posted in 4th of July

Slow Cooker Pulled Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches

Dear Busy People of the World,
Do you own a slow cooker?  Or are you among the crowd of people who say “slow-cooker recipes are no good!”?  I hope you own a slow cooker.  And I hope you’re not in that no-good crowd.  Slow Cookers definitely aren’t the best for everything, and not all slow-cooker recipes are worth keeping.  But they sure come in handy for a lot of things… things like housing large quantities of chili and soup,  warming mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving Day, and using GOOD slow-cooker recipes to make dinner for you on busy days/nights where you can’t imagine lifting a finger to do it yourself.  It’s days like this that you should make things like these Pulled Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches.

I made these recently for a family gathering- one in which a crowd of family was going to be converging upon my house directly after a sporting event.  I wasn’t going to be home to make dinner, so I decided to rely on the ‘ol slow cooker to do the work for me.

So super-easy and no-brainer.  Chicken breasts in the slow cooker.

Add a quick-to-put-together sauce on top.  Then press the button and cook on low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

At that point, the chicken is removed and pulled apart into shreds.  Wrap it in foil to keep it warm and moist.  The sauce is thickened up briefly with some cornstarch.  Chicken is returned to the sauce and it’s ready for sandwiches (or eating on its own with some potatoes or rice or whatever).

These little rolls are Panini Rolls from Trader Joe’s.  They work out just fine for a dinner sandwich roll, but you can use any sort of roll- even mini sliders.  The best part is… this is one of those slow cooker recipes that you’ll actually like and make again.  It’s family-friendly (the little ones will like it too).  And dinner is easy when you are feeling like you’re overwhelmed.  Don’t go for fast food- use your slow cooker!

Love, RecipeGirl

P.S.  Bread and Butter Pickles are optional, but they’re oh-so-good!!
P.S.S. If you don’t have a slow cooker and are wondering what kind you might want to get, THIS is the brand I have. I love it because it’s fully programmable, and it automatically turns to “warm” when it’s done with it’s cycle (so it doesn’t continue to cook the food, but it doesn’t turn off completely).

Yield: 8 to 10 sandwiches

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 6 hrs

Pulled Barbecued Chicken Sandwiches


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup barbecue sauce (a flavor you like)
1/3 cup Italian dressing (reduced-fat or fat-free okay)
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons chicken broth
additional barbecue sauce, if desired
rolls, for serving as sandwiches
bread and butter pickles, optional


1. Place chicken in the slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

2. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and chicken broth. Stir it into the sauce in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until the sauce is thickened and heated through (10 to 15 minutes). Meanwhile, use two forks to shred the chicken. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir. Add additional barbecue sauce if more sauce is needed or desired. Cover and continue cooking on low for 45 minutes. Serve chicken piled onto rolls. Add pickles, if desired.


*The brand of barbecue sauce that you use can make a big difference in the flavor of the chicken. I like Sweet Baby Ray's!

Source: (Adapted slightly from All You)

More slow cooker recipes you may enjoy… from great food blogs:
Coconut- Ginger Chicken and Vegetables from Simple Bites
Root Beer Pulled Pork from RecipeGirl
Chickpea, Butternut Squash and Lentil Stew from Eat, Live, Run
Pumpkin Short Ribs from In Erika’s Kitchen
Tex Mex Chicken and Beans by RecipeGirl
15 Awesome Slow Cooker Recipes by The Kitchn
Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Recipes for Soups, Stews, Chili and Roasts by Gluten Free Goddess


  1. postedSep 26, 2012 3:28 AM
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I make this all the time too. Perfect in tacos 🙂

  2. postedSep 26, 2012 5:18 AM

    LOve that you used chicken instead of pork! I could eat the heck out of this!

  3. postedSep 26, 2012 5:52 AM

    Mmmm…looks delicious! I just posted a recipe for pulled pork today. We must be on the sandwich wavelength… 😉

  4. postedSep 26, 2012 6:12 AM

    I love cooking chicken in my slow cooker. Chicken and chili is really the only thing I use mine for. I love BBQ chicken sandwiches…I never thought to put the pickles on it. I’ll have to give that a try next time:-)

  5. postedSep 26, 2012 6:17 AM

    I swear by my slow cooker this time of year! Thanks for another great slow cooker recipe!

