4 ingredients and just 5 minutes of prep make this BBQ Crockpot chicken thighs recipe a perfect weekend dinner idea for your family. Pop the chicken into the slowcooker at noon and you can have an easy supper with almost no effort!
With the school year busyness ramping up and spilling over into weekends, I'm stocking up on easy dinner recipes that can be popped into the Crockpot quickly and ignored until they're needed at suppertime.
This BBQ Crockpot chicken may not look like the most exciting dish at first glance, the beauty is all in how you use it!
With just five minutes of prep, this chicken will be ready when you are to make the most delicious BBQ chicken sliders, sprinkle over a homemade barbecue chicken pizza, top an easy baked potato with shredded cheese and green onions, or top bbq chicken nachos.
The short list of ingredients is one of my very favorite parts of this recipe:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Your favorite bottle of BBQ sauce
- BBQ dry rub seasoning OR a salt & black pepper mix
- Worcestershire sauce
- Optional: a yellow or red onion if you want more of a kick
See recipe card for quantities.
Spray the pot from a 3-qt or 4-qt Crockpot, with cooking spray.
Open each thigh from the folded position they are packaged in so they cook more evenly and layer them in the bottom of the pot.
There should just be one single layer of chicken thighs to start.
Sprinkle the BBQ dry rub evenly over the chicken.
I chose to use our favorite black pepper spice blend that features dried black pepper, dried bell peppers, salt, garlic, and a few other seasonings. You can find it here. (Hint: The flat pack always ships free.)
This barbecue blend has a much stronger level of heat and kick to it than our pepper rub and would be equally delicious.
Continue to layer the chicken pieces into the slowcooker until they have all been added in flat layers and seasoned with spices.
If you're using the onions, dice them up and sprinkle them over the chicken at this time.
Drizzle the prepared BBQ sauce over the chicken. Use a fork to nudge the chicken pieces at the bottom so they get a little sauce underneath them to start.
Hint: You can use whatever brand barbecue sauce your family prefers. We tend to love the sweet and spicy tomato based BBQ sauces but a vinegar or mustard BBQ sauce would also be delicious.
Sprinkle the Worcestershire sauce over the top and place the lid on the slowcooker.
Cook on HIGH heat for 3 - 4 hours or until the chicken is fork tender.
Stir the chicken after 2 hours to help coat all the pieces in sauce.
You can shred the cooked chicken with two forks or simply stir it and break it up with a large spoon.
Chicken - if you prefer to use a leaner cut of meat, you can substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins. Larger chicken breasts should be cut into fourths so they cook more evenly. Adjust the cooking time and check them at 2 ½ hours because they will cook much faster.
By changing the variety of spice rub you use or the flavor of BBQ sauce you use, you can have an entirely different version of this recipe.
If you're hosting a large party, you may consider offering 2 - 3 different slowcookers filled with different varieties of BBQ chicken:
- South Carolina-Style Mustard-based BBQ Chicken: a tomato-less barbecue sauce that features vinegar, cayenne pepper, black pepper, hot sauce, and other ingredients
- Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Sauce BBQ Chicken: a tangy German-style sauce featuring mustard, vinegar, and other spices
- Texas Style Mop Sauce BBQ Chicken: Thinner barbecue sauce featuring beef stock, vinegar, Worcestershire, and other seasonings
- Kansas City Style BBQ Chicken: thick ketchup and molasses seasoned with brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings
- Alabama White Sauce BBQ Chicken: a mixture of mayo, vinegar, and pepper
A 3-qt or 4-qt Crockpot is the perfect size for 1 ½ pounds of chicken pieces.
If you use a larger size slowcooker, I recommend doubling the recipe or the chicken could burn on the bottom of your pot.
Shredded BBQ chicken can be cooked and then stored in an airtight container in your fridge for 3 - 5 days.
You can also freeze the shredded chicken for 6 months. You may want to consider freezing it in individual portions for a single-serve sandwich or the just-right portion for topping nachos rather than freezing it in one solid block.
The variety of barbecue sauce you use and how fatty the pieces of chicken are could make the final sauce have a thinner or thicker texture than you prefer.
To Fix a Thin Sauce: You can add cornstarch, 1 teaspoon at a time to thicken the sauce. Let the mixture bubble for several minutes of heat before adding more.
To Fix a Thick Sauce: If your sauce is too thick, you can add a splash of chicken stock to thin it out to your desired consistency.
This easy shredded chicken would pair well with any of the following family recipes:
If you’ve tried this BBQ Crockpot chicken or any other recipe on PeanutBlossom.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
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