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Crockpot BBQ Chicken (Juicy + Tender!)


Fall apart tender, juicy and so flavorful, this crockpot BBQ chicken is great served on sandwiches, in wraps, or even on pizza. Just 5 simple ingredients required!

Cooking chicken in the slow cooker does not have to be boring- from crockpot chicken fajitas to lemon garlic chicken, there are so many flavor options that you’ll never obtain bored!

crockpot bbq chicken on a buger bun, topped with purple cabbage

This crockpot BBQ chicken is simple and yet you are rewarded with the Trendy deliciously juicy pulled chicken that is the great base for multiple meals.

Reasons you’ll ♡ crockpot BBQ chicken

  • has only 5 simple ingredients, is juicy, flavorful and kid-friendly
  • it works great for meal prep: assemble as a freezer crockpot recipe or cook ahead and use in multiple meals
  • is great served in sandwiches, tacos, wraps and on pizza

slow cooker bbq chicken in the slow cooker before cooking

Ingredient notes

  • chicken– we are using boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe, however you can swap for boneless skinless chicken thighs; increase the cook time to low 4-5 hours
  • BBQ sauce– use your favorite! I’ve used Stubb’s, Sweet Baby Ray’s and Newman’s Own to make this recipe.
  • apple cider vinegar- enhances the tanginess of this recipe; I strongly recommend the Bragg’s brand.
  • maple syrup– adds sweetness to contrast the vinegar; swap for brown sugar or honey.
  • chili powder– refers to a paprika-based chili powder blend; do not confuse with pure powdered chilis! If you cannot find it in the spice aisle of your grocery store, consider making your own.

How to make it

Get it started

To obtain this recipe on and cooking, stir together the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and chili powder in the base of a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Stir until smooth, then add the chicken breasts, turning to coat in the sauce.

Put the lid on the slow cooker, then cook on low for 3-4 hours*. Do not lift the lid while it cooks!

*I use crock pot brand slow cookers which cook slightly hot. If you cognize your slow cooker cooks lower or slower, increase the cook time to 4-5 hours.

Shredding the chicken

Shredding the chicken and tossing it back in the sauce helps distribute the flavors. I recommend transferring the chicken to a clean bowl (using tongs). Use an electric hand mixer or two forks to shred the chicken, then return to the slow cooker, tossing it back up in the sauce.

If you prefer sliced chicken, that will work as well: rest the chicken on a cutting board for 10 minutes, then cut into strips or cubes before tossing it back in the sauce.

Serve it up

BBQ pulled chicken is typically served on a bun with slaw. If you’d like a good slaw recipe, check out these honey lime shredded chicken sandwiches!

While crockpot BBQ chicken is great served on a sandwich, there are several other ways you can serve it up:

overhead shot of a table with burger buns, a bowl of the cooked crock pot bbq chicken, and a half-assembled buger

Serving size + equipment

This recipe is formulated to be cooked in a larger slow cooker- 5 or 6 quarts, and it makes a large portion (serves 8). If you don’t want to have ample leftovers, you can cut the recipe in half and cook in a 2.5 or smaller slow cooker.

Meal prep + storage

Crockpot BBQ chicken is great for meal prep, and can work in a few different ways:

1. Crock pot freezer meal

A crock pot freezer meal is assembled ahead and frozen before cooking. This way, when it’s time to cook, you simply dump the ingredients into the slow cooker and skip any measuring. This is a great recipe to prepare for someone who is expecting a baby.

Here’s how you can turn this recipe into a freezer meal:

  1. Assemble the boneless skinless chicken breasts plus all remaining ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag, reusable silicone bag, or meal prep container.
  2. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
  3. Freeze flat for up to 3 months.
  4. Thaw completely, then cook as directed in the recipe card.

Find my favorite freezer containers here!

2. Cook ahead and reheat

You can cook this recipe all the way through, and store in an air tight container in the fridge (up to 4 days) or freezer (up to 3 months), using it as a protein for multiple meals.

Rewarm in a frying pan, using tongs to stir it up. Heat until steaming hot, and enjoy!

Find my favorite meal prep containers here!

a bowl of crockpot barbecue chicken on a grey background

More slow cooker chicken recipes

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: BBQ

Keyword: chicken, freezer, slow cooker

Calories: 191kcal

Servings: 8

This simple crockpot bbq chicken makes the Trendy delicious, juicy pulled chicken…great for sandwiches, tacos, wraps, and pizza! Just 5 simple ingredients and freezer crockpot compatible!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time4 hrs

Total Time4 hrs 10 mins

  • In the insert of a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker, stir together the barbecue sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and chili powder until smooth. Add the chicken breasts and turn to coat in the sauce.

  • Put the lid on the slow cooker, then cook on low for 3-4 hours.

  • Shred the chicken with two forks and toss in the cooking liquid; alternatively you can rest the chicken for 10 minutes, slice or cube, then toss it back in the sauce.

1- this is roughly 4 large chicken breasts; swap for an equal weight of boneless skinless chicken thighs and increase the cook time to 4-5 hours on low.
2- I’ve tested this with Stubb’s, Sweet Baby Ray’s and Newman’s Own sauces; use your favorite!
3- maple syrup may be swapped for an equal volume of honey or brown sugar.
Serving

  • Serve on a bun with slaw
  • Serve on pizza with barbecue sauce, onions and pineapple
  • Serve in tacos or wraps with slaw 
  • Serve in burrito bowls with with rice, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, guacamole, and your favorite toppings
  • Serve as a protein in meal prep bowls with grilled vegetables

Storage
After cooking and cooling, chicken may be stored in an air tight container in the fridge (4 days) or freezer (3 months).
Reheating
Heat in a frying pan, using tongs to stir and flip the chicken so that it heats through evenly.
Do not reheat more than once.

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 332mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 370IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 0.7mg


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