BBQ Chicken Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker


I could have called this 3-point BBQ Chicken, because I was literally tossing things into the slow cooker from across the kitchen.  No stirring.  No mixing.  No thawing took place.

We were in a hurry to get out the door at 7:25am.  I grabbed a bag of frozen chicken breasts and dumped them in the slow cooker.  Then I tossed other ingredients in, based on the Pulled Pork recipe.  I didn’t stir or mix, just turned the pot on and let it cook.

We came in that evening to wonderful smells, so much better than if I’d just used bottled BBQ sauce.  I quickly shredded the meat and served it on buns.  This was the meal we tried out popcorn as a side dish.  It had been a crazy, busy day and popcorn was the fastest thing I could think of.  I’m pretty sure I threw some apples and/or carrots on the table too.  Some nights you’ve just got to get everyone fed.  Can I get an amen?

Here’s what you’ll need.  No ingredient photo this time, because I was in such a hurry when I made it.

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker
  • 3 lb. bag frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups of any combo of ketchup or any kind of bbq sauce (clean out the fridge time!)
  • 8 oz taco sauce (Not salsa)
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. dry mustard
  • 2 Tbs. vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  1. Toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker. You don't even need to stir.
  2. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8.
  3. Shred the meat and stir it all up.
  4. Serve on buns.

*A note about using frozen chicken: I know not everyone is comfortable with this.  I do it all the time and we’ve never gotten sick.    But if you aren’t comfortable doing it, just thaw the chicken first.

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  1. These look really good. And I adore easy crockpot recipes that you can throw and walk out the door. The leftovers freeze nicely too!!!!

  2. I made this last night so I didn’t have to worry about a meal being cooked while I was at the gym. My sauce ingredients are a bit different than your’s so maybe I’ll try this next time. My husbands only complaint is that the chicken takes most of the sauce and then there isn’t any left. Thanks for the new recipe 🙂

  3. Popped in to say hi! I’m printing this out—I just got a crock pot for Christmas and am addicted to BBQ chicken!

  4. Is it really potentially bad to put in frozen meat? Won’t the crock-pot get hot enough to kill everything off? How would fresh meat be any better than frozen? I’ve never heard this before and have used my crockpot like this for years. But I don’t want to take any unnecessary chances. Thanks for any info!

    • Siobhan, I’ve had a few commenters say that they won’t cook meat from frozen like this. When I researched online, there are varying opinions on whether it’s okay to do. I do it all the time and I’m fine with it. If you have someone in your family with a compromised immune system, you might not want to do it. I think it’s fine for most people though.

  5. Oh My.. Looks super yummy! I think this is going on my menu next week! Thanks so much!

    Semalee @ Nailing Jello to a Tree

  6. I am going to try this out next week. 🙂

  7. Sounds super and easy. I love the idea of popcorn as a side dish 🙂

  8. Popcorn as a side dish? Puh-leaze! In my evenings of desperation, a big bowl of popcorn has passed for DINNER! Only once or twice though…I promise most evenings I actually feed my family.

  9. Tinker Kell says:

    That looks good! We have a lot of cooked frozen turkey in our freezer. I wonder if it would work OK if I cut back on cooking time and used that instead of the raw frozen chicken?

    • Tinker Kell, I think that would work fine. The Pulled Pork recipe calls for cooking the meat first, then shredding and adding the sauce ingredients.

  10. I’m so excited! I just put this in my crockpot for supper for tonight. Only problem is, we homeschool, so we’ll smell it all day!! Oh, ME!! Will we be able to wait until supper!? I didn’t have some of the ingredients you used, but since you said you just pulled stuff out of your fridge, I just improvised. (eg. using steak sauce instead of liquid smoke) Can’t wait to dig in tonight!!

    • Shawna, I love the steak sauce idea! I bet that’s going to taste wonderful!

      • Thanks, Tiffany! We just finished & DH said he’s usually not a big fan of barbecue chicken, but he loved this one! Thanks for giving us something new to add to our sometimes stale menu!

  11. What kind of vinegar did you use?

  12. Hi,
    Can’t wait to try this recipe, but please forgive me, what is liquid smoke? What dept. would I find this in? And, if I can’t find it, what is a good substitute?

    Thank you!

  13. We do popcorn all the time as a side dish. Usually with sandwich or panini type meals.

  14. Making it right now. I didn’t have any taco sauce (or tomato sauce in order to make my own) so I am using some hot sauce. I will have to add more I am sure once it is cooked.

  15. Hi. Thanks for another fun recipe for my fam to try. I linked your post to my Menu Plan Monday post.
    Thank you!

  16. This sounds great. My family wanted BBQ for their Easter lunch therefore I fixed pork loin barbecued in the crockpot with baked beans, potato salad, and broccoli salad. Of course with Homemade pound cake along with strawberries and whipped cream. Yum! I used basically this same recipe except I used the pork loin. My family loves it. Now I will begin using chicken. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much!

  17. Thanks so much for the recipe! I never remember to thaw, so I seek out these recipes. I’ve also pinned it!

  18. Michelle says:

    Looks delicious–trying to figure out PP for this and don’t see the # of servings. How many servingswould you say this made? Thanks for a great recipe!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Do you recommend using both ketchup and BBQ? Would it be too much BBQ to just use the two cups of BBQ sauce?

  20. Amen! Fast and simple and looks tasty.

  21. Jenny C. says:

    How long would you cook this if the chicken is NOT frozen? Thanks.


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