Groh says
This is a very confusing recipe. Do you add all the sauce to the slow cooker ? In your directions you indicate to add more sauce at the finishing of this recipe. Where is that sauce coming from?
The Cooking Jar says
I’ve gone ahead and edited the instructions to make them clearer. Yes, you add all the sauce to the slow cooker before cooking. Once everything is cooked, you gradually add the sauce to the shredded chicken so you can customize your level of sauciness. Some like it messier and saucier than others, and some like just a little sauce. This step gives you that option to choose.
Roger Claussen says
The Cooking Jar says
Thank you! 🙂