Cheesy BBQ Chicken Sliders are always a hit! Soft Hawaiian rolls are stuffed with tender shredded chicken that’s mixed with sweet-savory barbecue sauce and topped with melty cheese. Who can resist?!

An overhead shot of BBQ chicken sliders.

Easy BBQ Chicken Sliders Recipe

My family goes crazy for baked, cheesy sliders – and this BBQ Chicken Sliders recipe is our latest, greatest rendition! These little sandwiches feature soft Hawaiian rolls stuffed with tender shredded chicken in sweet, smoky barbecue sauce, plus lots of melty cheese. The buttery sandwiches toast a bit in the oven and get just slightly crisp over the top. Perfection!

Why You’ll Love These Pulled Chicken Sliders

If you love barbecue sauce and you love chicken, you will definitely love BBQ chicken sliders. Here are a few reasons why we make these pulled chicken sliders again and again:

  • Simple ingredients list. No fussy ingredients here! You’ll be able to get everything you need at your grocery store.
  • Delicious contrasting flavors and textures. The tender, juicy chicken coated in flavorful BBQ sauce is truly hard to resist. Then the sweet rolls and meltry cheese add another layer of texture and flavor!
  • Easy to make! This is a super simple recipe to make. You can even save yourself some prep time by using pre-cooked chicken (or you can make the chicken in advance).
A side view of two bbq chicken sliders.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a quick overview of the ingredients needed for these pulled chicken sliders. Scroll down to the printable recipe card below this post for the exact ingredient amounts.

ingredients to make shredded chicken with barbecue sauce

BBQ Chicken

  • Chicken – I use boneless skinless breasts.
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil – Use a little bit of olive oil to cook the chicken in a skillet.
  • Barbecue sauce – Uses your favorite store-bought sauce or make my homemade barbecue sauce.
  • Water – This helps form the sauce for the chicken.
  • Worcestershire sauce – This adds a little more savory flavor.
  • Smoked paprika – To add a bit of smoky spice.
  • Garlic powder – To add even more flavor to the sauce.
  • Onion powder – I use onion powder rather than onion for easy, concentrated onion flavor.
ingredients to make bbq chicken sliders

BBQ Chicken Sliders

  • Hawaiian bread rolls – Or another soft, sweet roll of your choice.
  • BBQ shredded chicken – Made from the recipe included in this post.
  • Cheese – You can also use sharp cheddar or mozzarella, or your own favorite melty cheese.
  • Fresh cilantro leaves – For a pop of fresh color and flavor.
  • Red onion – This gives a nice fresh crunch to the sliders.
  • Butter – For brushing over the top of the rolls. This adds delightful browning and flavor.
  • Thyme – Fresh thyme leaves are best but you can use dried thyme if necessary.
  • Salt & ground pepper
An overhead shot of BBQ chicken sliders.

How To Make BBQ Chicken Sliders

First, let’s make the BBQ shredded chicken – then we’ll use it to make the sliders!

BBQ Shredded Chicken

  • Season the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt & pepper on both sides.
  • Cook the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and let them cool.
  • Make the barbecue sauce. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the barbecue sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder – stir to combine. Add salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Shred the chicken. Using two forks, shred the cooked chicken into smaller pieces.
  • Combine chicken and barbecue sauce, and simmer. Add the shredded chicken back to the skillet and mix well with the sauce. Let simmer for about about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. The BBQ shredded chicken is now ready to use for the BBQ Chicken Sliders.

BBQ Chicken Sliders – let’s put it all together!

  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Prepare the rolls. Slice the Hawaiian bread rolls in half horizontally (leave the rolls connected) and place the bottom halves in a baking dish.
  • Add the chicken. Spread the BBQ Shredded Chicken evenly over the bottom of the rolls.
  • Assemble the sliders. Top the chicken with cheese, red onion, and fresh cilantro.
  • Brush rolls with melted butter mixture. Place the top halves of the rolls over the filling. Then mix together the melted butter, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper, and brush it over the top.
  • Bake. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the sliders are heated through and the cheese is melted.
An overhead shot of BBQ chicken sliders.
  • Remove the foil and bake a bit more. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes to lightly toast the tops of the rolls.
cheesy sliders on a cutting board
  • Serve them warm. Remove the BBQ chicken sliders from the oven and serve them warm and gooey-melty!
A BBQ chicken sliders on a white background.

