Good 'n healthy Crockpot Chicken BBQ

crockpot chicken bbq

Relax and enjoy your next gathering with our slow cooked chicken and homemade sweet and sour barbecue sauce. No sweating over a hot grill required.

All you need to do is place your chicken in the crock pot, add the sauce and cook for 2 to 4 hours. Shred the chicken breasts for sandwiches or serve whole. If serving whole, pop chicken breasts and legs under the broiler for a few minutes, if desired, for a more BBQ look.

We make our Chicken BBQ healthier by removing the skin and making our own BBQ sauce. If using bottled sauce, check the ingredients for sodium content and avoid those made with high fructose corn syrup.  

Preparation time: 30 minutes or less
Cooking time: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours, 30 minutes


  • 6-8 lbs skinless chicken, breasts or legs or combination
  • 18 oz. of your favorite BBQ sauce, or make our recipe below
BBQ Sauce
  • 2 cups (2, 8 oz. cans) “No Salt Added” tomato sauce
  • ⅓ cup yellow mustard
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar (white vinegar can be substituted)
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar (light brown can be substituted)
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder*
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional


To make BBQ Sauce:
  1. Stir all ingredients together in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until sauce thickens slightly. Simmer longer for a thicker sauce.

*Note: Substitute onion and garlic powders with ½ cup finely chopped onion and two cloves minced garlic that have been sautéed in 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil for five minutes.

Makes 2 ½ cups, or 18 oz of BBQ sauce

To make BBQ chicken:
  1. Place chicken in Crock pot and pour sauce over chicken.
  2. Cook on low for about 4 hours; or on high for about 2 hours. Cut into chicken to test for doneness. Chicken legs may take longer to cook. Do not overcook or chicken will become dry.
  3. If making Chicken BBQ sandwiches, shred the breasts with two forks and add desired amount of sauce from Crockpot to serve. 
  4. If desired, place chicken on rimmed baking sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up!) and broil a few minutes.
  5. Keep chicken warm in the crock pot until ready to serve. 

Nutritional Information
Per 2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce: 28.5 calories; .1g total fat (0.0g saturated, 0.0g polyunsaturated, 0.0g monounsaturated); 157.6 mg sodium; 0.0mg cholesterol; 7.4g carbohydrate; 0.6g fiber; 6.4g sugars; 0.5g protein; 17.4 mg potassium. 

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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