Yes, that’s right, guilt-free BBQ sandwiches! Homemade BBQ sauce, crockpot shredded chicken, and 100% whole wheat sandwich buns – they taste delicious and will never leave you wondering “What did I just eat?” Because when I look at the back of a BBQ sauce bottle, the ingredients really scare me! Here’s the ingredients from a bottle that was hiding in the back of our pantry:
High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Tomato Paste, Water, Modified Corn Starch, Contains less than 2% of: Salt, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Natural Smoke Flavor, Spices, Caramel Color, Jalapeno Pepper, Sodium Benzoate as a preservative, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Dried Garlic, Sugar, Tamarind, Natural Flavor.
I think we’ve all heard enough about high fructose corn syrup and why it’s bad for you. It is not only in this sauce, but it’s the first ingredient! The preservative is also very scary. Unfortunately, most processed foods have preservatives (amongst a million other things that you usually can’t pronounce) and is one of the main reasons Marcos and I have decided to start weeding out processed foods from our diet.
Now, we don’t eat a lot of Bar-B-Que in our house (although I’m sure the hubs would love for that to change). It’s just not really my thing. So why go to all the trouble to make my own sauce? I just can’t bring myself to use the bottled stuff knowing what’s in it. We are getting rid of processed foods and this is no different. The pre-made condiments is one of the last things on my list to cut out of our diet. I plan to start making my own mayo, ketchup, and mustard. We definitely use them enough to make it worthwhile.
And really, it was fun and rewarding knowing that I knew exactly what was in this sauce! It was so worth it to make my own, and it really was pretty easy! Cutting out processed foods has been a lifestyle change for us that’s been for the better. I am making my own breads (including the buns in this recipe), tortillas, sauces, etc. I’ve got a lot of recipes to share with you guys!
Now, back to the BBQ sauce!
I put the chicken in the slow cooker a few hours before I wanted to eat. It went in frozen. Yes, frozen. Please, can this recipe get any easier? We don’t even have to think about thawing out the chicken!
Once it’s cooked, it’s shredded and mixed into the sauce … mmmmm. The sauce is “chunky”, unlike most BBQ sauces which are smooth. If you’d prefer it that way, I’m sure you could stick it into the blender before mixing it with the chicken. The hubs & I thought it was great like this, however.
This sauce is not your typical heavy BBQ sauce. It feels a lot lighter. I have an aversion to most BBQ sauces and usually eat my BBQ “dry”. This sauce is completely different – I love it. It got a seal of approval from the hubs, the BBQ lover.
Don’t tell me this isn’t a picture-perfect sandwich. Come on, look at this! It’s making my mouth water just looking at it (never mind that it’s only 7:30 am!).
For the sauce:
Adapted from Oh She Glows
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Two 14.5 oz cans no salt added diced tomatoes, drained & pureed (or use canned tomato sauce – I didn’t have any)
- 4 TBSP honey (molasses may give a better flavor, but again, I didn’t have any and it tasted great with honey)
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 4 TBSP brown sugar
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
For the chicken:
- 1.5-2 lbs frozen chicken breast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup water
- About 3.5-4 hours before serving, place chicken breasts, water, and spices into the crock pot. Cover and cook on high. When chicken has reduced in size and turned white, it should be done. At this point, shred chicken and set aside. If you desire, save your broth left in the crock pot. I froze mine and used it in another recipe later.
- Heat onion in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until slightly softened. Add garlic and cook just a minute more, stirring to keep it from browning.
- Add in all remaining sauce ingredients. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 25-30 minutes or until sauce is thickened to your liking.
- Taste sauce and make any adjustments if necessary.
- Add in shredded chicken and cook just until chicken is warmed (or, if added directly after shredded, chicken should still be warm).
- Serve with 100% whole wheat sandwich buns, and enjoy!
This recipe was shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Monday Mania