BBQ Sauce – Pulled Chicken & Sloppy Joes

This is a 3-in-1 recipe… BBQ Sauce – Pulled Chicken and Sloppy Joes. Easy and de-li-cious!

I have to admit… this recipe for BBQ Sauce, Pulled Chicken and Sloppy Joes does not get five-stars for health. This is one of those meals that I consider a treat/meal. I make this a couple of times in the summer we totally enjoy it! Homemade is better! No need for store-bought BBQ Sauce. Take pride in making your own with more wholesome ingredients!

BBQ Sauce – Pulled Chicken & Sloppy Joes

Free of Dairy, Gluten (opt.), Nuts, Corn, Eggs, Soy (check labels)


about 2 cups

Preparation Time

10 minutes

Cook time

none (for BBQ Sauce)


*Use all organic and/or farm-raised ingredients.

1 cup apple cider vinegar – I like Bragg’s brand (Check your local coop for a good ACV that still has the “mother”. Many others are distilled white vinegars with flavors and colors added which do not give the best flavor or health benefits.)

1 cup ketchup

3 Tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

2 Tablespoons molasses

1 Tablespoon yellow mustard

1 Teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (This makes a mild batch, use up to 2 teaspoons for some good kick.)


Combine all ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Add immediately to cooked, pulled chicken and let cook for a couple more hours on low in a slow-co0ker or let sugars dissolve and use as desired.

Sloppy Joe’s – Brown 1 pound of burger (I used bison). For basic, good ol’ Manwich flavor, brown meat, add BBQ sauce keep warm on low for at least an hour to infuse flavor into the meat.

For more texture and flavor, add a half of a diced onion and perhaps other veggies like 1/2 of a sweet pepper (red or yellow for milder flavor) during browning. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper half way through browning for extra flavor too.

Pulled Chicken – This is very easy to make. Slow cook a whole chicken in a couple of inches of water in a crock pot starting in the morning for evening meal. A 4-6 pound bird will work just fine. When cooked through, let cook and pull meat off the bones, shredding with fingers or forks. Save bones to make stock for soup (I keep them in a freezer bag in the freezer until I’m ready to make a batch.) Clean crock pot of chicken juices and put chicken back in crock pot with BBQ sauce. Cook on low for a couple of hours until dinner time. Alternatively, mix the chicken and sauce and refrigerate until the next day. Warm for lunch. The flavors will be well-infused in the chicken and you’ll have a great lunch!

Other options

If you’re a Nourishing Traditions fan like I am and you cook with organ meats, this recipe is a great way to use nourishing organ meats like beef or bison hearts.

I slow cook the heart in a crock pot overnight, about 1/3 way covered in water. Start it early enough in the evening so you can turn it a couple of times before going to bed.

Hearts need a lot of slow cooking to not only cook, but tenderize. In the morning, take heart from slow cooker, cut off fatty and very tough parts (usually where the arteries come out) and pull meat apart with a fork.

If you let it cool too long it will be even more difficult to pull apart. It’s ok if there are larger pieces, they will get tenderized in the next process.

Save the juice the heart cooked in. Add meat back to crock pot. Add BBQ sauce and 1 cup of cooking juices.

Cook on a low cooking heat for at least 3 hours, stirring several times and pulling apart the last of the larger pieces while stirring.

If you choose to cook it longer you may need to add back in cooking juices. Save remaining cooking juices for favoring soups and gravies.

This could also work well for a pulled pork recipe.

Body-type and Wellness Insights

…Second, many sauces and dressings have beneficial ingredients like vinegars and herbs which stimulate our digestive systems to work well and help our bodies to process difficult proteinaceous and fatty foods, in the case of herbs.

This sauce in particular with the age-old remedy, tangy apple cider vinegar, encourages good digestion and cooling in the body. An old-time remedy for sun burn or heat-related issues is to soak a brown bag in vinegar (in most cases apple cider vinegar in the old-days) and place over the affected area. No wonder BBQ is a summer and Southern favorite!

This recipe has benefits for all Body-types (the subject of my book You-niversal Self-care).

It helps the Earth-type to stimulate their digestion which can be especially slow in the Earthy summer months and generally needs a boost in digesting heavy meats.

The Fire-type is cooled by the sweet and tangy flavors and especially the apple cider vinegar. The mustard, ACV and peppers can actually help the Fire-type release some inner heat by opening the pores.

Air-types, like the Earth-types are mostly helped by getting aid in digestion from the very active, meat-tenderizing ingredients. Air-types are also helped by the nutritive meats and nutrient dense molasses. This is also why I like to use sucanat, which is more reliably a purer sugar than brown sugar- which sometimes is white sugar with color and flavoring added back in.

Water-types are aided in keeping digestion flowing well with these delicious ingredients. Yes, good digestion is very important!