Slow Cooker Root Beer Chicken

8 Servings
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours

Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Chicken is an easy weeknight meal or party food made with root beer, barbecue sauce. Perfect for Sandwiches, tacos & more.

If you enjoyed my recipe for BBQ Pulled Chicken, then you should try the crock pot version. Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Chicken is an easy dinner that’s great all year round. Crock pot recipes are perfect for busy days because you can throw your ingredients and set to low in the morning, then go about your day and come home to a completely cooked, delicious entree.

For more easy to make crock pot dinners, check out my Slow Cooker Recipes.


Slow Cooker Recipes are fantastic for when you’d love to have a delicious dinner ready and waiting for you when you get back home from a long day. This Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Chicken recipe is an extremely easy dinner recipe and letting it simmer in a crock pot all day makes the chicken fork tender and full of rich, BBQ flavors that are perfect for all occasions, from potlucks to family dinners.

For this Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Chicken recipe, you can choose whatever your favorite BBQ sauce is to help tenderize the chicken. Since the meat is going to sit in the sauce for around 5 hours in the crockpot, the flavor is going to deeply settle into the meat from the skin to the bone.

Chicken Breasts vs Chicken Thighs in CROCKPOTS

When it comes to choosing what kind of chicken to use in the recipe I am going against my standard recommendations of “avoid chicken breast” and recommending them for this recipe. Since we’re coating it in a sweet syrupy glaze you can get away with the white meat chicken. If you aren’t worried about the extra calories I even more highly suggest using boneless skinless chicken thighs over boneless skinless chicken breasts.



  • Add the root beer, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper in a large slow cooker.
  • Stir well to combine then add in the chicken and coat well.
  • Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours then shred the chicken well with two forks.
  • Add the chicken back to the slow cooker and coat in the sauce in the bowl.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes or in buns and top with additional sauce.

Slow Cooker Root Beer Chicken before and after


  • Pizza: Top a pre-made pizza crust with some BBQ sauce, mozzarella cheese, your leftover chicken and some fine sliced red onions for an easy pizza night BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • Salad: Toss some lettuce, black beans, corn, and your leftover Root Beer BBQ Chicken with some Homemade Ranch Dressing and top with crunchy tortilla strips for a delicious, healthy salad.
  • Pasta: Your leftover chicken will taste great on top of Mac and Cheese or Potato Salad.
  • Veggies: You can stuff leftover Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Chicken into veggies like bell peppers (a great take on the classic Stuffed Pepper recipe), mushrooms, and zucchini boats and top with cheese for an easy, low-carb dinner.

Root Beer Chicken Sandwich


  • Can you overcook chicken in a slow cooker? Yes, you can overcook chicken in a slow cooker, especially if you are using chicken breasts in this recipe. If you want the meat to stay tender for longer be sure to use chicken thighs which are a more forgiving cut of meat.
  • Can you put frozen chicken in the crockpot? Technically, yes. It isn’t a great idea though, since the chicken may not reach the desired temperature for a long time, which means it will have been sitting out at less than ideal temperatures for hours and can make you sick. Additionally frozen chicken contains significant amounts of water which will throw off the amount of liquid in the sauce causing the flavors to be diluted.



  • Serve: You shouldn’t leave chicken out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature. 
  • Store: Allow your Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Chicken cool down to room temperature before wrapping with plastic wrap or put in a sealable container. It will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: You can freeze cooked root beer chicken for up to 3 months. Keep it completely sealed in something airtight.


Crock pot chicken is safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. According to the USDA’s Official Website you should always check the temperature of the chicken at the thickest part with a probe thermometer to get an accurate reading.

Root Beer BBQ Chicken

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Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Chicken

Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Chicken is an easy weeknight meal or party food made with root beer, barbecue sauce and chicken.
Yield 8 Servings
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup  root beer
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 8 hamburger buns , split in half and warmed


  • Place chicken in slow cooker.
  • Whisk root beer, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
  • Pour over the chicken.
  • Cook, covered, on low heat for 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.
  • Remove chicken; cool slightly.
  • Shred chicken with 2 forks and return to slow cooker.
  • Serve on buns.


Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1283mg | Potassium: 719mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Chicken
Slow Cooker Root Beer Chicken in crockpot and sandwich

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 cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, 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.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Hi! I have made this recipe multiple time, it’s on of my favorites!
    Question, I have 1 package of chicken tenderloins, how long would you suggest cooking it in the crockpot for? Thank you!

    1. I haven’t tested it but I would be afraid they would dry out since they’re smaller. If you decide to try, I’d suggest possibly needing to cut the time in half so cooking for 2-3 hours on low. Good luck!

    1. Certainly. I haven’t made it yet so I don’t have cook times, but you could use the cook time for a similar Instant Pot chicken recipe.

  2. Sabrina your are a women after this man’s heart, I made this and I want to tell everybody just how easy this is to make and how great it taste. I’m a single man an do all my own cooking and this recipe was AWESOME I love it. Keep up the great work and I will be looking forward to your next post.

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! I agree, it is AWESOME! If you like easy, hearty “man” meals haha, check out my Sloppy Joes. I have over 20 recipes and counting 🙂

      1. You want to cook until the chicken is done, 165 degrees, and tender. Check your chicken after 3 hours and continue cooking/checking until done.

    1. You can click on the servings amount and reduce the slider to half the amount and the ingredients will adjust. This should help you halve the recipe!

    1. No, you might need to cook for less tine but 2 hours on low is not enough time. Check your chicken after 3 hours and cook until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees and is tender.