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A classic Southern dish made even easier with a Crockpot, these BBQ chicken sandwiches basically scream “summer cookout”. Tender, juicy pulled chicken smothered in a savory, slightly sweet, smoky BBQ sauce and served on toasted brioche with a dollop of tangy coleslaw. A favorite in my family for years!

Crockpot-cooked pulled BBQ chicken on a sandwich bun with pickle chips and coleslaw.

🍗 What Makes This Recipe So Good

I’m going to say something that’s fairly controversial given that I live in Memphis. I’m not a fan of pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. I know! That’s basically blasphemy in and around the 901, seeing as great BBQ is something we’re known for. But even I, self-proclaimed hater of sandwiches filled with pulled meats slathered in sweet sauce, absolutely LOVE these Crockpot BBQ chicken sandwiches. Why, you ask? What’s so good about this recipe that I’ll not only willingly eat these but make them regularly? Well…

  • The slow-cooked chicken is juicy and tender, not at all dry, and the sauce is richly savory and smoky, with just the right amount of sweetness.
  • The homemade coleslaw levels up the Crockpot BBQ chicken sandwiches by adding a little crunch and a nice layer of tangy flavor.
  • Crisp toasted brioche buns tie the whole sandwich together, adding their own buttery, sweet flavor that plays beautifully off the savory BBQ sauce.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • If you’re using a slow cooker that’s larger than 6 quarts, you may need to increase the amount of BBQ sauce you use. The chicken breasts need to be totally covered in sauce to keep them from drying out during the long cook time.
  • Any BBQ sauce will work in this recipe, so feel free to use your favorite. If you’d rather make a homemade sauce from scratch, check out our recipes for Keto BBQ Sauce, Whole30 BBQ Sauce, and Vegan BBQ Sauce.
  • Crockpot BBQ chicken sandwiches are wonderful for feeding a group. You can make the chicken go even further by using Hawaiian Rolls or slider buns instead of sandwich buns. Serve them with deviled eggs and baked beans and you’ve got a deliciously Southern meal that’s as easy as it is delicious.
Pulled BBQ chicken in a white Crockpot sitting on a table.

☀️ Some of Our Favorite Summer Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 3 votes

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches


Prep 15 minutes
Cook 4 hours 30 minutes
Total 4 hours 45 minutes
Tender pulled chicken smothered in smoky-sweet BBQ sauce and served on your favorite buns for a dish that tastes like summer vacation.
6 sandwiches

Equipment

  • Crockpot or similar slow cooker, approximately 6-ounce capacity
  • mixing bowl
  • 2 large silicone spatulas or 1 large silicone spatula and 1 large wooden spoon
  • internal meat thermometer
  • Tongs
  • Cutting board or large bowl
  • 2 forks or hand mixer to shred chicken
  • large mixing bowl with lid, or plastic wrap to cover
  • whisk

Ingredients

For the Coleslaw

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup white sugar or sugar substitute of choice
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt more or less to taste
  • 2 14-ounce bags shredded coleslaw mix

For the BBQ Chicken

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts approximately 8-10 ounces each
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce store-bought or make your own
  • 2 tablespoons Italian dressing
  • 1 packed tablespoon brown sugar light or dark
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste

For the Toasted Buns (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 brioche buns tops and bottoms separated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Serving Suggestions (All Optional)

  • dill pickle chips
  • BBQ sauce

Instructions

For the Coleslaw

  • Add 1 cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup white sugar, 4 teaspoons white vinegar, ¼ teaspoon dry mustard, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to large mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients together until fully incorporated.
  • Add 2 14-ounce bags shredded coleslaw mix to bowl. Using large silicone spatula, gently fold coleslaw mix into prepared dressing, stirring until coleslaw is completely coated.
  • Cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Chill coleslaw at least 2 hours.

