Slow Cooker Zesty Barbecue Chicken

I love slow cooker recipes. Just dump in the ingredients. Set the temperature. And in a few hours, bam! Delicious dinner with minimal effort.

One of the first slow cooker recipes I ever tried was recommended to me by a family friend: Zesty Barbecue Chicken. All it took was one bite, and I was hooked. I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count. And you can bet that I’m going to keep on making it because it’s so versatile.

Seriously. The chicken just melts in your mouth.

slow cooker zesty barbecue pulled chicken

And let me tell you something else about this magical chicken recipe.

It freezes.

I’ve done months of frozen meals before, and this recipe is a staple. You just toss everything into a Ziploc bag. Shake it around. Seal it and freeze it. It’ll stay good for up to 6 months.

And when you’re ready to cook, just run some warm water over it to thaw. Then it will be good to go into the slow cooker.

And know what’s even better?

You can use this recipe with just about anything. It’s great for sandwiches. It’s great for burritos. It’s great as a side dish. It’s great inside steamed buns. Really it’s just great.

slow cooker zesty barbecue pulled chicken

Slow Cooker Zesty Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Flavorful chicken that makes great sandwich or burrito filling
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 323 kcal


  • 1020 Grams Chicken Breasts (Six 6-Ounce Breasts)
  • 340 Grams Barbecue Sauce (12-ounce Bottle)
  • 124 Grams Zesty Italian Dressing (1/2 Cup)
  • 50 Grams Brown Sugar, Packed (1/4 Cup)
  • 34 Grams Worcestershire Sauce (2 Tablespoons)


  • Add chicken breasts to slow cooker.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine barbecue sauce, dressing, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well incorporated.
  • Pour sauce over the chicken.
  • Cook in the slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.
  • Carefully use a fork to shred the chicken.
  • Serve as a sandwich filling, steamed bun filling, or as a side.


You can be a little flexible on the chicken. I’ve done as little as 4 large chicken breasts in this recipe to 8 smaller sized chicken breasts. I typically just buy a big bag of frozen chicken breasts from Costco and put in as many as my slow cooker can handle without overfilling it. 
Keyword Barbecue Chicken, Pulled Chicken, Slow Cooker Chicken

Did You Try It?

This zesty barbecue slow cooker chicken is a family favorite. But I want to know if it becomes your family favorite, too. Let me know about your experience in the comments below. And feel free to give some suggestions. I love to improve recipes whenever I can.