Zesty BBQ Chicken (5 Ingredients)

Zesty BBQ Chicken (5 Ingredients)

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This zesty BBQ chicken is an easy crockpot recipe that only takes 5 ingredients to make! The slow-cooked tender pulled chicken is dripping in a tasty BBQ sauce. Perfect for busy weeknights or to feed a crowd!

Crockpot dinners that don’t require a lot of ingredients are my favorite because they’re affordable and easy to make. For more ideas, try my bourbon chicken, this Olive Garden chicken, and my Mississippi pork roast!

Close view of zesty bbq chicken shredded on a hamburger bun with coleslaw.

Reasons to Make Zesty BBQ Chicken

  • Quick and Easy: Only 5 minutes of prep and the crockpot does all the work. Fast and easy to put together, and a great option on those busy nights!
  • Feeds a Crowd: Double or triple the recipe to feed a crowd! Enjoy the shredded meat on sliders or hamburger buns.
  • Affordable: With only a few ingredients, this crockpot chicken is very affordable!

Crockpot Zesty BBQ Chicken

Your family is going to LOVE this zesty BBQ chicken made in the crockpot. It cooks low and slow in a zesty BBQ sauce and the chicken shreds perfectly! It doesn’t get any easier than a 5 ingredient recipe and it will become a go-to dinner! The sauce uses bottled BBQ sauce and Zesty Italian dressing…the combination of the two together is DELICIOUS! Throw it all together in the crockpot before your day gets busy then come home to shredded chicken slathered in a sweet and savory BBQ sauce.

Here’s how to make this meal complete! Serve the shredded zesty BBQ chicken on toasted hamburger buns, top the chicken with coleslaw, then serve grilled corn on the side. A perfect summertime meal that everyone devours!

Ingredients Needed

It only takes 5 ingredients, and most you’ll already have on hand! Search your fridge first for an opened bottle of BBQ sauce and Italian dressing before you head to the store. Follow the recipe card below for exact amounts!

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: I used about 4 chicken breasts for this recipe.
  • BBQ Sauce: My kids love sweet baby rays! You can your favorite barbecue sauce or try my easy homemade recipe!
  • Zesty Italian Salad Dressing: I love the zesty flavor but you can use any Italian dressing that you prefer.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds extra sweetness to the sauce!
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds depth and a smokey flavor.
Ingredients labeled to make zesty bbq chicken.

Zesty BBQ Chicken Recipe

Easy to throw together with only 5 minutes of prep! I love crockpot recipes because it doesn’t require a lot of work. This recipe is so easy that even my older kids can make it! Such a great dinner idea for a busy family.

  1. Place Chicken in the Crockpot: Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot.
  2. Mix the Sauce: In a medium bowl, add the BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce then whisk to combine.
  3. Pour the Sauce Over the Chicken: Pour the BBQ sauce mixture over the chicken.
  4. Cook: Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3 hours. 
  5. Shred and Serve: Use 2 forks to shred the chicken then enjoy on hamburger buns! I also love this tool for shredding cooked chicken.

Tips and Variations

This zesty BBQ chicken recipe is so versatile! I’ve added some tips and variations to making this recipe just the way you like it!

  • Chicken: I prefer fresh chicken breasts, but frozen chicken breasts work great too! I’ve also used boneless skinless chicken thighs and it turned out incredible!
  • Buns and Sliders: Serve the shredded chicken in hamburger buns or slider buns. I love to use slider buns because they can feed a crowd!
  • More Serving Options: Ditch the buns and serve the chicken over mashed potatoes or rice. I’ve also enjoyed this chicken on a bed of lettuce for a low-carb option.

Top view of zesty bbq chicken shredded in the crockpot.

Leftover Zesty BBQ Chicken

This zesty BBQ chicken makes great leftovers for lunches or meals throughout the week. It’s a quick option to reheat and eat on the go. Just pile the meat on a bun then enjoy!

  • In the Refrigerator: Store the shredded and cooled chicken in an airtight container. The leftover meat can be kept in the fridge for 5-7 days.
  • In the Freezer: Place the shredded and cooled chicken into freezer-safe bags or an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Reheat leftovers in the microwave or over the stove until warmed through. Thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator overnight and reheat the next day!

Top view of shredded zesty bbq chicken placed on a bun with two forks.

More BBQ-Inspired Recipes

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  • Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot.

  • In a medium bowl, add the BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce then whisk to combine.

  • Pour the BBQ sauce mixture over the chicken.

  • Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3 hours.

  • Use 2 forks to shred the chicken and enjoy with hamburger buns!

Updated on May 27, 2024
Originally Posted on June 30, 2012

Calories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 25gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 759mgPotassium: 573mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 147IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.