Slow Cooker Three ingredient BBQ Pulled Chicken Hack

3 ingredient pulled chicken

Every mom needs an easy slow cooker recipe that the whole family will love. Bonus points if it can transform from one meal to another without comment from the peanut gallery – this hack will do just that! This cooking method is a great way to result in tender chicken that can be used in a multitude of ways. Think of this as your protein meal prep for the week. In fact, you can cool and freeze half of what you make for a future easy dinner too! It’s easily a week’s worth of chicken for 2-3 people.

Ingredients you need for BBQ Pulled Chicken

chicken, bbq sauce, salt and water
  1. Boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or boneless skinless chicken thighs, plus kosher salt
  2. BBQ sauce – use your favorite barbecue sauce, we like to use Stubb’s.
  3. Water – you can also use a low sodium chicken broth for added flavor here!

Optional ingredients

If you have spices on hand you can enhance the sauce ingredients by adding a tsp of smoked paprika and a tsp of garlic powder or onion powder. If you like heat, you can add a few tablespoons of hot sauce during the cooking process. Another version of this recipe is slow cooker Mexican chicken which is made by swapping bbq sauce for mild or medium salsa.

Step by Step instructions

  • First line your slow cooker for easy clean up. Slow cooker liners are a must for me, they make the entire process including cleanup very hands off.
  • Next add your raw chicken breast and thighs to the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt.
  • Top with water and bbq sauce
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
  • When chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F, remove pieces from slow cooker and place in large bowl.
  • I like to shred using two forks, but you can also use a hand mixer to quickly pull apart the cooked chicken. Just be sure to use a low speed!
  • Then ladle 1-2 cups of the liquid from the slow cooker bbq chicken over the pulled chicken, allowing it to reabsorb.
  • The rest of the liquid can be discarded, but if you’re going to re-heat leftover pulled chicken later in the week, you may want to hold onto the extra sauce.
  • Lastly, if you’re feeding a crowd, return the pulled chicken to the slow cooker to keep warm for serving.

Store leftover pulled chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Step by step images

Ways to eat your pulled chicken

  1. On whole wheat hamburger buns with pickles and red onion
  2. With potato salad and string beans
  3. Make BBQ chicken sandwiches on a hearty bread
  4. With roasted sweet potato and a side salad
  5. With corn tortillas, sour cream and coleslaw
  6. Stuffed inside a baked potato with black beans and salsa

Macros Breakdown

240 calories

10g fat

5g carbohydrate

29g protein

0 fiber

This is truly the easiest bbq chicken recipe out there. There’s a little prep in just making sure you have chicken pieces and your favorite bbq sauce on hand, but other then that, it’s ideal for busy days!

Check out my review of Dole Sheet Pan Starter Kits for other easy dinner ideas. If you like this recipe, you should also check out my Fast Fajitas.

easy pulled chicken

BBQ Pulled Chicken

Easy protein meal prep that the whole family will love.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 5 minutes
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds chicken breast boneless and skinless
  • 1 pound chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • 1 cup bbq sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Place chicken pieces in the bottom of slow cooker.
  • Season with salt and cover with bbq sauce and water.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove chicken from slow cooker and pull apart with two forks until fully shredded.
  • Pour 1-2 cups of sauce over shredded chicken and allow to absorb.
  • Return chicken to slow cooker to keep warm until serving.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Melanie Marcus Selfie

Hello & Welcome!!

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.

If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

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