Maple Bourbon Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches should be nicknamed Summer’s best crock pot recipe for a picnic.

It might have the longest name ever—Maple Bourbon Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Slaw—but I didn’t want to leave you without a sense of the epic, messy, BBQ sandwich tastiness that awaits!

maple bourbon bbq chicken sandwich, with shredded barbecue chicken made in a slow cooker

Getting to Know You + Maple Bourbon Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Before we dive into these sammies (which you can certainly serve with this homemade barbecue sauce if you like) I wanted to share with you my new blog intro video, where I talk about what drives me and what you can expect to find here on Well Plated by Erin. It’s less than two minutes, shows shots of one of my favorite places on earth, and involves a rather compromising clip of me with wine when I didn’t realize the camera was rolling. All good things!

Please take a moment to watch it. I’ll wait right here…

{pause for wine dancing}

OK, that we’ve seen what me + wine + dancing looks like and me, let’s get to this recipe.

These sweet and savory Maple Bourbon Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches are an ideal summer meal or game day entertaining recipe. Guests can help themselves while you relax, and everyone will be licking their fingers by the end.

The slaw is cool and crunchy. I love it both on top of these sandwiches and as a stand-alone side.

crock pot BBQ chicken sandwiches topped with apple slaw and served on whole wheat buns

crock pot bbq chicken sandwiches with apple slaw on top
4.34 from 3 votes
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Maple Bourbon BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Slaw

Moist and juicy crock pot BBQ chicken sandwiches topped with a crunchy, creamy apple slaw. You will be addicted to this sweet and savory combination!


For the Sandwiches

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, — trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup — (I recommend Grade B)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, — plus optional additional for serving
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Whole wheat buns — for serving

For the Slaw

  • 1 bag broccoli slaw — (10 ounces)
  • 2 scallions — finely chopped
  • 1 tart firm apple, — such as Granny Smith, finely cut into thin, short matchsticks
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. For the chicken: Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of a 5-6 quarter slow cooker.
  2. In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the ketchup, bourbon, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, molasses, mustard, Worcestershire, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook for 2 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low, until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a large bowl or plate and shred with two forks.
  3. While the chicken cooks, prepare the slaw. Place the broccoli slaw, scallions, and apple in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper until smooth. Pour over the slaw, toss to coat evenly, then refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 1 day. (The slaw tastes best when allowed to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours.)
  4. Assemble the sandwiches: Spread the buns with Dijon mustard (optional). Pile the shredded chicken onto the bottom bun, top with slaw, then add the top bun. Enjoy warm.

Recipe Notes

Leftover BBQ chicken can be refrigerated up to 4 days. Reheat gently on the stove. Leftover slaw can be refrigerated 2-3 days, but tastes best the first day (after 2 or so hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld) or the second day.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gourmet Sandwich Recipe, Maple Bourbon BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Slaw, Slow Cooker Chicken

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!


This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. That video is so stinkin’ cute! I loved it. ……almost as much as I love these sandwiches ;) Apple+BBQ is a winning combo for sure. 

  2. Whooaaa…it’s only 9am but I’m already drooling over what I want for dinner! I don’t eat pork so I’m super excited to see a BBQ chicken recipe, and the fact that you paired it with apple slaw?! So much yes.

  3. Yay!! Love it all!! The sandwiches, the videos and of course, the bourbon. :) 

  4. Erin, LOVE the videos. .  CONGRATS!!!!! 

  5. Tangy pulled chicken sandwiches with some crisp apple slaw….sounds amazing!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  6. You’re adorable and I’m so proud of you and I want this BBQ chicken in mah face.

  7. AHHH loved the video! I’m dying at your Saturday farmer’s market experiences… so jealous sitting here in my college dorm! :) 

  8. This sounds really good.  Definitely need to try the barbecue sauce, because I’m still looking for one to use for everything.

