This slow cooker pulled BBQ chicken has quickly become a staple in my house, especially for busy work nights. Smoky, shredded chicken breast topped with tangy coleslaw, piled on a bun. This is total comfort food, but it cooks itself, so you don’t have to… what could be better?
What you’ll need to make this recipe
Here’s all you’ll need for the pulled chicken portion of this recipe:
- chicken breast
- BBQ sauce (I use this one, it’s my all time favorite and is naturally low in sugar, so it works perfectly here!)
- unsweetened applesauce
- Worcestershire sauce
And here’s what you’ll need for the coleslaw portion:
- shredded coleslaw mix
- light mayo
- apple cider vinegar
- celery seed
Other ingredients (optional):
- buns, for sandwiches
- pickles, for topping
How to make the slow cooker pulled chicken
So, just like any other slow cooker recipe, this really couldn’t be easier. Basically, you’re going to dump everything in the slow cooker, and walk away. But I will go through some key details! First, combine the liquid ingredients at the bottom of the slow cooker. Whisk them together to make sure they are incorporated really evenly throughout. This time, I combined mine in a measuring cup – I’ll explain why later. Next, slice up an onion, and add that into the slow cooker, along with your chicken breast. Give everything a toss with some tongs, to ensure that the chicken is nicely coated with the sauce. To cook, you can choose either your HIGH or LOW settings. If I can get all my ingredients together and ready first thing in the morning, I usually opt for the LOW setting for 8 hours. Otherwise, if you find this recipe around noon and need dinner ready by 5, use the HIGH setting for 4 hours. They both work out great! Once the chicken is cooked, all you have to do is shred it using two forks. Once the meat is entirely shredded, just toss it around in the remaining sauce in the slow cooker. The end result will be really flavorful, shredded chicken. There won’t be a ton of extra sauce left in the slow cooker, as the chicken really soaks up most of it (which is what we want anyway!).
How to make the coleslaw
Of course, this portion of the recipe is totally optional; but if you ask me, nothing pairs better with pulled BBQ meat than coleslaw. Put everything on top of a bun, and you’ve basically got a dream come true! To make the coleslaw, it’s really very simple. Just combine the mayo, vinegar, sugar, and celery seed in the bottom of a large mixing bowl, and then toss your coleslaw mix in it with tongs. You can make this a day or two in advance if you’d like, and leave it covered in the fridge. After all, the longer coleslaw sits, the more flavorful it becomes.
How to prep this recipe night before
Slow cooker recipes are great time-savers, especially on days where I have to head into the office. The thing is, I really don’t feel like slicing onions and mixing together sauces at 7:00 am (do you?) Years ago, I discovered that taking 10 minutes at night to prep the slow cooker ingredients was a huge lifesaver. It doesn’t matter what the meal is, having the ingredients totally chopped and prepped, waiting for me in the fridge, makes things that much easier. I highly recommend using this method to get ahead of the game on busy days. You won’t be sorry. To prep this recipe in advance, simply slice the onions and place them in either a freezer bag or a covered container in the fridge with the chicken breast. Mix the BBQ sauce ingredients together, and store that in the fridge, covered as well. I recommend prepping the coleslaw in advance too; even though it only takes minutes to throw together, coleslaw is one of those things that gets better as it sits in the fridge and the flavors develop. So, that’s it. The next morning, wake up, and dump everything together in the slow cooker, and get on with your day! (And this is why I combined my BBQ sauce ingredients in a measuring cup first!)
Serving slow cooker BBQ pulled chicken
My favorite way to serve this recipe is on top of a toasted bun; it’s the ultimate sandwich. I have also eaten this inside a baked potato, topped with cheese; that was something totally different, but equally delicious! The serving size for the chicken is 1 cup and the serving size for the coleslaw is 1/2 cup.
Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken
- slow cooker or crockpot
For the Pulled Chicken
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast, raw
- 1 onion
- 3/4 c BBQ sauce, I use Stubbs original BBQ sauce
- 4 oz applesauce, unsweetened
- 2 tsp Worcestershire
- 1 tablespoon honey
For the Coleslaw
- 8 oz coleslaw mix
- ¼ cup light mayo
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For the Pulled Chicken
- Combine the BBQ sauce, applesauce, worcestershire and honey on the bottom of the slow cooker. Whisk together to combine.
- Slice the onion.
- Add the sliced onion and chicken breast to the slow cooker. Coat with the sauce.
- Cook on LOW for 8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours.
- Once done, shred the meat using two forks.
For the Coleslaw
- Combine the mayo, sugar, celery seed, and apple cider vinegar together on the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
- Add the coleslaw mix, and toss with tongs.
- 4 WW points (green plan)
- 3 WW points (blue and purple plans)
- 1 WW point (all plans)