Pulled Chicken Sandwiches / Slow Cooker

It can’t get any easier than this recipe for making pulled chicken sandwiches. You will be amazed at how much flavor the chicken breasts have after just a few hours of cooking. The chicken is coated on both sides with a flavor packed rub and then covered with a super simple barbecue sauce. The house smelled amazing yesterday as the slow cooker worked it’s magic. This is a sweet sauce with just a little hint of heat. If you prefer heat over sweet just cut back on the brown sugar and add a little more red pepper or canned chipotle pepper. I bet this would also be amazing with pork!

My favorite buns are these sprouted ones made by Alvarado ST Bakery. This sandwich was dripping with goodness and oh –  so filling! You need a sturdy bun that can stand up to the juices. If you toast the buns they won’t get soggy.

I have an observation about boneless, skinless chicken breasts I want to share. If you are using chicken breasts that contain added broth or saline solution your yield at the end of the cooking won’t be the same as it would if you use chicken with out any added broth or saline solution. All of that extra sodium also changes the flavor and it adds a lot of liquid to the dish. Read your label and if it says that the chicken contains 5, 8 or 15% added broth or saline solution you will need to use that much more chicken in order to have the right amount of cooked chicken at the end. Does this make sense? I used natural chicken breasts for this dish and it made 5 cups of shredded chicken.

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches / Slow Cooker


  • 2 pounds chicken breast, boneless, skinless no added broth
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt — or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup onion — finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile canned in adobo — or to taste
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses


To make the rub, combine dark brown sugar through ground ginger, stir. Rub mixture all over both sides of chicken breasts. Put chicken in a slow cooker.

To prepare sauce, heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stiiring occasionally.

Sitr in sugar and next 6 ingredients; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup, vinegar and molasses; bring to a boil.

Pour sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker. Put the lid on and set on high for 3-4 hours.

Shred chicken with two forks, stir back into the slow cooker juices. Keep warm until ready to serve.

To serve place 1/2 cup of pulled chicken on a sandwich roll or hamburger bun. Top with hamburger dills if desired.

Yield: 10 -15 servings

Nutritional Information (for pulled chicken only, not including a bun)

10 Servings @ 1/2 cup per serving;

Per Serving: 175 Calories; 4g Fat (18.1% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 55mg Cholesterol; 663mg Sodium. WWPP 4

15 Servings @ 1/3 cup per serving;

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 116 Calories; 2g Fat (18.1% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 37mg Cholesterol; 442mg Sodium. WWPP 3

Adapted to a slow cooker recipe from Cooking Light June 2006

We had our pulled chicken sandwiches with these marinated cucumbers and corn on the cob. This is a Spring – Summer meal that will make you happy!

Marinated Cucumbers

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced thinly (if you use a regular cucumber go ahead and peel it)

Combine all ingredients in a shallow dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Adapted from a Cooking Light Recipe

Nutmeg Notes

I don’t usually post on Saturday but this recipe was so good, I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Mother’s Day! I told the guys I don’t care what we do Sunday after church as long as I don’t have to cook or clean up! Even someone who likes to cook appreciates a day off!



Add Your Thoughts

What are your Mother’s Day plans?

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2 pings

  1. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    Wait! I didn’t know that about chicken breast! Yikes. Tomorrow I have chosen what I want my husband to grill for me for dinner:) Halibut, on sale; haven’t had it in years. My mom gets back from a trip about midnight tonight so did not think she’d want to do anything tomorrow but I’ll invite her anyways.

    1. Tami says:

      Halibut on the grill sounds perfect and something I haven’t had in a long time either.
      Happy Mother’s Day Karen!

  2. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I’ve been looking for some good slow cooker recipes. This is going on my list!

    Happy Mother’s Day! Have a wonderful day tomorrow!

    1. Tami says:

      The slow cooker is so handy, in fact I own two of them. I vowed that this summer I am going to make better use of my slow cooker and keep the heat out of the kitchen. I know this is a recipe that will get made often over the next few months.

      Wishing you a wonderful Mother’s Day Andrea!

