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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.

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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
260 min
300 min



  • 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)

Salsa verde

  • 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