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Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches Recipe

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Pulled chicken sandwiches are a popular and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed by the whole family. This article will provide a detailed recipe for making slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches, which is an easy and convenient method to achieve tender and flavorful shredded chicken.

By using the slow cooker, the chicken cooks slowly over a low heat, allowing it to become incredibly tender and easily shreddable.

In this article, we will explore different techniques for pulling chicken, discuss the best cut of chicken to use for shredding, and determine how much chicken is needed per person when making pulled chicken sandwiches.

pulled chicken sandwiches recipe

Additionally, we will provide tips on how to store, freeze, and reheat BBQ pulled chicken if you have leftovers or want to prepare ahead of time.

Finally, we will share some creative ways to use the slow cooker pulled chicken beyond just sandwiches.

Whether you're hosting a casual gathering or looking for a simple yet delicious weeknight dinner option, this slow cooker pulled chicken sandwich recipe is sure to please even the pickiest eaters while providing a comforting and satisfying meal experience.

How do You Pull Chicken

The process of pulling chicken involves using two forks or BBQ claws to shred the cooked meat into smaller, bite-sized pieces. This technique is commonly used in recipes such as slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches.

To start, the chicken is typically cooked in a crock pot or slow cooker for several hours until it becomes tender and easily falls apart. Once fully cooked, the chicken is removed from the slow cooker and placed on a cutting board or large plate.

Using two forks, one fork is held steady while the other fork is used to pull and shred the meat apart. The goal here is to create small strands of shredded chicken that can be easily incorporated into various dishes.

pulled chicken sandwiches recipe mixer (1 of 1)

How ever my favorite way to pull chicken is with my stand mixer. Just slow cook your chicken in your crock pot. While it is still warm, transfer to your stand mixer. I have this KitchenAid stand mixer here, but any will do.

You want to turn on the mixer to a low speed, and let it shred the chicken gently.  Do not over-shred, since you want a good bite to the chicken and don't want it to get mushy.

Mix in your favorite barbecue sauce, starting slowly.  My kids never like too much sauce, so I add a little for flavor and then let everyone add more to their liking.

Slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches are an easy recipe that requires minimal effort but yields delicious results. After pulling the chicken, it can be mixed with barbecue sauce or any other desired seasonings to enhance its flavor. The shredded chicken absorbs these flavors well due to its increased surface area compared to larger cuts of meat. Additionally, this method allows for even distribution of flavors throughout the dish.

Once seasoned, the shredded chicken can be piled high onto buns or bread rolls to create mouthwatering sandwiches.

The cooking time for pulling chicken will vary depending on factors such as the size and cut of meat used, as well as individual slow cooker settings. However, a general guideline for cooking boneless skinless chicken breasts in a crock pot on low heat would be around 4-6 hours. It's important to ensure that the internal temperature of the cooked chicken reaches at least 165°F (74°C) for food safety purposes.

By following these steps and guidelines, you can easily create tender and flavorful shredded chicken perfect for making delicious sandwiches.

Now that we understand how to pull chicken, let's explore what cut of chicken is best suited for shredding without compromising on taste and texture.

BBQ chicken in crockpot

What cut of chicken is best for shredding?

A desirable cut of chicken for achieving a shredded consistency is one that contains a higher amount of connective tissue and collagen. These components play a crucial role in creating tender and flavorful pulled chicken.

When it comes to preparing slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are often considered the best choice. This cut offers an ideal balance between meatiness and richness due to its higher fat content compared to other cuts. As the chicken cooks in the slow cooker, the connective tissues break down, resulting in succulent and easily shredded meat.

Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are particularly suitable for shredding because they have more connective tissue than other cuts. Connective tissue is composed of collagen, which breaks down during cooking and transforms into gelatin. This gelatin adds moisture and imparts a silky texture to the meat while also enhancing its overall flavor profile. The presence of bone-in thighs further contributes to the richness of the final dish as bones release additional flavors into the surrounding liquid during slow cooking.

