Recipe: Simple Slow-Cooker Barbecue Chicken


July 3, 2017

This quick-and-easy slow cooker barbecue chicken makes a hearty weeknight meal you can feel good about.


Slow cookers are famous for producing simple and delicious crowd-pleasing meals, and this barbecue chicken is no exception. Although you may have to wait 3-4 hours for the food to be done, you can get dinner started in fewer than 10 minutes and move onto something more enjoyable while you wait. My favorite thing to do while dinner cooks? Grab a friend and go for a walk. By the time you get back home, you’ll have an appetite — and this dish will not disappoint.

This super easy slow cooker barbecue chicken recipe incorporates all of the ingredients traditionally used to make homemade barbecue sauce, rather than resorting to the store-bought kind, which is often high in sugar, sodium and preservatives. Subbing spices for pre-made sauce can save around 30 calories, 7 grams of sugar and 300 milligrams of sodium per serving. As an added bonus, using tomato sauce and tomato paste adds fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.

Next time you are in a pinch for time, reach for this recipe, and get creative with the leftovers.

  • Serve the barbecue chicken on whole-wheat buns with coleslaw or lettuce and tomato.
  • Fill a baked sweet potato and top with fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Use it in a taco with black beans and corn, serve with salsa and guacamole.
  • Bake barbecue chicken, sliced red onion and a sprinkle of cheese on a whole-wheat pizza crust.
  • Pile it cold on top of a fresh salad loaded with veggies.
Simple Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Simple Healthy Kitchen
Serves: 10 servings
  • 2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 16-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all ingredients, except chicken, in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly. Add chicken and spoon sauce over chicken to cover. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours.
  2. When chicken is cooked, transfer chicken to a bowl or plate (leaving BBQ sauce in the slow cooker).
  3. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and let cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Serving size: 1/4 pound chicken Calories: 156 Fat: 3 grams Saturated fat: 1 gram Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 9 grams Sugar: 6 grams Sodium: 375 milligrams Fiber: 1 gram Protein: 22 grams Cholesterol: 55 milligrams