Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
This wildly easy 2-ingredient slow cooker bbq chicken can be prepped in no time using store-bought or homemade sauce, yielding deliciously tender and versatile pulled chicken. Perfect for meal prep on busy weeks!
About this Recipe
Yes, this is likely one of THE easiest slow cooker recipes you’ll find anywhere!
But don’t let the ease of prep fool you.
With just 2 simple ingredients and zero prep this slow cooked chicken is packed full of flavor and can be used for almost anything.
My family loves it piled high into toasted buns, served over a bed of cooked rice or quinoa, or as protein for healthy salads & homemade bbq chicken bowls.
Since it makes tons of leftovers, this pulled BBQ chicken is the perfect thing to meal prep on busy weeks and use throughout the week in a variety of meals!
I love using homemade Chipotle BBQ Sauce, but the beauty of this recipe is that any store bought BBQ sauce will work!
Process & Tips
All you have to do is add your chicken & BBQ sauce to your crockpot and let it do all the hard work for you.
Before you know it you’ll have loads of tender, pulled barbecue chicken for quick and healthy dinners all week long.
It’s worth noting that the chicken renders quite a bit of liquid when cooking, which will dilute the barbecue sauce.
That’s why I prefer to drain this liquid at the end of the cook time, and then add more fresh barbecue sauce at the end for the best flavor.
If you prefer a saucier barbecue chicken, keep some of the liquid in the slow cooker prior to adding the extra sauce at the end.
Ways to Serve It
Naturally, this shredded barbecue chicken pairs perfectly with any of these classic barbecue side dishes.
But it’s also a super tasty filling for BBQ chicken sandwiches and can be piled high into toasted buns (traditional or gluten-free) with some creamy cabbage slaw.
For easy BBQ Chicken Bowls simply serve with extra barbecue sauce and toss with corn, black beans, coleslaw, and cooked rice (or quinoa or cauliflower rice).
To make a loaded BBQ Chicken Salad, serve it over a bed of fresh greens tossed with ranch dressing, avocado, tomatoes, corn, black beans, sliced red onions, shredded cheddar cheese and crushed corn chips.
Ingredients & Modifications
Chicken breasts: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, but you could also use chicken thighs in their place. If you want to use frozen chicken, be sure to thaw it fully before adding to your slow cooker.
Barbecue sauce: I like to use my homemade chipotle BBQ sauce for the best flavor but store bought barbecue sauce also works great (and is a great shortcut ingredient). For a paleo and refined sugar free version, look for a BBQ sauce with paleo friendly ingredients.
Like a little heat in your BBQ sauce? Look for a spicy store bought barbecue sauce or add a little bit of hot sauce, hot paprika, or cayenne pepper to regular barbecue sauce.
Tips for Storing & Freezing Leftovers
Cooked chicken will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This recipe also freezes well, simply store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thighs
- 1 ½ cups Chipotle BBQ Sauce, or store bought barbecue sauce, divided
Optional serving suggestions
- Cabbage Slaw
- toasted buns
- Add the chicken and ¾ cup barbecue sauce to a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 5-6, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Chop into pieces or shred with two forks. Drain the remaining liquid from the slow cooker and discard or save for another use.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker along with the remaining ¾ cup barbecue sauce, stirring to combine.
- Serve the pulled chicken piled into toasted buns topped with Cabbage Slaw and additional sauce if desired.