american/ Chicken Recipes/ Dinner/ meat/ Party

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich

7 July 2021 | Last Updated: 11 July 2021 By Aleksandra

This bbq pulled chicken sandwich is so delicious, quick, and easy to make. It’s filled with tender chunks of well-spiced chicken breast, smothered in honey bbq sauce. Topped with crunchy coleslaw and pickles makes an ultimate summer sandwich! The pulled chicken is made quickly on the stovetop so you can enjoy this sandwich right after the cravings hit!

If you love all things bbq – try my bbq chicken quesadillas with coleslaw!

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich on a piece of parchment paper on a white wooden board.

Ingredients

To make this amazing sandwich you will need:

  • bbq pulled chicken
  • coleslaw
  • brioche burger buns (you can use my braided brioche recipe and shape the dough into balls to make burgers! reduce the sugar amount and omit the orange zest and cranberries)
  • pickles.
Ingredients for BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich.

How to make it step by step

Make the coleslaw

For the coleslaw, you will need:

  • cabbage and carrot – you can shred the cabbage (you can use white and red cabbage for a nicer presentation) and carrot yourself or use a 14.oz (400g) bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix
  • mayo
  • Greek yogurt – it makes the dressing a little bit lighter without sacrificing the flavor! you can use mayo instead, you can also use regular yogurt for your dressing will be thinner, Greek yogurt is very thick
  • apple cider vinegar – you can use white wine vinegar or rice vinegar instead
  • Dijon mustard – you can omit it or use another type of mustard, honey mustard would also be great
  • honey – for sweetness, you can use sugar instead
Labeled ingredients for a coleslaw.

How to make it step by step:

Shredded cabbage and carrot on a chopping board. Coleslaw dressing in a white bowl.

STEP 1: Cut the cabbage very thinly, peel the carrot and grate it on the small holes of a box grater.

STEP 2: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, whisk until combined.

Coleslaw dressing is being poured over coleslaw and carrots in a bowl. Coleslaw in a white bowl.

STEP 3: Add the dressing to the cabbage.

STEP 4: Toss until evenly coated, season with salt and pepper to taste. Taste the coleslaw and adjust its sweetness and sourness (if it’s not right) by adding more honey or more vinegar.

Make the bbq pulled chicken

Ingredients:

The two main ingredients are chicken and bbq sauce, so if you’re short on time you can use just that. You may need to adjust the spice levels or even omit the spices depending on the bbq sauce that you’re using. They vary significantly in flavor! I used a honey bbq sauce that was rather sweet and mild-flavored.

  • Chicken breasts – you can also use thighs but they cook a little bit longer.
  • BBQ sauce – I used honey bbq sauce but just use your favorite one.
  • Spices – I used chili powder, onion and garlic powder, brown sugar. If you’re not in the US, please note that the chili powder is not pure ground chili but a spice mix that contains ground chili among other spices. This pulled chicken comes a little bit spicy so if you want it milder, add less chili powder or omit it. If you’re using a homemade bbq sauce or a store-bough bbq sauce that is already well spiced you don’t need to use these spices. You can just simply cook the chicken in bbq sauce and water and until done, even without searing.
  • Apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce add more flavor and more acidity to usually rather sweet sauce. If your bbq sauce is already very tangy you can omit them.
Labeled ingredients for bbq pulled chicken.

How to make it step by step:

Chicken breasts with spices on a plate. Seared chicken breasts in a pan.

STEP 5: Pound the chicken breasts slightly in their thickest part. Mix the sugar with spices and rub the chicken with the mix on all sides, season with salt and pepper.

STEP 6: Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Sear the chicken on both sides until browned – it doesn’t have to be cooked through at this point.

Cooked bbq chicken breasts in a pan. Chicken breast in a pan is being shredded with two forks.

STEP 7: Add the bbq sauce, water, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the chicken over low heat until cooked through. Don’t overcook the chicken! The cooking time can be 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. You can always check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer (insert it into the thickest part of the meat, the temperature should be 165°F/74°C) or just cut the breast in half in its thickest part to see if the meat is white and not pink).

