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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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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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  1. Amy Clark says:

    5 stars
    Love this!! No weird ingredient’s that I had to buy!
    Do you think it would work with pork?

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy you liked it, Amy! What cut of pork were you thinking? In theory you could do something like pork shoulder to make a pulled pork type thing but you may want to use a tested recipe for that one like this:

  2. Annie says:

    Hi. I’m making this for approx 25 people. When I hit the 4x button on your recipe it says 6lbs of chicken but still (4 large chicken breasts) next to it. Are you able to help me with what to do for a larger quantity. I can plan to have a few crockpots going. Whenever I make it with 2 chicken breasts and half the sauce for just my family I keep burning some of it on the bottom. Thanks

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Annie! Do you mean the 3X button as I don’t have a 4x? But yes, the multiplier isn’t entirely foolproof unfortunately. It’s just an automatic calculation and doesn’t understand “about 4 large”, which is just a note I wrote in to help readers who don’t want to use a weight. So that would be about 12 large chicken breasts or 6 pounds. I would recommend using the full amount of sauce to prevent the burning issue.

  3. Teena says:

    5 stars
    I was short on time this morning but still had time to put this together. Came home to delicious bbq sandwiches. Another keeper.

    1. Natasha says:

      Fantastic! Thanks, Teena!

  4. Shahidah Muta says:

    5 stars
    I love pulled chicken and never ran across a great recipe until this one. My family loves this and as I write I’m making this again. Prefect recipe.

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s wonderful!! 😀 Thanks for letting me know, Shahidah!

  5. Jessica says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe! My husband took it to work and shared and one coworker said it wa the best pulled chicken bbq they’ve ever had! Our kids approved too and that’s always a win!!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy to hear that, Jessica!!

  6. Kimama jones says:

    How much carbs and protein does this have

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! The nutrition info is in the recipe card.

  7. Debby Ingram says:

    Cañ i thicken the sauce with something. Smells great so far

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! Try adding in a cornstarch slurry at the end. Perhaps 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with the same amount of cold water.

  8. Suzanne says:

    May I have a recipe for cole slaw please.

    1. Vanessa says:

      Hi we love this recipe!
      Question though if we double it and do 4 lbs of chicken in the same crockpot do you think it will take longer to cook?

      1. Natasha says:

        Hi Vanessa! I’m so glad it’s a favorite. Yes, I think if it’s all stacked together it may take a bit longer to cook. I’d keep checking on it and use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked through.

  9. Carla says:

    This sounds great! Can you use frozen chicken?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! It’s not recommended for safety reasons to use frozen chicken in slow cooker recipes. Instant Pot (pressure cooker) yes.

  10. MiaT says:

    5 stars
    Perfect, easy & delicious! I used the bbq sauces I keep on hand & your slaw recipe was just the right touch.

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome!! 😀 Thanks for your review!