When preparing slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches, opting for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs is highly recommended for achieving tender and flavorful results. Their higher content of connective tissue and collagen allows for easy shredding while providing moistness and richness to the dish.

Now that we understand what cut of chicken works best for shredding let's move on to determining how much chicken per person is needed for delightful pulled chicken sandwiches without compromising portion sizes or taste sensations.

How much chicken per person for pulled chicken sandwiches?

To determine the appropriate amount of chicken per person for shredded chicken sandwiches, it is important to consider the desired portion size and the number of guests being served. When preparing a slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches recipe, boneless skinless chicken thighs are commonly used due to their tender texture and ability to withstand long hours of slow cooking without drying out. These cuts are also easier to shred compared to other parts of the chicken.

It is recommended to estimate around 4-6 ounces (113-170 grams) of boneless chicken thighs per person when making pulled chicken sandwiches.

Slow cooking allows the flavors in the marinade or sauce to penetrate the meat, resulting in a delicious and succulent dish. The process involves simmering food at low temperatures over an extended period, typically using a slow cooker or crockpot. For this particular recipe, boneless chicken thighs are placed in a slow cooker with BBQ sauce or other seasonings and cooked on low heat for several hours until they become tender enough to easily shred with forks.

When serving pulled chicken sandwiches at an event or gathering, it's crucial to consider the number of guests you will be feeding. To ensure everyone has enough food, multiply the estimated amount per person by the total number of attendees. Additionally, it's helpful to have some extra servings available for those who may want larger portions or seconds.

Now that we know how much chicken per person is needed for pulled chicken sandwiches, let's move on to discuss how to store, freeze & reheat BBQ pulled chicken without compromising its flavor and texture.

BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches

How do I Make this Pulled Chicken Sandwiches Recipe in my Slow Cooker?

“Looking for a delicious and effortless meal that will satisfy your cravings? Look no further than these mouthwatering pulled chicken sandwiches made right in your slow cooker. With tender, juicy chicken bathed in a tangy and smoky barbecue sauce, these sandwiches are the epitome of comfort food. The best part? The slow cooker does all the work, infusing the chicken with incredible flavors while you go about your day. Whether you're hosting a casual gathering or simply want a hassle-free dinner option, this recipe is a winner. So, grab your favorite buns, get your slow cooker ready, and let's dive into the easy and irresistible world of pulled chicken sandwiches.” Here are a few details but scroll down to the bottom for the complete pulled chicken sandwiches recipe.

  • Put the crockpot liner in your slow cooker (optional) 
  • Place the chicken, BBQ sauce, and onion in your slow cooker.  Season with garlic salt and pepper. 
  • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. 
  • Take two forks and shred the chicken in your slow cooker (or place the chicken in your mixer and turn on low using the paddle attachment until shredded). 
  • Mix the shredded chicken together with the sauce. 
  • Serve on buns or wrap in a tortilla. 

Gluten Free or Keto Option:

If you are working on weight loss, try our keto version. I used sugar free BBQ Sauce and Keto-friendly bread, so my Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches were Keto Friendly! Yay for easy Keto friendly meals!  The recipe can easily be adapted to be Gluten Free also. 


5-6 Chicken Breasts, frozen boneless skinless  (no need to thaw)

1 1/3 c. Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

1 onion, chopped or sliced (optional)

Garlic Salt,  to taste

Pepper, to taste

Make sure you add this meal to your crock pot recipe collection! We hope you enjoy it!

You could also try our Sweet Baked Beans Recipe for a side dish if you aren't doing Keto but we served ours with roasted brussels sprouts.

The nutritional's do not include any Keto friendly breads, so you will need to factor that in as there are so many different recipes people like according to their taste.

What is a Great BBQ Rub or Sauce

A great BBQ rub for pulled chicken typically includes a balance of savory, sweet, and smoky flavors.  It may include ingredients such as garlic powder, brown sugar, chili powder, worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, dry mustard, black pepper, maple syrup, chicken broth, kosher salt, or dijon mustard. If you are looking for a great BBQ rub for your pulled chicken sandwiches recipe, you can use my husbands BBQ Pulled Pork Rub to make easy bbq chicken sandwiches, chicken burgers and more.

