BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Pineapple Slaw

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Are you looking for the best Whole30 dinner recipe to serve at your next summer picnic or backyard bbq? I’m telling you, these Slow Cooker Paleo and Whole30 BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Pineapple Cabbage Slaw are amazing!

Shredded BBQ Chicken in the slow cooker.

Whole30 Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

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I don’t know about you, but summertime always has me craving meals with all the spicy, sweet, and savory flavors, plus lots of crunch. So if you’re like me at all, this Paleo and Whole30 BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Pineapple and Cabbage Slaw recipe is everything you’ve been wanting!

Cooking the shredded BBQ chicken in the slow cooker means it’s really simple to make, of course, but it’s also unbelievably delicious and totally fall-apart tender. And when you serve it inside lettuce wraps with a crunchy slaw of fresh, juicy pineapple, shredded red cabbage, lime, jalapeño, cilantro, and green onion… oh man, it just doesn’t get better than that.

Close up side angle of one bbq chicken lettuce wrap.

Finding Whole30 BBQ Sauce

Whole30 compliant bbq sauce used to be really hard to find. Impossible, actually. But no more! There are plenty of options, from Primal Kitchen Foods, New Primal, and more. There’s also a great recipe in The Whole30 book for homemade bbq sauce. What a time to be alive!

The spicy pineapple slaw ingredients in a glass bowl, ready to be mixed.

Spicy Pineapple + Cabbage Slaw

This spicy pineapple slaw is the most beautiful, simple, and flavorful summer side dish or salad. And I think it’s the perfect compliment to the savory Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken!

And I really don’t know what it is, but I’m kind of obsessed with sweet and spicy (ahem, have you seen my Blackened Salmon with Peach Salsa recipe?).

This pineapple slaw is made with juicy sliced pineapple, crunchy red cabbage, spicy jalapeño peppers, freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro and green onions. The sweet and spicy flavors make this a salad that’s sure to steal the show!

The spicy pineapple and cabbage slaw, mixed together in a glass bowl.

One of my favorite things about this slaw

It’s a great make-ahead side dish! You can prep everything ahead of time, and just keep the pineapple separate. Let the cabbage marinate with all the other yummies, then just mix the pineapple together when you’re ready to serve.

And if you don’t have red cabbage or don’t feel like chopping it, substitute any store-bought cole slaw mix. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

What else can I serve it with?

If you don’t eat it with the bbq chicken lettuce wraps, I like to serve it with my BBQ Chicken & Ranch Sliders (Whole30) or my Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Whole30).

A white plate with three lettuce cups filled with bbq chicken and topped with sliced jalapeno. A hand squeezes a lime on top.

BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe FAQ

Can I cook the BBQ Chicken in the Instant Pot?

Yes, of course! To cook BBQ Chicken in the Instant Pot:

  1. Just add the chicken and half of the bbq sauce with about 1/8 cup of water to your Instant pot, set it to high pressure, and cook for 15 minutes. Allow a Manual Pressure Release for 5 minutes, then Quick Release.
  2. Shred the chicken with two forks, then toss the chicken with the remaining bbq sauce.

Can I substitute chicken breasts?

Definitely! For chicken breasts, follow the same instructions but keep an eye on it close to end of cook time so as not to overcook it. In the slow cooker, chicken breasts should cook for about 3-4 hours on low or 6-7 hours on high.

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BBQ Chicken Wraps with Spicy Pineapple Slaw (Whole30, Paleo)

This is your new favorite Whole30, Paleo, and Gluten Free summer dish!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Side Dishes, Slow Cooker, Spicy Dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 366 kcal

Ingredients

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 lb chicken thighs or substitute chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup bbq sauce
  • 1 onion

Lettuce Wraps + Toppings

  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 head butter, bibb, or romaine lettuce

Spicy Pineapple Slaw

  • 1 pineapple
  • 1/4 head red cabbage about 3-4 cups shredded
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Instructions

Make the BBQ Chicken

  1. Slice the onion into quarters.

  2. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the crockpot with half of the BBQ sauce and the onion. ⠀

  3. Cover and cook on high for 3.5-4 hours or low for 6-6.5 hours. 

  4. Once the chicken is fall apart tender (test it by trying to cut it with a fork), remove the chicken and shred it gently using two forks. Return the chicken to the crock pot and mix. Set the slow cooker to "Keep Warm" function until you're ready to eat.

  5. When you're ready to serve, remove the chicekn from the crock pot with a slotted spoon, and mix with the remaining bbq sauce.

Make the Pineapple Slaw

  1. Remove the outermost leaves from the cabbage and set them aside. Cut away the core, then thinly slice or shred the cabbage using a mandolin or with a sharp knife.

  2. De-seed the jalapeno and finely dice it, then chop the cilantro and green onion. Add to the cabbage.

  3. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the cabbage. Pour the olive oil in. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.

  4. Peel and core the pineapple. Cut the pineapple into bite-sized pieces and set it aside.

  5. Just before serving, mix the pineapple into the cabbage mixture. Season again to taste, if necessary.

Assemble and Serve

  1. Spoon the bbq chicken into lettuce cups. Top with cilantro leaves, slices of jalapeno, and serve with the pineapple slaw.

Recipe Notes

If you make the pineapple slaw ahead of time, mix all the ingredients together, but keep the pineapple separate until just before serving. It keeps it from turning purple!

Feel free to substitute any pre-made cole slaw mix for the red cabbage. 

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken adaptation:

  1. Just add the chicken and half of the bbq sauce with about 1/8 cup of water to your Instant pot, set it to high pressure, and cook for 15 minutes. Allow a Manual Pressure Release for 5 minutes, then Quick Release.
  2. Shred the chicken with two forks, then toss the chicken with the remaining bbq sauce.
Nutrition Facts
BBQ Chicken Wraps with Spicy Pineapple Slaw (Whole30, Paleo)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 366 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 535mg23%
Potassium 525mg15%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 658IU13%
Vitamin C 99mg120%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.