BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Coleslaw


This eastern North Carolina-style chicken barbecue recipe is vinegar-based, a far cry from the sweet tomato-heavy sauces from the western part of the state. Double the recipe to make a big batch, perfect for game-day parties and potlucks.

Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
4 servings


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed

  • 1 ¾ cups cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided

  • ½ cup buttermilk

  • ¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

  • ½ teaspoon celery seed

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 14-ounce package coleslaw mix (about 5 cups)

  • 4 small soft buns or rolls, heated if desired


  1. Place chicken in a medium skillet or large saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, turning once or twice, until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, 12 to 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, crushed red pepper, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the sauce to a large bowl. Cover the pan and set aside.

  3. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces with two forks. Stir into the sauce in the pan until well combined. Cover and let marinate for 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the sauce in the bowl; whisk in buttermilk, mayonnaise, celery seed and pepper. Add coleslaw mix and toss to combine. Serve the chicken on buns (or rolls) with the slaw and any extra sauce on the side.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

327 Calories
8g Fat
32g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 327
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 14g
Added Sugars 8g 16%
Protein 28g 56%
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Vitamin A 4914IU 98%
Vitamin C 28mg 31%
Folate 79mcg 20%
Sodium 824mg 36%
Calcium 144mg 11%
Iron 3mg 14%
Magnesium 51mg 12%
Potassium 571mg 12%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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