Want BBQ chicken without the hassle? This Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken is just the recipe for you! Tender pulled chicken is smothered in a tangy, sweet bbq sauce and may be served as a sandwich, sliders or in salads or bowls. It’s an easy dump and go recipe that requires just 2 ingredients!

BBQ pulled chicken in slow cooker

It’s not summer without my Grilled BBQ Chicken, but this Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken is even easier! It’s ridiculously easy, and we all need recipes like that every now and then don’t we?

I love using my slow cooker, but oftentimes I’m not organized enough to utilize it.  Most of the time slow cooker recipes require prepping ingredients beforehand and getting them cooking good and early to make sure the meal is ready in time for dinner.

This can be very challenging for someone who isn’t always good about following a meal plan, but this recipe cooks up fairly quickly and there are no bothersome ingredients to prep.

If you want some really quick dinner options that are also great for meal prep, be sure try my Instant Pot Shredded Chicken and Instant Pot Pulled Pork!

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Tender pulled chicken is smothered in a tangy, sweet bbq sauce for a family friendly dinner that everyone will love.
  • It requires just 10 minutes of prep and 2 ingredients.
  • The bbq pulled chicken recipe is a great meal prep dinner to enjoy throughout the week in sandwiches, salads, wraps, bowls and more.
  • You can customize the flavor of the bbq chicken by switching up the bbq sauce.
Bowl of bbq pulled chicken with a spoon

Recipe ingredients

Two ingredients — only two!  — are required for this BBQ pulled chicken.

  1.  Chicken. Use skinless chicken breasts, either boneless or bone-in. Pro tip: Bone-in chicken is more cost effective and it adds great flavor. Just be sure to remove all bones prior to serving.
  2.  BBQ sauce. Use homemade or your favorite store bought brand. If you’re in the mood to make your own, you can try my Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce, Honey Pineapple BBQ Sauce or Roasted Apple BBQ Sauce.  Just make them in advance to make life easier!

How to make this recipe

This bbq pulled chicken is an easy dump and go slow cooker recipe that barely requires any effort, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights.

For this particular recipe, I purchased chicken breasts on the bone and removed the skin.  Pro tip: It’s always cheaper to buy chicken this way, and the bones add more flavor.  When the chicken is done, it barely requires any effort to get the bones out of the way before shredding, so it’s totally worth it.

How to make BBQ pulled chicken slow cooker collage
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker. Combine the bbq sauce and water, and pour over the chicken to submerge.
  2. Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours, or until tender and cooked through.
  3. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred with two forks, discarding the bones if using bone-in chicken.
  4. Place the shredded chicken back in the slow cooker and stir in the sauce to coat.

FAQs

Can this recipe be prepared in advance?

Absolutely! The bbq sauce keeps the pulled chicken super moist, so it keeps well for up to five days in the fridge.

Can bbq pulled chicken be frozen?

Yes, once you’ve made the easy pulled bbq chicken, let it cool completely before sealing inside freezer bags or freezer-safe containers.

Make sure to freeze the chicken with its juices so it stays moist. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat when you’re ready to serve.

Do you shred chicken before or after cooking?

Shred chicken after cooking as it’s impossible to shred raw chicken. Cook your chicken until tender, then it will shred easily with two forks.

Is it better to shred chicken warm or cold?

Chicken is more tender and juicy when it’s warm, making it much easier to shred.

Which chicken is best for pulled chicken?

Chicken breast or chicken thighs work well for pulled chicken. Boneless or bone-in in chicken will work, but be sure to remove the bones prior to shredding if using bone-in chicken.

How to serve this recipe

This bbq pulled chicken is terrific in sandwiches or sliders topped with coleslaw, atop salads, or stuffed in a sweet potato — you can make this as elaborate or un-elaborate as you like!  

BBQ chicken sides

Not sure what side dishes to serve with bbq chicken? Below are some great options:

Recipe notes

  • Bone-in chicken breasts are more cost effective, and the bones add flavor. 
  • If you’re looking for homemade BBQ sauce recipes, try my Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce!
  • Store bbq pulled chicken in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
BBQ pulled chicken sandwich topped with coleslaw

More easy slow cooker dinners:

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

BBQ pulled chicken in slow cooker

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken is tender pulled chicken smothered in tangy barbecue sauce.  This is an easy dump and go recipe that only requires 2 ingredients!
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Ingredients

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts boneless or bone-in both work fine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions 

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker. Combine the bbq sauce and water, and pour over the chicken to submerge.
  • Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours, or until tender and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred with two forks, discarding the bones if using bone-in chicken.
  • Place the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and stir in the sauce to coat. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Bone-in chicken breasts are more cost effective, and the bones add flavor. 
  • If you’re looking for homemade BBQ sauce recipes, try my Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce!
  • Store bbq pulled chicken in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 116kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 593mg, Sugar: 18g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

**This post was originally published in October 2015. The photos, recipe and text have been updated to be more informative.

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