How to Store, Freeze & Reheat BBQ Pulled Chicken

This recipe can also be doubled or tripled for a crowd or for a freezer meal.  How great would it be to have pulled BBQ Chicken in the freezer ready for crazy weeknight meals?! These would be great when you run out of time to cook a meal.

I don't know how many times I have had to fall back on freezer meals when I didn't have time to cook a meal.

And, I am way past these days but I do have friends who have new babies or are expecting. This meal is so perfect to prepare ahead of time and freeze before a new baby arrives.  Grab these freezer dishes here and just freeze in one meal portions! I do cover any foil dishes in the freezer with two sheets of foil, to avoid any freezer taste.

You can write the cooking instructions in sharpie on the foil, in case you forget or the meal is for someone else!

Storing, freezing, and reheating BBQ pulled chicken requires careful considerations to maintain its optimal flavor and texture. After preparing the slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches recipe, it is important to store any leftovers properly. Allow the pulled chicken to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible from the container or bag to prevent freezer burn. Label the storage container with the date and contents for easy identification in the future.

When it comes time to freeze the BBQ pulled chicken, divide it into individual portions or family-sized servings based on your needs and add them to a freezer bag. This will make it easier to defrost only what you need without having to thaw the entire batch. Place the containers in the freezer and ensure they are stacked in a way that allows for proper airflow. It is recommended to consume frozen pulled chicken within three months for best quality.

Pro Tip: Grab yourself a Foodsaver. We use ours all the time. By vacuum sealing the leftovers with a FoodSaver, you create an airtight barrier that helps prevent freezer burn and extends the shelf life of the pulled chicken. 

To reheat frozen BBQ pulled chicken, there are a few methods you can choose from depending on your preference. One option is to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then heat it gently on low heat in a saucepan or skillet until warmed through. Another method is using a microwave-safe dish, covering it with a damp paper towel, and heating at medium power in 1-minute intervals until heated thoroughly. Regardless of which method you choose, be sure not to overcook as this can result in dry and tough meat.

Storing, freezing, and reheating BBQ pulled chicken correctly will help preserve its delicious flavors and tender texture. Now that you know how to handle any leftovers from your slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches recipe, let's explore more ways you can enjoy this versatile dish without wasting any of its mouthwatering goodness . Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 More Ways to Use this Slow Cooker pulled chicken

One way to elevate the flavors of this versatile dish is by incorporating the tender, smoky BBQ pulled chicken into a vibrant and refreshing salad.

The slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches recipe can easily be transformed into a nutritious salad by adding crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and tangy dressing. This combination not only adds a pop of color to your plate but also provides a delightful contrast in textures. The smoky flavor of the pulled chicken complements the freshness of the vegetables, creating a well-balanced and satisfying meal.

In addition to salads, there are numerous other ways to use this slow cooker pulled chicken. One option is to turn it into quesadillas or tacos by stuffing warm tortillas with the flavorful meat and adding your favorite toppings such as cheese, salsa, avocado, or sour cream. This creates a delicious Mexican-inspired meal that is quick and easy to prepare.

Another idea is to use the pulled chicken as a topping for baked potatoes or nachos. Simply spoon the warm meat over crispy potatoes or tortilla chips and sprinkle with cheese before baking until melted and golden brown.

These are just a few examples of how you can utilize this slow cooker pulled chicken in different dishes. Now let's explore some creative serving suggestions that will take your culinary experience to new heights.

Serving Suggestions

An exploration of creative serving suggestions for the slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches recipe reveals exciting ways to elevate your culinary experience.  Instead of using regular hamburger buns, serve these easy pulled chicken sandwiches on buttery brioche buns and pair with your favorite potato chips and ice cream for dessert. By thinking outside the box, you can transform this versatile dish into a show-stopping meal that will impress your guests. Here are a few imaginative ideas to inspire you to make a delicious meal:

1. Pulled Chicken Sliders with Tangy Coleslaw: For a twist on the classic sandwich, serve the tender pulled chicken on mini slider buns. Top it off with a zesty and crunchy coleslaw made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a tangy dressing. The combination of flavors and textures creates a delightful bite-sized treat that will leave your guests wanting more.

