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This Crockpot BBQ chicken recipe has tender pulled chicken that’s coated in a delicious sweet and smoky BBQ sauce. It’s quick to prepare in just 10 minutes and makes the best sandwiches!

You might also like my BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza or Monterey Chicken.

Crockpot BBQ chicken in a bun with coleslaw

Why you’ll love it

Slow cooker BBQ chicken is tasty any time of year, but using your Crockpot in warmer months is great because it doesn’t heat up your kitchen and is easy and hands-off to make. Enjoy those classic smoky BBQ flavors even if you don’t own a BBQ!

Our kitchen loves making fall-apart tender pulled chicken sandwiches and eating them out on the deck or in the backyard. There’s nothing much better than pairing pulled chicken with cool, creamy coleslaw and a toasted bun!

What you’ll need

  • Chicken breasts – we’re using 4 boneless/skinless for our shredded chicken
  • BBQ sauce – I used Heinz Kansas City BBQ sauce. It’s sweet and smoky and quite thick in consistency, but use your favorite or what you’ve got in stock. If you’re not a fan of a sweeter flavor, I wouldn’t use a Kansas-style BBQ sauce.
  • Onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder – my signature seasoning mix to infuse so much savory taste
  • Worcestershire sauce – it’s one of my not-so-secret ingredients to enhance the flavor of sauces. I wouldn’t skip it if I were you!
  • Brown sugar – to balance it all out with a hint of sweetness and caramelization and to thicken up the sauce a bit

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

How to make Crockpot BBQ chicken

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

mixing up sauce in a glass bowl for crockpot bbq chicken

To a bowl, add the BBQ sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Mix it together thoroughly.

slow cooker bbq chicken before and after being shredded

Place the chicken breasts in your Crockpot, and then pour the sauce over the chicken. Coat the chicken in the sauce fully. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours, and then shred the chicken with two forks. That’s it!

Substitutions and variations

  • While we prefer chicken breasts, you can definitely use chicken thighs instead.
  • Add a drop or two of liquid smoke for an even richer, deeper smoky flavor.
  • Or add in some cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce if you want the chicken to have some kick to it.

What to serve with it

Leftovers and storage

  • This BBQ pulled chicken makes fantastic leftovers that will last for 3-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • It will also keep well in the freezer. This can be frozen for up to 3 months, and I recommend storing portions in individual containers so that you can make up new sandwiches anytime you’re craving one!
  • One of my go-to ways to use up leftovers is making lettuce wraps if I’ve run out of buns.
Crockpot shredded BBQ chicken close-up in slow cooker

I hope you’ll love these delicious BBQ chicken sandwiches! Leave a star rating and review below if you made this recipe. Tag me on Instagram if you made any S&L recipe.

Crockpot BBQ chicken in a bun with coleslaw
4.87 from 15 votes

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

This Crockpot BBQ chicken recipe has tender pulled chicken that's coated in a delicious sweet and smoky BBQ sauce. It's quick to prepare in just 10 minutes and makes the best sandwiches!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts (about 4 large) boneless skinless
  • 1.5 cups BBQ sauce use your favorite
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • For serving: buns, coleslaw, etc.

Instructions 

  • Place the chicken breasts in your slow cooker.
  • Add everything except for the chicken to a bowl and stir it together until smooth.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken and toss so it's well coated. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours (I do 3.5 hours) or on low for 6-7 hours.
  • Shred the chicken right in the slow cooker using two forks, then stir it so it's coated in the sauce. If needed, and some salt & pepper prior to serving.

Notes

  • Makes enough for about 6-8 sandwiches (or fewer if you really stuff them).
  • Shred the chicken as small or coarse as you prefer.
  • You may sub the chicken breasts for chicken thighs.
  • I own this Crockpot.
  • Here’s the Instant Pot version of the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 944mg, Potassium: 762mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 307IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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44 Comments

  1. Georgina La Spina says:

    Does the recipe include the bun and coleslaw?

    1. Natasha says:

      Do you mean the recipe itself or the nutrition info? Neither include the bun or coleslaw as they can vary wildly in calories. If you’re looking for a good coleslaw to serve with it, I linked mine in the “what to serve with it” section of the blog post. Re: the buns, I just pick up what looks good at the store. Hope you enjoy the recipe, Georgina! 🙂

  2. Bailee says:

    4 stars
    Can you use rotisserie chicken instead of raw chicken? can’t wait to make this!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! I wouldn’t because you’d be putting already cooked chicken into the Crockpot and then letting it cook for hours… you’ll end up with extremely dry chicken.

  3. Marlayna says:

    I’m making this for my daughters birthday party, it was so good when I tried the first time ! But I’m curious, there’s about 25 people coming and I was going to serve it on Hawaiian rolls, how much chicken should i make ? 8? 12? Help me please 😂😄

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi!! So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 Oh geez, I honestly never cook for large crowds, so it’s tough to say haha. I would for sure at least double the recipe if not triple it. I think you could probably double it in one slow cooker but it may need a little more cooking time. If you need to triple it, I’d probably spread it over 2 slow cookers.

      1. Abby says:

        5 stars
        If I double the recipe should I be doubling expected cook time?

        1. Natasha says:

          Hi! I am not sure if you’d need to double it, but you may need to add on extra time. I’d check it after the suggested cook time and then see how done it is and adjust from there.

  4. Courtney says:

    5 stars
    I made this last night. It came out awesome! Sooo easy too! I made the Easy macaroni salad as well and it went great together! Will definitely make this again!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy to hear that, Courtney! 😀

  5. Wendy Rogers says:

    5 stars
    Such a great recipe! The flavor is 💥 my son and I really enjoyed this and it was so easy!! Thank you

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re welcome, Wendy!! I’m so happy to hear that. Thanks for taking the time to write me a review!

  6. Liz says:

    Do you have a coleslaw recipe to go with?

    1. Natasha says:

      Yes! It’s linked in the blog post… under the “what to serve with Crockpot pulled chicken” section 🙂

  7. Regenia Goff says:

    Sounds wonderful as do all of your recipes!! Who needs ribs???

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you!!

  8. Caroline says:

    4 stars
    Hi there! Another great recipe! I made this last night and enjoyed it very much! I used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce in original for it. The chicken smelled so good as it slow cooked and it did not disappoint!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m thrilled to hear that, Caroline! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  9. Demi says:

    Made this tonight and instead of buns I used mini pita breads! It Was amazing! Thank you for always giving me such great dinner ideas which are always a hit and so delicious.

    1. Natasha says:

      Oh I love that!! I haven’t had mini pitas in forever. And you’re very welcome… so happy you’re enjoying the recipes! XO 🙂

  10. CATHY C TARR says:

    5 stars
    This was terrific and easy. Thanks

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome!! Thanks so much for taking the time to review my recipe, Cathy! 🙂