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Crock Pot BBQ Chicken (+Video)

Tender, juicy, and packed with smoky, sweet flavors, Crock Pot BBQ Chicken is the perfect meal to satisfy your cravings without spending hours in the kitchen!

A DELICIOUS SLOW COOKER CHICKEN RECIPE

Are you looking for an easy and delicious dinner recipe that can be prepared with minimal effort? Look no further than Crock Pot BBQ Chicken! This recipe involves cooking chicken breasts in a slow cooker with seasonings and barbecue sauce until the meat is tender and can be easily shredded with a fork. The result is a mouthwatering dish that can be served in a variety of ways, from sandwiches and wraps to rice bowls and salads. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or a weekend party, Crock Pot BBQ Chicken is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! 

shredded BBQ chicken shown in a slow cooker with a wooden spoon holding up some of the cooked chicken.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

How should I serve shredded BBQ chicken?

We like serving this over some Texas toast or on brioche hamburger buns. You can also eat it all by itself with a fork or maybe top it with Southern Cole Slaw or Alabama White Sauce!

Can I use frozen chicken breasts?

Absolutely! I like frozen chicken breasts because they are often cheaper than their fresh counterpart. So feel free to use frozen here!

What is smoked paprika?

Smoked paprika is just paprika that has a smokey flavor. Don’t skimp on the smoked paprika. This is really going to give it that authentic barbecue taste.

What side dishes go well with shredded BBQ chicken?

This can be served with more traditional sides like Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad or my favorite Baked Beans.

Is it better to cook chicken on high or low in the crock pot?

Generally I think the lower and slower the meat cooks, the better the flavor. It really has time to infuse in the chicken. However, with this recipe, if you are pushed for time, you can cook it on high. Or, if you have an Instant Pot, you can make it really fast using this Instant Pot BBQ Chicken recipe.

Can you cook raw chicken in the crock pot?

Chicken isn’t like ground beef. Ground beef you want to cook and crumble first before adding to the crock pot. Mainly because it releases a lot of grease but also it would just cook up in one giant block. With chicken, it is perfectly acceptable and safe to cook in a crock pot.

a hand holding up a shredded BBQ chicken sandwich in from of a slow cooker.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts – you can also use chicken thighs for this or even frozen chicken breasts.
  • small onion – I like the additional flavor that the onion adds but If you aren’t an onion fan, you can leave it out or just add about 1/2 Tablespoon of onion powder (or perhaps try using a shallot!)
  • garlic – I like to go with fresh garlic when possible but you could certainly use the jarred kind.
  • smoked paprika – this gives it a wonderful smokey flavor without being too strong. You can use regular paprika but try to use the smoked paprika, it’s worth it and there are so many other things you can use it in!
  • bottled BBQ sauce – my favorite is Sweet Baby Rays but use what you love here or make a Homemade BBQ Sauce.
chicken breasts, BBQ Sauce, onion, garlic, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

HOW TO MAKE CROCK POT BBQ CHICKEN:

Spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place your chicken breasts into the bottom. 

five raw chicken breasts shown in the bottom of an oval slow cooker.

Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.

salt, pepper and smoked paprika shown on top of chicken breasts in a crock pot.

Then add in minced garlic and diced onion.

diced onion and minced garlic added into the crock pot with chicken and seasonings.

Pour BBQ sauce all over the top.

barbecue sauce drizzled all over chicken breasts in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours. 

fully cooked chicken breasts in barbecue sauce shown in a black oval slow cooker.

When ready, take the chicken out and shred with two forks. The chicken will be so tender that this will be an easy job. 

shredded BBQ chicken shown in a clear bowl.

Put shredded chicken back in crock pot and stir well to coat it with the BBQ sauce mixture.

shredded chicken added back to the slow cooker.

Then serve! You can serve this in a lot of different ways. On a hamburger bun, on some Texas Toast, in a wrap or even in a salad!

a shredded barbecue sandwich shown on a wooden cutting board with a small bowl of Cole slaw in the back and a mason jar of iced tea.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Originally published: January 2011
Updated & Republished: March 2023

Crock Pot Shredded BBQ Chicken recipe from The Country Cook.

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken (+Video)

Tender, juicy, and packed with smoky, sweet flavors, Crock Pot BBQ Chicken is the perfect meal to satisfy your cravings without spending hours in the kitchen!
5 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 18 ounce bottle BBQ sauce

Instructions

  • Spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts into the bottom.
  • Evenly season the chicken with 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 2 teaspoons smoked paprika.
  • Top with 1 small onion, diced and 2 cloves garlic, minced.
  • Pour 18 ounce bottle BBQ sauce all over the top.
  • Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours.
  • When ready, take the chicken out and shred with two forks.
  • Put shredded chicken back in crock pot and stir well to coat it with the BBQ sauce mixture. Then serve!

Video

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • Fresh or frozen chicken breasts can be used.
  • Serve on hamburger buns, on Texas Toast as an open faced sandwich, in a wrap or in a salad. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1825mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




39 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for our 4th of July BBQ, along with shredded BBQ pork. This recipe was the winner, hands down! Super easy to make and so delicious, too! The leftovers are even better! Freezes well. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce.

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious ! Our favorite Barbeque sauces are Stubbs. Making a big batch to freeze and take on our vacation.

  3. Hi, Can you tell how much is considered a serving.
    How would I measure a serving by a cup or ??
    Just trying to monitor Lol!
    Hope you can help me out 🙂
    Everyone always puts how many serving but not what
    a serving actually is 🙂
    Thanks so much

  4. Hi Brandi I don’t have smoke Paprika so can I please the regular paprika that all I have in my house please let me know asap

  5. Any ideas of what you could use in this instead of bbq sauce? Most of my family doesn't like bbq sauce so I'm trying to think of something else. If was just my husband and me I'd do buffalo sauce but the kids couldn't handle that. I've seen other recipes where they somehow add stuffing mix and cream of chicken soup to make sandwhiches (can you say eww?)

    Anything else you could think of using to season this and not make it so dry? I really need something different to do with chicken.

  6. 5 stars
    I'm very excited to try this. I was wondering how it would do with pork instead of chicken simply because my husband said he's "kind of over chicken right now". Lol