Shredded BBQ Chicken

Shredded BBQ Chicken is ready in 25 minutes with a handful of ingredients. It’s tender, juicy, flavorful, and perfect to serve in a sandwich!

This quick chicken makes an easy alternative to BBQ Pulled Chicken. Cut the cooking time in half with this simple recipe, and you can enjoy a barbecue chicken sandwich for your Dinner in practically no time!

Shredded BBQ Chicken sandwich on plate

SHREDDED BBQ CHICKEN

This barbecue chicken sandwich recipe is made super easy by boiling the chicken breasts, and then cooking them in BBQ sauce for delicious flavors. Serving the BBQ shredded chicken with buns makes for a delicious and simple dinner perfect for a busy weeknight that your whole family is sure to love. 

Add any of your favorite sandwich toppings to go along with the bbq shredded chicken sandwich. The basic barbecue chicken would taste great topped off with pickles or Coleslaw.

Shredded BBQ Chicken in pot

As far as the sauce, we’ve made a few different versions of homemade barbecue sauce that you can try in this recipe to experiment with the flavors. Instead of regular BBQ Sauce try our Memphis BBQ Sauce or Root Beer BBQ Sauce to Change things up. 

When you’re putting together the BBQ Chicken sandwiches, feel free to use your favorite kind of bun. It would taste great with regular hamburger buns, hoagies, french rolls, or brioche hamburger buns. You could also steer away from a simple dinner option, and turn these into a party appetizer with mini buns to make chicken sliders.

 

Shredded BBQ Chicken whole cooked chicken breasts in pot

The BBQ flavoring makes the dish similar to your favorite cookout recipes, but making it on the stovetop means you can enjoy it year-round. Serve the weeknight meal with your favorite BBQ sides like Pasta Salad, Southern Baked Beans, or Baked Potatoes to finish it off.

MORE CHICKEN RECIPES

COOKING TIPS

  • Boil: Add the chicken breasts, water, salt, and pepper to a dutch oven or large pot. Turn the stovetop to medium-high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. 
  • Cooking time: Continue cooking the meat in the hot liquid for 15-18 minutes. Remove the boneless chicken breast from the pot. Either put the chicken in a stand mixer or use an electric hand mixer to shred chicken. 
  • BBQ sauce: Drain all but ½ cup of cooking liquid from the pot. Then add in the BBQ sauce. Add the chunks of chicken back into the pot. Put it at medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the sauce thickens. 
  • Serve: Scoop chicken on buns and place a slice of cheese, and any other sandwich toppings you want on top.

 

VARIATIONS

  • Sauce: There are lots of ways you can add different flavors to the sauce for this recipe. Try mixing in some ketchup, hot sauce, or brown sugar with the bbq sauce before adding it to the recipe. 
  • Seasonings: You can also season chicken with ingredients like a teaspoon onion powder, teaspoon garlic powder, paprika, cumin, celery salt, or cayenne pepper. 
  • Chicken thighs: If you don’t have chicken breasts, you can also make this recipe with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Just keep in mind that chicken thighs will take longer to cook than chicken breasts. You can use an internal thermometer to check the temperature has reached 165 degrees, to double-check the meat is done before serving. 
  • Chicken broth: One way to make the chicken extra juicy and flavorful is by using chicken broth instead of water. Just bring the chicken broth to a boil and cook the chicken the same way you would with water. 

INSTANT POT CHICKEN

  • Add the chicken, water, salt, and pepper to the pressure cooker. 
  • Seal the instant pot and set it to the manual cooking time for 17 minutes. 
  • Turn the steam vent to pressure release, then open the instant pot. 
  • Remove the chicken from the pot, and use a handheld electric mixer or forks to shred chicken. 
  • Drain most of the cooking liquid, and add BBQ sauce to the pot. 
  • Add chicken back into the pot, and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  • Quick-release the pressure and serve.

BBQ RECIPES

HOW TO STORE

  • Serve: Don’t leave BBQ Shredded Chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: Let the chicken cool down before you transfer it to an airtight container to store in the fridge for 3-5 days. 
  • Freeze: You can also seal the chicken to store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to serve the leftover chicken, let it thaw in the fridge before you reheat it.

Shredded BBQ Chicken in pot

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Shredded BBQ Chicken

Shredded BBQ Chicken is ready in 25 minutes with a handful of ingredients. It's tender, juicy, flavorful, and perfect to serve in a sandwich!
Yield 4 Servings
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 3 chicken breasts , boneless & skinless
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups bbq sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices American cheese , or preferred cheese

Instructions

  • Add chicken breasts, salt and pepper, and water to a pot and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
  • Cook for 15-18 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and add to stand mixer.
  • Shred on speed level 3 until well shredded.
  • Drain all but ½ cup of the cooking water and add in the bbq sauce.
  • Add the chicken back into the pot and cook on medium heat until sauce has thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Serve on hamburger buns with a slice of cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 540kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 2723mg | Potassium: 729mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 352mg | Iron: 3mg
Keyword: Shredded BBQ Chicken

Easy Shredded BBQ Chicken collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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Comments

    1. Hi!
      Here is the instructions on our blog –
      Add chicken breasts, salt and pepper, and water to a pot and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.

      Cook for 15-18 minutes.

      Remove the chicken and add to stand mixer.
      Shred on speed level 3 until well shredded.
      Drain all but 1/2 cup of the cooking water and add in the bbq sauce.
      Add the chicken back into the pot and cook on medium heat until sauce has thickened, about 6-8 minutes.

      Serve on hamburger buns with a slice of cheese.