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Chipotle Pulled Chicken

At our house, low-and-slow recipes have to have kid and husband appeal, plus good marks for nutrition. This chipotle chicken wins in both categories. Use leftovers for zippy barbecue pizzas or burritos. —Tamra Parker, Manlius, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 3 hours
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce plus 1 teaspoon sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 sesame seed hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • Pickle slices, optional


  • In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 14 ingredients; add chicken. Cook, covered, on low 3-4 hours or until chicken is tender (a thermometer should read at least 165°).
  • Remove chicken from slow cooker. Shred with 2 forks; return to slow cooker. Using tongs, place chicken mixture on bun bottoms and if desired, top with pickle slices. Replace tops.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled meat mixture and sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition Facts
1 sandwich: 298 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 1031mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 1g fiber), 24g protein.

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  • Krink1
    Dec 1, 2017

    Haven’t made it yet but do you think pork would work instead of chicken!

  • hbaseley
    Aug 5, 2017

    Loved this! Great alternative to pulled pork. Will make again, thank you for sharing!

  • ms11145
    Sep 28, 2016

    I liked the simplicity of this recipe. I omitted the chipolte sauce because it would be too spicy for family; although I would love it. I kept tasting the sauce. I finally added mustard and it seemed to bring the flavors together.

  • Debglass11
    Sep 9, 2016

    Great slow cooker recipe! The chicken was tender and flavorful. We served it on sesame buns with homemade slaw on the top. As I was making the sauce, I realized I was short on ketchup, so I used one cup of ketchup and one cup of barbecue sauce and omitted the molasses and red pepper flakes, since the chipotle gave it enough heat for us. This is a perfect dinner option, especially on a hot summer day, and especially when you need something that is quick and no fuss! Delicious!

  • PageRD
    Aug 21, 2016

    This recipe couldn't be any easier and the flavors just POP! I halved the recipe since I was making it for two. Every bite was delicious!

  • aug2295
    Jul 4, 2016

    Great flavor with plenty of heat. I substituted honey for the molasses.

  • MrsOwens
    Jan 25, 2016

    Great recipe to toss in the crock pot in the morning and have it ready for dinner. Couldn't be simpler or tastier!

  • Can-d-ray
    Sep 5, 2015

    Had to lower the sodium, which was easy using no sodium ketchup and less soy sauce, tastes great!!

  • Angel182009
    Aug 20, 2015

    This has great flavor BUT I didn't realize I didn't have any ketchup!! So I used barbecue sauce instead and left out the salt, soy sauce, and molasses. I used honey in place of molasses. The only problem I had was the sauce got a bit runny but that could have been to the fact I didn't use ketchup.

  • mona4eyes
    Aug 19, 2015

    This was absolutely delicious! Followed the recipe exactly as written with no tweaks or changes.