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As a busy mom, it’s important for me to make a healthy meal for my family. Eating a family dinner together is one of my most important goals as a mom and we have some of our best conversations around the dinner table. It’s a great time to connect with the kids and keep in touch about our days.

But at the same time, I don’t like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Personally, I don’t have a lot of time to spend cooking because the rest of my day is so busy. I need recipes that save time. And even more than that, I try to keep our grocery bills under control, so I need meals that won’t cost a fortune to make.

Possibly the biggest test of all when it comes to a recipe is how my family will react to it. If I’m going to go to the effort of making dinner, I want to be pretty sure that my family will like it. There’s no worse feeling than making something the kids don’t want to eat! 

The best thing about this recipe for pulled smoky chicken sandwiches with cheddar is that it checks all my important boxes: easy, inexpensive, and a guaranteed hit every time. Dinner is on the table in just a few minutes and everybody is happy.

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

What makes this recipe so easy is that it all starts with a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken. Right from the start, the majority of the work has already been done for you. It doesn’t require you to spend hours roasting the chicken first. And because you’re using leftovers or a rotisserie chicken, you know it will be inexpensive.

It’s up to you to decide whether you want to cube the chicken or shred it. This is up to your family’s preferences. Cubing is easier, but shredding it also gives it a nice texture. Either one is perfect for a “loose meat” kind of sandwich, like a sloppy joe with a unique flavor profile.

You’ll probably wonder what to serve on the side. I always find that I can come up with the main dish, but side dishes are sometimes more challenging. You can always serve these delicious sandwiches with a side salad (bagged salad is totally fine!) or even plain potato chips.

Of course, we also have some great side dishes on this site too, like macaroni and cheese or chopped salad. This might slightly increase the time you spend cooking, but the sandwiches are so quick to prepare that you’ll still have a short time in the kitchen overall.

Smoky Pulled Chicken

This recipe is a star because it has the chili sauce for flavor but has the added smoke flavoring. The smoke flavoring makes it so that this recipe is truly unique. Smoke flavoring is an ingredient that I like to use in a lot of things, from soups to casseroles. It gives a bit of a chargrilled taste without having to use the grill, so it’s perfect in any season.

The recipe calls for cubing or shredding the chicken and smothering it in a smoky chili sauce. Then you put some of the sauced chicken on buns and add a slice of cheddar cheese, then put it under the broiler until it all gets melty and gooey. It’s perfect as is and guaranteed to make your family happy.

You can also customize these sandwiches even further. They’re delicious with some sautéed onions, green peppers, or even pickled jalapeno slices. Some families might want to make it a little healthier by adding some shredded lettuce as you would get at a sub sandwich shop. You can also use a different type of cheese, like mozzarella, provolone, or pepper jack if you like things on the spicy side.

But the smoky pulled chicken in the sauce is still useful in a variety of other recipes, too. The only limit is how far your creativity can go. Try it in dishes like enchiladas, burritos or burrito bowls, or soups. The flavor of smoke and chili sauce goes well with a lot of other dishes. 

This is one case where the sandwiches are so quick to prepare that you don’t even need any shortcuts like a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Just cube or shred the chicken, pour the sauce over it, then heat the sandwiches—from the kitchen to the table in just a couple of minutes. Before you know it, your whole family will be happily enjoying a meal together.

If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure to check out our Sour Cream and Chicken Enchiladas and our Old Fashioned Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings.

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Pulled-Smoky-Chicken-Sandwiches-with-Cheddar-2

Pulled Smoky Chicken Sandwiches with Cheddar Recipe


  • Author: Moms Who Think
  • Total Time: 25 minutes

Description

This recipe is a star because it has the chili sauce for flavor but has the added smoke flavoring. The smoke flavoring makes it so that this recipe is truly unique. Smoke flavoring is an ingredient that I like to use in a lot of things, from soups to casseroles. It gives a bit of a chargrilled taste without having to use the grill, so it’s perfect in any season.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken (such as rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted or grilled chicken)
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 4 sandwich rolls (such as hamburger buns)
  • 4 (1-ounce) slices Cheddar cheese, mild or sharp

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Combine the chicken, chili sauce, and liquid smoke in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Arrange the chicken on the bottom half of the rolls and top with cheese.
  5. Place the sandwiches under the broiler and cook for 1 minute, until the cheese melts.
  6. Top with the top half of the rolls and serve.
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Broiling
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pulled chicken sandwiches, smoky pulled chicken