Barbecue Chicken Sliders – These FAST and EASY sliders are made with shredded chicken, smothered in tangy barbecue sauce, sandwiched between soft slider buns with cheese, and baked until warm! These pull-apart sandwiches are perfect for parties, game days, or any casual gathering where a simple appetizer or snack is needed!
Easy Barbecue Chicken Sliders Recipe
These fast and easy barbecue chicken sliders certainly don’t disappoint when it comes to pleasing even the pickiest family member or guest. They are saucy, cheesy, and loaded with barbecue flavor!
Made with shredded chicken, your favorite BBQ sauce, and Havarti cheese, they’re then brushed with a melted butter topping that adds savory flavor and oven baked until tender on the inside and golden and crispy on the outside.
With just 5 minutes of prep time and a total time of 20 minutes total from start to finish, these BBQ chicken sliders are the perfect party food for occasions like Memorial Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, or holiday entertaining. They’re also a great tailgating and game day recipe that everyone adores.
Even better, they make a great snack or comfort food meal on busy weeknights when you need to get something on the table – and quickly!
Need More Slider Recipes?
I have yet to find a Slider Recipe I didn’t love!
From this reader-favorite Ham and Cheese Slider Recipe to these Pulled Pork Sliders, these pull-apart sandwiches are not only easy to make but a crowd pleaser whether you are serving them for a weeknight dinner or at a game day potluck.
Make sure to see the Related Recipes below the recipe card section of this post for photos + links to all my favorite slider and sandwich recipes.
Ingredients in Barbecue Chicken Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls
You only need a handful of simple ingredients and easy to find fridge and pantry ingredients for these little chicken sliders that have a big flavor!
For this recipe you will need the following:
- Slider buns
- Shredded rotisserie chicken
- Barbecue sauce
- Sliced Havarti cheese
- Melted butter
- Fresh thyme (dried may be substituted)
- Dried onion flakes
- Garlic cloves or garlic powder
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
The Best Buns to Use
King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls are my go-to for any slider recipe. Nothing can compare to the soft texture and lightly sweetened flavor the dough has.
Although you could try brioche rolls or dinner rolls if you want to experiment.
How to Make BBQ Chicken Sliders
The beauty of this easy recipe or any slider recipe is that they are really simple to make, they are just mini sandwiches.
Follow these easy instructions for the best barbecue chicken sliders.
Step 1: In a large bowl combine shredded chicken and barbecue sauce.
Step 2: Slice open the sweet Hawaiian slider rolls horizontally and place the bottom buns in a 9×13 baking dish greased with cooking spray.
Step 3: Add BBQ chicken mixture to each roll and then top with cheese slices.
Step 4: Place the tops of the rolls back onto the sliders.
Step 5: In a small bowl, mix together the 4 tablespoons melted butter, fresh thyme, and onion flakes then spoon the mixture onto the tops of the sliders.
Step 6: Cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Step 7: Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the top rolls are golden brown and then serve warm!
What to Serve with Easy Barbecue Chicken Sliders
Sliders are a great appetizer, snack, or quick meal recipe.
Serving them with a few sides always goes over well! Whether you are serving them for game day or just to your family for an easy weeknight dinner, here are a few favorite options to serve with your pulled chicken BBQ sliders.
- Classic Macaroni Salad – This fast and easy pasta salad recipe with tender elbow macaroni, bell peppers, carrots, celery, ham, and a super creamy dressing is a family FAVORITE! You can add cubed cheddar cheese, too.
- Bacon Potato Salad – This no mayonnaise Potato Salad with Bacon is ready in just 30 minutes! It’s a vinegar potato salad the whole family will love!
- German Potato Salad – A classic potato salad made with tender red potatoes, bacon, onions, and a tangy vinegar dressing! This no-mayo potato salad is a family favorite side dish that’s perfect for parties, picnics, and potlucks!
- Borracho “Drunken” Baked Beans – These “drunken beans” are simmered with a can of BEER and can be made in your SLOW COOKER OR INSTANT POT! The bacon, sausage or chorizo, jalapenos, tomato, onion, garlic, herbs, and beer make these the BEST protein packed beans ever!
