This 5-ingredient Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken is an easy way to pull together a delicious meal. Turn it into a sandwich and top with Asian Cole Slaw for a cool twist.
The magic of the slow cooker is that you can assemble everything in the morning and have dinner ready without much hassle!
There are only 5 ingredients for this recipe and you probably have them in your refrigerator and pantry right now. This recipe has chili powder in it so you can turn the heat up or dial it down to suit your taste.Jump to Recipe
How to make BBQ pulled chicken in the slow cooker:
This recipe is super simple with just a few steps:
- Whisk together the BBQ sauce ingredients
- Place whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker
- Pour the BBQ sauce mixture over the chicken and make sure it is well covered
- Put the cover on the slow cooker
- If you have all day you can cook the chicken on low for about 8 hours, but I have made it on high for 4 hours with equal success
- Once your chicken is finished take it out of the slow cooker and shred by using two forks to pull it apart
- Put the chicken back in the slow cooker, combine with the sauce, and heat for another 15 minutes
Different ways to use Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken:
My favorite way to eat this chicken is to create a pulled chicken sandwich topped with our Asian Coleslaw.
Start with a large bun that is sturdy enough to hold both the chicken and the slaw. I like a poppy seed, sesame seed, or an onion bun, but whole wheat works well too. Top the chicken with about 1/3 cup of Asian Coleslaw. The flavors really meld well together.
If you are cutting back on bread you can definitely just wrap this amazing chicken up in a big piece of sturdy lettuce, or put it right on your plate and top with the coleslaw.
Storing leftover Pulled Chicken:
The chicken freezes very well. Just let it cool completely, separate into serving sizes that work for you, and store tightly sealed in the freezer up to 3 months
Variations for pulled chicken:
- Use pork instead of chicken with the same BBQ sauce ingredients
- Create sliders with small rolls – this recipe will make 12 sliders
- Top with a spicy chipotle coleslaw
Suggestions for Beverage pairing:
We have several options for beverage pairing with this dish. A nice Asian beer is a nice accompaniment for the pulled chicken sandwich. Also, light to medium-bodied Chenin Blanc or Rose is a good contrast to the sweet and salty flavors in the food.
Your weekday, weekend or special occasion selections:
- Asian beers: Tsingtao or Sapporo
- Chenin Blanc: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier, California
- Rose: Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rose
- Rose: The Palm by Whispering Angel
Other easy main dishes:
- Asian Baked Chicken
- Sheet Pan Salmon
- Skirt Steak with Mustard Sauce
- Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes
Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
- Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1 cup water
Optional for Sandwich:
- 6 large buns, such as poppy seed, onion or sesame seed
- 2 cups Asian coleslaw, See recipe link below
- In medium bowl, whisk BBQ sauce, garlic, cumin, chili powder and water.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- In a 4-quart slow cooker add whole chicken breasts and cover with BBQ mixture.
- Cover and cook on high 4 hours or 8 hours on low, or until chicken is very tender.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Shred the chicken with 2 forks and add the chicken back to slow cooker, combining with sauce for about 15 minutes. Keep warm until ready to use.
To Make Sandwiches
- Prepare your favorite Asian slaw or use our recipe for Asian Coleslaw with Peanut Dressing
- Serve chicken on buns, topped with about ⅓ cup slaw