pulled barbecue chicken sandwiches

Healthier Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

Published On August 31, 2013 | By Christa Schueler | Eating Healthy, Food, Holiday, Recipes

Labor Day weekend typically follows in the same fashion as Memorial Day and July 4th with barbecues and family-time. But if you’re looking to cook something healthier than your standard hotdogs and grilled hamburger patties, look no further. Recess has a great recipe from Recipe Rehab that is not only perfect for a Labor Day family feast, but it’s healthier too. What I personally love about this recipe for Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches is that it contains very little sugar so my son, who loves barbecue and can’t digest sucrose properly, can also eat this with no worries (I’ll simply replace the buns with pita or ciabatta bread). Also, you probably have a lot of these ingredients in your pantry or food cabinet. Finally, a use for the dry mustard I bought a year ago!

Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

recipe rehab

photo courtesy of Recipe Rehab


  • 1 Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 pounds pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup low-sodium tomato puree
  • 1 cup no-salt-added ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 (1 ounce) slider burger buns


  1. To make the chicken, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Arrange the chicken breasts side by side in the prepared baking pan and drizzle the olive oil all over the top; season with pepper. Bake the chicken until barely pink in the center, about 40 minutes.
  3. To make the sauce, put a pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic.
  4. Cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste until fully incorporated. Stir in the vinegar, loosening up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the tomato puree, ketchup, Worcestershire, sugar blend, paprika, mustard, chili powder, and water. Bring the barbecue sauce to a simmer, stirring, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  6. Allow the cooked chicken to cool slightly, then peel off and discard the skin. Using 2 forks, shred the meat and discard the bone.
  7. Add the shredded chicken to the sauce and stir to incorporate. Simmer for another 5 minutes, until the chicken has soaked up the sauce and is heated through. Divide the chicken among the buns and serve.

nutritional information

For more delicious and nutritious recipes from Recipe Rehab, be sure to check out their website. Like them on Facebook and follow on Twitter @BetterEats and Pinterest.

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About The Author

UNLV graduate, wife, mother of three, blogger and aspiring novelist, Christa Schueler brings her writing, editing and research skills to Recess. As an advocate for education and health reform and a 25 year Las Vegas resident, Christa understands the need for providing a platform and a "voice" for women in Southern Nevada. Despite Las Vegas being one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Christa has seen continual lack of community connection and strives to change that. Now, she's joined the sandbox revolution!

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