This slow cooker BBQ pulled chicken is one of the easiest make ahead dinners you could ever make – you literally place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and a few hours later you’ll have tender, fall apart shredded chicken coated in a tangy BBQ sauce!
We’re at that time of year when there is just SO MUCH STUFF going on it’s hard to keep up. Most of us don’t have a lot of time to spend ages wondering what we’re going to make for dinner.
I can’t get enough of easy slow cooker “dump dinner” recipes right now – I know that doesn’t sound appealing, but bear with me! This easy slow cooker BBQ pulled chicken is one of those recipes.
A “dump dinner” is a slow cooker recipe than you can literally dump all of the ingredients in the slow cooker pot – no browning or bringing sauces to the boil. The results are so delicious – and you hardly need to do any work!
If you’re a fan of BBQ pulled pork, then you need this pulled chicken recipe in your life – give it a try and let me know what you think!
what kind of chicken is best to use?
You’ll need skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs for this recipe. Thighs would be my number one choice because they stay juicier and don’t dry out as much as chicken breasts, but either is fine.
If you use chicken thighs, make sure to cut away any excess fat that could make the sauce a little oily.
How to make slow cooker bbq pulled chicken
- Place the chicken pieces in the slow cooker bowl. Stir all the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl or large jug until smooth. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
- Fit the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours. When it’s ready, the chicken should be very soft, tender and pull apart very easily.
- The sauce should be quite thick and coating the chicken nicely. If you feel you need to thicken the sauce, it can be reduced in a pan on the hob.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a plate. Pour the sauce into a pan and heat for around 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until slightly thickened. Shred the chicken with two forks and mix with the sauce.
You can serve the shredded chicken just as you would with pulled pork – in rolls with creamy coleslaw and potato wedges on the side. But you can do so much more with it!
I love it on top of a baked sweet potato, with nachos and melted grated cheddar cheese or in tacos. It’s also SO GOOD in a tortilla wrap!
If I want to add some extra protein, I heat up a can of kidney beans and stir them into the chicken. Honestly, it’s one of my favourite quick dinners at the moment.
can you overcook bbq pulled chicken in the slow cooker?
If you were to leave the chicken in the slow cooker for longer than the recipe states on the high setting then yes, it could potentially become overcooked and quite dry. I wouldn’t recommend cooking it for longer than 5 hours on high.
can you make this recipe in advance?
Yes, pulled chicken is the ideal recipe to make ahead of time. You can store the cooked chicken in the fridge for up to three days. I reheat the chicken in a pan on the hob until piping hot – this will take around 10-15 minutes.
can you freeze slow cooker pulled chicken?
Yes you can! It can be frozen for up to three months. I use these heavy duty ziploc freezer bags for recipes such as this/casseroles/curries – they are brilliant and I haven’t had one burst on me yet!
more easy slow cooker recipes to try
did you make this recipe?
I hope you love it as much as we do! Let me know how you got on by leaving a comment below or if you have any questions about the recipe, please just ask and I’ll do my best to help.
- 800g skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 250g tomato passata
- 60ml of your favourite bottled BBQ sauce
- 3 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons runny honey
- 1 teaspoon chipotle paste
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed (or 2 teaspoons garlic puree)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- fine salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place the chicken pieces in the slow cooker bowl. Stir all the ingredients for the sauce together until smooth. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
- Fit the lid and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours. The chicken should be very soft and pull apart easily. You might want to add a little salt and pepper.
- If you need to thicken the sauce, it can be reduced in a pan on the hob. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and heat for around 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until slightly thickened. Shred the chicken with two forks and mix with the sauce.
The cooked, cold chicken can be stored in a tupperware container in the fridge for up to three days. Re-heat in a saucepan on a hob over a medium heat until piping hot.