Juicy shredded chicken in a zesty sauce, this Crockpot BBQ Chicken needs just 5 ingredients and 5 minutes prep. The slow cooker does the rest!

Boneless chicken breasts are cooked in a rich BBQ sauce and then shredded. Serve this saucy meal over dinner rolls, hamburger buns, or even over mac and cheese for the perfect meal!

crockpot bbq chicken on a bun with potato chips

Here’s Why You’ll Love This Recipe!

  • It takes just 5 minutes to prepare. Chop an onion, toss all ingredients in the slow cooker and set it and forget it!
  • It needs just 5 ingredients plus buns/slaw for serving!
  • The chicken comes out so tender and flavorful, you can practically shred it with a spoon.
  • BBQ chicken sandwiches make a great weeknight meal or can be served at a party to feed a crowd.
  • If you’re having a get-together, prep as directed and leave it on warm in the slow cooker so your guests can serve themselves.
uncooked chicken breasts in a crock pot with bbq sauce and onions

Ingredients

This recipe is made with a handful of staple ingredients!

  • CHICKEN – Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a favorite in this recipe but chicken thighs work too. If you only have split chicken breasts, be sure to remove the skin before adding to the slow cooker and remove the bones once cooked.
  • LIQUID We add a bit of broth or beer to cook the chicken. We love the flavor beer adds, a lighter beer works best in this recipe. No beer? No Problem! Skip the beer and use chicken broth.
  • BARBECUE SAUCE – Use your favorite brand of barbecue sauce or homemade bbq sauce for this recipe. It is a primary flavor in this recipe, so pick the one you love! (My favorite bottled sauce is Sweet Baby Ray’s).

Optional Additions

Try any of the following variations:

  • Like it sweeter? Add a bit of brown sugar or some molasses.
  • Feeling spicy? Add a diced jalapeno for a kick.
  • No onions? Use 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
  • Want it zesty? Stir in a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar.
cooked chicken in a crock pot

How to Make Shredded Chicken in Crockpot

This recipe is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker
  2. Cover and cook until tender.
  3. Remove chicken and shred chicken using two forks. Stir in some of the juices and additional bbq sauce if desired.

Make it Saucy!

  • Some chicken (especially if it says “seasoned”) can produce a lot of juice or liquid. Once your chicken is cooked, you may have a lot or a little bit of juice.
  • Remove the chicken and shred it separately. Add in as much of the juices and sauce as needed to make the pulled chicken moist.
  • Keep in mind that as it sits, the chicken will soak up the juices so don’t throw away any extras in case you want to add more!
pulled chicken in a crock pot with bbq sauce

How Long to Cook BBQ Chicken in a Slow Cooker

When it comes to making crock pot chicken right, we’ve got you covered!

  • Cook on high about 4-5 hours.
  • Cook low and slow is my preference and tends to keeps the chicken more tender. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  • Keep on warm once cooked and shredded to serve at gatherings.

When a meat thermometer reaches 165°F in the thickest part, dinner is served!

a pulled bbq chicken sandwich with potato chips

What to Serve with Crockpot BBQ Chicken

This chicken has endless possibilities but our favorite is to make it into a chicken sandwich! Pile the barbecue chicken on hamburger buns with a big scoop of coleslaw.

Add some grilled corn and one of the salads below!

Rolls and Wraps: Hamburger buns, ciabatta rolls, wraps, tortillas, dinner rolls (for sliders)

Or Serve Over: Mac and Cheese, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Oven Baked Rice

Leftovers

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken can will last a few days in the fridge. It’s great as sandwiches, spooned over mac and cheese, make bbq chicken nachos or pizza, or spoon it over rice or baked sweet potatoes.

Keep in mind the shredded chicken will soak up the sauce as it sits so add some extra barbecue sauce if needed.

Pulled chicken freezes perfectly, just put it in a freezer bag with the date on it – it should keep for a couple of months in the freezer!

More Chicken Sandwich Recipes

Did you make this Crockpot BBQ Chicken Recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

crockpot bbq chicken on a bun with potato chips
5 from 24 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, great for busy weeknights.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts approx. 4 breasts
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce divided
  • ½ cup light beer or chicken broth

To Serve

  • 8 hamburger buns
  • coleslaw

Instructions 

  • Place chicken breast in the slow cooker and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Add onion, 1 cup barbecue sauce, and beer. Cook on low 6-7 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  • Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred using two forks. Ladle some of the juices into the chicken.
  • Drizzle with remaining barbecue sauce and serve on hamburger buns with coleslaw.

Notes

Chicken thighs work in this recipe too. If you only have split chicken breasts, be sure to remove the skin before adding to the slow cooker and remove the bones once cooked.
No beer? No Problem! Skip the beer and add chicken broth.
BBQ Sauce Use your favorite brand of barbecue sauce (or better yet homemade bbq sauce) for this recipe. If using bottled dressing, I love Sweet Baby Ray’s.
A Note About the Sauce: Chicken can sometimes produce more or less juice. Once your chicken is cooked, you may have a lot or a little bit of juice. Remove the chicken and shred it separately.
Add in as much of the juices and sauce as needed. As it sits, the chicken will soak up the juices so don’t throw away any extras in case you want to add more!
5 from 24 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 382 | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 1082mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Slow Cooker
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. wow fantastic recipe and so easy to make, thank you for sharing! i added both beer and chicken broth to mine and came out perfect.5 stars

  2. question, i want to use both beer and chicken broth as mentioned at the top of this page, do i put 1/2 cup of beer and 1/2 cup of chicken broth?

  3. Hello Holly
    This is Tere from Mexico. I’ve just find your page and I so excited to start preparing your delicious recipes.
    I have a question, if I prepare half of the ingredients, do I have to reduce cooking time also or it is the same time as the original recipe? Thank you and take care of yourself

    1. Hi Tere, you should be able to leave the cooking time the same even with halving the recipe. But you can check the chicken early to make sure it doesn’t get overcooked. Just use a meat thermometer and make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F before shredding :)

  4. Can Crockpot BBQ Chicken be done in a pressure cooker instead? Love your recipes! So many have become permanent meals for us.

    1. Hi Patricia, we have never tried this recipe in the instant pot. If you do, we would love to hear how it turns out!

    1. For this recipe, I would recommend defrosting the chicken before adding to the crockpot Tracy. But let us know how it turns out!