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Side photo of two Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches on white plates.

Shredded Chicken BBQ Sandwich Recipe

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are the perfect easy to make meal that the whole family will enjoy.  With just enough kick for the grown-ups and not too much for the kids, this recipe is one you will want in your meal plan rotation.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword spicy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 379kcal
Author Wendy Polisi


  • Instant Pot or
  • Slow Cooker


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce gluten free
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 32 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • 12 gluten free sandwich buns


  • 8 cups green and red cabbage shredded
  • ½ cup grated sweet onion
  • 2 carrots peeled and shredded
  • cup plain Greek Yogurt or mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • sea salt, pepper, and sweetener to taste


  • In a medium bowl whisk together ketchup, mustard, honey or syrup, water, apple cider vinegar, ancho chile powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, Worcestershire sauce, and sea salt.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Spray your slow cooker with olive oil and place chicken in the bottom. Top with sauce. Cook for 4 to 6 hours on low. Serve on toasted buns with pickles and hot sauce if desired

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Place 1 cup of water or broth in the bottom of your Instant Pot and add the trivet.  Add the chicken and top with the remaining sauce.  DO NOT STIR.  
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot making sure the valve is sealed.
  • Set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, and then do a quick release.


  • Make the slaw by placing green cabbage, red cabbage, onion and carrots in a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, celery, salt, pepper and stevia. Pour over slaw and stir until combined. Refrigerate until serving.

To Serve

  • Allow the chicken to cool slightly and then use forks to shred.
  • Serve on toasted buns with pickles and hot sauce if desired



  • To make this sugar-free, use a sugar free ketchup and substitute Swerve for the honey.
  • I love this shredded chicken sandwich recipe with the slaw, but if you are short on time shredded romaine lettuce works great too!
  • For an extra smoky flavor, omit the Worcestershire sauce and instead use liquid smoke.
  • Really short on time? Use gluten-free BBQ sauce and ¼ cup of spicy mustard instead of the ketchup/spice mix mixture.


Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 904mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2680IU | Vitamin C: 27.6mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 3.3mg