  9. You are AWESOME at video! Great job!

  10. First Video?  You came across like a pro!  Great job.  Look forward to more.

  11. Loved your video and love your recipes!!!! Looking forward to making this!!

  12. What a fun surprise!  You are so adorable and creative to boot!  Absolutely love the videos…please do more!

  13. Magnificent video Erin!! I’m absolutely drooling over this BBQ Sandwich!! Got to have this soon.

  14. This looks so yummy!

  15. Bring on the video!!!! That was so much fun to watch. Congratulations!!!

  16. Erin Clarke, Next Food Network star! The video really brought the food to life, and now I’m starving and NEED one of these amazing sandwiches. All the flavors look incredible.

  17. Love the new blog intro video, Erin! Well done! And these sandwiches? Can’t get enough of the maple-bourbon action going on here. YUM!

  18. Love the videos, Erin! You came across as such a pro! The sandwich obviously won me over too, because, well, bbq and bourbon are just the best.

  19. do not like dark meat………could breast meat be used?        is the greek yogurt dominate in the slaw?   I need to be able to hide it…..    thanks!

    • Hi Sue! Although you can certainly use chicken breast, I find that it dries out really easily in the slow cooker. I would definitely keep an eye on it, check it early, and if possible use bone in chicken breast, as they are less prone to drying out. I actually am not a big fan of dark meat either, but in this recipe it doesn’t bother me at all. For the slaw, the Greek yogurt taste is nicely tempered by the other flavors. If you want to be safe, you could you use half Greek yogurt and half light mayo. I hope that helps and that you enjoy it!

  20. Hi Erin!

    I confess I haven’t made the full slaw/sandwich version yet (on my ToDo list :-), but the chicken bbq base looked so good that it inspired me to use it as the base for… stone cooked PIZZA. I pretty much followed the bbq recipe 1:1, except I cut the sweet/acid ingredients by 1/3 to not get too sweet pizza, then reduced the sauce a bit so it wasn’t too sloppy. The flavours were simply great. Topped with buffalo mozzarella, red onions, red/yellow bell peppers, and a sprinkling of crumbled feta, it was AMAZING:

    Will definitely be making the original recipe soon!

    thanks again,

  21. I stumbled across your blog while trying to find slow cooker recipes my finicky boyfriend would eat. I read through a few and he insisted we try this one. The slaw is too much of a crunchy vegetable stretch for him right now but I really wanted know how the apple flavor would play with the chicken so I found an apple bourbon. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the great recipes, keep them coming!

  22. I made this tonight – delicious! Really so great. I used jack Daniels and cut it to 1/4 cup but that’s the only change I made. I added hot sauce to my sandwich to spice it up. Followed the slaw to a T but I used 2% greek yogurt. It was a very thick dressing but neither of us like mayo so we both really enjoyed this. We will absolutely be making this again. Thanks for a great recipe!

  23. Loved it. The next day I cooked a bag of baby carrots in the left over BBQ sauce on high for 2.5 hours in a 3.5 quart slow cooker. It was about 3/4 cup of the sauce, just enough to cover the carrots. Nom nom nom…

    • That sounds like a great way to use up the leftover sauce, Melissa! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe . . . thanks for leaving such a wonderful review!

  24. Holy YUM!! Hubby and I made this for dinner tonight. We followed the recipe (mostly) as is.. the few substitutions we made was we used bone in, skin on chicken breasts and also added about half a jar of pickled jalapeños because we like some heat. The slaw was the perfect accompaniment! Can’t wait for leftovers all week! Served them with some baked sweet potato fries and we were both very happy campers. 

    • YAY Kristen! I’m happy to hear the recipe was a hit. Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  25. One of the best recipes I’ve tried. A winner every time!

  26. Great! I made this for the 4th of July, and it is wonderful! I would love to amplify the maple flavor a bit, but really, it’s perfect as-is. I liked the slaw on the sandwich, not as much on it’s own. I am taking this chicken to our next potluck. Thanks, Erin!

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