  3. Carol says:

    Happy Mother’s Day Tami! Enjoy your special day! We are taking my Mom out for brunch. She has a busy afternoon with others visiting and she really enjoys breakfast out. Nothing special planned for the evening meal.

    Love the looks of your pulled chicken and I’m putting it on my To Make list for this week…I have the chicken breasts in the freezer.I’m introducing new foods to Bryce now that there are just the two of us to cook for.

    1. Tami says:

      Happy Mother’s Day to you too Carol! Sounds like you have a nice day planned.

      How fun that you get to make some new foods now that you are only cooking for two!

      Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.

  4. Jody - Fit at 53 says:

    HOLY COW – YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want it all right now! I don’t have a slow cooker but I will find a way to make this! 🙂 The cucumbers look amazing too! THX and HAPPY HAPPY mom’s day to you!

    1. Tami says:

      Jody I adapted this recipe to use it in a slow cooker but the original recipe called for putting the rub on chicken thighs -I subbed breasts and then cooking them on the grill. Shred the chicken, make the bar-b-que sauce and add the shredded chicken to it, heat until warm.

      Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  5. Nancy says:

    I just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago. I recently started Weight Watchers and have enjoy reading your past entries. Last week I bought the 1pt Cabot cheese and Ak-Mak crackers….delicious. You say that you own two slow cookers…are they different sizes? Thanks.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Nancy and welcome to Nutmeg Notebook.

      I think that one of my crock pots is 4 qt and the other might be 6 qts. I also have one of those little dippers too that will keep dips warm.

      I often have both crock pot / slow cookers going at the same time with two kinds of soups, stew or Mexican chicken cooking. Love how easy meals are to prepare with them.

  6. Autumn @ Good Eats Girl says:

    I love pulled chicken! This recipe looks great…I’m definitely going to be making this!

    1. Tami says:

      Be sure to come back and let me if you like the pulled chicken!

  7. Nicole, RD says:

    Even with the warm weather coming, I want to continue using my crock pot lots! I can’t wait to make this!

    1. Tami says:

      I have said the same thing, I plan on using the slow cooker all summer long to keep my kitchen cooler!

  8. fittingbackin says:

    YUM! I love pulled chicken, and of course using the slow cooker is fabulous!

  9. Dr. J says:

    Well, you know me. The bun looks great 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      LOL! Oh Dr J you make me laugh! 🙂

  10. Gina (The Candid RD) says:

    Well, we’re using out grill for the FIRST time tonight…I wish I would have read this post sooner! I think we’re just doing some BBQ chicken breast, as is. But in the future, pulled chicken sounds like something we’re going to have to make!

    1. Tami says:

      Gina I know this reply is getting back to you too late but the original recipe for this pulled chicken called for cooking the chicken on the grill first and making the sauce in a pan on the stove. Then adding the shredded chicken to the sauce!

      I decided to turn it into a slow cooker recipe to make it easier!

  11. Roz says:

    Hi Tami, this is a GREAT looking recipe. I’ve bookmarked it! Have a great day, hope you enjoyed your Mother’s Day.

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you Roz! I had a beautiful Mother’s Day. We ate at my favorite Mexican restaurant and then enjoyed a relaxing afternoon at home. We had leftover pulled chicken for dinner and it was a no cooking, no cleaning day for me!

      Hope you had a good day too! 🙂

  12. Kim says:

    Sounds great, but what can I use in place of molasses?

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Kim. In place of molasses try using brown sugar, maple syrup or honey.

  13. renee@mykitchenadventures says:

    Holy cow, Tami, does this look sooooo good! thanks for the recipe!

    1. Tami says:

      I have to laugh Renee, I though I was the only person who still says, Holy cow!

  14. Penny says:

    I am new to your site (few weeks now). I made this recipe last night for dinner. Oh.My.Word. It was delicious. My husband said it was restaurant quality! Thank you. I can’t wait for the leftovers.

    1. Tami says:

      Penny thank you so much for the feedback! I just had some leftovers of this recipe last night myself! I froze some of the leftovers to have in a week or two.

      Happy Cooking!


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