This BBQ pulled chicken recipe is a fanciful reinterpretation of pulled pork that slow-cooks chicken in lots of tangy tomato sauce. Have sliced jalapenos, sliced red onions and some sour cream on hand to top this barbecue pulled chicken, which makes a hearty main course. You can turn it into an unbelievable sandwich or serve it on mashed potatoes or even whole-grain spaghetti. Serve with shredded napa cabbage tossed with low-fat mayonnaise, cider vinegar, celery seed and honey to taste. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2012

EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Ingredients

Directions

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

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

  • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

214 calories; 8.4 g total fat; 130 mg cholesterol; 321 mg sodium. 8.7 g carbohydrates; 25.1 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (55)

Read More Reviews
57 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 36
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 3 stars
08/11/2019
Agree with other raters nothing special. Forgot to put the toppings on maybe that would improve it. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
05/11/2016
Not amazing I thought this was too tomato-y and too liquidy. It didn't have the depth of flavor of a good BBQ sauce. I will be looking for a different recipe to try. Pros: Easy to make Cons: Didn't care for the flavor Read More
Rating: 4 stars
08/04/2015
Needs a little tweaking Used two chicken breasts cut in half. Could not get canned green chillies so left them out. Used 2 1/2 spoons of honey and one teaspoon of crushed red chillies. Next time will increase red chillies and reduce Worcester sauce by at least 1/2 and same for vinegar. Made two very good servings for my wife on top of mashed potato plus some veg. Was really enough for three but we are greedy. Pros: Good basic flavour Cons: Wocester sauce came through to much Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
06/12/2015
Really delicious and really easy I love this recipe. After we ate I saw that we had a bunch of pretty liquidy leftovers so to stretch it out I rinsed a can of black beans and added it to the leftovers. More delicious dinners! Pros: Makes enough for several meals Read More
Rating: 4 stars
03/25/2015
Enjoyed by the Whole Fussy Family! Looking for something new to do with Chicken Thighs? So was I and this fit the bill. Feeding a fussy husband and clean eating daughter I need something everyone likes. This was so good everyone had seconds! I did replace the chilies with fresh jalapenos and stirred in a bit of refried beans to thicken the sauce a bit. Do try this. Even your big eaters will love it! Pros: Quick Easy Delicious Cons: A bit soupy but easily remedied Read More
Rating: 2 stars
10/06/2014
Not a lot of flavor I have made this with other recipes in the past and it had a lot more flavor. Unfortunately this recipe did not deliver a lot of flavor and I followed it to the t. Pros: Easy to make Cons: Not a lot of flavor Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
01/12/2014
Tasty but soupy. I made this today and thought I had used the wrong size can of tomato sauce. There was way too much additional sauce left over. I served over whole wheat buns. It had just the right amount of heat and is not very sweet. Pros: Good flavor some heat Cons: Too much extra sauce Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/07/2013
AMAZING! I made this for dinner and ate it with mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. So good! Made the whole house smell delish I felt like a cook! Pros: Takes some time to put together Cons: Worth it is one of the faster crock pot recipes tastes so good! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
09/25/2013
ok but not super more like tomato-y chicken instead of barbecue. I could see this being ok in tacos. Maybe if I added more toppings to the sandwich it would have given it more flavor Read More
Rating: 5 stars
06/06/2013
just great smokey taste bringin america to germany. we tried it out and it was just great. love it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/19/2013
I made this the other day (it's the third time I've made this and it was delicious). I think it makes approximately 6 cups of chicken and depending on how much you pack your 1/2-cup measure you can get about 12 1/2-cup servings which seems like a decent amount of food to me when you pair it with a bun and a side. I usually eat 1/3 cup of chicken served over a half-bun (with mama's potato salad) and feel satisfied. Also I am not sure if the nutrition information is accurate. I put the ingredients into several website's calorie calculators and they said that 8 servings is approximately 308 calories. Anyway by my count a 1/2 cup serving is approximately 205 calories (64 calories from fat) 7g fat (2 sat) 84 cholesterol 328 sodium 6 carbs 5 sugars 28g protein. If this isn't accurate I'd love to know. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
04/06/2013
Most important thing for most of us how much is a seriving size? what does a serving equal? Read More
Rating: 4 stars
03/19/2013
