Shredded BBQ Chicken

5 from 1 vote
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Enjoy this flavorful Shredded BBQ Chicken with my homemade BBQ sauce. This summer staple is easy enough for busy weeknights while being a guaranteed hit for cookouts. Serve it as a sandwich, make it into a wrap, or serve it on its own!

An image of shredded BBQ chicken in a serving plate.
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Why Make Shredded BBQ Chicken

The best thing about this shredded BBQ chicken is that it’s soft, juicy, and fall-apart tender, just like my BBQ chicken sliders. It’s super easy to make and perfect for both simple meals and potlucks.

  • Quick and easy. This simple recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make, perfect for busy days when you still want to serve something everyone will love.
  • Use it for almost anything. The options are endless when serving this shredded chicken. Serve it as a chicken sandwich, wrap, taco, on pizza or flatbread, or on its own with a side of bread or mashed potatoes.
  • Make ahead and freezer-friendly. You can use this recipe for meal prep. Make it in advance and freeze it until you’re ready to serve it.

Ingredient Notes

An overhead image of the ingredients of shredded BBQ chicken.

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card towards the bottom of this post. 

  • Chicken breasts. Either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs will work. Using chicken thighs will result in a juicier texture, and you’ll need less BBQ sauce.
  • Butter. Use unsalted butter so you’ll have more control over the salt.
  • Olive oil. For cooking the chicken.
  • Seasonings. I used garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Honey BBQ sauce. You’ll need to double my homemade honey barbecue sauce for this recipe. You can also use your favorite BBQ sauce.

Steps To Make BBQ Shredded Chicken

An overhead image of the process of cooking shredded BBQ chicken.

Step One. Add the oil to a large skillet. Once the oil is hot and shimmers in the pan, carefully add the seasoned chicken to the skillet. Cook the breasts for about 7-10 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.

Step Two. Once cool enough to handle, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred the chicken. You’ll want to use two forks or pop the chicken directly into a stand mixer and let the paddle attachment shred it. It’s quick and easy.

Step Three. In the same skillet with the chicken remnants, add the butter. While it’s melting, transfer the pulled chicken back into the skillet with the butter.

Step Four. Add in the BBQ Sauce and mix well. Add more sauce if needed. Serve immediately and enjoy!

What to Serve with this BBQ Chicken Recipe

Serve this shredded BBQ chicken on sandwich buns with coleslaw, over rice, in tacos, on pizza, as chicken nachos, or as a topping for baked potatoes. It also pairs well with sides like jalapeno cornbread, spicy mac and cheese, baked beans, or a simple mixed green salad.

Recipe Tips

  • Use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165ºF to ensure the chicken is cooked through.
  • If shredding with forks, shred the chicken while it’s still warm but not too hot to handle. Warm chicken shreds are easy to shred.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

Store leftover shredded barbecue chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little extra BBQ sauce if needed to keep it moist.

Shredded chicken freezes well. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this recipe in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?

Yes, you can. When using a slow cooker, cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. To use an Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for about 10-12 minutes with a quick release. Shred the chicken and mix with BBQ sauce after cooking.

How do I prevent the chicken from drying out?

To avoid overcooking the chicken, use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165ºF. Let the chicken rest after cooking to retain its juices. Using chicken thighs instead of breasts can also help, as they tend to stay moist.

Other delicious chicken recipes to Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

A close up image of shredded BBQ chicken in a skillet.
5 from 1 vote

Shredded Chicken BBQ

Make this flavorful shredded BBQ chicken with honey BBQ sauce. Perfect for sandwiches, salads, and wraps. This fall-apart tender dish is a summer staple!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • 1 large skillet

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (or both!)
  • cups Honey BBQ Sauce, doubled for this recipe
  • tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil, for cooking the chicken
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, to thin the sauce

Instructions 

  • Mix the seasonings.
  • Cut the chicken breasts in half for a quicker cook. Rub the seasoning all over the chicken.
  • Add the oil to a large skillet. Once the oil is hot and shimmers in the pan, carefully add the seasoned chicken to the skillet.
  • Work in batches if needed, to avoid overcrowding the pan (which prevents proper cooking). Cook the breasts for about 7-10 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165ºF
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes.
  • Once cool enough to handle, carefully shred the chicken. You can shred by using 2 forks OR pop the chicken directly into a stand mixer and let the paddle attachment shred it. It’s quick and easy.
  • In the same skillet with the chicken remnants, add the butter. While it’s melting, transfer the pulled chicken back into the skillet with the butter.
  • Add in the BBQ Sauce. Mix well! Add more sauce if needed. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

    • Double my homemade honey BBQ sauce for this recipe
    • Use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165ºF to ensure the chicken is cooked through.
    • If shredding with a fork, shred the chicken while it’s still warm but not too hot to handle. Warm chicken shreds more easily.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5 cup of shredded BBQ chicken | Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 1.52mg | Potassium: 1.132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 538IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 538
Keyword: shredded bbq chicken
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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    So tasty we loved the homemade sauce I’ll be making that every time now!