Shredded BBQ Chicken Burgers

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Shredded BBQ Chicken Burgers. My go-to foolproof weeknight meal!

Shredded BBQ Chicken Burgers from (@whatsgabycookin)

I know it’s not technically slow cooker season, but whatever. There are no rules anymore. These Shredded BBQ Chicken Burgers work for any time of the year in my book. And slow cooker recipes are one of the top requests here on WGC so I’m breaking it out today for this recipe!

These Shredded BBQ Chicken Burgers are looking pretty delicious from where I sit. I make this at least a few times a month! Mostly because it’s delicious, but also because Thomas always has something to have for lunch if this is in the fridge. It’s also easy to throw a spoonful of this on a brioche burger bun, slather on some guacamole and some shredded cheese and call it dinner. Or use the chicken portion of this recipe and slap it into a grilled cheese. Or stuff it into some enchiladas. You can’t go wrong. I speak from experience. You could have a beer alongside of it too, but I’d rather skip the beer and go for seconds on the shredded bbq chicken. Why drink my calories when I can eat them!

And if you can’t get your hands on all the ingredients to make the sauce from scratch, you can use 2-3 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce and you’ll still be a few hours away from an incredible meal.

Stuck in a dinner rut? Looking for new delicious dinner ideas?  Check out my roundup of 50+ easy dinner ideas here.

Shredded BBQ Chicken Burgers

4.8 from 10 votes
The easiest Shredded BBQ Chicken Burgers that you can make in the slow cooker!!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 1 medium onion finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 1 recipe Guacamole
  • 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese


  • In your slow cooker, combine the onion, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, paprika, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the chicken thighs and make sure they are all evenly spread out and coated with the sauce ingredients.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn to high heat for the Shredded BBQ Chicken to be done in 4-5 hours, and low for Shredded BBQ Chicken to be done in 7-8 hours.
  • Once the timer is up, remove the lid and using 2 forks, shred the chicken while still in the crock pot. Turn the crock pot to warm and serve the Shredded BBQ Chicken on top of burger buns with a heaping spoonful of guacamole and shredded colby jack cheese.


Alternatively – you could do this in the instant pot! Same directions but high pressure for 20 minutes. Leave it alone for 10 minutes and then release pressure and shred with forks as needed.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 2788mg | Potassium: 911mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 2558IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 377mg | Iron: 5mg


  1. Thank you so much for this recipe! We love the Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken recipe and this sounds as if it’s a delicious variant. Also, as a relatively new Crockpot user, I’m always grateful for new recipes to make with it.

  2. Why don’t I do something like this more often? These burgers looks absolutely perfect! Thanks for the okay to just leave the crock pot on the counter!

  3. Hi Gaby! Reading this at 9 am and drooling! I don’t have a slow cooker (no plans and no room). Howe would you suggest converting this to either a stovetop or oven?

    1. Hi Dana! You could do this in a large heavy bottom pot – and do it over the stove top. Just keep it on low and slow!!

  4. good lord, that looks delicious!! would the spices work well with a pork roast? i’m going to attempt making shredded pork for the first time, and have been hunting for a fantastic recipe (which this definitely looks like!!)

    1. I buy boneless skinless thighs!! I should have clarifies – sorry! So take the skin off before cooking 🙂

  5. Love my crockpot and delighted to find this recipe! We prefer chicken breasts. Use half the # of thighs? Any other recipe modifications needed?

  6. Just made this tonight. It was so delicious! My husband and I loved the guac on top of the chicken. So darn tasty. Just an FYI: I used 10 chicken thighs and set the crock pot on high for 6hrs. It was done in 4hrs.

  7. Made these last night and OMG they were so good and a huge hit with everyone. Can’t believe how easy it was to make. Thx, Gaby!

    1. yes to boneless! I haven’t tested it oven or stove top so please let me know if you try it!

  8. I made this tonight, was absolutely delicious. I made it in my pressure cooker and the sauce cake out really thin. Any tips for keeping that from happening?

    1. that happens in the pressure cooker because it doesn’t thicken up and evaporate! If you can simmer for a few minutes at the end with the lid open, that will absolutely help

  9. Would make a good sub when you can’t have pork. Honest to goodness, though, my eyes hurt from trying to read the font on this page. Am I the only one with this problem? It looks all washed out.

  10. Approximately how much chicken by weight would you recommend? 8-10 thighs you say is equivalent to 3 breast in a comment below but the size of chicken pieces varies wildly so I think including the weight would be helpful. Thanks!

  11. I only have chicken breasts/tenders , would this also work? Thighs are more flavorful I know BUT this is what I have on hand right now. I really want to try this !

    1. yup! absolutely! might not cook for as long, so once its shreddable, shred it up and eat!

  12. I hate chicken thighs, I know I should live them but I don’t, would chicken breast be suitable? Any adaptations I need to make?

    1. yes! you could add some BBQ sauce to a shredded rotisserie chicken and then you’re golden!

  13. Made this tonight using the slow cook function on my instant pot! Had to just reduce the sauce some at the end but this was SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS!! Even my very picky 5 year old loved it. Will absolutely make this again and again.

  14. 5 stars
    I made this last night and lets just say…YUM! Thank you so much for this haha my family loved it.

  15. 5 stars
    So… I didn’t have a whole bunch of the ingredients, but this was the bomb. I didn’t have ketchup (used canned tomatoes, extra vinegar, some brown sugar and some garlic and onion powder), and I used 2 chicken breasts and 4 thighs (these shredded better). I did 5 hours on the high slow cook function on the instant pot. I had to simmer the sauce a bit for it to thicken, but that’s on me for messing with the recipe. I didn’t have Avos, so went for slaw instead, and I didn’t have cheese. I hate reviews that don’t actually follow the recipe, but I’m confident this would only be better (and easier) as instructed. And if you don’t have some of the ingredients, it will still probably be delish.

  16. 5 stars
    I’ve been making BBQ chicken sandwiches for years using breasts – switching to thighs and Gaby’s sauce is a definite game changer. No need to try any other combination for the remainder of my days cuz this is THE best! Thanks, Gaby!!

  17. i’ve made this before and it was delicious, as are all gaby’s recipes. i would like to make it for a halloween party (about 20 guests) can this recipe be doubled?

  18. Could you do this in a Le Creuset and put in the oven? If so suggestions for timing? I saw this in your GH and G magazine and really want to make for the family. Thanks!!

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