- Bourbon Maple Slow Cooker Baked Beans — The BEST baked beans ever! The flavors of bourbon, maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses, and BBQ sauce intensify and concentrate over time, and the resulting beans have incredible depth of flavor. Sweet with a bit of heat, robust yet smooth, and extremely satisfying!
- Spicy Baked BBQ Chicken Wings: When serving these easy BBQ chicken sliders for game day, you really can’t go wrong with chicken wings!
- Herb Roasted Potatoes: You can never go wrong with potatoes as a side dish! With Parmesan cheese and simple seasonings, these potatoes are always a hit.
- Homemade Seasoned Fries: Regular french fries or these Sweet Potato Fries are two choices that would make a game day meal complete.
And if all else fails, some coleslaw and potato chips are always welcome!
BBQ Chicken Sliders Recipe Variations
Spicy: If you like spicy sliders, add some pickled jalapenos on top of the chicken.
Red onion: Add some sliced red onions before you top the sliders with the cheese.
Bacon: Adds a smoky salty flavor. Plus, you can never go wrong with bacon!
Seasonings: In the melted butter mixture, try some garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, or whisk in a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
Hawaiian: Want to up your vitamin C quotient? Make Hawaiian themed slicers by placing pineapple slices in the sandwiches similar to what I do in my Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sliders recipe.
Mexican: Look no further than my Chicken Enchilada Sliders for inspiration. You can use half BBQ sauce and half enchilada sauce.
Storing Leftover Shredded BBQ Chicken Sliders
Baked sliders are best served warm and fresh.
However, you can store leftover sliders in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can reheat them in the microwave if you are in a hurry, but I think the best way is to wrap them in aluminum foil and bake them at 350°F for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
If you don’t want to heat your kitchen by turning on the oven, you can also use a large skillet over medium heat, or the air fryer if desired.
This isn’t a recipe I recommend freezing.
The Best Barbecue Chicken Sliders FAQs
For ease and convenience, I love to use shredded rotisserie chicken. Most grocery stores carry these freshly baked chickens in their deli section.
Any shredded chicken works such as leftover Grilled BBQ Chicken, Poached Chicken, Perfect 20-Minute Baked Chicken, or make your own skinless chicken breasts or thighs quickly in the Instant Pot and shred.
My least favorite choice would be canned chicken that has been drained, but in a pinch that works, too.
Yes, but I would wait to add it until after the sliders are baked otherwise the cabbage in the coleslaw will lose its crunch.
Better yet, serve homemade coleslaw on the side and guests can choose whether they want to add it or not. This easy coleslaw from my Pulled Pork Sliders is a fantastic option.
Your favorite one is the best one to use in this BBQ chicken slider recipe!
Whether that is a popular store-bought one like Sweet Baby Ray’s or a homemade BBQ sauce, the choice is yours. You could even get creative with an Asian BBQ sauce.
A fun swap of the 3/4 cup barbecue sauce with an equal amount of Buffalo sauce will result in a batch of Buffalo chicken sliders instead!
My favorite cheese is Havarti cheese for both flavor and the way it melts so easily.
Other options include sliced mozzarella, smoked gouda, Monterey Jack, or pepper Jack.
You could prep these in the morning and then store them covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
Any longer than that and you risk the sandwiches becoming soggy because that oh-so-juicy chicken and barbecue sauce mixture will seep sog up the slider buns.
- 12 count package King’s Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls
- 3 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken is recommended)
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 8 slices Havarti cheese (sliced mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, Pepper Jack, gouda, or smoked gouda may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted (I use salted but if using unsalted, you may want to add a pinch of salt)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme may be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely minced OR 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish or baking pan with cooking spray. Tip – If you’re using a metal baking pan, I like to line my pan with nonstick foil for easier cleanup.
