This Easy Crockpot BBQ Chicken is perfect for busy weeknights. The sauce comes together in minutes with a few pantry staples. Just pour it over the chicken, turn the crockpot on, and come back a few hours later. Serve shredded on buns, over mashed potatoes, or turn it into a BBQ chicken pizza.
Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Breast
This crockpot BBQ chicken is one of those set it and forget it recipes and couldn’t be easier! The sauce is created in minutes with a few pantry staples, but doesn’t skimp on flavor. Sweet, tangy, zesty, and delicious!
There are so many ways to serve this slow cooker barbecue chicken, too. We typically shred the chicken and serve it on hamburger buns with coleslaw, pickles, and/or potato chips. Or you can leave the chicken breasts whole and serve on a plate with some cooked rice or mashed potatoes and a veggie. You can also use the BBQ chicken to top pizza, quesadillas, salads, tacos, and more.
This easy slow cooker recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients – chicken breasts, BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, and a few pantry staples.
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions.)
- Barbecue sauce – You can either use a bottle of sauce – I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s Original or Honey – or homemade bbq sauce. Both are delicious!
- Italian salad dressing – Adds a nice tang to the sauce!
- Brown sugar – For sweetness and a touch of molasses flavor.
- Worcestershire sauce – Adds depth of flavor and really brings together the sweet and tangy flavor.
- Spices – Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper are added for flavor, as well as some crushed red pepper flakes for just a bit of heat.
- Chicken breasts – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a must – especially if you’ll be shredding the chicken.
How to Make Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Making this crockpot shredded BBQ chicken is so easy! Just prepare the sauce, pour it over the chicken, and come back in a few hours.
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions and don’t miss the video below.)
- Prepare the sauce. Whisk together the barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Season the chicken. Combine the seasonings then sprinkle over both sides of the chicken.
- Add everything to the slow cooker. Add the chicken to the slow cooker in a single layer then pour the sauce over it, toss to coat.
- Cook. Cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and roughly shred with two forks. Return to slow cooker and stir to coat in the sauce.
The exact amount of time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts as well as your crockpot. It should take between 4 and 5 hours. It’s fully cooked when a thermometer reads 165F.
The Italian dressing is key to giving a tangy flavor. It also helps to thin the sauce out a bit, since barbecue sauce is usually quite thick, and helps to tenderize the meat.
Whatever your favorite is! I’ve made this with both our homemade barbecue sauce as well as bottled. Sweet Baby Ray’s is a personal favorite and I love the honey version for a sweeter flavor. But use whatever barbecue sauce you desire.
Nope! You can definitely serve this as whole chicken breasts if desired. Just skip the shredding step.
As mentioned above, we typically shred the chicken and make pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches on hamburger buns, usually with a side of coleslaw and kettle potato chips.
I’ve also left the chicken breasts whole and served over rice or mashed potatoes. Definitely drizzle some of the extra sauce over the top! Some oven roasted carrots or baked sweet potato would make a great addition to turn it into a complete meal, too.
Crockpot shredded BBQ chicken can be used in a bunch of different ways too. Think as a pizza topping, in quesadillas, on salads or chicken burrito bowls, in tacos, and more!
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- How to store leftovers. Leftover crockpot BBQ chicken breast should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep up to 4 days.
- How to reheat leftovers. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. But sometimes I don’t even warm it up – cold BBQ chicken is great for salads!
Video: How to Make Crockpot Barbecue Chicken
More Crockpot Chicken Recipes:
- Chicken Taco Soup
- Crockpot Chicken and Stuffing
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Italian Lemon Chicken
- Slow Cooker Hurry Chicken
Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- 12 ounce barbecue sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray's original or honey) or 1 1/2 cups homemade
- 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 pounds total)
- Coat a 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Combine the onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes; sprinkle over the chicken on both sides.
- Place in the slow cooker in a single layer.
- Pour sauce mixture over the chicken and toss to coat, making sure the chicken is covered with the sauce.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F and the chicken can easily shred.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and roughly shred with two forks. Place shredded chicken back in the crock pot and stir to coat in the sauce.