Great Tasting Pulled Chicken Made this last night for my partner and I. We both thought it was pretty good. A couple of suggestions for others who might make it: 1. I used smoked paprika (which I love) but I don't think it worked well in this recipe. Use regular sweet paprika. 2. I used only 1/2t of the ground chipotle. That was plenty of heat for us so you might want to start on the low side and add more to suit your taste buds. You should try this recipe! Pros: Easy healthy cheap Cons: None Read More
Rating: 4 stars
03/04/2013
Very good w/ an adjustment... Very good dish and super easy!!! The sauce was a little plain for me and I missed that tangy BBQ sauce flavor so I added some of my favorite BBQ sauce to the mix I also roasted a fresh Poblano pepper instead of using the can of green chiles although I think I would leave either one out completely next time... Topped each sandwich with some cole slaw and made baked sweet potato fries for a side... Read More
Rating: 2 stars
02/05/2013
Easy but flavorless Easy but flavorless Pros: Easy to make Cons: No flavor Read More
Rating: 1 stars
01/26/2013
It would be great to know how big a serving size is. Telling me that a serving is 1/8 of the recipe is not helpful. A specific volume (like 1/2 cup) would be more helpful. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/07/2012
Easy easy EASY and GOOD!! I was looking for ways to use my crock pot and this is a keeper. Very quick. Most ingredients you will probably have on hand. I folllowed the recipe and was happy with the flavor however I did add a bit of salt to mine when it was served. We ate ours over baked potatoes. I think it would be great on nachos as well. Will make again! Pros: Quick to whip up and very versatile Cons: Could be bland if underseasoned Read More
Rating: 4 stars
11/30/2012
Easy & Flavorful My husband and I love this and we make it all year round. It's great for a summer bbq and it's warming in the winter. I substitute a fresh jalapeno for the canned chilis homemade sauce for the canned tomato. We like a lot of sauce so I always double the sauce ingredients. Have also used half a cup or so of good beer to the sauce instead of doubling. Love it with red cabbage slaw piled on top. Yum. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
11/04/2012
Edible but not great This was super easy but the flavor just wasn't quite right. I used cayenne instead of chipotle so maybe that's the problem when it was done we added cider sugar honey and dry mustard to improve the flavor. Ended up using it in nachos and for tacos and it worked fine but probably won't make again. Pros: Easy Cons: Not great flavor Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/21/2012
My family found this flavorful and just spicy enough I invited my 3 grown children for dinner and they couldn't get enough of this. They refer to me as a gourmet cook! When I took the chicken out to shred it I added a bit of flour mixed with water to thicken up the sauce. Once the chicken was shredded I put it back in the sauce and let it simmer for about 20 minutes on Low. Perfect for serving on onion buns from the bakery! Read More
Rating: 1 stars
08/16/2012
Not BBQ I ended up with a very soup like chicken that tasted more mexican. We ended up straining the chicken and putting it on tortilla wraps and ate them as soft tacos Cons: Very running more like mexican chicken Read More
Rating: 1 stars
07/14/2012
Bland and Boring The ingredients made this sound like it would be really good but the end result was disappointing no flavor. We mixed in taco seasoning the next night to use the leftovers and it wasn't much of an improvement Read More
Rating: 1 stars
06/27/2012
NOT at all BBQ I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with spicy Italian-tasting chicken. I thought the ingredients sounded a bit tomato-heavy but thought the honey and vinegar might create a more BBQ flavor. This is NOT BBQ just tomato-y chicken. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
06/11/2012
A definite keeper! I made this for a family cook out. I wanted something I could keep warm in the crock pot and not have to fire up the grill and grill chicken just to change it up. I doubled the recipe and felt it was great and had good flavor. Everyone liked it even my children. I feel that the recipe as is is really good and appealing to most. I personally felt that it smelled like it would have more heat than it did and I wished it did have a bit more. When I make it again I will possibly follow the suggestion on another review and add chipotle in adobo (I had some too! Too bad I didnt go on here first!). All in all for the minimal hands on time and as easy as it was this will definitely be something that I make again. Pros: easy minimal hands on time Read More
Rating: 4 stars
05/03/2012
Easy and Tasty This a easy meal and great for the whole family. If you love cooking in the crock pot you might want to check out the GetCrocking app for iPhone. Lots of recipes and makes shopping easy. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
02/21/2012
Although this recipe was good in no way would I call it bbq! More like chicken manwich. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
01/13/2012
