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Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken – 3 Ingredient Recipe

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This 3 ingredient slow cooker pulled chicken is tasty and simple. There is little prep and no fuss, just tender, juicy, and delicious chicken! Serve it on hamburger buns with coleslaw and pickles for an easy family dinner.

This recipe is perfect for days when you just don’t have the time or energy to deal with cooking. Knowing your dinner is simmering all day in the crockpot means less to worry about on a busy day!

This crave-worthy dinner is also an excellent choice for feeding a crowd. Take this to a potluck with some slider rolls and watch it disappear.

This is a straightforward recipe with just the basics. Sure, you can make it more complicated and add extras, like minced garlic clove, red pepper flakes, or black pepper. Instead, I use a bottled BBQ sauce that I like, which already has those flavors.

slow cooker pulled chicken in crockpot

Check out my Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken recipe to make this in a pressure cooker.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

This recipe has only 3 ingredients.

The hands-on time is minimal, making this a dump-and-go recipe.

Pulled chicken is versatile and has a delicious flavor.

This dish is a great way to cook a lot of protein fast.

pulled chicken on a plate with coleslaw and pickles

3 Simple Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

Chicken breasts – I use boneless, skinless chicken breast to make this recipe as easy as possible. Thighs will also work fine in the recipe, but they have more fat. Do not use frozen chicken in this recipe; instead, use this Instant Pot recipe.

BBQ sauce – Use your favorite sauce for this recipe. You can use homemade sauce, but I generally use bottled, since this is something I make when I am short on time.

Onion – You can leave the onion out and just make this a two-ingredient recipe. I like to include onion because it gives the bottled sauce more texture.

pulled chicken ingredients before slow cooking
Ingredients for BBQ Chicken

Find More Slow Cooker Recipes

How to Make Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

1. Cook

Put the raw chicken in a 6-8 quart slow cooker. It is best to keep it in a single layer to cook evenly. Sprinkled the diced onion on top.

chicken in slow cooker
Chicken in slow cooker

Pour the BBQ sauce into the crockpot. There is no need to add extra liquid such as chicken broth.

adding bbq sauce to crockpot
Adding BBQ sauce

Put the lid on and cook for 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. I find cooking this on low gives better, more consistent results. This might just be my slow cooker, but I recommend using low if possible.

pulled chicken in slowcooker after cooking.
Chicken after slow cooking

2. Shred

Transfer chicken pieces from the slow cooker to a cutting board. Let it rest for about 5 minutes, then use two forks to shred it.

shredding the meat
Shredding the chicken

You can use a hand mixer to shred the meat if you make a large batch. Just put the chicken pieces in the mixing bowl, and turn the mixer on, and it will shred in no time.

3. Mix

Put the shredded meat back in the slow cooker and stir it with the onion and sauce.

crock pot barbecue chicken after cooking
Mixing it in the crockpot

Or, if you want it to be less saucy, put the shredded meat in a medium bowl and add some of the sauce from the slow cooker to the bowl. If you want even more sauce, add some more from the bottle of barbecue sauce.

Serving Ideas for CrockPot Barbecue Chicken

My favorite way to serve this is to make BBQ chicken sandwiches. Spoon the shredded meat onto buns and top them with coleslaw for easy barbecue flavor.

adding more BBQ sauce to the sandwich

Serve the chicken sandwiches with extra BBQ sauce and dill pickles! A slice of cheese on top is also a great addition to these sandwiches. Making these into sliders is excellent when you are feeding a crowd.

This recipe is also a great way to make a large quantity for weekly meal prep. Other ways to use this include:

  • Make BBQ tacos
  • Use it on a BBQ pizza
  • Mix it with cooked pasta
  • Use it as a topping for a rice bowl

How to Store

This recipe can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. It can also be frozen and will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer.

To thaw, put it in the refrigerator overnight or heat it in a saucepan on low with a little bit of water.

FAQ

Can you overcook chicken in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can overcook it in the crockpot. It will still be safe to eat, but it will be dry and not as flavorful. This recipe cooks for 3-4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low. Going much longer than that will make the meal less tasty.

Why make pulled chicken in a slow cooker?

You can make this meal in many other ways, including on the stove, oven, or in a pressure cooker. Using the slow cooker is the most hands-off and eliminates the risk of getting a burn error in a pressure cooker.

What is the best way to shred chicken?

Once it is well cooked, it should fall apart pretty quickly. I usually use two forks because it is simple. But if you are doing meal prep and have a lot, you can use a hand mixer to shred it fast.

BBQ chicken sandwich on a plate

Key Tips for This Recipe

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

You can adjust the quantity depending on how much you want to cook and how large your crock pot is. As a rule of thumb, use 1 cup of sauce for every pound of meat.

I get better results from my slow cooker when I cook this recipe on low, not high. I recommend using low if you have the time.

Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before shredding. It will reabsorb some juices and be more tender.

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Yield: 8

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Recipe

pulled chicken on a plate with coleslaw and pickles

This 3 ingredient slow cooker pulled chicken is tasty and simple.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups BBQ Sauce
  • ½ cup onion. diced

For Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

  • 6-8 fresh rolls
  • 2 cups coleslaw

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in a single layer in the bottom of a 6-8 quart slow cooker. 
  2. Sprinkle the diced onion on top and pour in the BBQ sauce. No extra liquid is needed.
  3. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. I recommend using low if possible.
  4. Remove each piece of chicken from the slow cooker. Let it rest for 5 minutes, and then shred it with two forks. 
  5. Return it to the slow cooker and mix with sauce. Or place it in a bowl and add your desired amount of sauce.
  6. To make chicken sandwiches add the shredded meat to a roll. Top it with slaw or cheese.

Notes

Do not use frozen chicken in this recipe. Use my Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Chicken recipe instead.

You can adjust the quantity depending on how much you want to cook and how large your crockpot is. As a rule of thumb, use 1 cup of sauce for every pound of meat.

I get juicier chicken from my slow cooker when I cook chicken on low, not high. I recommend using low if you have the time.

Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before shredding. It will reabsorb some juices and be more tender.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 477Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 1050mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 3gSugar: 30gProtein: 40g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

pulled chicken sandwich in front of crockpot
By on February 21st, 2022

4 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken – 3 Ingredient Recipe”

  1. I love finding new slow cooker recipes to try. Your pulled chicken sandwiches were so easy and very tasty. My family requested that I make them again.

    Reply

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