This slow cooker bbq chicken is so easy and delicious! It's one of our favorite recipes for easy weeknight meal prep and can be used with chicken thighs or chicken breasts - use whatever you have! This can be made with the easy homemade barbecue sauce recipe below or your favorite storebought barbecue sauce!
I've probably mentioned here before that Jay's favorite sauce is barbecue. A cross between tang and sweet, but he'll use the dark red bottled stuff in a pinch. I think that stuff is gross (always too sweet, never spicy), but I do like making my own easy homemade bbq sauce, especially in the summer.
This recipe is nothing earth-shattering, but dumping a bunch of stuff in a slow cooker and letting a sauce form while chicken cooks is a killer trick to have at the end of the school year when you're so.close. to the finish line and it's getting warm and no one has any motivation but also you still need to eat dinner, you know?
Weeknight dinner ideas, I'm here for all of them.
So here goes. Stuff gets dumped in with chicken, you go finish a project that your kid forgot about until just this instant, then you eat a BBQ chicken sandwich because you've earned it. Add a beer or 4 and call it a night.
Quick Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
The homemade barbecue sauce does have a good number of ingredients, but they're simple! Ketchup, tomato sauce, chili powder, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar.
Start by dumping the sauce ingredients into the bottom of your slow cooker...
...then whisking the sauce together.
Add the chicken directly to the sauce (it'll be thick, that's ok!), and toss it around to coat the raw chicken in the barbecue sauce.
Cover the slow cooker, then cook the barbecue chicken on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours depending on your day. Chicken is relatively fast in the slow cooker, which I appreciate compared to certain cuts of beef that need 12 hours sometimes. When the chicken breast is cooked, it will shred very easily with forks.
Taste the chicken to see if you'd like to add any salt and pepper, then keep this on warm until you'd like to serve.
I love this slow cooker bbq chicken on buns with plain cabbage and green onions, but this is seriously great on everything.
Baked potatoes, stuffed into tacos, burritos...GRILLED CHEESE.
Nachos. On salads! The possibilities are endless.
I love easy summer dinner, it's so flavorful but familiar at the same time. You could make it once a week and never serve it the same way twice.
And, a side dish that answers the "what to serve with bbq chicken or literally any dinner all summer long" question? Loaded baked potato salad, all the way, all the time. Promise.
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
- ⅓ cup tomato sauce not marinara, plain canned tomato sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt regular kosher salt is fine
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- In the bottom of a slow cooker, whisk together all ingredients except for the chicken. Add the chicken breasts to the barbecue sauce. Use tongs to toss them in the sauce.
- Cook covered on high for 3 hours until the chicken is cooked through. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken – it will absorb the sauce once shredded.
- Store in the fridge and use for anything you’d like. Enjoy!
- On buns with pickles, shredded cabbage, and green onions.
- On toasted buttered bread with provolone and bread and butter pickles.
- Stuffed in half a baked potato with mozzarella, broiled, and topped with fresh herbs (omg yes).
- Over salad with grilled corn, black beans, drizzled with spicy ranch.
- In tacos or burritos.