  6. postedSep 26, 2012 6:58 AM


  7. postedSep 26, 2012 10:45 AM

    This is right up my alley. My hubs is a huge BBQ lover and I adore cooking chicken in the slow cooker like this. Love it!

  8. postedSep 26, 2012 11:02 AM

    I love using my slow cooker, especially for sandwiches like these.

  9. postedSep 26, 2012 11:16 AM

    I love my slow cooker. 75% of our meals are cooked in the slow cooker during the school year! This looks delicious!

  10. postedSep 26, 2012 11:24 AM
    Christine Pagan

    This looks fantastic, I can’t wait to get my hands on some chicken!

  11. postedSep 26, 2012 2:43 PM

    i LOVED my mom’s pulled pork sandwiches when I was little! I’ve never made her version or a chicken version before though! It looks incredible. I’m so ashamed that I don’t have a slow cooker. I feel so un-ladylike! It’s on my christmas list though 🙂 Looks great Lori!

    PS: I saw on your FB last night that you and recipeboy are getting reader comments saying the choc rasp banana bread isn’t working for them. I must say that it is my go-to banana bread and have made it several times. My readers have loved it too! I swear by it.

  12. postedSep 26, 2012 7:27 PM
    Lisa Cornely

    I make this on the stovetop once or twice a month, and I’m loving the idea of simplifying it and doing it in the slow cooker. I have one and have never used it. So I will finally have a use for it. Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it.

  13. postedSep 26, 2012 8:05 PM

    oh lordy, that looks incredibly delicious!!!

  14. postedSep 26, 2012 9:03 PM

    There is no reason that pulled pork has to languish in the back of our minds and wait until summer – I crave pulled pork all year long!! This is fab Lori!

  15. postedSep 27, 2012 12:11 AM

    That looks… like just the thing I need! I do have a slowcooker but I don’t use it often enough. Hmmm, the thing is that I have this job tonight at dinner time so I was already thinking how to do that and stil have a decent meal but now you just reminded me of my slowcooker and I can actually pop these in and have a meal ready when I come back home! Perfect! Thanks for the reminder!

  16. postedSep 27, 2012 4:41 AM

    Oh my does this look delicious! I love it! BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are one of my favorites!!

  17. postedSep 27, 2012 5:26 AM

    Looks awesome! I made something similar with apples and onions in it too 🙂

  18. postedSep 27, 2012 5:26 AM

    Pulled chicken/pork is my favorite slow cooker meal!

  19. postedSep 27, 2012 6:25 AM

    These look awesome! Love the slow cooker too!

  20. postedSep 27, 2012 10:34 AM

    I make something similar to this but will have to try your recipe as well. The slow cooker is one of the most used appliances in my kitchen. Love it.

  21. postedSep 27, 2012 12:27 PM

    How do I go about getting this to magically appear on my dinner table tonight? One word: SPECTACULAR!

  22. postedSep 27, 2012 5:38 PM

    One of my favorite meals of all time. I think I want it tonight!!! But since its too late, Ill make it tomorrow!

  23. postedSep 27, 2012 11:30 PM

    Love this slow cooker chicken recipe, and when you make the sandwiches pile some cole slaw on top!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • postedSep 28, 2012 11:13 AM

      Great idea- I’ve done that before and love it!

  24. postedSep 28, 2012 9:50 AM

    I layer the bottom of my crockpot with 1 chopped onion.
    It adds to the favor very nicely.

  25. postedOct 2, 2012 3:53 PM

    This looks so good I literally just moaned a little bit looking at those photos…

  26. postedOct 12, 2012 10:45 AM
    Carmen Skidmore

    Made this last night. LOVED IT!!!!!

