In this post: This Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken recipe makes tender chicken that tastes delicious in tacos, wraps, and salads. Best of all, it’s made with just three ingredients.
No matter what’s happening, I’m still the main cook in our house and everyone still needs to eat no matter how busy I am. Our Crockpot is frequently my best friend when we’re busy and this slow cooker pulled chicken recipe is a family favorite. It uses only three ingredients and is super quick and tasty!
Pulled Chicken in the Crock-Pot is the Best Chicken
This slow cooker chicken is so easy to make. Everything just goes into the crockpot without any prep at all. It comes out fall-apart tender and pairs perfectly with our classic coleslaw and even our Canadian poutine! It’s sweet and savory and totally satisfying.
We often pop the ingredients into the slow cooker before church and come home to a house that smells delicious and lunch all ready to eat. Serve the chicken with buns (hamburger, kaiser, or even grain-free vegan unbuns) and they become a family favorite – bbq chicken sliders.
Plus, this recipe can be doubled or even tripled to feed a crowd easily, with no slaving over a hot stove for hours! Great for family dinners, potlucks, and feeding a crowd.
What’s the Best Chicken for Crockpot BBQ Chicken?
In my personal opinion, I think that boneless skinless chicken breasts make the best pulled chicken. There is no extra fat or grease and, because of the nature of the slow cooker, the white meat turns out very tender.
You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you’d like. Or a combination of thighs and breasts.
But it is best to avoid bones and skin to keep this recipe very simple.
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
The best thing about this slow cooker barbecue chicken recipe is that you only need three basic ingredients to make it.
- chicken breasts
- barbecue sauce
Now I’m a Pepsi girl (if I’m going to have pop, which is infrequently). But you can use Coka, store-brand cola, or the cola of your choice. Your choice will affect the flavor of your pulled chicken slightly. But that’s totally okay!
Even though this recipe only calls for three ingredients, you can absolutely add additional flavors and seasonings if you wish. Here are a few ideas:
- minced garlic or garlic powder
- diced red onions or onion powder
- brown sugar
- diced bell peppers
- liquid smoke
- Worcestershire sauce
- chicken broth
Be careful with any salty seasonings though, as the salt will intensify in the slow cooker and could become overwhelming. For example, I don’t recommend garlic or onion salts. And I don’t add any salt at all to our recipe.
How to Make Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- Place chicken breasts (frozen or thawed) in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Add bbq sauce over the chicken.
- Pour the Pepsi, or your cola of choice, over the chicken and BBQ sauce.
- Cover and cook on the high setting for 3-4 hours or on the low setting for 6-7 hours. Chicken is done when it’s cooked through and shreds easily.
- Shred chicken with two forks in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Serve with your sides of choice (see ideas below).
How to Know When the BBQ Pulled Chicken is Done
You will know the chicken is done when it shreds easily with a fork.
How Long to Cook Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
Cook the chicken for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
How to shred chicken
Once it’s fully cooked, shred your chicken with two forks right in the slow cooker. This will keep it nice and moist and prevent excess mess.
I find the chicken is perfectly tender and shreds very easily with 2 forks. But some people like to use a hand mixer to shred the chicken, which is fine too.
How to Use Shredded Chicken
You can use this shredded chicken in a variety of ways:
- Pile it on a bun for pulled chicken sliders served with coleslaw.
- Make a bbq chicken sandwich.
- Place it on a bed of hot rice with a side salad.
- Serve it on baked potatoes with other toppings like cheese, sour cream, green onions, and bacon for loaded bbq chicken potatoes.
- Change the seasonings slightly and make it Mexican for stuffing into tacos and fajitas.
- Use it as an additional topping on poutine.
How do I store pulled chicken?
Let the chicken cool fully and then pack into Ziplocs or an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can store leftovers this way, or prep pulled chicken ahead of time.
Can I freeze pulled chicken?
Yes! Once your cooked chicken is fully cooled you can place it in an airtight container or Ziplocs and freeze. If packed well, the slow cooker pulled chicken will keep its delicious and robust flavor for about 4 months in the freezer.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes! If you’ve got a big enough slow cooker, you can double or even triple this recipe to feed a crowd.
Can I overcook chicken in the slow cooker?
Yes, unfortunately, you can overcook chicken in the slow cooker. This will happen especially easily if you don’t have enough liquid in the crockpot. It is fairly easy to avoid this though, so just include enough liquid to cover your chicken.
Can I use frozen chicken?
Yes! I do this all the time. It’s super easy. Just keep the lid on the slow cooker for the entire cooking time. I cook frozen chicken for 4 hours on low or 7-8 hours on high.
Which Slow Cooker is Best for Making Pulled Chicken?
Not sure which slow cooker to cook your pulled chicken in? Check out my favorite, plus some excellent options in 18 of the Best Slow Cookers of the Year.
3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Printable Recipe
- 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, frozen
- 1 bottle of bbq sauce
- 1 can of cola
- Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray, if desired. Add chicken breasts.
- Pour BBQ sauce over chicken.
- Add a full can of cola.
- Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
- Serve on buns (or gluten-free bread) with coleslaw or salad on the side.
- I used Kraft Original BBQ Sauce. But you can use whatever barbecue sauce you like.
- You can substitute any cola you like: Coke, store-brand, or Blue Sky (caffeine-free) Cola.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 31g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.