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Barbecue Applesauce Chicken

This applesauce chicken recipe is a great and quick way to use up leftovers for a simple, yet hearty meal.

While the idea of combining applesauce with chicken may seem unusual, there is only a subtle flavor of apple in the finished recipe that is quite well balanced and tasty.

The great thing about this easy recipe is that you likely have everything on hand and can whip it up quickly to feed just yourself or a crowd. It easily works for weeknight meals or big batches for game days, potlucks, and more.

A bun with chicken covered in sauce in between., a pickle spear sitting on the plate. Text overlay reads: quick & easy applesauce bbq chicken.

The Chicken

One could cook skinless boneless chicken breasts, just to make this recipe if desired. And if you decide to make a large batch for serving at a party, that’s definitely an easy way to go.

However, this is a great recipe to use up bits of leftover roast whole chicken (or even turkey), those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, truly any bits of chicken you have and it could easily be light meat, dark meat, or some combination of both.

Chop the chicken with a knife or consider pulling or shredding for a more barbecue like take on the finished dish.

The Applesauce

Unsweetened and unspiced applesauce is going to best in this recipe. Use homemade applesauce or something from the grocery store.

A glass jar of applesauce sitting on a table with fresh apples sitting in front of the jar.

If, like me, you can chunky applesauce you may want to puree it first so that it’s smooth. I personally preferred the smooth, not chunky, texture in this savory recipe but if you like the chunks feel free to leave them.

An apple a day is easy to achieve with these 12 sweet & savory recipes that incorporate applesauce to help you make the most of your harvest!


A little paprika adds a lot of flavor. A little hot paprika adds some more flavor. You could easily switch it up according to your own tastes.

Add some garlic powder or onion powder for more savory flavor

A split bun sitting on a plate with applesauce bbq chicken sitting in between the slices.

A small pinch of red pepper flakes could add some heat.

Black pepper and salt could also be added but may depend on the barbecue sauce – taste before adding too much of those.

Barbecue Sauce

Use whatever you prefer here, whatever is easily on hand will be perfect and amazing.

A spicy barbecue sauce can definitely change the flavor profile and tone done the natural sweetness of the apple sauce if that’s a concern.

Again, just use whatever bbq sauce is your favorite.

Options for Heating

Because the recipe uses cooked chicken, it’s really just a matter of heating the ingredients together until hot. I prefer to do this on the stove top in a saucepan. It takes 10-15 minutes this way and is super quick and easy.

A bun that has been sliced open and filled with applesauce bbq chicken sits on a white plate.

However, if you wanted to make a double, triple, or even larger batch to serve a crowd, cook in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours or until heated through.

How to Serve

This is a great dinner time sandwich meal. Serve simply on buns, open-face or as a sandwich with 2 slices of bread.

It could easily be served on top of brown rice if gluten is a concern.

Serve with simple side dishes like fries and pickles. My apple sauerkraut casserole goes alongside the open faced sandwiches quite well.

A split bun sitting on a plate with applesauce bbq chicken sitting in between the slices. A pickle spear sits on the plate.

Keep the barbecue theme going by serving it with baked beans. Macaroni and cheese is a lovely side as well.

How to Store Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, simply keep refrigerated in an air-tight container.

Use up leftovers within 3 days and simply reheat on the stove before serving.

For longer term storage, place leftovers in freezer safe containers and freeze. Thaw in the fridge or dump into a pot to cook until warm and enjoy.

Use up the frozen meal within 6 months for best flavor.

Yield: 4 Servings

Applesauce Barbecue Chicken

A split bun sitting on a plate with applesauce bbq chicken sitting in between the slices. A pickle spear sits on the plate.

Make this easy savory dish as a way to use up pantry staples and leftovers for a hearty and delicious meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2⁄3 Cup Applesauce
  • 2⁄3 Cup Barbecue Sauce
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Paprika, (optional)
  • 1 Pound Cooked Chicken, chopped (approximately 3 packed cups)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the applesauce, barbecue sauce, and paprika.
  2. Place chicken in a saucepan, pour the sauce over top and stir everything to combine well.
  3. Cover the pan with a lid and heat gently over medium-low heat until the chicken is warmed through. Stir occasionally.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 567mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 28g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

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