2. Pulled Chicken Tacos with Avocado Lime Crema: Take your taste buds on a journey by turning the pulled chicken into flavorful tacos. Warm up small tortillas and fill them generously with the succulent chicken. To add a creamy touch, drizzle some avocado lime crema over the top. This refreshing sauce made from mashed avocados, sour cream, lime juice, and seasonings adds richness and brightness to each taco bite.

3. Pulled Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Elevate your dinner table with an elegant twist by serving the pulled chicken in roasted sweet potatoes. Simply bake sweet potatoes until tender and fluffy inside, then split them open and stuff them generously with the flavorful pulled chicken mixture. The natural sweetness of the potatoes pairs perfectly with the savory filling, creating a satisfying and visually pleasing dish.

4. Pulled Chicken Taquitos: Use your leftovers to make chicken taquitos in your own or air fryer and serve with your favorite salsa.

5. Pulled Chicken Baked Potatoes: Use your leftovers to top a salt baked potato. Top with sour cream , cheese, chives and BBQ sauce

By incorporating these creative serving suggestions into your slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches recipe repertoire, you can take your culinary skills to new heights. Whether you're hosting a casual gathering or aiming to impress at an intimate dinner party, these imaginative ideas will delight both your taste buds and those of your guests.

The process of pulling chicken is a skill that requires patience and precision. It involves shredding the meat into thin, delicate strands using two forks or your hands. The best cut of chicken for shredding is boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, as they are easy to work with and yield tender results.

When serving pulled chicken sandwiches, it's important to consider how much chicken to prepare per person. A good rule of thumb is to plan on about 1/4 to 1/3 pound of cooked chicken per sandwich. This ensures that each bite is flavorful and satisfying without overwhelming the palate.

Storing leftover pulled chicken is simple. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container in the refrigerator. To freeze pulled chicken, portion it into individual servings and store them in freezer-safe bags. When reheating BBQ pulled chicken, gently warm it in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave until heated through.

This slow cooker pulled chicken recipe offers endless possibilities beyond sandwiches. Consider using it as a topping for nachos or loaded baked potatoes, stirring it into pasta dishes for added flavor and protein, or even incorporating it into salads for a hearty meal option.

CHEAT TIP: If you are really pressed for time and don't have time to use your slow cooker , you can also grab a rotisserie chicken at the store and pair it with your favorite bbq sauce or homemade bbq sauce. Don't have a slow cooker? Make this bbq chicken sandwich recipe on the stovetop or even in your Instant Pot. Be sure and subscribe to our newsletter for new recipes. 

In conclusion, mastering the art of pulling chicken can elevate your culinary skills to new heights. The tender strands melt in your mouth like poetry on a summer breeze, leaving you craving more with every bite. With proper storage techniques and creativity in its usage, this slow cooker pulled chicken recipe opens doors to a world of delicious possibilities. So grab those forks and get ready to savor the succulent flavors that await you! If you love this recipe, please give us a star rating!

Yield: 4

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

This recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches is the perfect, easy summer meal and it tastes delicious, too!

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


  • 5-6 Chicken Breasts, frozen boneless skinless (no need to thaw)
  • 1 1/3 c. Sugar Free BBQ Sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped or sliced (optional)
  • Garlic Salt,  to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


  1. Put the crockpot liner in your slow cooker (optional)
  2. Place the chicken, BBQ sauce, and onion in your slow cooker.  Season with garlic salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Take two forks and shred the chicken in your slow cooker (or place the chicken in your mixer and turn on low using the paddle attachment until shredded).
  5. Mix the shredded chicken together with the sauce.
  6. Serve on buns or wrap in a tortilla.

Nutrition Information



Amount Per Serving Calories 335Saturated Fat 1gCholesterol 180mgSodium 378mgCarbohydrates 3gSugar 1gProtein 60g

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