  27. postedOct 22, 2012 9:59 AM

    This was a total hit at my house. All of the kids ate it, and we even ate all of the leftovers 🙂

  28. postedOct 25, 2012 3:13 PM

    I love slow cooker recipes…this is a keeper!

  29. postedDec 16, 2012 4:52 PM

    Great recipe! I made it tonight for dinner and it was delicious! Thank you! So easy to make! Adding pickles makes the sandwich absolutely delicious.

  30. postedJan 1, 2013 9:05 AM

    This Looks Great! My fiance just stumbled upon your webpage and I have spent over an hour already looking at recipes! I look cooking in my slow cooker and am making this tonight- I’ll, of course, add some hot cherry peppers on top too!

    • postedJan 1, 2013 2:03 PM

      I love that idea!

  31. postedJan 1, 2013 3:38 PM

    I’ve made BBQ chicken before with just bottled sauce and chicken. It was very tender and juicy but lacked flavor. The addition of zesty italian dressing adds a nice flavor, needed since you don’t sear the meat first (my favorite way to add flavor). Searing would defeat the simplicity and ease of crockpot cooking anyway. Kudos for making an absolutely delicious, non-boring crockpot meal! It was a big hit at our New Year’s Eve party — adults and kids alike.
    Oh, and I agree with your choice of crockpot; definitely the best one on the market today (I own two).

  32. postedJan 7, 2013 4:15 PM

    my boyfriend and i normally make pulled pork in the crock pot. on january 4th we had a party and wanted to have pulled pork and chicken. it just so happened that i came across this recipe and i love that i did. we absolutely devoured any leftovers and can’t wait to make another pot! it was also a hit with our guests. thanks recipe girl for sharing the goodness!

  33. postedJan 20, 2013 8:37 AM

    Just tried this to watch the playoffs. Wow! Great and easy. Love the crockpot for this kind of day. Easy and great!

  34. postedJan 22, 2013 3:29 AM

    Are the chicken breasts frozen when you put them in the crockpot?

  35. postedJan 27, 2013 6:16 PM
    Carol in Toledo

    My family loved it! So easy and so yummy!

  36. postedJan 30, 2013 6:57 AM

    Thank you for the recipe and the photos – made this yesterday and it was FANTASTIC! Having it for leftovers for lunch today too 🙂

  37. postedFeb 1, 2013 9:28 AM

    This sounds great! I am making it tonight. Would you be okay with me sharing this in a blog? I will post a link to this recipe if I can use it 🙂

    • postedFeb 2, 2013 7:40 AM

      If you could just share a link to the recipe and not the actual recipe itself, that would be much appreciated 🙂

  38. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:59 AM

    Guess what’s for dinner tonight? On Long Island digging out after the snow storm (well hubby is, I’m inside cooking, 😉 shhh). I like pork but I like chicken better…can’t wait to eat! Thanks for this recipe!

  39. postedFeb 9, 2013 3:28 PM

    Made this for dinner tonight. Doubled the recipe and added chopped onion. It was very good. Will definitely make again. Thank you for the recipe.

  40. postedFeb 13, 2013 10:14 AM

    Any suggestions for a high school student that’s bringing this dish for lunch? We’re having a feast in class at around 1:30, and I was planning on bringing this to the school. There’s a staff lounge that I can use there since our school is fairly small. Thanks so much!

    • postedFeb 14, 2013 11:49 AM

      Keep it on low/warm in the slow cooker!

  41. postedFeb 16, 2013 11:55 AM

    I would like to double this recipe for a party – how long in the slow cooker do you think for 4lbs of chicken?

    • postedFeb 17, 2013 7:42 AM

      I’m not sure- probably just a little longer.

  42. postedFeb 16, 2013 2:55 PM

    This is in the cooker now-alas, I did not have Italian dressing! So I chopped up half an onion (that baby was strong!) and two cloves of garlic, then mixed in 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and 3 Tbsp honey. Ill let you know if it turned out but I will remember to get Italian dressing at the store when we make it again!

