Crock Pot Pulled Chicken

Shelly Jaronsky | Cookies & Cups Updated

Crock pot pulled chicken is an easy way to get dinner on the table. We're sure you're going to fall head over heels for Shelly's Jalapeño Popper version!

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Photo

Fall is here and that means my crockpot has been getting a regular workout. It’s been all about cozy food lately.  Sweatpants food, if you will.  I’ve even been known to make candy in my crock pot.

I am certainly not one to judge you on your love of condensed soup, or cheesy rice casseroles. Because, frankly, I am right there with you! But that’s not all a crock pot can do! A slow cooker can be your best friend on the nights when you're stuck running from pillar to post, or in my case, soccer practice to soccer practice to trombone practice.. well, you get the idea.

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Picture

Today I decided to introduce two of my favorite foods to each other.  Like, but for edibles. That should really be a thing, you know…


Today my crockpot got a workout and Jalapeno Poppers and Pulled Chicken had their first date: Jalapeno Popper Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.

It went swimmingly.

Crock pot pulled chicken is basically a blank canvas for brilliance. And if I do say so myself, this recipe is pretty darn brilliant.

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Image

This is a Spicy Pulled Chicken Recipe, with a cream cheese cheddar sauce, topped with butter toasted panko and jalapenos. It’s basically to-die for. Making the pulled chicken in the crock pot is super easy… and if you prefer a plain sandwich, or even BBQ, you can stop after the chicken is done and top it with your favorite sauce.

But if you want to take it the extra mile, this recipe is crazy delicious with just a few extra easy steps. I think you'll especially like what the crispy panko topping does to add crunch and buttery over-the-topness to spicy cheesy sauce.

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Pic

And if you're looking for sides? Don't miss Erin's Eggplant Fries Recipe and Jen's Baked French Fries Recipe. With my sandwiches, you're looking at one amazing meal.

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken Recipe

    12 Servings


For the Pulled Chicken:
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies, 2 cans - like rotel
  • 2 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
For the Crispy Panko Topping:
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
For the Cheese Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
For Topping:
  • jalapeño, pickled or fresh, sliced


For the Chicken:

  1. Place diced onion and minced garlic in crock pot.  Place chicken on top.  Open cans of tomato and pour that over the chicken.
  2. Sprinkle chili powder, cumin salt and pepper over top.  Put bouillon cubes in.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.
  4. Drain almost all of the juices and season more to taste, if necessary.

​For the Panko Topping:

  1. In a skillet melt butter.  Add panko crumbs, stirring until lightly toasted.  Set aside.

For the Cheese Sauce:

  1. In small saucepan heat heavy cream until almost a boil, stirring constantly.  Whisk in cream cheese, until melted.  Then add the cheddar, stirring until smooth and combined.

To Assemble the Sandwich: 

  1. Place chicken on a bun.  Top with cheese sauce, crispy panko and sliced jalapeno.



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Shelly Jaronsky

About Shelly

Shelly shares all things sweet on her blog Cookies and Cups, but we knew this ex-pat Texan as our Comfort Food Fanatic could never be a bad thing.


What's the step after the chicken is done and you drain most of the juice?

Amber @ Jon

Jon, that's when you make the panko topping, cheese sauce, and assemble the sandwich.


This looks amazing! What's a good alternative for all the cream in the cheese sauce?


As I was making this, I wasn't sure how the end result would be....but once everything is combined together? Magical. I did sauté the jalapeno slices instead of using fresh. My husband had 3....I think it was a hit!


Dangit. My husband can't eat anything spicy because of his ulcers, but I'm a sucker for spicy food. I'll have to think of a way to make this with already cooked chicken so I can have this for lunch.


I love that idea of panko in a sandwich! Brilliant!!!


We live in Thailand. My Wife does the Thai cooking but sometimes I like to roll out some Western comfort food. We don't get canned toms with chilli here. Chilli's ? Yes. More types than You could imagine. Wondered therefore what You were aiming for by adding the canned mix. Heat or background flavor ? I can experiment for sure but would be nice to start with the mix you think is well balanced. Thanks if You have time for a reply
Paul (Am English)

@ Paul

Chile wise, probably flavor and heat. The canned stuff is sort of weird, it has green chilies and jalapeños so it can have a little spice to it. I'd use a mixture of your favorite chile peppers and roast them first.


That looks so good! I am going to try this soon!