3 Ingredient Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

3 Ingredient Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken




Place chicken breasts and root beer in a slow cooker and cook for about 3 hours on high. Shred and drain most of the liquid.


Leave a little so chicken doesn't get dry. Add salt & pepper.


Pour in a bottle of BBQ sauce and let cook another 15-20 minutes in the slow cooker.


Serve on rolls. I sometimes add avocado or even saute onion to serve on the sandwich.

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bbq chicken sandwich on a plate

Here’s an easy weeknight meal idea that you can throw in the slow cooker – delicious shredded BBQ chicken using your favorite brand of root beer and BBQ sauce! This winning 3-ingredient recipe can also be made with a pork roast instead for a yummy pulled pork meal.


3 Ingredient Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Delicious and hearty easy slow cooker bbq chicken recipe that can be doubled for your next family event.




Place chicken breasts and root beer in a slow cooker and cook for about 3 hours on high. Shred and drain most of the liquid.


Leave a little so chicken doesn't get dry. Add salt & pepper.


Pour in a bottle of BBQ sauce and let cook another 15-20 minutes in the slow cooker.


Serve on rolls. I sometimes add avocado or even saute onion to serve on the sandwich.

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

root beer bbq ingredients with slow cooker

Yum! This is definitely one of those easy meals the entire family eats without any complaints and that makes this busy mom very happy!

bbq chicken

Love super simple recipes? Check out these other 3-Ingredient Creations:

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 65

  1. Lolita

    What kind of chicken breasts? Boneless/skinless? Frozen/fresh? I am always looking for ways to make chicken, as I have not mastered any lol.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I used boneless and skinless. I use fresh, but if they are frozen it will just take longer to cook maybe twice as much? I have used a combo of breast and thighs, works well too!

      • Lolita

        Cool, thanks!!!

      • Steven

        try thawing out the frozen breasts first and it won’t take as long. I think using a normal chicken breast would be more flavorable. It isn’t hard to take the skin off before cooking and deboning once the chicken is cooked enough to shred.

  2. Pergo

    I just love these 3 ingredient recipes.

  3. td

    i make the same thing with pork and my bf loves it!

  4. Anna B

    We love this recipe and have used it with pork and Dr Pepper as well. We like to top it with coleslaw right on the sandwich! Yummy!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great idea Anna!

    • Lolita

      Are you a Tar Heel?

      • Merideth

        I was wondering the same thing! Slaw is standard on a bbq sandwich in these parts 🙂

    • Pam

      That sounds really good!!

  5. e

    We regularly cook shredded chicken in the slow cooker. Throw a whole pile of trimmed chicken in the slow cooker and cover with water. Then we drain it and shred it. Everyone makes it into whatever they want. Add BBQ sauce for sandwiches. Mayo and veggies for salad. Salsa for tacos. Very versatile and different each time you eat it!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Yes awesome! We’ve done that too! I love pesto with it also..yum

  6. Jennifer

    We are having pulled pork BBQ in the slow cooker tonite! Wished I would have looked at this earlier and I would have tried the root beer. Gonna throw some slaw on there tho, thanks Lina! Can’t wait to try the chicken!

  7. Jennifer

    Pesto with shredded chicken in a pita pocket. Yummy light meal!

  8. farah

    Is it 1/2 can of root beer or 1 full can? Thanks

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      1/2 can. Thanks!

  9. Karen

    Wow! I know this will please three of my five so I think we will try it next week. The other two can just eat plain chicken! It looks easy and sounds great! Thanks!

  10. samantha

    So… am I the only one that has never heard of using soda… This seems strange to me, but I am all for trying it. Could someone explain why you use soda?

    • erika


      • samantha

        ahh, thanks!!!

    • PJ

      It sweet and flavorful and not to thick for easy cooking.

  11. Stephanie

    Why is it preferred to use full soda, not diet? I can’t drink sugar soda.

    • Bunny

      The sugars in the soda caramelize and give the chicken the good flavor. This wouldn’t work with diet soda Stephanie.

      Since you can’t use regular soda, I’d recommend cooking the chicken in your crockpot without the soda, then shred it afterwards and add the barbecue sauce. However, if you are sugar sensitive, you should check the ingredients on your barbecue sauce as some are high in sugar content.

