Easy recipes are always on the menu for busy people, especially busy people with families. This slow cooker pulled chicken is so easy, so versatile, and (nearly) universally loved by even the pickiest eaters whenever I serve it.
Also? It may or may not have healing power — at least according to my neighbor who claims to have recovered from the flu after we brought her a plate.
I easily make this slow cooker pulled chicken recipe three times a month – and because it can be served so many different ways, we never get tired of it. The next time you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal that every chicken lover will eat, just throw this one in the pot.
Related: Meal-planning miracle! Cook these 9 foods in bulk and you’ll make weeknight dinners a snap.
How to turn slow cooker pulled chicken into a meal
At its simplest, you can serve the chicken with rice or your starch of choice, and a salad (or your vegetable of choice).
Other ways to eat it
-in tacos (our favorite!)
-in a quick chicken soup
-in sandwiches with good bread and toppings of choice
-over greens as a chicken salad
-in spring rolls
-tossed with marinara, pesto or your favorite sauce and added to pasta
As you can see, a good slow cooker pulled chicken recipe is great with anything that might work with pulled chicken in it. The picture up top? That’s this slow cooker pulled chicken served with a mango-black-bean salsa, avocado, and pickled jalapeños over socca, a flatbread made with chickpea flour.
My Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Recipe
This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make in the slow cooker. As noted below, you throw everything in the pot without stirring and set the time. You won’t have to do another thing until it’s time to eat.
As a larger family who also likes leftovers, 3-4 pounds of chicken is just right, but you can half the recipe if you want less. It does freeze well, but it’s not super pretty after freezing, so you may want to use it in a cooked dish, like pasta, as opposed to placing it on top of a salad.
3-4 pounds boneless chicken, a mixture of thighs and breasts
1 tablespoon garlic, minced (4-5 cloves
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 heaping teaspoon seasoning salt for extra flavor OR 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning (see note below)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1. Dump all ingredients into the slow cooker, no need to stir.
2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-5 hours.
3. Shred the chicken before serving. It should come apart easily.
Note: Italian seasoning is usually made with a mixture of herbs like basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, parsley, or thyme. Combined with the flavor of the citrus juice, it makes the chicken flavorful but not overpowering; it’s neutral enough to serve as the base for a variety of cuisines. You can definitely substitute a favorite seasoning mix if you want a more specific flavor.
That’s it, really. You should know I’ve even left it in the cooker too long on the warm setting and it still turned out fine. Hooray for small favors.