Crockpot BBQ Chicken Recipe

Last Updated on October 6, 2021 by Anne-Marie

This easy recipe for crockpot BBQ chicken makes amazing slow cooker pulled chicken for a weeknight dinner. It’s also a tasty and crowd pleasing dish for parties, potlucks, and tailgates.

BBQ Chicken sandwich on a white plate with pickles with a jar of homemade BBQ, buns, purple cabbage in the background.

How to make crockpot BBQ chicken

This is the perfect recipe for slow cooker BBQ chicken when you don’t want to turn on the oven. Or you don’t feel like messing with the grill.

You just put the chicken breasts in the crock-pot, add the BBQ sauce, then cook.

Once the chicken is cooked, shred it, then add it back to the sauce.

Then serve the shredded BBQ chicken as sandwiches.

Done. Boom. What could be easier?

BBQ Chicken Sandwich with a pot of BBQ sauce, and pickles

Tips for making Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

If you want to make the best recipe for slow cooker BBQ chicken, here are some tips:

Easy clean up

To make this BBQ pulled chicken a breeze to clean up, use slow cooker liners.

These are a game changer! I no longer have to soak my slow cooker crock overnight and scrub it with a lot of Bar Keepers Friend.

Make your own sauce – or not

I’ve included a simple and quick BBQ sauce in the recipe below. It’s zesty and delicious!

However, you can use a 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce instead, if you like.

Or if you're looking to make a healthier, low carb or keto friendly BBQ sauce, try this Sugar Free BBQ Sauce recipe. It takes 5 minutes to make!

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with red cabbage, a pot of BBQ sauce, buns, and pickles

Go sugar free, low carb and keto friendly

Are you looking for low carb, keto and sugar free BBQ sauce? Then making your own is the way to go!

Instead of brown sugar, use Swerve Sweetener, Brown. I love this brown sugar substitute. It cooks up just like the real thing.

Looking for a sugar free or keto friendly ketchup? Try these:

Heinz Tomato Ketchup, No Sugar

Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup


If you’re doing a keto or low carb diet, serve the shredded BBQ chicken on top of vegetables or in a low carb tortilla wrap.

Making BBQ chicken breasts in a slow cooker

Do I have to use chicken breasts?

You use 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker. However, you can substitute boneless and skinless chicken thighs, if you wish.

Many people prefer chicken thigh meat as they feel it’s more moist and flavorful than breasts. However, this type of chicken isn’t as lean and healthy, so there’s a tradeoff.

Plus, the BBQ sauce already adds plenty of flavor and moisture, so you don’t have to worry about dried out chicken.

BBQ chicken ingredients - a jar of BBQ sauce, chicken breasts and a crockpot in the background

How to serve this pulled chicken crockpot recipe

The best way to served pulled BBQ chicken is to make sandwiches on hearty buns. You can find buns in a variety of flavors – whole wheat, sweet Hawaiian, and even gluten free.

Serve them with additional BBQ sauce and a variety of extras like cheese slices, lettuce leaves, and coleslaw.

(Try my Easy Coleslaw Recipe or spicy Wasabi Coleslaw Recipe.)

Pickles (or anything pickled) would be good, too.  Try my Refrigerator Pickled Okra or my Watermelon Rind Pickles on the side or sliced and added to the sandwiches.

For a party: make sliders, similar to my Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders Recipe. They’re so much fun to serve and eat!

Slider buns are available at most stores in a variety of flavors, too. I also find slider sandwiches are terrific for kids with smaller appetites.

Overhead shot of BBQ chicken sandwiches, pickles, BBQ sauce, and buns on a striped tea towel

Can I freeze Crockpot BBQ chicken?

Yes, you can freeze this crockpot BBQ chicken recipe!

1. Make a double batch and freeze half for another meal.

2. Place the cooled BBQ chicken in freezer gallon Ziploc bags. Label, date and freeze flat for easy storage.

3. Then thaw them out in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of room temperature water.

4. Reheat the shredded BBQ chicken in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan.

Ways to use leftover crockpot shredded BBQ chicken

Besides sandwiches, you can make the following pulled BBQ chicken dishes:

Add it to a rice bowl with corn, black beans, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes. Add more BBQ sauce.

It’ll be similar to this Easy Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken Recipe.

Make a shredded BBQ chicken taco with shredded lettuce or cabbage, salsa, guacamole, and Greek yogurt.

Add the chicken to a baked potato and top with cheddar cheese and some sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Make your own CPK copycat pizza! Add it to pizza dough (or a premade pizza shell) with red onions, cilantro, mozzarella, and smoked Gouda cheese. And more BBQ sauce.

BBQ chicken sandwiches with red cabbage, pickles, BBQ sauce, and buns on a striped cloth

More terrific chicken recipes

If you looking for more Crock-Pot chicken recipes, check out this Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo Recipe with Quinoa.

Have an Instant Pot? Then check out Instant Pot Whole Chicken and Instant Pot Chicken and Rice.

Love to grill? This Easy Chicken Marinade Recipe is ideal for grilling chicken breasts.

If you’re looking for chicken appetizers, try Sriracha Chicken Kabobs or Chicken Shawarma with Dipping Sauce. Both would also make terrific dinners when served with rice and vegetables.

Love chicken sandwiches? Try this Chicken Panini Recipe.


Crockpot BBQ Chicken Recipe

BBQ Chicken Sandwich with a pot of BBQ sauce, and pickles

This easy Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe makes an amazing slow cooker pulled chicken dish for dinner, parties or potlucks.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 5 minutes


  • 4 2-pound Chicken Breasts, boneless skinless

BBQ Sauce

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or Swerve Sweetener, Brown
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Serve the Crockpot BBQ Chicken with:

  • Buns
  • Additional BBQ Sauce
  • Cheese slices, optional
  • Lettuce, optional
  • Coleslaw, optional
  • Pickles, optional


  1. In a small bowl make the BBQ sauce by whisking together the ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar.
  2. Place chicken breasts in the crockpot.
  3. Pour BBQ sauce over chicken.
  4. Cook on Low for 4-6 hours or High for 2-3 hours.
  5. Remove BBQ chicken from crockpot and place on to a cutting board.
  6. Using 2 forks, shred chicken into small pieces.
  7. Return shredded chicken back to the crockpot. Then stir to coat with BBQ sauce and heat through.
  8. Serve shredded crockpot BBQ chicken immediately on buns with toppings and extra BBQ sauce.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate Affiliate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 416mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 37g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating: 5 4 3 2 1