    • Jen

      I felt bad for Stephanie, knowing my own husband’s battle with diabetes, so I found:
      which is a 3-ingredient recipe for spicy buffalo chicken.
      and then I thought, “Why NOT have shredded bbq chicken, just diabetic style?” so I kept looking and found this:
      which is a bbq-style, shredded chicken you make in the crock pot. You’ll say, “But it isn’t a 3-ingredient,” which honestly, I’d say yes and no – it can be 4-ingredient.
      Something I’m HUGE about doing is making up my own seasoning mixes. Well, I didn’t invent them; I just mixed them up and packaged them. Save your small, leftover jars from the grocery store, or ask people for theirs. Label the ingredients. I have one for Taco Seasoning, simply by tripling the seasoning mix recipe. The most important thing is, before tripling a seasoning mix recipe, is to count-up how much you’ll need. Watch this:
      1 tablespoon paprika
      1 teaspoon chili powder
      1 teaspoon ground black pepper
      1 teaspoon garlic powder
      1 teaspoon salt (optional) – I ALWAYS leave this out; you could always come in and add a teaspoon of salt to your recipe after TASTING, and then you have control over how much you need for it to taste good. And often you don’t miss it.
      3 tsp = 1 tbsp. In this case, it works out: 1 tsp each of chili, pepper, and garlic. They also had a tbsp of paprika to begin with. That equals 2 tbsp.
      Now, triple your recipe: 3 tbsp paprika, a tbsp each of the others. Mix WELL, and store in an airtight container. Label it “bbq mix” – and if you can, also list the rest of the recipe, as if you were doing a “gift from a jar,” which is where I got my idea. Now, whenever you are making the Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken, you only have to grab 2 tbsp of your mix, making it “one” of your ingredients.
      The other needed ingredients are chicken, an onion, and bbq sauce – making it a 4-ingredient slow cooker recipe, per se.
      I’M SO SORRY that this was such a long post, but I really wanted to offer this suggestion to those who hadn’t thought of if yet.

      • Kathleen

        This was very thoughtful of you Jen!

      • Sallys

        sounds really good I plan to try the buffalo chicken and making up a bottle of seasoning mix! In this snowstorm we have going on I was looking for something productive to do!

  12. Heather

    I use the same recipe with pork! I have wondered about chicken, I will try it :). The easiest recipe ever, I wonder sometimes why I waited so long to learn how to slow cook!!!!

  13. Karen

    okay..just showed my mom this recipe and I have now been nominated to make it for this weekends get together…lol..

  14. Megan

    I do a similar recipe with Diet Coke/Pepsi and Ketchup instead of BBQ sauce. The Ketchup and soda make their own BBQ. Sooo good!

  15. Sonya

    How many does this recipe feed?

    • Shannon

      I used 5 boneless, skinless chicken breastfeeding and that feed 5.

  16. Diana

    If I set it to low, would I cook it for about 5 hours? Or is it better on high for 3? Thanks.

  17. Lisa

    I tried this recipe last night for my daughter’s birthday dinner because she loves anything root beer. I have to say it was a huge hit. The chicken came out tender and tasted yummy without being to sweet. Also it was so easy, which is great for us working moms. We all loved it! Thank you for sharing.

  18. Dori

    Is this four whole chicken breasts, or two breasts, four pieces?

  19. Shannon

    Made this tonight with Dr.Pepper and the house was so quite. And not a bite left over. Was a huge hit for my picky bunch!

  20. Christina

    So will this work if you let it cook all day (like from 8-5) on low instead of 3 hours on high?

    • Natalie S

      I was wondering this too!

    • Natalie S

      Cooked it all day on low today and it worked well!

  21. Carly

    Why can’t you just slow cook the root beer and BBQ sauce together?

  22. Tyler

    About how much weight are you looking at with the breasts?

  23. Heather

    What time on low?

  24. Katie

    Can I just leave out the bbq sauce and do root beer and chicken and have bbq sauce on side for people who don’t like bbq

    • Debbie

      No, that will not work.

  25. Tonia

    If I only have 2 chicken breasts instead of 4 do I cook for a shorter amount of time? I am new to the crockpot! Thank you!

    • Debbie

      You would not change the cooking time. You could probably cut the sauce part of the recipe in half if you like.

  26. Debbie

    Please add me to your email list. You had me at the BBQ chicken recipe, sounds yummy!

  27. Kimberly

    Thank you for sharing your recipe. 🙂

  28. Kolleen

    Send me all these recipes

  29. Tami

    It’s in my slow cooker now! Can’t wait to try it! Dinner will be ready to eat before soccer practice! Yay!!

  30. Stephanie L.

    How many sandwiches will this recipe make? It sounds delish!

    • Stephanie L.

      I made this last night and the sauce was heavenly! Next time, I will use add more chicken breasts (I used 5) and it was very saucy.

  31. Marene AuFrance

    Could you use canned shredded chicken, drained?

  32. Sarah

    what size for the root beer? a 2 liter or personal size?

  33. Scott B

    What’s the easiest way to shred the chicken? I think I’ve seen posts on other sites abut using a blender.

    • Emily

      I use my KitchenAid mixer! It’s so ridiculously easy. Put the paddle attachment on and your hot, cooked chicken breasts in the bowl. Start it on low or you’ll have hot chicken chunks flying everywhere. Slowly increase the speed until it’s shredded to your desired consistency. Sure beats using forks!

  34. Crystal

    Can u do this for 20 people or more?? Anyone try it for party? Tips??

  35. Jill Hamby

    Is it sweet tasting?

  36. Blake

    Do you shred the chicken before or after?

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You cook the chicken first, then shred after it is cooked.

  37. MR

    This is not your normal easily set it & forget it recipe
    Never trying this one again

  38. Melissa

    How big of a pork roast would you suggest if doing with pork?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I feel like a 2-3 pound pork roast would be good for this idea!

  39. Patricia Huffman

    I don’t have a slow cooker but I have a pressure cooker , A ninja foodie one anyone know if this could be done in that?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I would try cooking chicken on a high pressure with root beer for 8 minutes and with a natural 10 minute release. Then add the sauce.

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