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Crockpot Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

The filling for these mouthwatering BBQ Shredded Chicken Sandwiches simmers all day long in the slow cooker, rewarding you with tender, juicy meat perfect for dinner! Top your chicken with melted cheese, caramelized onions, and cilantro for a top-tier sandwich you won’t forget anytime soon!

This recipe came about when I was looking for a dinner I could make in the crock pot. I LOVE that thing, don’t you? Our son had a track meet in the afternoon, so there was no telling when we’d be home. I wanted a meal that would be finished when we walked in the door and one that would also be ready whenever those who hadn’t gone to the track meet were ready to eat.

I found this chicken recipe and put my own spin on it. The major change is that I decided to go with root beer instead of regular beer because I love the sweetness the soda brings to the meat. 


Recipe Notes

You DEFINITELY need to add the cheese, caramelized onions, and cilantro to these BBQ chicken sandwiches. The chicken is delicious on its own, but please believe me when I say that the toppings take this sandwich over the top!

This recipe makes enough onion topping for about five sandwiches, so you may want to double or triple it if you really like caramelized onions or need a big batch to feed a large crowd. I like my onions really quite brown, close to burnt, but it’s a matter of personal preference, so keep an eye on them. They’ll be done when you decide they are.

Ingredients for Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

This ingredient list includes all the seasonings as well as the toppings you need to make these tasty sandwiches!

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 table paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

12 ounces chili sauce

16 oz. Root Beer

18 oz. Barbecue sauce

8 sandwich rolls or hamburger buns

2 cups shredded cheddar / Monetary Jack cheese divided

caramelized onions (see below)

fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish if desired

Caramelized Onions

2 tablespoons butter

2 large onions, sliced and separated into rings

2 cloves garlic, minced

How to make Slow Cooker Root Beer Chicken

This easy crockpot recipe for shredded chicken cooks low and slow in the slow cooker all day, making it perfect for tailgate parties during football season or for parties and potlucks!

Caramelize the Onions

First, melt butter over medium-high heat in a medium skillet. Add the sliced onions and minced garlic.

Saute the onions until translucent. Then reduce to low heat, cover, and cook for up to 30 minutes or until desired doneness. Stir occasionally to keep the onions from burning.

Note: You can use any type of onion for caramelizing. Red onions, yellow onions, and Vidalia onions all work, but have slightly different flavors.

Shredded Chicken

First, pour the root beer into the slow cooker bowl. Add barbecue sauce and chili sauce, then mix well.

In a small bowl, combine onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Spread the seasoning mix generously on each boneless chicken breast and place them in the crockpot.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Then remove the chicken and shred it with two forks (or use my shredding tip below!)

Return the chicken to the crock pot and mix it thoroughly with the barbecue sauce. Cook the root beer chicken for another 15-30 minutes so the chicken can absorb the sauce.

Serve the shredded chicken on a toasty bun or roll. Cover the chicken with about ¼ cup of cheese, then add the caramelized onions and fresh cilantro or parsley. Enjoy!

How to Shred Chicken using a Stand Mixer

If you have a stand mixer, it’s easy to shred chicken with it! Place the warm, cooked chicken in the bowl and fit it with the paddle attachment. Add a small amount of cooking liquid, then turn the mixer on low. The chicken will shred easily! Just be careful not to over-shred, as it will pulverize the chicken if the speed is too high or you shred it for too long.

What should I serve with Root Beer Shredded Chicken Sandwiches?

This root beer chicken goes well with your favorite potato chips and a side salad.

Serve it with potato salad: I love this Loaded Red Potato Salad and this Copycat Chick-fil-A Potato Salad!

Pair it with a cup of soup, like this Easy Instant Pot Tomato Basil Soup or Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.

How much Shredded Chicken do I need per person for sandwiches?

Plan on about 1/4-1/3 pound of shredded root beer chicken per sandwich. Of course, people may pile on more, but with the extra toppings, you don’t need much more than that.

How many sandwiches will this recipe for Root Beer Chicken make?

Each pound of chicken breast will serve 2-3 people, so this recipe will serve 6-9 people.

How do you store leftover Shredded Chicken?

Once the chicken has cooled completely, store it in an airtight container or freezer bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Don’t drain the sauce- you’ll want it to help keep the chicken moist and flavorful. I think the sandwiches taste even better the next day!

Can you freeze Root Beer Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken?

For longer storage, you can freeze shredded root beer chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, and then reheat it on the stovetop in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until warm throughout.

More Ways to Use Shredded Chicken

This Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip uses shredded chicken. You can use canned chicken breast, or you can use leftover pre-cooked chicken, or even rotisserie chicken!

This easy Buffalo Chicken Cheese Ball appetizer with three different kinds of cheese, shredded chicken, and Buffalo sauce will delight all the senses at your next Game Day, tailgate party, or family reunion! Serve it with Ritz crackers, fresh veggies, pita chips, and more!

Another way to make Slow Cooker Chicken Sandwiches is with barbecue shredded chicken served on a Kaiser roll with melted cheese, coleslaw, and onion strings! 

Miso Chicken Salad is an easy and flavorful option for your standard chicken salad. Made with shredded chicken, miso, fresh ginger, mayo, and other simple ingredients, it might just become your new favorite.

Do you Love Crockpot Meals?

If you’re looking for more easy meals to make in the slow cooker, try one of these next time:

Crockpot Pork Ragu

Crockpot Spare Ribs

Crockpot Pot Roast

Crockpot Taco Chicken

Slow Cooker Chili Beer Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Carne Asada Taco Boats

Slow Cooker Beef Chili Verde

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Which one is going on your menu board this week?

I used to rate everything I baked on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the best and these Crockpot BBQ Root Beer Shredded Chicken Sandwiches earned 4 rolling pins! Mr. 365 absolutely LOVED them. So did the rest of the family.



Keep an eye out for more of my easy recipes each week!


Crockpot BBQ Root Beer Chicken

Use the crockpot to make these mouthwatering BBQ Shredded Chicken Sandwiches for a perfect and easy dinner! Top them with melted cheese, caramelized onions, and cilantro to make them even more tasty.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
Prep Time 15 minutes minutes
Cook Time 6 hours hours 30 minutes minutes
Total Time 6 hours hours 45 minutes minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 697kcal
Author Lynne Feifer


3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts1 tablespoon onion powder1 table paprika1 teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning¾ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon pepper12 ounces chili sauce16 ounces Root Beer18 ounces Barbecue sauce8 sandwich rolls2 cups shredded cheddar / Monetary Jack cheese dividedcaramelized onions recipe belowfresh parsley or cilantro for garnish if desired

Caramelized onions

2 tablespoons butter2 large onions sliced and separated into rings2 cloves garlic minced


Caramelized onions

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. 
Saute until translucent. Reduce heat to low, and cover and cook for up to 30 minutes, or until desired doneness. Stir occasionally. 

Shredded Chicken

Pour the root beer into the crockpot. Add barbecue and chili sauces, and mix well.
In a small bowl, combine onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Spread seasoning mix generously on each chicken breast and place in crockpot.
Cook on low for 6 hours, remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Return chicken to crockpot. Mix it thoroughly with the barbecue sauce, and cook for another 15-30 minutes until sauce is more absorbed. 
Divide chicken among rolls, cover with about 1/4 cup of cheese, add caramelized onions, and sprinkle with fresh parsley. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 697kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 2170mg | Potassium: 1114mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 1293IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 314mg | Iron: 4mg

This post was originally published April 25, 2012. It has been updated in format and with photos on February 21, 2024.

The post Crockpot Shredded Chicken Sandwiches appeared first on 365 Days of Baking.

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