These crockpot shredded chicken sandwiches are a tasty weeknight meal that requires little prep. Simply let the BBQ chicken cook in the slow cooker, prepare the cabbage apple slaw, toast the buns, and your meal is ready! It's an easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- These pulled chicken sandwiches are a great way to feed a family on busy days
- It's an easy recipe for meal prep. Simply toast the bun when you're ready to eat!
- The easy chicken recipe is versatile and the leftovers can be used in sandwiches, wraps, bowls, and salads.
- It's an easy slow cooker recipe requiring little prep. Simply toss everything in the crockpot and dinner will be ready in a couple hours.
- The simple slaw takes these sandwiches to the next level! The slaw is good enough you'll want to eat it on its own.
- They are one of our favorite sandwiches because they pack a lot of flavor with simple ingredients you can find at any grocery store.
For the BBQ chicken:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts - feel free to swap this for boneless chicken thighs, if desired.
- BBQ sauce - use your favorite BBQ sauce! The barbeque sauce base creates the most delicious flavor. If you like a sweeter BBQ chicken, pick a sweeter BBQ sauce. If you pick a BBQ sauce that isn't sweet and you want a bit of a sweeter BBQ chicken, simply add 1 tbsp of honey or brown sugar to the crockpot. We like the Primal Kitchen and Stubbs* brands of BBQ sauce.
- Apple cider vinegar - to balance out the sweetness of the BBQ sauce and create a slightly tangy sauce.
- Minced garlic & salt - to season the chicken to perfection! If you don't have minced garlic, use 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
- Burger buns of choice - You can use hamburger buns, soft hoagie rolls, brioche buns, ciabatta bread, any roll you prefer. A sandwich roll will also work great.
For the slaw:
- Cabbage, apple, and cilantro - This combo right here creates the perfect balance of flavor! We prefer to use pink lady or honey crisp apples. Whatever apple you pick, just avoid mushy ones. If you're not a cilantro fan, simply leave it out.
- Honey or pure maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt - This sweet and tangy combo pairs perfectly for the slaw.
See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and measurements.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Slow cooker or crockpot*
- Bread knife
- A couple of forks or a hand mixer for shredding the chicken
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Knife and cutting board
Step by Step Directions
For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Place the chicken breasts, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, and salt into the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours depending on the time you have.
While the chicken slow cooks, add the cabbage, apple, cilantro, honey or maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt to a medium bowl. Mix until combined.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, use two forks or a hand mixer to shred the chicken into small pieces.
When you’re ready to serve the sandwiches, toast the buns. Add about ¾ cup shredded BBQ chicken to each sandwich. Drizzle with a little extra BBQ sauce if desired. Top with the prepared cabbage slaw.
Tips & Variations
- If you're short on time, simply use pre-cooked chicken and mix it with the same ingredients for the crockpot bbq chicken. Rotisserie chicken would work great as well. We would recommend adding everything to a saucepan and allowing it to heat up.
- The cooking times in the crockpot will vary depending on whether you set it to high or low, and the size of the chicken breasts. Frozen vs. fresh chicken will also make a difference. Expect longer cook times and a little extra liquid if you use frozen chicken.
- The BBQ chicken is versatile and the leftovers are great for sandwiches, wraps, salads, and bowls. Try it in our BBQ chicken salad!
- You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if desired.
- Make these into an appetizer perfect for football season or parties by using small slider buns.
- If you don't want a bun, serve it over a bed of greens, rice, or quinoa.
- Feel free to add your favorite cheese like cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, provolone, or muenster. We suggest placing the BBQ chicken on the toasted bun, laying a slice of cheese over, and letting it broil until melted in the oven.
- Serve these sandwiches with chips, french fries, sweet potato fries, a salad, potato salad, roasted veggies, or fresh fruit.
- If you are looking to mix up the flavor, these are delicious with buffalo sauce in place of BBQ sauce for buffalo chicken sandwiches.
- If you want a creamy chicken, add 1-2 tbsp of cream cheese right after you shred the chicken and let it melt before mixing it in evenly.
Store the leftovers in an air-tight container, packaging each component separately. Store the slaw and chicken in their own containers. We recommend toasting the bun fresh when you plan to eat. Reheat the BBQ chicken in 30-second increments in the microwave until warm.
This meal is gluten-free with the choice of a GF bun and GF BBQ sauce.
This meal is dairy-free, be sure to leave out any cheese.
Sure! Use an instant pot or pre-cooked and shredded chicken. The cooking directions and time will vary if you use a different method.
If you like this recipe, check out a few of our other easy crockpot recipes:
If you make these slow cooker bbq chicken sandwiches, please let us know how it turns out in the comments below and/or rate the recipe! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram to show us your finished product—it makes our day every time we see you trying the recipes we love!
Crockpot Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
For the sandwich:
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 burger buns of choice
For the slaw:
- 2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cup minced apple
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Place the chicken breasts, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, and salt into the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours depending on the time you have.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, use two forks to shred the chicken into small pieces.
- In a medium bowl, add the cabbage, apple, cilantro, honey or maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Mix until combined.
- When you’re ready to serve the sandwiches, toast the buns. Add about ¾ cup shredded BBQ chicken to each sandwich. Drizzle with a little extra BBQ sauce if desired. Top with the prepared cabbage slaw.
- If you're short on time, simply use pre-cooked chicken and mix it with the same ingredients for the crockpot bbq chicken. Rotisserie chicken would work great as well. We recommend adding everything to a saucepan and allowing it to heat up.
- Store the leftovers in an air-tight container, packaging each component separately. Store the slaw and chicken in their own containers. We recommend toasting the bun fresh when you plan to eat. Reheat the BBQ chicken in 30-second increments in the microwave until warm.
- This meal is gluten-free with the choice of a GF bun and BBQ sauce.
- This meal is dairy-free, be sure to leave out any cheese.
The recipe can be found on My Fitness Pal by searching "BWB Shredded Chicken Sandwiches." The nutrition info is for 5.15 oz of meat, slaw, and a bun. You can find the chicken alone with BWB Shredded Chicken Sandwiches (Chicken Only).
The nutrition content provided for each recipe is an estimate created through the My Fitness Pal database. Please be aware that the nutritional content of each recipe may vary based on the products you use, the precision of your measurements, and the source you use to obtain nutrition data. While we try to provide accurate information, we give no guarantee regarding the accuracy of the nutritional information provided.