For the BBQ Chicken

  • Place 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts in Crockpot.
  • Add ½ cup BBQ sauce, 2 tablespoons Italian dressing, 1 packed tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon salt to mixing bowl. Stir ingredients together until fully combined. Pour prepared BBQ sauce mixture over chicken in Crockpot, covering chicken breasts completely.
  • Secure lid on Crockpot and set time and temperature to 3 to 4 hours on HIGH heat. Flip chicken breasts over occasionally as needed to keep chicken covered in sauce.
  • After 3 hours, check internal temperature of chicken breasts with internal meat thermometer. Insert thermometer into thickest area of chicken breasts. Remove chicken from Crockpot once chicken reaches 160° to 162° Fahrenheit.
  • Transfer cooked chicken to cutting board or large bowl. Let chicken rest 3 to 5 minutes, then use 2 forks or hand mixer to shred chicken to desired size pieces.
  • Return chicken to Crockpot. Gently stir chicken into BBQ sauce, making sure to cover shredded chicken completely.
  • Set heat to LOW heat. Simmer BBQ chicken 15 to 30 minutes, or until some sauce has been absorbed.

For the Toasted Buns (Optional)

  • Place large skillet on stovetop over medium heat. When skillet is warm, add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Let butter melt completely, swirling and tilting pan occasionally to move butter across entire surface.
  • When butter is melted, place tops from 6 brioche buns in skillet, sliced-side down. Toast inside of brioche bun tops 1 to 2 minutes or until just golden and crisp. Transfer tops of buns to plate and set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to large skillet. Again let butter melt completely, swirling and tilting pan occasionally to move butter across entire surface.
  • When butter is melted, place bottoms from 6 brioche buns in skillet, sliced-side down. Toast inside of brioche bun bottoms 1 to 2 minutes or until just golden and crisp. Transfer bottoms of buns to serving plate(s) and place toasted-side up.

To Serve

  • Remove prepared coleslaw from refrigerator. Stir well to reincorporate ingredients.
  • Place large scoop of BBQ chicken on toasted-side of each brioche bun bottom. Gently flatten scoop of chicken slightly, then place dill pickle chips on top of chicken if desired. Top pickle chips with scoop of chilled coleslaw and cover with toasted top bun. Repeat with remaining sandwiches, then serve immediately with additional BBQ sauce if desired.
  • Crockpot: I used a 6qt. Crockpot for this recipe. If your slow cooker is larger, you may need to increase the amount of BBQ sauce you use in order to keep the chicken fully covered during cooking. Any exposed areas of chicken can dry out.
  • BBQ Sauce: Any brand and any flavor BBQ sauce will work. You can also make our keto BBQ sauce or Whole30 BBQ sauce if you’d rather!
  • Make it Vegan: See my recipe for BBQ Jackfruit sandwiches.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1 sandwich with coleslawCalories: 839calProtein: 48gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 1490mgPotassium: 778mgTotal Carbs: 61gFiber: 4gSugar: 32gAdded Sugars: 18gNet Carbs: 57gVitamin A: 1482IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 149mgIron: 3mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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10 Comments

  1. Damn!!! these are like the BEST looking crockpot-bbq-chicken-sandwiches EVER!!!!! I am so making these this summer!!!

    1. Haha! They really are good! You should definitely make them, they’re so so easy and everybody loves them!5 stars

  2. I can’t eat pork either for religious reasons, soooo yeah I’m CRUSHING on the pulled bbq chicken this cookout season! Seriously, these sammies look unbelievable, girl! Your gorgeous photos really do speak SUMMER to me!

  3. Ok, now that bebe is in the world, I realize my need for easy, quick dinners. I was stubborn before and thought I would always have time to cook. I do most days, honestly, but sometimes, I need a night off. This is going on the dinner list!

    PS Love the word ‘Memphissy’ 🙂5 stars

    1. These are easy enough for my hubs to make! I can only imagine what life is going to be like with a teeny little one and still trying to work at home–as much as I’d like to think I’ll just strap him on every night and sift through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, some days it’s just going to be Crockpot! I hope you’re amassing a wealth of food blogger/work-from-homey tips for me!

  4. I can’t get behind pork, either. So BBQ chicken I’m all about! And that coleslaw looks dangerously good. Oops, I think I just drooled on myself. Welp. Sorry I’m not sorry.

  5. These look amazing Cheryl! Love the idea of pulled chicken! And so easy to make it in a crock pot! And need to try the Chipotle Coleslaw, too! Pinned!

  6. Avatar Omar Malik says:

    So good! You can’t just have one. Like, seriously!5 stars

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