BBQ Chicken Sliders

  • Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Slow cooker
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Gluten Free


With 3 simple steps, you’ll have finger-licking good Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sliders. The perfectly seasoned, shredded chicken breasts are served on mini buns and topped with BBQ Sauce to make an easy weeknight meal or a scrumptious meal for groups of people. Be sure to double and freeze the recipe to save your future self time!


  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional; do not use if using a spicy BBQ sauce)
  • About 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx. 4 medium chicken breasts)
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce (homemade or store-bought), plus more for serving
  • 8 slider buns or wheat rolls, sliced in half


Make It Now:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Season the chicken breasts on all sides with this rub. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  2. Cook using one of these methods until the chicken is done (reaches an internal temperature of 165°F or no longer has any pink inside):
    1. Slow Cooker: Place the seasoned chicken in the crockpot and top evenly with 1 cup of BBQ sauce (turn the chicken to coat). Cover and cook on LOW for 2 ½ – 3 hours.
    2. Instant Pot: Add 1 cup of water or chicken broth and the steamer rack in the bottom of the pot. Put the seasoned chicken breasts in a single layer on the rack and top evenly with 1 cup of BBQ sauce (turn half way through so each side gets coated). Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes and quick release the remaining pressure. (If the chicken isn’t done, pressure cook for 1 more minute.)
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5-10 minutes. Use two forks to shred it. (If making in the Instant Pot, discard the liquid and remove the rack in the Instant Pot.) Return the shredded chicken to the cooker to keep warm and stir in the remaining ½ cup BBQ sauce.
  4. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to add the shredded chicken to slider buns. Top with more BBQ sauce, if desired.

Freeze For Later: Label a gallon-sized freezer bag. Follow Step 1. Add the seasoned chicken and 1 cup of BBQ sauce to the bag. Seal, squish around to distribute the sauce, squeeze out any excess air, and freeze alongside the buns (and extra sauce in a small bag, if desired). (Note: If you want to cook this from frozen in the Instant Pot, place the bag in a round container in the freezer until frozen and then remove. Try not to stack the chicken, but place it in one flat layer.)

Prepare From Frozen: Two options for cooking:

  1. Thawed in either cooker: Thaw completely and follow Steps 2-4.
  2. From frozen in the Instant Pot: Do not thaw. Place the frozen meal in the Instant Pot with 1 cup of chicken broth. Lock and seal the lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Follow Steps 3-4.


Gluten Free Option: Use gluten free buns.