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.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2012


Read the full recipe after the video.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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.


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; protein 25.1g; carbohydrates 8.7g; dietary fiber 1.2g; sugars 6.3g; fat 8.4g; saturated fat 2.3g; cholesterol 130.1mg; vitamin a iu 710.5IU; vitamin c 6.4mg; folate 15.3mcg; calcium 25.7mg; iron 2mg; magnesium 34.2mg; potassium 442.4mg; sodium 321.3mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 4g.

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: 4 stars
50% fat calories and a lot of of sodium. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Most important thing for most of us how much is a seriving size? what does a serving equal? Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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
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: 2 stars
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: 1 stars
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: 1 stars
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: 4 stars
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: 4 stars
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