  43. postedMar 16, 2013 4:48 AM

    I’m sure this helpful recipe would fit into anything.. I wanna try this out on a shawarma bread.. Mouth-watering dish 🙂

  44. postedApr 17, 2013 7:06 AM

    This was really easy and good! Thanks for the recipe!

  45. postedMay 8, 2013 9:46 PM

    Can you use frozen chicken breasts? I don’t have the programmable slow cooker and I would normally be away from home longer than 5 hours. Do you have any suggestions?

    • postedMay 10, 2013 3:38 PM

      You can always make it over the weekend, and then just heat up on a weekday?

  46. postedMay 30, 2013 1:48 AM

    Love this recipe! So easy to make and tasty! The kids loved it!!! We used the leftover and served it over rice. Yummy!

  47. postedJul 12, 2013 7:54 PM

    I made this tonight and it was wonderful. Wasn’t sure at first about the Italian dressing but it added a good flavor and I would have never been able to pick that as an ingredient if I had not made it myself. Made only one pound chicken but made the full recipe of sauce and it turned out perfect. This is our new go to recipe! Thanks!

  48. postedAug 2, 2013 3:23 PM

    I had 2 pounds of chicken I needed to use up so I decided to try this. Due to dietary issues, I can’t have Worcestershire sauce but made an adaptation for it and didn’t have italian dressing so I used extra sauce and some dry ranch dressing mix. I thought my modifications would kill the meal, but it must be very forgiving! Besides the wonderful aroma all over the house, my husband loved it! I did add a bit more brown sugar to mine because the bbq sauce I had needed it and possibly from the few modifications I needed to make. One of the easiest/quickest crockpot recipes (not that most are that time consuming) and very tasty!

    • postedAug 3, 2013 5:55 AM

      Sounds wonderful!

  49. postedSep 30, 2013 12:17 PM

    What a delicious and easy recipe! Thank you, thank you! I loved the addition of Italian dressing, and using a bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce was genius. I got a late start on dinner, so I cooked the chicken on high for 3 1/2 hours. It was fall-apart perfect! We made sliders by piling the meat on halved King’s Hawaiian Rolls and topping them with a dollop of cilantro-lime coleslaw.

  50. postedFeb 3, 2014 6:44 PM

    I didn’t have any Italian dressing on hand, but I had a bottle raspberry balsamic salad dressing. I used this and the flavor was great!! I also used a little honey, a clove of garlic, and some cayenne pepper to spice it up a bit.
    My husband loved it. Served with cole slaw and home made macaroni and cheese. Yum husband looking forward to eating left overs tomorrow night!!

  51. postedMar 7, 2014 5:50 PM
    Anita Martinez

    I saw this recipe last night and I put it in the crock pot when I came home from work it was ready.So that’s what we are having for dinner tonight.I gave my lil boys (3 & 1 yrs old) a taste of the shredded chicken and they loved it. I hope they love the sandwiches too..I’m sure I will make this again!

  52. postedJul 28, 2014 12:52 PM

    Making this tonite YUM 🙂

  53. postedAug 8, 2014 10:27 AM

    Hi! I’m planning to make these for a birthday party. How many people would you say it feeds?

    • postedAug 12, 2014 4:03 PM

      The recipe makes enough for 8 to 10 sandwiches.

  54. postedSep 18, 2014 9:30 AM
    Ben Johnson

    Famous Dave’s hellfire pickles on sloppy joes, and pulled pork/chicken sandwiches are amazing!

  55. postedSep 11, 2017 3:58 PM

    Trying this one out tonight for a friend who’s shipping off, very excited and can’t wait for it to finish cooking. Everyone in the house is loving the smell!!!! Two more hours and it’s chow time!

  56. postedSep 11, 2017 11:37 PM

    Ok, this turned out amazing!!!!! Delicious and very filling. Made me so happy to see the boys going back for seconds! Plenty left over for lunch tomorrow which I am now laying in bed daydreaming about! Absolutely LOVED the new big hit in the kitchen!

    • postedSep 14, 2017 7:13 AM

      Happy to hear!

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