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Quick and easy pulled chicken recipe

Quick and easy pulled chicken recipe

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This quick and easy version of pulled chicken means you can make it at the last minute and there's no need for a slow cooker. Serve in tortillas or taco shells, with lettuce, tomatoes, grated cheese and other toppings.

76 people made this

IngredientsServes: 3

  • 450g skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch chilli powder
  • 4 tablespoons tomato passata or sieved tomatoes

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Place chicken breasts into a saucepan and pour in enough water to cover. Place over medium heat; bring to the boil and simmer until chicken is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken breasts to a bowl; allow to cool and shred the chicken with 2 forks.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a small non-stick saucepan over medium heat; add onion and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Mix in the shredded chicken, cumin, chilli powder and tomato passata; bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is hot and the flavours have blended, about 2 or 3 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(95)

Reviews in English (70)

by Sarah Jo

I doubled this recipe. I had half of an onion to use, I just chopped it up and threw that in instead of measuring out two tablespoons. I also added four cloves of fresh minced garlic and was a little more liberal with the spices as well. Everyone who ate the meat (I did not have any and neither did my Aunt who does not eat meat) said that it was very good. Out of a doubled recipe, there's enough for one big lunch for my husband.-06 Jun 2012

by cam

This is an easy recipe to put together, I used soft and hard tacos. I thought it needed more seasoning. I added garlic powder and 1tblsp. of chile powder, This is probably a preference thing, because I love extra spicy. Loved the idea of using chicken. Thay were very good and I will make these often. You have to give them a try!Thaks for this recipe, Baker Bee, Good one.-09 Mar 2012

by Jillian

Definitely easy and not to mention very tasty! I love beef tacos, but chicken is a great alternative. Plus this recipe is perfect for times when you want something simple and quick to put together. I cooked my onion in olive oil vs. vegetable oil and since I had "Seasoning for Tacos" from this site already made I used a little of that for seasoning. Delicious in warm soft or hard shell tacos with all the fixin's - shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, hot sauce and sour cream. Thanks for a great recipe Baker Bee!-23 Apr 2012

15 Best Quick and Easy Chicken Recipes

Whether it’s baked, grilled, roasted or sautéed, this is your one-stop shop for all those chicken breasts and thighs you have lingering in your freezer. Best of all, these recipes are all so simple yet amazingly satisfying for the entire family!

1. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich – From the plump grapes to the sweet cranberries, this lightened up sandwich won’t even taste healthy. [GET THE RECIPE.]

2. BBQ Chicken Salad – This healthy, flavorful salad comes together so quickly, and it is guaranteed to be a hit with your entire family. [GET THE RECIPE.]

3. Baked Honey Mustard Chicken – The creamiest honey mustard chicken ever. It’s so good, you’ll want to eat the honey mustard itself with a spoon. [GET THE RECIPE.]

4. Firecracker Chicken – The most amazing combination of sweet and spicy flavors that tastes a million times better than take-out. [GET THE RECIPE.]

5. Chicken Tenders with Greek Yogurt Ranch – These healthy baked chicken tenders can be enjoyed by both kids and grown-ups. [GET THE RECIPE.]

6. Chicken and Potato Chowder – Just like mom’s comforting chicken noodle soup, but it’s even creamier and loaded with cheesy goodness. [GET THE RECIPE.]

7. Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic – Juicy, tender chicken served with the creamiest garlic sauce ever. [GET THE RECIPE.]

8. Asian Lemon Chicken Tenders – A wonderful Asian twist to your favorite chicken tenders, tossed in the most heavenly sweet, lemon glaze. [GET THE RECIPE.]

9. BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad – Healthy, hearty, quick and easy with an incredibly creamy buttermilk ranch dressing that is absolutely to die for. [GET THE RECIPE.]

10. Slow Cooker Butter Chicken – Skip the take-out and try this super easy, lightened-up creamy butter chicken right in the crockpot. Doesn’t get easier than that. [GET THE RECIPE.]

11. Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken – These chicken thighs are amazingly crisp and flavorful, and you won’t believe how easy this is to make. [GET THE RECIPE.]

12. Quinoa Chicken Parmesan – With an amazingly crisp quinoa crust, you’ll never guess that this is actually so healthy. [GET THE RECIPE.]

13. Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup – Chockfull of hearty veggies and tender chicken in a refreshing lemony broth – it’s pure comfort in a bowl. [GET THE RECIPE.]

14. Bang Bang Chicken – Amazingly crisp chicken bites drizzled with sweet chili mayo – so good, you’ll want to double or triple the recipe. [GET THE RECIPE.]

15. Baked Chicken and Mushroom Skillet – The most flavorful chicken topped with the creamiest mushroom sauce of all. [GET THE RECIPE.]

BBQ Pulled Chicken is a summer favorite of ours, much easier and less messy to eat than classic BBQ chicken, we make this dish so often the kids call it summer chicken. This dish can absolutely be made on your grill. In fact about half the time we do use the grill, but making this in the oven is one of the easiest recipes I keep in my year round arsenal.

This recipe is a two for one deal for us. When I was in college one of my “specialties” was bottled bbq sauce over chicken that gets cooked in the oven. These days I try to cook a bit less processed, so I mix up my own bbq sauce for the chicken. It may take a few more minutes to mix together but the flavors are out of this world.

