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A Barbecue Shredded Chicken Recipe from Leftover Chicken

shredded chicken
Slow Cooker Barbecue Shredded Chicken

When a toddler likes a food you prepared, you know it’s good. On my recent visit to my daughter’s, I was in the middle of a slow cooker recipe challenge for my blog. Out of all of the recipes I came up with, the barbecue shredded chicken is one of the best. But it didn’t start out that way.

One day I cooked chicken breasts and macaroni and cheese in my daughter’s nice big KitchenAid 7-qt. slow cooker. The chicken turned out wonderful, but the mac & cheese was not so great. It tasted good but was too soft. We ate a couple of the chicken breasts and a little of the pasta. The chicken leftovers went in the frig. The pasta, which turned into mush after sitting awhile, was discarded.

The leftover chicken made a chicken salad, and the rest was shredded for this barbecue recipe.

Shredded Barbecue for Sandwiches and Baked Potato Topping

The Barbecue Shredded Chicken was ready to eat in two hours, although I turned it on the Buffet setting until dinner. For lunch, I had a barbecue chicken sandwich on toasted bread – delicious! Dinner was twice-baked potatoes with butter, cheese, and topped with the shredded chicken.

You know how toddlers can be finicky eaters. My three-year-old granddaughter hasn’t wanted to eat chicken or potatoes lately. She said she didn’t want any. Instead, she wanted toast with peanut butter and jelly. Mom and Dad won the battle. Little grand decided chicken didn’t sound so bad after all. She liked it so much that she had two helpings. I’d say the barbecue chicken was a success.

Adaptable for an All-Day Recipe

If you want to make this for a weekday and have it ready when you come home from work, it’s adaptable. Instead of using precooked chicken, defrost chicken from the freezer a day ahead. Season it the night before it’s to be put in the slow cooker. Then in the morning before you leave for work, place the chicken, barbecue sauce, and Zesty Italian dressing in the slow cooker, and turn it on low. When you get home, shred the chicken.

Take a moment to read the shredded chicken recipe from thetwobiteclub.com. This one is cooked for six hours, but you could cook it for longer on low all day.

I love the flavor of the Zesty Italian Dressing by Kraft. It makes a wonderful marinade for chicken whether in the slow cooker or baked. I’ve baked chicken just with the Zesty Italian dressing and no barbecue sauce, too, and it’s good as well. Barbecue chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks are easy to do in the slow cooker. Got a favorite barbecue chicken recipe that’s easy and quick to make? Share in the comment section.

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  1. Just to share … macaroni and cheese in the box, no matter the brand, is made thinly and designed to cook under 7 minutes. If you don’t use a dense pasta it will turn to mush very fast. I always cook my pastas separately to avoid that catastrophe.

    1. Author

      True. I wanted to see, however, how it could be made in the slow cooker. Finally, I figured it out. The last two times I made it, it was perfect. So it can be done.

  2. I love BBQ chicken sandwiches. I usually start with whole, raw chicken pieces, though. I imagine that by using Italian dressing as the cooking liquid, this dish gas a lot of flavor. Have you ever just used the Italian dressing, without the barbecue sauce, to cook chicken?

    1. Sorry, I meant to ask if you had any other dressings to cook the chicken. Obviously, you’ve used Italian.

    2. Author

      Yes, I have used just the Italian dressing though not in the crockpot.

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