This Best BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich recipe is the ultimate lunch or dinner option for the entire family. Full of bold, BBQ flavor and a nice kick of spice, this chicken sandwich is perfectly put together in between two buttery brioche buns and makes for the ideal quick and easy way to satisfy those taste buds in just under 15 minutes.
I've been excited to share this recipe with you guys. While many of you may enjoy a good pulled pork sandwich, I on the other hand like to keep things simpler by eating chicken.
I blame my love for chicken on my childhood. I remember loving chicken (specifically chicken wings) growing up, especially since my Grandmother would often take me to Popeyes where we would both indulge on their well-seasoned, crispy chicken. Yum. I can smell the sweet aroma now. However, now that I am on a healthier food journey, I enjoy making my own tasty version of chicken.
So, these BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches make for the perfect summer dinner or lunch option. They are super easy to make and don't require many ingredients.
Matter of fact, the ingredients required are common ingredients, which are often staple items. Plus, I'd recommend eating these sandwiches with these Crispy Baked Jerk Potato Wedges.
But I should warn you that both dishes are spicy, so if you're not a lover of 'heat' then I'd recommend eating them separately. Haha.
What is Pulled Chicken?
Basically, pulled chicken (aka shredded chicken) is just the process of ripping chicken apart into a shred-like texture which works in many recipes like sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and more.
How to Make BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich
The awesome thing about this BBQ pulled chicken recipe is that most of the ingredients are household staples. Plus, it’s easy to mix and match ingredients with whatever you have on hand, so there’s no need to make an extra trip to the store. Instead, embrace the laid-back nature of this healthy meal when it comes to the toppings.
Here’s what I like to make these chicken sandwiches:
Chicken breasts. Choose organic chicken for this recipe. If you have time, I recommend marinating them overnight before you prepare the pulled chicken.
Seasonings. You'll need salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and thyme.
Brioche buns. I love to use brioche buns when it comes to eating them. You can use your fave sandwich bun.
Toppings. In the summer, I like to keep these sandwiches simple by adding
BBQ sauce. I like to offset the heat of the jerk flavors by adding a bit of BBQ sauce for a sweetness factor.
How to Best Shred Chicken
When it comes to creating pulled chicken, there are two most effective ways to do so. Firstly, you would need to ensure that your chicken is fully cooked and cooled and then you shred the chicken in one of the following ways:
Forks: For this method you would need two forks. If using this method, place your cooked chicken breast onto a plate or cutting board and use both forks to separate the chicken meat and 'shred' as you separate. Continue doing this until all of your chicken is shredded.
Stand Mixer: If you're looking to avoid using arm strength, then the method of a stand mixer might be just for you. This is by far the fastest and easiest way to shred chicken and you simply place all of your cooked chicken breasts in the bowl of stand mixer. Add the paddle attachment and mix on low. In just 15-20 seconds you’ll have shredded chicken. That easy!
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich in 3 Steps
To make these BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches, there are only 3 main components:
Tender chicken breasts, shredded, and coated in a delicious BBQ sauce.
Freshly chopped jalapeños and dill pickles for a soft crunch
Toasted buns---brioche buns
How to Cook BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich
Cooking BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich is generally an easy process—in total about 40-45 minutes. You first start by cleaning and washing your chicken pieces to ensure that they are clean and ready to be seasoned. I like to wash my chicken with both vinegar and lemon to help keep things clean and sanitized.
Once your chicken is clean, then it’s seasoning time! I’m all about seasoning every “layer” of my food, therefore, the chicken gets direct seasoning and so does the sauce. Let everything marinate for 5-10 minutes or overnight tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for the best results.
Once marinated, remove from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature before baking the chicken breasts in the oven.
On the stovetop, stir the BBQ sauce, red pepper flakes, chicken, and honey together until coated.
Assemble chicken sandwiches-------wallah!
Dairy-Free Herb Aioli Sauce
If you're thinking about adding a sauce to the mix with these BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches-----don’t skip the creamy and savory herb aioli sauce. I keep it vegan because I’m avoiding too much dairy and of course, this recipe is all vegan.
You can use regular mayo if you’re not avoiding dairy. Otherwise, this sauce is quick and easy to make with fresh and powdered garlic, lemon juice, and a bit of dried dill, oregano, and cilantro. See recipe here!
Pile these flavorful BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with your favorite toppings, including:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash and pat dry the chicken breasts and add the following seasonings: salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, parsley, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, and thyme, mixing everything together until combined and chicken becomes marinated.
Place chicken breasts unto prepared baking sheet and pour any marinade "juices" atop chicken. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked through and golden brown on the outside. Once done, remove chicken from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes or so before"shredding" them using a kife and fork (or two forks) by pulling them apart.
In a medium skillet (10-inch) over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Add the shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, red pepper flakes, and honey, mixing everything together until combined and the chicken is fully coated. Remove form heat.
To assemble, prepare your burger buns ( See Notes!), top with spoonfuls of shredded BBQ chicken, dill pickles, and jalapeños. Serve with your favorite side----fries, sweet potato fries, salad, or whatever.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a separate tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
BBQ SAUCE: If you choose to use a store-bought version, my favorite brand is Stubb’s BBQ Sauce.
TOPPINGS: You can always add your favorite toppings such as greens, tomatoes, pineapple, etc.