Definitely make again! Thanks to an earlier suggestion I used a 15 oz can of tomato sauce since my hubby likes lots of sauce. I'll add more spices next time also. I've already thought of lots of uses for the leftovers: tacos chicken enchiladas etc. Also since the bone-in thighs were more than 1/lb cheaper I used those and turned the heat to HIGH for a while at the end. The meat fell right off the bones with no problem. Pros: Easy multiple uses Cons: Needs more spices Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/03/2012
Made this for dinner and we really enjoyed it! I accidentally added a 15 oz can of tomato sauce but glad I did or it may not have had enough sauce for my liking! Otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Add a scoop of cole slaw on top of this sandwich-yummy! Pros: Easy! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
We love pulled pork but wanted to try something different. This was very good; the chipotle chile and the smoked paprika added just the right amount of smoke and spice. Debbie MA Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
We enjoyed this. It was quite spicy with the 1 tsp of chipotle powder. but not too spicy. The chicken was very tender and moist. We served it on whole wheat buns. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/31/2011
This was a great dish! The chicken was very moist and tender. Also it reheated great the next day as well. We will be using this recipie again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This recipe was so easy and super tasty! Didn't have chipotle chili powder so we used a cajun seasoning mix instead and it was great. Even forgot the onions and still enjoyed it. Great healthy alternative to pulled pork. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
A definite keeper! I used a pinch of cayenne as I could not find chipotle powder. This is delicious and super quick. 10 minutes in the morning to come home to a satisfying sandwich. Yummy! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
Delicious and simple to make. This recipe is perfect all year round. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This was just okay for me. The only thing I did differently was to use chicken with bones (could not find any boneless thighs) and deboned it at the same time I shredded it. Did not have any chipotle seasoning so I substituted cayenne. Everything else was done exactly according to the recipe. I was afraid it would be too spicy but it turned out very watery and was actually not spicy enough. With all of the excess liquid I could barely taste the other flavors. It definitely took longer than 5 1/2 hours but that could have been due to my slow cooker. I had to turn it up on high for a couple more hours for the chicken to get done enough to shred. Not sure what I did wrong but it was a little bit of a disappointment especially with so many giving such good reviews. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This recipe was great. I made if for a Super Bowl party and everyone loved it. I used cayenne instead of chipotle and boneless chicken breasts instead of thighs. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
We found this so bland that I strained the sauce and added store-bought BBQ sauce instead. I wasn't sure what to change to give it the zing that a good brand of BBQ sauce has. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
My husband and I thought this was pretty good I made a few alterations. I used 6 chicken breasts and couldn't find any chipotle powder so I used canned chipotle peppers (ground in a food processor) as a replacement. We had alot left over so for another meal I took the left overs with combined yellow pepper and black beans over rice. Makes a great 2 meals! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I followed the recipe as stated except that I substituted spaghetti sauce for the tomato sauce and added northern white beans (drained/rinsed) after I shredded the chicken and let it cook longer to heat the beans. Will definitely make again.. easy dish for 1 person and big bonus that I can freeze for later! I served this over brown rice with a side of sauteed zucchini. I found this dish to have medium heat with the amount of chipotle chile powder required which seems adequate for BBQ sandwiches. However if I serve this over rice again I will add more chipotle chile powder for added heat to balance out the rice. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
We really loved this. The flavor was very good only problem was that the sauce was a little thin. Husband said it needed to have a thicker sauce. Next time I will try setting aside extra sauce and cook it on the stovetop to add at the end. If that doesn't work I'll try adding a little cornstarch slurry to the crockpot sauce at the end. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
We loved this recipe just as posted. Easy with ingredients that most have in their pantry. Leftovers freeze great. I have some in my freezer right now ready for a quick supper. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
