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An image of a pulled chicken sandwich made in the slow cooker with a pretzel bun, apple barbecue sauce, and an apple cabbage slaw.
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4.89 from 9 votes

Slow Cooker Applesauce Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Tender, fall-apart chicken with a warm, spiced applesauce barbecue sauce and crispy apple cabbage slaw on soft pretzel buns make these Slow Cooker Applesauce Pulled Chicken Sandwiches THE sandwich for fall!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 sandwiches
Calories: 229kcal
Author: Amy Nash



  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 pretzel rolls


  • ½ head green cabbage
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped with seeds, stem, and membrane removed
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup apple cider or apple juice
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed


  • Combine the applesauce, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, garlic powder, cinnamon, and salt in the base of a crock pot. Whisk together.
  • Add the chicken into the sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours until the chicken is tender enough to be easily shredded.
  • When the chicken is done, transfer it to a plate and shred with a fork. Set aside.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce from the slow cooker to a small bowl, then pour the remaining sauce into a medium saucepan and set over high heat. Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved sauce to create a slurry, then stir it into the sauce in the saucepan.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat.
  • While the chicken cooks, prepare the slaw by using a mandolin or very sharp knife to shred the cabbage into fine, thin pieces.
  • Slice the apples into long, thin pieces using a mandolin or very sharp knife so it is about the same size as the cabbage. Add the cabbage, apples, and diced jalapeno to a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice, Greek yogurt, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and celery seed together. Pour over the cabbage and apple mixture and toss until everything is well coated.
  • To assemble the sandwiches, I like to toast the buns for by buttering them lightly and cooking them on a griddle for a few minutes, but it's not totally necessary. Top the bottom bun with shredded chicken, some of the applesauce BBQ sauce, a big scoop of slaw and finish with the top bun!


NOTE: You can make this up to 2 days in advance and just store the shredded chicken and sauce in the fridge. Reheat and assemble sandwiches before serving.
Recipe from The Speckled Palate.


Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 608mg | Potassium: 697mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg