Spicy Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken

August 31, 2021

This Spicy Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken is a zesty meal for your weeknight menu made with a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce with just a touch of heat!

This post may contain affiliate links.  Making a purchase through one of these links helps support this blog.

We are just about ready to go from grilling season to slow cooker season.  Of course, we do a bit of both throughout the entire year.  But there’s nothing like putting the ingredients for a nice and cozy meal into the base of your slow cooker and having it ready just in time for dinner!

One of my favorite things to make in the slow cooker, no matter what time of year it is, is pulled sandwiches.  Pork, beef, chicken – I love it all!

Juicy, tender meat just shreds apart in a delicious sauce, then gets piled high on buns.  Sometimes I top the sandwiches with slaw or pickles.  Sometimes I top them with an extra helping of sauce. And sometimes they’re so good that they don’t need any extras!

Barbecue pulled sandwiches are a constant in our home.  Not only are they super easy to make, they’re a flavorful and delicious meal.  But I decided to amp it up.  What if we took a slow cooker barbecue chicken sandwich and made it spicy? So now you get all of that honest to goodness sweet and tangy barbecue flavor with a tongue-tingling kick of heat!

Spicy Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken

This Spicy Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken recipe is made with juicy, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, a quick homemade barbecue sauce, and a splash of hot sauce for some extra bite!

First, we’re going to whip up simple barbecue sauce made with ketchup, apple cider vinegar, hot honey, paprika, cumin, hot sauce, and salt and pepper.  Simmer all of the ingredients in a small pot for a few minutes.  Then, set aside.

Now, we’re going to cook our chicken in the slow cooker with the barbecue sauce, diced tomatoes, and onions.  Let it cook on low for 8 hours and the chicken will shred apart easily once it’s done.

Once the chicken is cooked, pile it onto some buns (I like to toast mine first) with some crunchy slaw.  If you want to add another nice kick of heat, add an extra splash of hot sauce on top!

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken


    For the barbecue sauce:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. hot honey
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • Buns, crunchy slaw, and hot sauce, for serving


    For the barbecue sauce:
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, set aside.
  2. For the chicken:
  3. Add the chicken to the slow cooker.
  4. Then, add the barbecue sauce, diced tomatoes, and onions.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, or until the chicken easily shreds apart.
  6. Serve on buns with crunchy slaw and extra barbecue sauce or hot sauce.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes

This is a great recipe for busy weeknights or tailgating during the fall that’s more zesty than spicy!  Have leftovers?  Use the chicken to make tacos, serve it over salad, or use it to top a potato!

Did you make this Spicy Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken recipe? Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!


If you like this post, you might enjoy these as well:

1 Comment

  • Reply Easy Three Ingredient Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Loin - Living La Vida Holoka September 20, 2020 at 6:08 PM

    […] Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken […]

  • Leave a Reply