Tips & Variations

I’ve included a few tips plus some variation suggestions below to help you make these chicken sliders on Hawaiian rolls.

  • Use homemade barbecue sauce. You can use a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce. But I love making my own homemade barbecue sauce (linked above) – it’s so flavorful and elevates these sliders into something extra special.
  • Cover the sliders with foil. When baking the sliders, be sure to cover them for the first 10-15 minutes or so. This holds the heat in so the cheese gets melty, plus it doesn’t let the tops of the buns start to brown.
  • Make them spicy. You can add jalapenos to the chicken mix if you want a kick of spice.
  • Buy rotisserie chicken. Save yourself some time and buy a pre-cooked chicken!
  • Or cook your chicken in advance. You can also make the chicken up to 3 days in advance so it’s ready to go when you need it. Keep the cooked chicken in an airtight container in the fridge until you make the slider filling.
  • Substitute pulled pork. For a pork version of BBQ chicken sliders, make pulled pork. Then substitute it for the chicken in the recipe and follow the same method as you would for making the sliders with chicken.
An overhead shot of BBQ chicken sliders.

Serving Suggestions

Sometimes a slider or two is enough! But they also are wonderful with a lot of other dishes, including:

Shredded chicken is stirred into a pot of bbq sauce with a wooden spoon.

Can These Be Assembled In Advance?

Yes, you can make the filling in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to assemble the sliders, remove the filling from the fridge and proceed with the recipe.

An overhead shot of BBQ chicken sliders.

Proper Storage

Store leftover pulled chicken sliders tightly wrapped in plastic or foil in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat them, place the sliders on a baking sheet and heat on low heat in the oven until the cheese is melted and the chicken is warmed through.

cheesy chicken slider sandwiches on a cutting board

BBQ Chicken Sliders

Yield: 6 servings
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 35 minutes
total time: 55 minutes
Cheesy BBQ Chicken Sliders are always a hit! Soft Hawaiian rolls are stuffed with tender shredded chicken that's mixed with sweet-savory barbecue sauce and topped with melty cheese. Who can resist?!
5 Stars (1 Review)
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Ingredients

BBQ Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (use my homemade barbecue sauce if you like!)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper, to taste

BBQ Chicken Sliders

  • 12 Hawaiian bread rolls (1 12-ounce package)
  • 3 cups BBQ shredded chicken
  • 12 slices sharp cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • BBQ Shredded Chicken:
    Season the chicken breasts with salt & pepper on both sides.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board or plate. Let them cool slightly, then shred into smaller pieces.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, add the barbecue sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir to combine. Add salt & pepper, if desired.
  • Add the shredded chicken back to the skillet and mix well with the sauce. Let the chicken simmer in the sauce for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is heated through and well coated. Remove skillet of BBQ Shredded Chicken from the heat.
  • BBQ Chicken Sliders:
    Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Slice the rolls in half horizontally, all the rolls still attached to each other. Place the bottoms in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Spread the BBQ Shredded Chicken evenly over the bottom of the rolls.
  • Top the chicken with cheese slices, red onion, and cilantro. Place the top halves of the rolls over the filling.
  • In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper together. Brush this mixture over the tops of the rolls.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the sliders are heated through and the cheese is melted.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes to lightly toast the tops of the rolls.
  • Remove from the oven and serve the BBQ Chicken Sliders warm and melty-gooey.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 575kcal Carbohydrates: 25g Protein: 30g Fat: 39g Saturated Fat: 21g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 146mg Sodium: 1416mg Potassium: 528mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 18g Vitamin A: 1363IU Vitamin C: 4mg Calcium: 435mg Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

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