Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Salsa Verde

Pile these slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches sky-high with coleslaw, radishes, tomatoes, sour cream or hot sauce – we love eating them open-faced with a knife and fork, but you can also serve them as a regular sandwich. Alternatively, skip the buns entirely and make a Mexican-style bowl by spooning the pulled chicken over brown rice and adding your favorite toppings. If you can’t find fresh Anaheim chiles, broil the tomatillos as directed and add a 16-ounce BPA-free can or jar of diced roasted green chiles to the blender in Step 3.
Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Salsa Verde recipe

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Salsa Verde

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings



  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp each chile powder, ground cumin and sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 4 whole-grain buns, split and toasted (for serving open-faced; or 8 buns if you want to serve on full buns)


  • 7 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 4 Anaheim chile peppers
  • 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


1. Prepare salsa: Preheat broiler to high and arrange oven rack 6 inches from heat source. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray. Arrange tomatillos and chile peppers in a single layer on prepared sheet. Broil, turning once, until softened and slightly charred, about 10 minutes.

2. Transfer chile peppers to a large heat-proof bowl; cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand for 15 minutes. Gently peel off skins and cut peppers in half; remove seeds and white pith. Discard skins, seeds and pith. Roughly chop peppers. (TIP: Wear gloves when handling chile peppers to avoid irritation.)

3. Meanwhile, transfer tomatillos to a blender or food processor; add shallot, cilantro, garlic and salt. Blend until smooth. Add chile peppers and blend until just combined.

4. In a large skillet on medium, heat oil. Add tomatillo mixture and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool completely.

5. Prepare chicken: In a 4- to 6-qt slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, chile powder, cumin, salt, chipotle chile powder, black pepper and ½ cup salsa verde; stir to coat. Transfer remaining salsa verde to a bowl; cover and refrigerate until needed. Cover slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours.

6. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a separate large bowl. Using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Return to slow cooker; stir to coat.

7. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat reserved salsa verde on low, stirring occasionally, until warm. Divide chicken mixture among bun halves. Top with desired toppings and salsa verde, dividing evenly. 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 open-faced sandwich
  • Calories: 256
  • Carbohydrate Content: 16 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 83 mg
  • Fat Content: 1 g
  • Fiber Content: 3 g
  • Protein Content: 30 g
  • Sodium Content: 653 mg
  • Sugar Content: 3 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content: 4 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 1 g