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, 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

More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Sandwiches

Tools Used to Make This Recipe

  • Slow Cooker. This one is great because it deters overcooking.
  • Mixing Bowls. Stackable for easy storage and microwave safe.

 

crock pot bbq chicken sandwiches with apple slaw on top

Maple Bourbon BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Slaw

4.5 from 4 votes
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!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 10 mins

Servings: 6 -8 servings

Ingredients
  

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

Instructions
 

  • For the chicken: Place the chicken thighs in the bottom of a 5-6 quarter slow cooker.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.

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.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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46 Comments

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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…

    1. 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!

  4. 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. 4 stars

    1. 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!

    1. Christine, I am so thrilled to hear this! Thank you for taking time to leave this stellar review too. It means a lot!

  5. 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!4 stars

    1. Hi Tara! I started adding nutrition info in 2016, and unfortunately it’s too time consuming to go back and add it to recipes published before that. If you’re interested, an online calculator like MyFitnessPal may be a helpful resource. I hope this helps!

  6. This recipe sounds yummy.  There are two of us, but I usually make meals for four (to have leftovers): can I cut this recipe in half and still use the crock pot?  Also, how about making tacos?

    1. Hi Phyll! I’ve never tried halving this recipe, but you could experiment with it. I think making it into tacos would be tasty! If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

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