STEP 8: Shred the meat into bite-sized pieces using two forks. Toss with the sauce until evenly coated.

A close up photo of bbq pulled chicken in a pan.

Just look at that! Yum!

Assemble your sandwich

A collage of 3 photos showing assembling steps of bbq pulled chicken sandwich.

STEP 9: Heat some butter in a pan. Cut the buns in half and toast them in the pan until golden in color.

STEP 10: Put some pulled chicken over the bun.

STEP 11: Top with coleslaw and pickles. Cover with the second half of the bun.

Enjoy!

Storage

This sandwich can be easily made ahead!

  • You can keep bbq pulled pork in the fridge for 3-4 days. Simply reheat in a pot.
  • Coleslaw will also be good for up to 2-3 days but it will be less crunchy.
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich on a piece of parchment paper on a white wooden board. Pickles in the background.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Delicious bbq pulled chicken sandwich with coleslaw and pickles.
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Bbq pulled chicken sandwich on a piece of parchment paper on a wooden board.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 7 sandwiches
Calories 310kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the pulled chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons frying oil
  • 4 chicken breasts 2 lbs (900g)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup honey bbq sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the coleslaw:

  • 1 14 oz 400g bag coleslaw mix or 1/2 small cabbage + 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 cup mayo 55g
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt 65g
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

additionally:

  • 7 brioche burger buns
  • pickles

Instructions

Make the coleslaw:

  • Cut the cabbage very thinly, peel the carrot and grate it on the small holes of a box grater. Add to a large bowl.
  • Combine all the dressing ingredients (mayo, Greek yogurt, vinegar, honey, mustard) in a medium bowl, whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the dressing to the cabbage and toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper. Add more honey and vinegar if necessary.

Make the bbq pulled chicken:

  • Pound the chicken breasts slightly in their thickest part.
  • Mix the spices in a small bowl (sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder) and rub the chicken with the mix on all sides. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When hot, add the chicken, sear it on both sides until browned. It doesn’t have to be cooked through at this point.
  • Add the bbq sauce, water, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Turn the breasts to coat them in the sauce.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook the chicken over low heat for 5-10 minutes or until cooked through. You can check if the chicken is done by measuring its temperature in the thickest part of the breast with an instant-read thermometer – it should be 165°F (74°C). You can also just cut the meat in its thickest part to check its color – it should be white and not pink.
  • When the chicken is ready, take the pan off the heat and shred the meat using two forks into bite-sized pieces. Toss the pulled chicken with the sauce until evenly coated.

Assemble your sandwich:

  • Heat some butter in a pan. Cut the buns in half and toast them in the pan until golden in color.
  • Put some pulled chicken over the bun, top with coleslaw and pickles. Cover with the second half of the bun.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • The two main ingredients are chicken and bbq sauce, so if you’re short on time you can use just that. You may need to adjust the spice levels or even omit the spices depending on the bbq sauce that you’re using. They vary significantly in flavor! I used a honey bbq sauce that was rather sweet and mild-flavored. If you’re using a homemade bbq sauce or a store-bought bbq sauce that is already well-spiced you don’t need to use these spices. You can just simply cook the chicken in bbq sauce and water and until done, even without searing.
  • Apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce add more flavor and more acidity to usually rather sweet sauce. If your bbq sauce is already very tangy you can omit them.
  • If you’re not in the US, please note that the chili powder is not pure ground chili but a spice mix that contains ground chili among other spices.
  • This pulled chicken comes a little bit spicy so if you want it milder, add less chili powder or omit it.
  • Storage: You can keep bbq pulled pork in the fridge for 3-4 days. Simply reheat in a pot. Coleslaw will also be good for up to 2-3 days but it will be less crunchy.
  • You will have some coleslaw left. The amount of chicken is enough for 6-7 sandwiches and the amount of coleslaw for 10-11.
  • Calories = 1 sandwich (1/7 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq pulled chicken on the stovetop, bbq pulled chicken sandwich

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