Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Written by Beth - Budget Bytes

This is the time of year when I start to avoid turning on the oven at all costs. So what’s for dinner when it’s too hot to cook? Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken! You can have this tasty chicken in the slow cooker doing its own thing while you’re enjoying a lazy summer day. Plus, unlike a hot oven, the slow cooker won’t make your AC work overtime. ;)

Overhead view of shredded BBQ chicken in a slow cooker with tongs.

This slow cooker BBQ chicken is almost too easy to be true. Just add some seasonings to boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cover them with your favorite BBQ sauce, and press go. A few hours later, the chicken is tender, tangy, so saucy, and delicious!

What Size Slow Cooker to Use

My slow cooker is about 5 quarts and it was only about ¼ full, so you could definitely use a smaller cooker if you want, but I wouldn’t go any larger. Some slow cookers need to be filled a minimum amount to avoid cracking, so make sure to check your owner’s manual first.

What Kind of BBQ Sauce to Use

You can literally use any type of BBQ sauce for this chicken. I tested the recipe using a very basic and inexpensive BBQ sauce just to make sure it was still delicious on a budget, but you could certainly ramp it up by using a fancier BBQ Sauce. You can also play around with different flavors of BBQ sauce, like smoky, honey, pineapple, spicy, etc.

Close up of tongs holding pulled BBQ Chicken.

How Do You Serve Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken?

The classic way to serve this chicken is on a bun, like a classic BBQ chicken sandwich. Make sure to add some coleslaw and pickles to make it extra delish! But you can also use this BBQ chicken for tacos, pizza, bowl meals, on a baked potato or sweet potato, on nachos, or even on a salad.

What to Serve with Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Whenever I make BBQ anything I always opt for the classic comfort food sides like potato salad, mac and cheese, three bean salad, or Cowboy Caviar.

Side view of a BBQ Chicken Sandwich.
Side view of Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken in the slow cooker with tongs.
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4.75 from 4 votes

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Seasoned chicken breast and tangy BBQ sauce are slow cooked until tender and delicious. Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, pizza, and more.
Author: Beth – Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 4 1 cup each

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.20)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total) ($6.49)
  • 18 oz. BBQ sauce ($1.50)

Instructions

  • Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning over both sides of the chicken breasts.
  • Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker, then pour the BBQ sauce over top making sure the chicken is fully covered.
  • Place a lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2.5 hours or low for 4-5 hours.
  • After cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken. If the chicken does not easily pull apart with the forks, let it cook a little longer.
  • Serve the pulled BBQ chicken on a bun, on nachos, over a baked potato, on pizza, or with your favorite meal.
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Nutrition

Calories: 393 kcalCarbohydrates: 53 gProtein: 33 gFat: 5 gSodium: 1777 mgFiber: 2 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.

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Side view of Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken in the slow cooker with tongs.

How to Make Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Seasoned chicken breasts on an orange cutting board.

Combine 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of two boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total).

BBQ sauce being poured over chicken in the slow cooker.

Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker and pour one 18oz. bottle of BBQ sauce over the chicken, making sure it’s fully covered.

Cooked chicken in the slow cooker.

Place the lid on the slow cooker on cook on high for 2.5 hours or low for 4-5 hours.

Chicken being shredded with forks in the slow cooker.

Use two forks to shred the chicken. If the chicken doesn’t pull apart easily, you can let it cook a little longer.

Finished Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken in the slow cooker.

Give the chicken a good stir to make sure it’s all well coated in BBQ sauce, then it’s ready to serve!

Side view of shredded bbq chicken in a slow cooker.

Now I need a plate full of BBQ Chicken Nachos. 🤤