Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

One of the things I love to do is cook for my family and friends. I especially love doing this when I have a day off and can really spend some time in the kitchen trying out new recipes and experimenting with new techniques. Every recipe on my menu was new, from this pulled chicken to the two potato salad to the green beans dressed with cider vinaigrette to the apple crisp. This one was definitely the easiest since it required little more than chopping an onion and throwing the ingredients in the slow cooker!

As most slow cooker recipes do, this smelled more and more enticing as the day continued. When the time came to pull the chicken, it was so tender I barely had to do any pulling at all! It was just falling apart all on its own. The great smells and perfect texture all led up to the fantastic flavor of this chicken. Served on a whole-wheat bun, it’s a delicious and lighter alternative to pulled pork.

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
adapted from

printer-friendly recipe

1 (14 oz.) can tomato sauce
2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo, finely minced

1/4 c. cider vinegar

3 TBSP honey

1 TBSP plus 2 tsp. sweet or smoked paprika

2 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp. dry mustard

1 TBSP chili powder

1 tsp. salt

3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts, trimmed of fat (I used 1 1/2 lbs. of each)

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.

2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5-6 hours.

3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve. Serves 8-10.

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  1. Just Breathe
    January 22, 2010 / 9:57 pm

    I'm in, sounds awesome. Thanks.

  2. Stephanie
    December 28, 2010 / 1:01 am

    This looks great! I will be making this in the next couple weeks for sure.

  3. Anonymous
    November 21, 2011 / 4:42 am

    This looks so good! I was wondering could you make this on a low heat for a few hours in a big dutch oven if you don't have a slow cooker? I really want to make this.

  4. Lauren
    April 12, 2012 / 3:21 pm

    I pinned this on Pinterest and immediately got 13 repins! It's the perfect time of year for a slow cooked barbecue chicken sandwich. I have it in the crockpot right now and it smells heavenly.

  5. February 21, 2020 / 7:39 am

    I’m sure this taste so good! I’ll definitely try this someday. Thank you so much for sharing and posting!

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