A great base and excellent way to slow cook the chicken but WOW does it need some more spice!! My spice-shy partner even agreed! Admittedly didn't have Worcester sauce but used a little spicy homemad BBQ sauce from a friend instead and cayenne instead of chipotle as many others here. Once i amped it up with some more dried minced onion garlic powder black pepper crushed red pepper salt more cayenne and paprika it was QUITE delicious. Prior to that though... tasted more like chicken in tomato sauce not very BBQ-ey to us at all. Found the sauce thick enough but also cooked bone-in thighs on low for 8 hours so the extra time may have thickened. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
A good basic recipe. I didn't make any changes and _did_ use chipotle. (Living in New Mexico how could I do otherwise?) The chipotle adds smokiness more than it does heat so cayenne might not be an accurate substitute. I would have to agree that the sauce lacked zip but I didn't consider that a problem; just like the pulled pork or chicken served at many BBQ joints the smoky flavor of the cooked meat can be augmented/enhanced by the use of a good BBQ sauce and/or a few dashes of hot sauce added on top just before serving. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I always add a t. of sugar when using tomato base then I doubled all the spices used smoked paprika diced can tomatoes w/jalapenos doubled the paste to thicken. Very very good! We don't like thigh meat but did in this recipe. It's very well disguised and I think it keeps the chicken more juicy and easier to pull than breast meat would. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
This was a tasty tender dish. I couldn't find any ground chipotle but I don't think it suffered terribly for it. The chicken was extremely tender but I think next time I'll add a touch more salt and maybe some easy-to-find cayenne pepper. I added a teaspoon or so of sugar (always do when using tomato paste) - I cooked it for exactly 5 hours and had a fair amount of liquid left over. Will definitely make again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I made this as an entree for a potluck. It was a huge hit and very easy to throw together. I didn't have ground chipotle so I subbed with a little bit of cayenne. I found that doubling the green chilis during my 2nd attempt was a good way to give the dish a bit more pop! I also used chicken breast and agave in place of the honey. This is a wonderful warming dish. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I used a chipotle blend of Mrs. Dash as substitute for the chipotle powder which gave it a nice smokiness. The sauce is thin but it keeps the meat very moist and gives the chicken a nice flavor. My family (including a 5 & 7 year old) requested that I make it again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I made this recipe as is and it was delicious albeit a little thin on the sauce side but the flavors were fantastic. The next time I make it I will probably use breast meat instead of thigh meat and I will thicken the sauce with more paste. I also served it over a baked potato instead of a bun and that was incredibly yummy! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I made this for a family picnic -- adults & children enjoyed these sandwiches. I followed the recipe exactly & found that when I returned the shredded chicken to the sauce & tossed it a few times the chicken absorbed the sauce making it succulent. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
The simpleness of the recipe makes it quite appealing. With most recipes it helps to add personal touches and this one is no different. I used the smoked chipotle peppers in adobo sauce instead of the green chiles and I added my favorite spices (including Mrs. Dash regular and chipotle blends onion and garlic powders and a seasoned salt) to give it just the right zing. I topped the sauce off with a splash of beer and it came out perfect. Loved it and will make again! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
50% fat calories and a lot of of sodium. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
attractive It looks so good and the chicken in the sauce makes my mouth watering now. I think with the home made bread it must taste delicious. Just want to share with you another good recipe that I like. http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes/main-courses/vegetarian-quinoa-moussaka Hope you like it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Wowzers! This was so delish!!! I had to make a few substitutions - (2tbsp) dijon mustard for dry 1 jalapeno for the green chilis (I thought it was hot enough with the one pepper) and I reduced the salt to 1/8 tsp because the dijon has a considerable amount of sodium in it. Overall it was just fantastic! I will definitely make it again.:) Read More
Rating: 1 stars
10/29/2011
Not to our liking I made the recipe as stated and only added a bit more white meat to satisfy my husband but other than that I made it as it was written. We just did not enjoy the flavor and we wouldn't make it again. Pros: Each to make Cons: Didn't like the flavors. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Yummy I didn't have worchestershire sauce so I used a tbls of organic BBQ sauce and omitted the chipotle bc I couldn't find any. Delicious. I'd make a double pot any day Read More