Pulled Chicken Sloppy Joes (Sloppy Chickens)


I'm showing you how to make what I like to call Sloppy Chickens, which are a cross between a pulled pork sandwich and a classic ground beef Sloppy Joe, except this chicken version is way easier than both of those. And don't let the name fool you, we're not going to need to pull any chicken, since as you'll see, it actually pulls itself. Garnish these with more green onion if desired.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
4 sandwiches

The original plan for this deliciously different hot sandwich was simply going to be a chicken-based version of a pulled pork sandwich. But then I remembered I'm not the biggest fan of pulled pork sandwiches, or at least tossing shredded meat in barbecue sauce before serving on a bun. That's why I decided to try the sloppy Joe approach — and I could not have been happier with the results.

Above and beyond the great taste and texture, these "sloppy chickens" were incredibly simple to make. All we do is dump everything in the saucepan, simmer until tender, and then eat. This is a classic example of a recipe they call "dump recipes," but just because "they" call them that, doesn't mean we have to (and I really hope you don't).

The only big decision you'll have to make, besides what else to toss in spice-wise, is how wet or dry to make yours. You can let the sauce reduce while the chicken cooks like I did, for a "drier" sandwich that you can possibly eat with your hands. You can also cover the pan, so the mixture stays saucier, and enjoy your sloppy chicken with a fork. I prefer the thicker, less saucy approach, but both would be fantastic, and no matter which direction you go, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

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  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ large yellow onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • ¾ cup ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

  • ½ cup diced jalapeno pepper

  • 4 medium hamburger buns - split, toasted and buttered


  1. Add vegetable oil to a saucepan, and then add (in this order) garlic, yellow onion, brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne, chicken thighs, ketchup, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.

  2. Place over high heat and wait until you can hear the garlic sizzling in the bottom of the pan, about 30 seconds. Let garlic sizzle for about 30 seconds before adding the water. Stir everything together and wait for the mixture to boil.

  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken falls apart, about 1 1/2 hours.

  4. Stir in the green onions and peppers and cook until the peppers just turn tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Taste for seasoning.

  5. Remove from heat and serve on toasted hamburger buns.

Chef's Notes:

You can use any kind of salt you prefer, chicken broth instead of water, and any green pepper you like.

For a wetter, saucier Sloppy Joe that you eat with a fork, simply cook the chicken covered so the sauce doesn't reduce as much, and/or add more water or broth at the end to adjust the texture.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

847 Calories
27g Fat
95g Carbs
53g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 847
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 2629mg 114%
Total Carbohydrate 95g 35%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 53g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 255mg 20%
Iron 7mg 41%
Potassium 830mg 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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