Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

Here’s how to cook fork-tender, fall-apart bbq chicken! This easy and healthy slow cooker recipe has the most addictive tangy-smoky-sweet flavor!


This morning when I let my beagle Calvin outside, there was frost on the ground.

The biting wind was so cold, I shivered.

I knew the temperature was low enough that I was going to have to go digging through our pile of winter accessories to find a hat that might still fit Trevor.

My main thought was, “I’m not ready for this yet.”

Meaning another New England winter.

I feel like we just got started with summer.

I’m not ready for icy streets and nights where the sun sets at 4pm and cold weather coughs.

But here’s the good news: after I dropped Tru off at school, I got the slow cooker out of the cupboard.

And I started cooking a bbq pulled chicken that turned out to be so very tasty.  

I served it over some cauliflower cheddar mashed potatoes.

And I remembered one thing I do love about the cold weather season: piping hot bowls of delicious comfort food that have simmered all day long in the slow cooker.

Here’s the secret I’ve discovered to get fork-tender, fall-apart bbq chicken:

It’s all about cooking the chicken in a sauce at a low temperature.

When the chicken marinates all day in cooking liquids, it just sort of melts into something juicy and tender and richly flavorful that easily falls apart when you shred it with a fork.

So much yum…

This bbq pulled chicken is healthy, but it has so much delicious flavor.

I toss some fresh ingredients in with the chicken to add a few healthy veggies and lots of extra flavor:

  • Minced garlic
  • Thinly sliced onion
  • Shredded carrots

Plus lots of key ingredients to help this chicken explode with all of that tangy-savory-sweet deliciousness of classic BBQ, like:

  • Maple syrup
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Smoked paprika

The slow cooker makes it so easy to cook up a healthy and delicious platter of BBQ chicken.

Just toss everything into the slow cooker in the morning or early afternoon, and you’re done.

Dinner is served as soon as everyone’s home and ready to eat!

Here’s A Tip:

Remove the slow cooker lid for the last hour or so of cooking time, so all the extra liquids can evaporate.

How To Serve This BBQ Pulled Chicken:

I love serving this pulled chicken over cauliflower cheddar mashed potatoes (the recipe is included below!) 

Or, try serving this chicken with classic BBQ sides like:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cornbread
  • Green beans


Here’s the Recipe for Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken:

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

  • Author: Jen Elizabeth's Journals
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken Dishes
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Barbecue


Here’s how to cook fork-tender, fall-apart bbq chicken! This easy and healthy slow cooker recipe has the most addictive tangy-smoky-sweet flavor!



For the BBQ Pulled Chicken:

  • 1 pound organic, pastured, skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup tomato purée
  • 2 Tablespoons safflower oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons 100% pure maple syup
  • 1 Tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (find bags of shredded carrots in the produce aisle)
  • Sea salt

For the Cauliflower Cheddar Mashed Potatoes:

  • 3 yellow potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen riced cauliflower
  • 2/3 cup organic whole milk
  • 2/3 cup organic shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper


For the BBQ Pulled Chicken:

  1. Add the tomato puree, oil, vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, smoked paprika, chili powder, and red pepper flakes to the slow cooker. Whisk until well combined.
  2. Season chicken with salt and submerge chicken into liquid. Top chicken with the garlic, onions, and carrots. Season veggies with salt.
  3. Set slow cooker to HIGH heat, cover, and cook for 3 hours. OR set slow cooker to LOW heat, cover and cook for 5 hours.
  4. Remove chicken from slow cooker and use two forks to shred chicken. Place pulled chicken back into slow cooker and stir until all chicken is well coated in sauce. Season with salt.
  5. Set slow cooker heat to HIGH, remove lid, and cook until all excess liquid evaporates, about 45 minutes.
  6. Serve BBQ pulled chicken over Cauliflower Cheddar Mashed Potatoes (instructions below). Or serve with classic BBQ sides such as cornbread, green beans, and mashed sweet potatoes.

For the Cauliflower Cheddar Mashed Potatoes:

  1. Pierce potatoes and cook in microwave until fork tender, about 6-9 minutes. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Place frozen cauliflower in a heat-safe bowl and cook in the microwave until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Pour cauliflower into mixing bowl along with the potatoes.
  3. Add the milk and cheddar to the mixing bowl. Season thoroughly with salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to purée the potatoes and cauliflower. Add more milk as needed until a smooth and creamy consistency is reached.
  4. Top with BBQ pulled chicken, serve, and enjoy!


  1. If you’re having trouble finding frozen riced cauliflower, you can also use cauliflower florets. Just purée the cauliflower in a food processor or blender after heating it in the microwave.

Keywords: healthy, slow cooker, crockpot, pulled chicken, shredded chicken, barbecue chicken, BBQ chicken


For More Recipes You Might Love, Check Out:

Healthy Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Tacos

Easy Slow Cooker Dijon Chicken with Winter Vegetables

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Dumpling Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew


Pin on Pinterest:




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Latest on Instagram

13   14
18   40
12   68
3   13
5   13
2   9
4   10
0   11
3   87
1   77

Follow on Instagram