Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken
Looking for a delicious and easy slow cooker meal? Try this mouth-watering Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken recipe! Just a few simple ingredients make a tender pulled chicken that is perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. Serve it on buns with coleslaw, in tacos, or over a bed of rice.
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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Ingredients
- Garlic powder
- Salt and black pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
- BBQ sauce
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs
Recipe Variations and Ingredient Substitutes
We get it, sometimes we don’t have everything we need on hand so here are a few of our suggestions for substitutions for this slow cooker bbq pulled chicken recipe:
- Garlic powder. Fresh garlic. I wouldn’t skip the spices as they bring so much flavor to the recipe.
- Apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have any ACV on hand, you can use white vinegar.
- Brown sugar. Coconut sugar will work or you can use brown sugar Swerve for a low-carb option. We haven’t tested the recipe with this, so don’t come for us.
- BBQ sauce. Don’t skip this, but you can use your favorite BBQ sauce that’s store bought or homemade.
- Chicken thighs. You can use skinless chicken breasts instead. The white meat won’t be as flavorful as the dark but it will still work.
Tools you’ll need
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Crockpot BBQ Pulled Chicken recipe.
What to Serve Pulled Chicken With
You could serve the chicken on its own with a side of vegetables (veggies and dip, corn on the cob, or a salad) and rice or you could make multiple meals with the following ideas:
Bun: You can serve this on a bun as BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches. Top the pulled chicken sandwich with coleslaw, pickled onions, extra barbecue sauce, and whatever you’re favorite toppings are.
Tacos: BBQ pulled chicken tacos are a personal favorite of mine. Create a “taco bar” with toppings and sauces and let your family and guests create their own.
Coleslaw: Coleslaw is a delicious side dish for pulled chicken or as a topping for sandwiches or tacos.
Pizza: Use this recipe as a topping for pizza or flatbread.
Wrap: Take your favorite whole wheat wrap and make a delicious pulled chicken wrap with slaw/lettuce/whatever your favorite veggies are.
Mac and cheese: Doesn’t BBQ pulled chicken mac and cheese sound heavenly? Top your homemade or store-bought mac and cheese with this chicken recipe and take it to the next level.
BBQ chicken nachos: Add the barbecue chicken to tortilla chips, a little cheese, extra bbq sauce, green onions and some slaw.
FAQs Pulled BBQ Chicken
How to Make BBQ Pulled Chicken in a Slow Cooker (Step by Step Photos)
This is such an easy recipe to make, it’s perfect for beginners. There are very few steps involved and you can’t mess it up because the slow cooker melds all the ingredients together to create a flavorful shredded chicken.
In a small bowl add together the seasonings: garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
In a small bowl mix together apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and 3⁄4 cup of BBQ sauce.
Lay the chicken thighs on the bottom of the slow cooker and sprinkle the seasoning mix over top.
Add the diced onion and then pour the BBQ sauce mixture over the chicken, covering it fully in the mixture.
Cook the chicken for 2 -3 hours on high or low for 3 – 5 hours.
Pulling the Chicken
Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks or those meat-shredding claws.
You can also put the cooked chicken in a medium bowl and shred it with a hand mixer. It makes the process so fast.
Remove the juices from the crockpot (reserving some) and add the chicken back in. Pour some of the juices back, about 1⁄2 cup to 1 cup, into the slow cooker. Don’t add too much back it can make the chicken too watery for sandwiches.
Add the remaining 3⁄4 cup of BBQ sauce and mix with the chicken mixture. Cover and cook for 10 minutes to let the BBQ sauce warm up.
Enjoy your slow cooker bbq pulled chicken!
More Chicken Recipes
If you’re looking for more ways to cook up chicken, here are a few recipes:
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
- 1 onion diced
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Combine together the seasoning: garlic powder, paprika, salt and black pepper in a bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and 3⁄4 cup of BBQ sauce.
- Place chicken thighs in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken in the slow cooker.
- Add the diced onion and then pour the BBQ sauce mixture over the chicken, covering it fully in the mixture.
- Cook the chicken for 2 -3 hours on high or low for 3 – 5 hours.
- Remove the chicken and shred it with two forks.
- Remove the juices from the crockpot and add the chicken back in. Add some of the juices back, about 1⁄2 cup to 1 cup, into the slow cooker. Don’t add too much back it can make the chicken too watery for sandwiches.
- Add the remaining 3⁄4 cup of BBQ sauce and mix with the chicken mixture. Cover and cook for 10 minutes to let the BBQ sauce warm up.
More CrockPot Recipes
Take a look at our slow cooker recipes and add more to this week’s busy meal plan.
If you use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs, how long do you cook them on high or low in the slow cooker?
My go-to is 3-4 hours high or 6-8 hours low with chicken breasts. Happy cooking!