Crockpot BBQ Chicken always yields the most tender, flavorful, and sandwich-ready chicken! Add just 4 ingredients to the crockpot and let it do the work for you.
4 Ingredient Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Craving a good BBQ sandwich but don’t want to pay for an overpriced meal by going out somewhere? As it turns out, you don’t always need a fancy smoker or hot grill to satisfy your BBQ cravings. Sometimes, all you need is 4 budget-friendly ingredients and a Crockpot that’s plugged in and ready to go!
Chicken breasts, a couple of seasonings, and the barbecue sauce of your choice is all that’s needed to make this signature sandwich filling. Well, that and buns, of course! With that being said, you don’t even need the buns if it’s not a sandwich you’re making. This BBQ Chicken also goes great with baked potatoes, or stuffed inside a baked potato, and a side of veggies.
After a few hours of slowly cooking in the barbecue sauce, the chicken is extra tender, flavor-packed, and ready to be easily shredded by two forks. Plus, you can toss in any other ingredients you’d like to also infuse the chicken with sweet, smokey, or spicy barbecue flavor.
Only 4 Ingredients
With just a few simple ingredients needed, this is a great recipe if you’re cooking on a budget!
- Chicken: We like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs. Trim the fat off of them as needed.
- Seasonings: We like a simple sprinkle of both garlic and onion powder to best compliment the barbecue sauce without overpowering it.
- BBQ Sauce: Sweet Baby Ray’s is usually our go to sauce, but you can use whatever your favorite bbq sauce is!
How to Make Crockpot BBQ Chicken
This is seriously the easiest easy dinner ever! Just toss everything into the crockpot and come back later to dinner being hot and ready.
- Prep it. Grease crockpot with non-stick spray.
- Season and pour. Season chicken breasts with garlic and onion powder and place them into the bottom of the crockpot. Pour the bbq sauce evenly over chicken breasts and spread it around on top.
- Cook the chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Shred and serve. Shred chicken in the crockpot with the sauce, using two forks, and serve!
Variations to Try
We like this Crockpot BBQ Chicken just the way it is. However, there are SO many ways you can customize it to really make it your own!
- Make it smokey. Add smoked paprika along with the other seasonings to give the chicken a smokey flair. You can also stir in some liquid smoke (just a couple of drops!) with your BBQ sauce before pouring it into the crockpot.
- Spice it up. Craving a little heat? You can always use a spicy BBQ sauce to add a little kick to this recipe. If you really want to turn up the heat, sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes. Keep in mind that with red pepper flakes a little goes a long way!
- Sweeten it. Keep in mind that most BBQ sauce is usually already fairly sweet… But if you really want to double down on that signature sweet flavor, you can add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the Crockpot as well.
- Add Onion: Sometimes I like to add a sliced onion to the bottom of the crockpot.
No! Your chicken has plenty of liquid in it already, plus you are adding the bbq sauce. You do not need any additional liquids added or the bbq chicken will be soup-y once you shred it.
Most bbq sauce already has a lot of salt in it. Many times you won’t need any extra salt added to this recipe! Also, you can not take salt away once it’s added. So taste your shredded chicken, once it’s done cooking and is shredded, to see if it needs salt. If it does, add it!
Yes you can, but you will need to add liquid. If you want to make this in the instant pot, we recommend seasoning the chicken and adding it to the instant pot. Add one cup of chicken broth. Cook the chicken on high pressure for 17 minutes with a quick release. Pour out the extra broth, shred the chicken, then add the bbq sauce.
If you have any leftovers, don’t worry, save them for another easy dinner, or for lunch the next day:
Fridge: In an airtight container in the fridge, any leftover shredded BBQ Chicken you have will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
Reheat: Reheat it in the microwave or right back into the crockpot.
Freeze: You can freeze this BBQ Chicken for up to 3 months. Just store it in a freezer safe food storage container and remember to date and label it!
- Make a sandwich! This is our favorite way to enjoy Crockpot BBQ Chicken. Toss the chicken between some buns with onions, pickles, coleslaw or even some smoked gouda, and enjoy!
- Dress up a potato. Have a baked potato that’s hot and ready to eat? Smother it in BBQ Chicken and thank us later. This is also delicious stuffed in a sweet potato.
- Baked Beans. Don’t forget the Baked Beans when you make this easy dinner!
- Serve it as is. If you’re not in the mood for extra carbs from bread or potatoes, you can always toss this chicken onto a plate with a side of veggies like Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, Skillet Fried Corn or Southern Green Beans with Bacon.
Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 cup bbq sauce
- Grease crockpot with non-stick spray.
- Season chicken breasts with garlic and onion powder.
- Place the seasoned chicken into the crockpot. Pour the bbq sauce over the top of the chicken.
- Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours, until chicken is cooked through.
- Shred chicken in crockpot with the sauce, using two forks, and serve immediately as desired.