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Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken Sandwiches make for an easy meal with a quick cooking semi homemade whole berry cranberry BBQ sauce topping slow cooked chicken.
We’ve been making a version of this Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken recipe for a long time. It’s a twist on a grilling recipe from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for turkey with cranberry BBQ sauce. Turkey breast isn’t always readily available and grilling isn’t always fun during the winter so I’ve swapped the turkey for chicken. Plus I wanted to make it something that could feed a crowd without a lot of extra work. Sandwiches are always a hit in my house like the Dr. Pepper BBQ Sandwiches so I decided to take the original recipe that direction.
Using a programmable slow cooker prevents the over cooking of boneless skinless chicken breasts but you’ll want to make sure you don’t discard the cooking juices from the slow cooker. I shred up my meat right in the slow cooker and toss it with the juices so it reabsorbs the juice. I like to use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to shred the chicken goes a lot faster than trying to shred it by hand with two forks. But if you don’t have either kind of mixer don’t worry. It’s also one less thing to clean!
The cranberry sauce cooks up really quickly with just a few ingredients. It’s the real star of this dish! The original recipe is just right for a bunch of normal servings of sauce but my husband loves sauces so I usually double the amount of sauce. The whole berry cranberry sauce and the diced onions gives a pleasant chunkiness to the sauce and a good contrast to the chicken.
If you didn’t want to make this as a sandwich you could always serve it over rice or mashed potatoes. If you are really looking for some fall flavor pair it with the Orange Cranberry Wild Rice I shared yesterday!
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Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken Sandwiches
- 8 hamburger buns
For Cranberry BBQ Sauce:
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Combine all spices in a small bowl. Reserve 1 tsp of mix for BBQ sauce.
- Place chicken in slow cooker. Sprinkle the spice mix over the chicken.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Once done cooking, use two forks, a hand mixer or stand mixer to shred the meat. Set aside and keep warm.
For the Cranberry BBQ sauce
- Saute the onion in about 1 Tbsp olive oil until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add whole cranberry sauce, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ketchup and 1 tsp reserved spice mix. Cook for about 5 minutes till thickened and bubbling.
- Remove chicken from slow cooker and top with BBQ sauce.
See all the other recipes being shared today as part of Cranberry week – follow #cranberryweek for all the tasty cranberry creations:
- Butternut Squash Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Fennel from Caroline’s Cooking
- Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad Wraps from Family Around The Table
- Cranberry Cheeseball by The Freshman Cook
- Cranberry Cobbler from Cookaholic Wife
- Cranberry Cocktail from Bear & Bug Eats
- Cranberry Gremolata from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Cranberry Orange Relish from Books n’ Cooks
- Jellied Cranberry Sauce from Palatable Pastime
- Orange Cranberry Sweet Rolls from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Roasted Green Beans with Cranberries from Making Miracles
- Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ Chicken from Jonesin’ For Taste
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Pot Roast from Everyday Eileen
- White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies from House of Nash Eats