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BBQ shredded chicken being picked up with tongs.

Quick BBQ Shredded Chicken

This incredibly easy tender and tangy BBQ Shredded Chicken can be made in less than 30 minutes and is perfect for sandwiches, salads, and nachos. 
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 to 6
Calories 194kcal
Author Tracy


  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1½ to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts about 4 small or 2 large*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) butter salted or unsalted is fine


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, and water. Set aside.
  • Pat chicken breasts dry and lightly salt and pepper both sides. Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat and melt butter.
  • Add chicken breasts to the pan and cook until lightly browned. Flip the chicken breasts and pour barbecue sauce mixture over the top.
  • Bring sauce to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low, keeping the sauce at just a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken, re-cover, and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 165°F, usually around 3 to 6 minutes more.
  • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Allow the sauce to continue simmering uncovered, stirring occasionally, until it thickens.
  • Shred chicken breasts and return shredded chicken to the pan of sauce. Stir until well-coated. Serve and enjoy!


*If starting with large chicken breasts, cut each piece of meat into 2 even cutlets by placing your hand on top of the chicken breast and running a sharp knife horizontally through the center of the breast, slicing the top and bottom into two thin, even pieces.
This recipe makes about 3 to 4 cups of shredded chicken. Approximate nutritional information is for 6 servings of (about) 1/2 cup each. 


Calories: 194kcal