Carolina Style Crockpot BBQ Pulled Chicken

Several years ago, business took me to North and South Carolina quite frequently.  As in about once or twice a month.  And that usually meant a stop for Carolina BBQ somewhere.  It didn’t really matter where, because it’s all so good.  Tangy and vinegary and not too sweet.

But.  Did you catch the part about frequently?  Once or twice a month?  In my experience I can indulge with “vacation food” when splurging once or twice a year, but every month?  Yikes, it was most certainly hurting my diet.

I don’t get to the Carolinas much anymore, but late summer weather has me hankering for some BBQ and I’m adapting a few things to better fit our lifestyle and still get the flavors I’m looking for. 

And, yes, I know that ended in a preposition.  And I’m leaving it.


Arizona has been simply lovely this summer, but heating up the kitchen or spending a lot of time out grilling still doesn’t seem that appealing.  The crockpot probably gets used more in my house than anyone I know.  Preparing everything in the morning when I still have a wee bit of energy left and having dinner ready early is perfect for us.

Our crockpot is really big for making two small chicken breasts, but the thought of getting a smaller one and putting one more appliance in my kitchen is too much to bear.

Reduce the Sugar

Store-bought sauces are notoriously high in sugar and other mysterious ingredients.  This recipe uses about ½ cup of tomato sauce and just one small knob of brown sugar.  Less than a tablespoon.  It’s so easy to make my own sauces and dressings and I like them better.

But.  If you’re really not up to opening a can of sauce and a little vinegar, just pour on that bottled sauce. 

Kick it Up a Notch

I added a tiny sprinkling of crushed red pepper and chili powder.  Might as well making things interesting, right?  My mouth is so addicted to hot and spicy.

Upgrade Your Buns

Our Safeway bakery is the best.  I’m always finding yummy buns to try out and I’m never disappointed.  Luckily I don’t worry about a low-carb diet!

There are really so many options that would be perfect – from a crunchy ciabatta roll to a tortilla wrap to a carb-free lettuce wrap.

Sesame Kaiser rolls are the choice for this meal.

Add Some Crunch

It’s no secret potato chips are my preferred method of crunch, but these sandwiches lend themselves well to healthier choices such as shredded cabbage and carrots or pickles. Homemade coleslaw with vinegar dressing is one of my favorites.

Well, why choose when I can have them all?

Luckily I don’t worry about a low-sodium diet!

Invite a Friend

This recipe is so adaptable.  Sandwiches for four of four twenty.  Enough for just the family, but completely respectable for company.

Breasts or boneless thighs.  Spicy or not so spicy.  Use what’s in the pantry.  Success in the kitchen for me means hard and fast rules are nowhere in sight.

This is what I did.

Carolina Style Crockpot BBQ Pulled Chicken

  • Two chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ – 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Sprinkle to taste of:
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Cumin
    • Garlic Powder
    • Chili Powder
    • Paprika
    • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Place all ingredients in crockpot on low and cook for 4-6 hours or until chicken is done.  Shred with two forks.

Serve on buns with topping of your choice.

This simple recipe and post was so much fun putting together.  Thank you for coming along, as always.

On another note, many loved ones are still struggling and I am still faithfully praying.  As I pray for each one reading this.

Have a wonderful weekend and maybe a little BBQ too.

1 Comment

  1. Hi DFCorine,
    Would you please define for the purposes of this recipe and your other ingredient portions exactly what you mean 2 chicken breasts. What size were they? The chicken breasts I recently purchased from Safeway fresh meat counter were the size of small footballs! Both recipes look delish and easy. I have a really hard time cooking for just two people. I usually cook for an army and freeze what I can. However, my freezers are full! All three of them!

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