Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

10 Bowls340 cals

Meal prep your barbecue chicken in minutes with this Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken recipe! High protein, made with just a few common ingredients, and just as good as the “real” thing.

Start this one by taking out your slow cooker and 5 pounds of chicken breast. Trim the fat off of those chicken breast and cut each piece in half.

Pro tip? You can scale the recipe below if 5 pounds is too much or too little for your meal prep.

Add your chicken into your slow cooker followed by 12 ounces of a hickory & brown sugar bbq sauce, 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of a fat free Italian dressing, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, and 1 optional medium chopped up yellow onion.

Make sure to use fresh and not frozen chicken breast as frozen will introduce too much water to the recipe.

Mix all of those ingredients together until everything for your healthy slow cooker bbq chicken looks well incorporated.

Put the lid on your slow cooker and let it cook on high heat for 3 hours.

Cooking tip? Your chicken should be submerged before putting your lid on. If there doesn’t appear to be enough “liquid” in your slow cooker you can add in a bit more dressing or some water.

Shredded Chicken

Take your lid off after 3 hours and shred your chicken. Quickly and easily shred your chicken by taking 2 forks, placing them into your chicken pieces, and pulling them apart. Repeat this process until all of your chicken is shredded.

Put the lid back on your slow cooker and let it cook an additional 1 hour on high heat.

You can lower the sodium in the recipe by looking for the lowest sodium bbq sauce and dressing you can fine.

Turn your slow cooker off and portion out your recipe. If you don’t know how to portion out your recipe, here’s a link to our article on How To Portion and Create Serving Sizes.

Did you know that aside from adding flavor, apple cider vinegar is great for overall health! You can read more about the health benefits here.

Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Recipe

Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

High protein barbecue chicken is here! This Healthy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken recipe is made with only few ingredients and great for meal prep.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq chicken, crockpot, healthy, meal prep, slow cooker
Servings: 10 Bowls
Calories: 340kcal
Cost: $12.25

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  • 5 Pounds Chicken Breast
  • 4 Ounces Italian Dressing - Fat Free
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 12 Ounces BBQ Sauce - Hickory & Brown Sugar
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion - Chopped
  • ½ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper


  • Take out your Chicken Breast, trim the fat off of them, and cut them in half
  • Chop up your Yellow Onion
  • Combine all of your ingredients into your slow cooker
  • Mix everything together
  • Cook on High for 3 hours
  • Shred your Chicken Breast
  • Continue on High for 1 hour



Calories in the WHOLE recipe:
  • Calories: 3402
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 4042mg
  • Carbs: 187g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 159g
  • Protein: 623g


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.7g | Protein: 62.3g | Fat: 1.8g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Sodium: 404.2mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 15.9g


  1. Anthony DeRose on March 10, 2021 at 11:57 am

    5 stars
    So, to help cut down on the sugar, I used a gluten free/sugar free hickory flavored BBQ sauce. And, I broke down my meals into 8 oz portions.

    • Derek Howes on March 15, 2021 at 10:09 pm

      Awesome suggestions Anthony! Thank you

  2. Dani on September 7, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Just great recipe!
    Just wanted to ask – how did you measure the chicken macros?
    I’m using another bbq sauce and italian dressing, so I wanted to know how to calculate the chicken macros.
    Thanks a lot! 🙂

  3. Fred on January 19, 2016 at 12:00 am

    How long will this last in the fridge? I plan on making 1/4 of the recipe at a time, if that helps. I want to make it Sunday, then eat 1/3 on Sunday, 1/3 on Tuesday, and 1/3 on Thursday. So 4 days.

  4. InCorporeSano on June 25, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Tried this for the first time yesterday, with one difference from the instructions: because of my schedule, instead of cooking for three hours on high, I did seven hours on low, then increased the heat to high after shredding for a final hour. THIS. IS. AWESOME. Perfect balance of meat, moisture, and flavor. Definitely a go-to recipe!

  5. Louis-Guillaume on June 29, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Very good with the protein cornbread

  6. david armstrong on June 15, 2014 at 12:00 am

    I see a lot of the recipes are 10 servings is it ok to split in half and mske 5 servings? Thanks.

  7. Cj on May 19, 2014 at 12:00 am

    How much is one serving say in grams?

  8. grey on July 22, 2013 at 12:00 am

    this was awesome. i served it with roasted sweet potato cubes and broccoli. next up-chicken muffins

  9. Jamie on July 3, 2013 at 12:00 am

    First the cottage cheese breakthrough, now this. My house smells awesome and the chicken tastes even better. I added some sour cream on top for a little fat. It is a little saucy, but I drank the juice after. It was that good.

    I have issues with chicken. For some reason to me it is always boring, dry, and makes awful leftovers. This is finally a recipe that I can’t stop eating and will keep well for the next couple days.

    Oh and I found out that Yuengling makes BBQ sauce. Pretty tasty. I love Sweet Baby Rays, but I try to avoid sauces with high fructose corn syrup.

    I grabbed some Jello packets on the last grocery run. Hopefully I can save some calories for desert in the coming days.

    Thanks for the great recipes.

    • Jamie on July 3, 2013 at 12:00 am

      Forgot to add, it is pretty awesome that your recipes are on MyFitnessPal.

      • Derek Howes on July 8, 2013 at 12:00 am

        Thank you. I try to add most of them. 🙂

    • Derek Howes on July 8, 2013 at 12:00 am

      Awesome Jamie! You’ll have to let me know how you like the desserts too. How was the Yuengling BBQ sauce? I’ll have to look for it!

  10. Walt on June 30, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Hey Derek,

    Whenever anyone mentions nutrition facts of chicken breast, its always pre cooked weight right?

  11. Jakub on June 27, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Just made this in a dutch oven and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe. Used a slow cooker -> dutch oven conversion table found here:

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