Ingredients and Tools

Here are the ingredients and tools you'll need to make pulled chicken in your crockpot:


  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8 oz) bottle of BBQ sauce OR 1 recipe of our homemade BBQ sauce (you can make this ahead of time! :-))
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 tsp hot sauce if you want some spice!


  • crockpot
  • nonstick spray
  • chef's knife
  • mixing spoon
  • 2 forks or shredders

Hearty Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Lighter than beef or pork chili, this hearty chicken and vegetable chili is a comforting one-dish meal you can feel great about serving your family. It's also super-easy and convenient to make, with a variety of canned beans, vegetables, and boneless chicken breasts. Top bowls with shredded cheddar cheese or a scoop of sour cream for added creaminess.

Pulled chicken


  • 1 (4 oz.) 1 (110 g) yellow onion , finely chopped yellow onions , finely chopped
  • ¼ cup 60 ml water
  • 3 tbsp 3 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp 3 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp chipotle powder or chili powder
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp salt
  • 2 lbs 900 g boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 1 &frasl3 cups 325 ml crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 10 oz. (8 cups) 280 g (1.8 liters) lettuce
  • 3 (1 1 &frasl3 lbs) 3 (600 g) avocadoavocados
  • 2 (1 oz.) 2 (30 g) scallion scallions
  • fresh cilantro

Below 4 E% carbs or, 7 g of carbs or less if it is a mealRead more


Recommended special equipment

Can I make pulled chicken without a slow cooker?

If you don't have a slow cooker you can use a spacious heavy-bottomed pot. Mix the marinade, add the chicken and combine well so the meat is covered. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium-high. The chicken should simmer for 1.5-2 hours with the lid on. Flip the chicken fillets halfway through and further lower the heat. Add water if needed.

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thanks for this - looks great! any idea what kind of times to cook this in a pressure cooker?

Boneless chicken cooks very quickly in a pressure cooker. 10 to 15 minutes will be sufficient.

Letting this simmer on the stove, although easy, may not get the right steady temp. What would be the temperature if I slow cooked this in the oven? 280 F / 135 C? Thanks.

We have not tested this in the oven.

I don't have any red wine vinegar what could I substitute for this?
Thank you

Could you do this with Beef Brisket?

This should work well with any protein!

I had to double the 1,8kg boneless chicken thighs to that recipe/12 servings To =24 servings 3,6kg and I did not add the other 12 servings spice marinade, only the meat.

We do like chili, but I must say it was just too much. 13/08/2020

I really like all Anne Aobadia’s recipes and this was the first one I found the measurements was not right. Thank you for all the delicious meals/recipes.

Nice recipe!
The measurements were for 12 servings and 6 tablespoons chili and 2 teaspoons salt we’re way to salty and the chili powder is very overwhelming.
I had to double the 1,8kg boneless chicken thighs to that recipe/12 servings To =24 servings 3,6kg and I did not add the other 12 servings spice marinade, only the meat.
We do like chili, but I must say it was just too much. 13/08/2020
I really like all Anne Aobadia’s recipes and this was the first one I found the measurements was not right. Thank you for all the delicious meals/recipes.

I will share your comments with our recipe team. Chili powder is typically a blend of several chilis and I wonder if the one you are using is extra potent or if it has added salt?

Rachael Ray's Quick BBQ Pulled-Chicken Sandwiches

1. For the slaw, in a large bowl, whisk the mayo, yogurt, vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery seed, and granulated garlic season with salt and pepper. Mix in the coleslaw mix and onion.

2. For the chicken, in a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add about 1/4 cup stock, the tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, hot sauce, mustard, and Worcestershire. Let the sauce simmer at a low bubble, stirring occasionally. While the sauce simmers, pull the meat from the chicken. Mix the chicken into the sauce. (Add more stock if the sauce is too thick.) Stir until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Pulled Chicken Sliders for a Quick Easy Supper

This recipe has Necessity-is-the-Mother-of-Invention kind of roots. One night I found myself in a bind. It was hockey season, meaning that my Saturday evenings were spent at the hockey rink. When we were lucky, there was some type of break at a decent hour so that we could have supper.

Instead of the usual run through In-N-Out Burger I had a few extra minutes to cook something at home. Just a few. I also had a batch of homemade rolls and a package of chicken tenders. Did I mention I didn’t have a lot of time?

I poached the chicken simply in water, pulled it to shred and then seasoned it with a homemade spice blend. The result was a flavorful and easy meal that we’ve enjoyed multiple times since, especially in the summer months when Sandwich Night takes over for Soup Night.

You can cook the chicken in the crockpot if you need to start it earlier in the day. This recipe for poaching allows you to cook it on the stovetop or in the instant-pot.

Serve the chicken in lettuce wraps for a low-carb/Whole 30 meal.

How to make this good and cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

    . Instead of paying full price, buy more than you need when you see it on sale. Then you always have it when you want it.
  • Shop the stores that have the best prices. When I did my big grocery store showdown, I learned that ALDI and Costco have the best prices for a lot of the things I buy. I regularly stock up on chicken at ALDI because it’s so affordable!
  • Buy spices and herbs in bulk. I make my own spice blends because it’s so cheap to do so — and tastes great. Jamie’s Spice Mix, Cajun Spice Blend, and FishMama Spice all go well in this dish.

How I make this recipe easy:

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

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Have fun with this perfect pulled chicken fajitas recipe!

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