Slow-Cooker Freezer-Pack BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Chicken thighs are the ideal slow-cooker meat because they emerge tender and juicy, even after hours of cooking. The sauce is a guaranteed kid-pleaser: Rich, sweet and low on spice and tang. Make a couple of batches to keep in the freezer for busy weeks when you know you'll have limited time for meal prep.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 7 hr (plus freezing and overnight defrosting)
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons yellow mustard 

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic, grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 hamburger buns

Coleslaw, bread & butter pickles and potato chips, for serving


  1. Combine the chicken, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, molasses, Worcestershire, mustard, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large resealable plastic bag and shake to combine. Squeeze out the air from the bag and seal. Freeze until ready to use, up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before cooking.
  2. Pour the contents of the plastic bag in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low until the meat is tender, 5 to 7 hours. Shred the chicken with a fork and toss it in the cooking liquid.
  3. Divide the chicken among the 4 buns and top with coleslaw and pickles. Serve with potato chips.