- Either slice the Hawaiian rolls in half horizontally so you will have a bottom “slab” and then a top “slab” OR separate the rolls and slice each one and a half horizontally. Note – I find the first “slab” method easier because you don’t have to be as precise about the placement of the remaining ingredients. However, slicing the final baked sliders is a bit easier with the second method.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the shredded chicken, barbecue sauce, and stir to combine.
- Evenly distribute the mixture over the bottom of all the Hawaiian rolls in the baking dish.
- Evenly top with cheese.
- Place the tops of the rolls over the cheese; set aside momentarily.
- To a small microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and heat on high to melt, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the thyme, onion flakes, garlic, and brush the mixture evenly over the tops of the buns.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, take off the foil, and bake for about 5 minutes more, or until the tops of the buns are as lightly golden browned as desired. Tip – Hawaiian bread is soft and has a fair amount of sugar in it so it will be more prone to burning. Watch the tops of the buns closely so they don’t get too done or burn.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Sliders are best fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for about 3 days, noting that the buns will become soggier as they sit.
*Chicken – I use and recommend rotisserie chicken for ease and convenience. Pick one of from your local grocery store and shred it. However, any shredded chicken works such as leftover Grilled BBQ Chicken, Poached Chicken, Perfect 20-Minute Baked Chicken, or make your own skinless chicken breasts or thighs quickly in the Instant Pot and shred.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 199Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g
More Easy Slider Recipes:
Easy Pulled Pork Sliders — Moist and tender pulled pork topped with barbecue sauce and coleslaw, and sandwiched between soft Hawaiian rolls! Everyone LOVES these EASY juicy sliders that are finger lickin’ good! PERFECT for game days, casual entertaining, backyard barbecues, graduation and Father’s Day celebrations.
Ham and Cheese Sliders — Baked juicy ham and Swiss nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls and brushed with a buttery Dijon, onion, and poppy seed topping!! Fast, EASY, and a party FAVORITE!
Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sliders – Grilled pineapple slices brushed with a soy and ginger marinade add a Hawaiian-inspired twist to these irresistible sandwiches!
Hawaiian Roll Turkey and Cheese Sliders — Juicy turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce all nestled in soft Hawaiian rolls that are brushed with butter and topped with poppy seeds for the BEST turkey sliders! FAST, EASY, and takes advantage of leftover turkey! Deli turkey also works.
Chicken Enchilada Sliders — Juicy shredded chicken is tossed in spicy enchilada sauce and is layered in soft Hawaiian rolls along with plenty of melted cheese! Brush them with a melted garlic butter and oregano mixture and garnish with cilantro and avocado! PERFECT for entertaining, game days, Superbowl, or a FAST and EASY weeknight dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes!
Pepperoni Pizza Sliders — Pizza by way of supremely cheesy sliders!! EASY, ready in 15 minutes, and perfect for parties because everyone LOVES them! Totally IRRESISTIBLE!!
Big Mac Sliders — For anyone who likes the restaurant version, you’re going to LOVE this copycat Big Mac recipe in handheld slider form! Complete with a COPYCAT Big Mac special sauce, melted cheese, pickles, and tender beef all nestled between soft buttery buns. These EASY sandwiches are a family favorite FAST dinner recipe or make them for events, holidays, or game day parties!
Beer and Bourbon BBQ Chicken Sliders — Chicken is cooked with beer and bourbon before being soaked in bbq sauce! So juicy, flavorful, easy, and ready in 25 minutes!
Caramelized Onion and Portobello Mushroom Sliders with Fry Sauce – Meatless comfort food at its finest! Hearty, satisfying and so good!
Ranch Chicken and Swiss Sliders — Tender chicken is coasted in tangy ranch dressing and topped with Swiss cheese. It’s all nestled in soft, sweet Hawaiian rolls with a buttery Dijon, onion, and poppy seed topping.
Roast Beef Sliders — Tender roast beef is mixed with sauteed green peppers and onions, piled into soft Hawaiian rolls, topped with Provolone cheese, and brushed with butter and garlic before baking! These juicy sliders are fast, EASY, and perfect for Father’s Day, backyard barbecues, potlucks, game day events, or anytime you need a great comfort food recipe!