A pulled chicken sandwich on a plate with potato chips.

Pulled Chicken Sandwich Crunchy Slaw

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Sandwiches
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: North American


This pulled chicken sandwich recipe is made by simmering chicken breasts in a simple sauce with BBQ flavors until the chicken is fall-apart tender. The sauce is then thickened and poured over the pulled chicken and served on soft, toasted buns with crunchy slaw. It’s delicious! 

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The pulled chicken

  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 26 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely minced (see notes)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • ¼ cup Worchestershire sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons brown or coconut sugar (see notes)
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

The coleslaw

  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage (we like a mix of purple and green cabbage)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

The buns

  • 4 brioche buns, preferably toasted with a little butter (sub gluten-free buns, if needed)


  1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chipotle peppers and cook for 1 more minute.
  2. Add the orange juice, Worchestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and if using, the sugar to the pot and stir. (See notes) Put the chicken breasts into the pot and turn the heat to high. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for 1 hour, or until the chicken is very tender.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pot (save the liquid in the pot!) and shred it using 2 forks. Return the pot to high heat and boil, uncovered, until the liquid is as thick as BBQ sauce – it will thicken when it cools.
  4. Pour half of the sauce over the chicken and gently mix. If you’d like it saucier, add a little more sauce.
  5. Mix the coleslaw ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
  6. Top the buns with the pulled chicken and coleslaw and eat right away!


6 chipotle peppers pack quite a punch. If you don’t love spicy food, opt for fewer peppers. 

We usually skip the optional sugar as the orange juice gives it plenty of sweetness. But if you like a sweeter BBQ sauce then you may want to add it. 

Depending on how finely you mince the chipotle peppers, the sauce might be a bit chunky. It won’t affect the taste, but you can use a blender or an immersion blender if you want the sauce completely smooth.

A close up of garlic butter chicken and brussels sprouts in a pan.

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