Crockpot Pulled BBQ Chicken

I love my crockpot and was excited when I received it as a wedding gift.  I even got a cookbook to go along with it that has a number of different and unique recipes.  Too bad I’ve only used it so far to make shredded meat.  Chicken and pork.  But whatever, it works great for this purpose.

This is one of the recipes I have used over and over again, particularly when we have company and I want a no-fuss meal.  It only takes a few minutes to throw everything in the pot, turn it on and voila, several hours later it’s ready to go.

As a warning, this recipe makes a lot of chicken.  This served all 15 or so people at my cousin’s baby shower and there was still some left after the party.  Granted we were a group of all females and it was lunchtime, but you get the drift.  This is definitely a crowd-pleaser and has gone over very well each time I’ve used it for a party.

If you decide to make a full batch, this chicken makes great leftovers and freezes well.  And if you are in the mood for something different, the leftovers are perfect to use for topping a pizza or in quesadillas.

Crockpot Pulled BBQ Chicken
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
  • 6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups barbecue sauce*
  • buns or rolls, for serving
  1. Pat the chicken dry and set aside. Combine the onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Season the chicken breasts with the spice mixture and then place them in the crockpot. Add the onions to the pot, then the chicken broth and barbecue sauce. Toss gently to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. When it is done cooking, remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and shred. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot and toss to combine. Let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.
*As noted in the original recipe, I’ve also found that thinner BBQ sauce works best. If you use a thicker sauce, you’ll want to add a little more chicken broth (to prevent it from burning around the edges of the crockpot).

Slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats


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  1. This looks delicious! I want to make it for a lunch party. Could I cook it the day before, refrigerate and reheat the next day? Or would that dry it out?

    • Hi Christen! Yes, it can definitely be reheated. We usually eat it for quite a few days after I make it and have never had any problems! You could also just have some extra sauce on hand in case, but I’ve never needed it.

  2. I made this last night and it was soooo good!! Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Can you cook on high for a shorter 4 hours instead of low for 8?

    • Hi Lilly – that should work fine. I’ve never done it myself just because of the timing but I can’t see there being a problem!

  4. Can you use frozen chicken breast?

    • Hi Kim! I’ve never tried using frozen meat in my crockpot. The USDA recommends thawing meat before using it in a crockpot, so I’ve always stuck to that to be on the safe side!

  5. How would you suggest freezing the chicken?

    • I usually put it in an airtight container and then stick it in the freezer. I’ve also used a freezer-safe plastic baggie. Both seem to work just fine!

  6. Christine says:

    I made thos for a family picnic and it was a huge hit. I highly recommend, Thanks!

  7. Miranda says:

    What kind of bbq sauce do you recommend?

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      My personal favorite kind to buy at the store is Bone Suckin’ Sauce – it’s a great consistency for this recipe (on the thinner side). But really you could use whatever your favorite is! Or homemade! (and then just add more chicken broth if it’s on the thicker side of sauces)

  8. This looks amazing! I would love to try this for dinner tonight but definitely don’t need it for so many people. If I make half of the recipe can I also then shorten the cooking time by half?

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Hi DeAnna! Yes, I would check the chicken after about 3 1/2 to 4 hours to see if it is done. The cooking time can vary slightly just depending on how thick the chicken breasts are!

  9. Oh, this looks soooooo good! I love that you season the chicken breasts! I have been searching for a pulled bbq chicken recipe for our Super Bowl Party, and I think I just found it! :D

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Yes! This recipe is great for parties – it makes a ton and you can keep it warm in the crockpot! Hope you enjoy if you give it a try : )

  10. This was the best pulled chicken. Everyone needs to try this recipe.

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