Spicy Smoky Pulled Chicken

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

The perfect topping for nachos, potato wedges, or even just in a bread bun, this smoky pulled chicken is a moist and flavorful dish with a very eatable level of heat. Any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish is made better with smoky pulled chicken. It’s a perfect meat for tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, just to name a few. It’s quite versatile.

Our smoky and spicy pulled chicken, ready to serve

The smokiness comes from chipotle powder and liquid smoke. If you don’t have liquid smoke available, you can opt for smoked paprika instead of generic sweet paprika (learn the differences.) Of course, you could simply increase the chipotle powder, but you’ll also be increasing the overall spiciness at the same time. Smoked paprika will keep the heat relatively the same while increasing the smoke. The choice is yours.

We use the oven for this smoky pulled chicken, but you could also go the slow cooker route as well. This is a perfect dish to prepare in the morning before work. On your return, all you need to do is gently shred the chicken and decide how to enjoy it. Eight hours on medium heat should do the trick, but always check your slow cooker’s user manual to get the best time estimate.

See this recipe being made:

Like this recipe? You’ll love these too:

Spicy Smoky Pulled Chicken

Spicy Smoky Pulled Chicken

Delicious with nachos, tacos, burritos, and more.
4 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 219 kcal



  • Preheat oven to 325 Fahernheit.
  • Place the chicken breasts into an oven-safe casserole dish.
  • Peel and slice the onions and lay in the dish with the chicken.
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients to the dish and stir gently.
  • Cover with a lid or foil and place in the center of the oven for 80 minutes until soft and tender.
  • Remove from the oven and take the lid off carefully.
  • Transfer the chicken into a bowl and shred with 2 forks.
  • Add the cooked onion and a few spoonfuls of the liquid from the cooking dish.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 25gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 367mgPotassium: 667mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 512IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Chipotle Powder, Paprika, Smoked Paprika
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on March 21, 2023 to include new content.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments