Delicious Crock Pot Pulled Turkey Recipe

Picture this – it’s a beautiful summer day, the sun is shining, and you’re surrounded by friends and family. The grill’s fired up, but something’s missing. Lucky for you, I’ve got just the recipe to take your outdoor gathering to the next level – my crock pot pulled turkey recipe.

As a BBQ chef, I’ve spent years perfecting this recipe, and trust me when I say that it’s a crowd-pleaser every time. Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or need to feed a hungry crowd at your next tailgate, this dish is sure to hit the spot.

But what makes my recipe so special? For starters, it takes advantage of slow cooking in your crock pot, which helps ensure that every bite is moist and flavorful. And don’t let its name fool you – this dish isn’t just for turkey lovers. With a blend of savory seasonings and tangy sauces, even those who prefer pulled pork or chicken will be clamoring for seconds.

So come along with me as we dive into my crock pot pulled turkey recipe – I promise it’ll be love at first bite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Crock Pot Pulled Turkey
Crock Pot Pulled Turkey

Are you someone who loves slow-cooked, juicy meat? Do you crave succulent, shredded turkey sandwiches that burst with flavor and warmth? Then my crock pot pulled turkey recipe is just what you need in your life.

This recipe takes the humble turkey breast and transforms it into a masterpiece of tender deliciousness, perfect for any night of the week. Using the slow cooker means that the meat cooks low and slow, allowing all of the flavors to meld together and create an unbeatable taste.

But what sets this pulled turkey recipe apart from others is the dynamic blend of ingredients. Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, chili powder, onion soup mix, mustard, and ketchup come together to create a symphony of flavors that will have your taste buds singing.

And don’t worry about breaking the bank – this recipe uses affordable ingredients that are easy to find in your local grocery store.

So whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this pulled turkey recipe is sure to impress. Once you take a bite out of a delicious pulled turkey sandwich, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Trust me; this recipe will become a staple in your family’s meal rotation.

Ingredient List

 Tender, juicy goodness in every bite!
Tender, juicy goodness in every bite!

Before diving into the recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients we’ll need for this crock pot pulled turkey recipe. Don’t worry, the list is not too long and it’s highly flexible based on your preferences.

  • turkey breast (you can also use leftover turkey or even ground turkey)
  • onion (for flavor)
  • garlic cloves (for flavor)
  • liquid smoke (for extra smokiness and depth of flavor)
  • Worcestershire sauce (for a slightly tangy and complex taste)
  • black peppercorns (for spiciness)
  • salt (to enhance the flavors)
  • chili powder (for a slight kick)
  • cider vinegar (to tenderize the meat)
  • Dijon mustard (for some creaminess and tanginess)
  • coarse-grained mustard (for texture and a bold taste)
  • corn syrup or brown sugar (to add some sweetness to counterbalance the spices)
  • tomato ketchup (to add some acidity and to thicken the sauce)

These ingredients are easy to find at any grocery store, and you might even have most of them in your pantry.

The Recipe How-To

 A blend of savory spices and turkey magic.
A blend of savory spices and turkey magic.

Now that you have your ingredients ready, let’s get started with the Crock Pot Pulled Turkey Recipe! This recipe is straightforward and requires minimal preparation. The slow cooker will do most of the work while you go about your day.

Step 1: Prepare the Turkey

Begin by placing the turkey breast in the slow cooker. Choose a turkey size that fits the size of the slow cooker. For example, if you’re using an 8 quart slow cooker, a 6-8 lb turkey breast will fit perfectly.

Next, apply the rub to the turkey breast. Mix together 2 tsp of chili powder, 1/2 tsp of black peppercorns (crushed), and 1 tsp of salt in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the turkey breast, making sure to cover all sides evenly.

Step 2: Add Liquid Ingredients

Once you have rubbed the turkey breast with spices, pour 1/2 cup of cider vinegar over it. This acidic liquid helps to break down the meat fibers, making it more tender and flavorful.

Pour in 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce on top of the apple cider vinegar. It adds richness and deep flavors to the meat.

Then mix together 2 cloves of minced garlic [make garlic bold] with 1/4 cup of corn syrup in another mixing bowl until they are thoroughly mixed.

Finally, add to this mixture 1/3 cup each of tomato ketchup, coarse grain mustard and Dijon mustard each ensuring that there is no lump left in it as you mix them properly.

Pour beer or broth into the slow cooker around (not over) turkey.

Step 3: Add Vegetables

Add sliced onions and any other vegetables like bell peppers or carrots on top of the turkey to add some extra flavors and nutrients as well.

Step 4: Cook Low and Slow

Cover with lid and cook low for approximately 6 hours, until cooked through , fork-tender, and easy to shred into pieces. Don’t be tempted to lift the Lid and check on it regularly as it can lower temperature which increases cooking time unnecessarily.

After cooking time is up, remove turkey carefully from cooker but leave all other ingredients inside for now. Shred turkey using two forks or electric mixer shredders [bold shredders] until finely pulled turkey is achieved (discard bones).

### Step 5: The Last Lap

Add back shredded turkey into the sauce inside slow cooker until it’s soaking up all its deliciousness while still on low heat setting for another extra hour.

Voila! Your scrumptious Crock Pot pulled turkey is ready to be enjoyed in variety of dishes such as sandwiches with coleslaw, gravy mix over hot rice etc.

Substitutions and Variations

 Slow cooking and patience make the perfect turkey.
Slow cooking and patience make the perfect turkey.

Are you looking to add your own unique twist to this classic Pulled Turkey recipe? Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and make this recipe your own.

For a healthier option, you can swap out the turkey breast with raw ground turkey or even turkey tenderloin. You can also try using ground chicken or shredded chicken for a different texture and flavor.

If you’re not a fan of liquid smoke, you can omit it altogether or sub in smoked paprika for a milder smoky flavor. If you prefer a spicier kick, try adding some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the rub.

For the sauce, you can switch things up by using BBQ sauce, hot sauce, or even a tangy mustard sauce. If you want to keep it simple, just drizzle some plain ketchup on top of the pulled turkey.

If you don’t have access to a slow cooker or crockpot, this recipe can also be made in an Instant Pot. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Leftover turkey is also great in this recipe. Simply shred the meat and mix it into the sauce for a tasty sandwich filling. For those who prefer pork over poultry, this recipe works just as well with pulled pork instead.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to substitutions and variations for this Pulled Turkey Recipe. Get creative and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 The ultimate crowd-pleaser for parties and potlucks.
The ultimate crowd-pleaser for parties and potlucks.

Once the slow-cooked turkey breast is perfectly tender and flavorful, it’s time to explore your options for serving and pairing this delicious dish. The versatility of pulled turkey makes it a great ingredient to add to various dishes, from sandwiches to soups.

For a hearty and fulfilling meal, serve the pulled turkey in between slices of bread or rolls with your favorite condiments like mustard, ketchup or mayonnaise. You can also add some cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles to create a delicious turkey sandwich. Another idea is to serve the pulled turkey as an alternative to pulled pork in sloppy Joes, providing an even leaner protein source and a flavor that competes with that of other meats.

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider using the shredded turkey as the main ingredient in a warm and satisfying soup. Combine it with aromatic vegetables such as onion or garlic, along with some potatoes or veggies like carrots or peas for added texture. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper for flavor and you’re good to go.

You can also use leftover turkey breast in any recipe that calls for cooked meat. The possibilities are endless — tacos, burritos or even pasta dishes are all excellent ways to use up your leftover turkey.

In terms of pairing with drinks, cold beer is an obvious choice when it comes to hot turkey sandwiches. Brown ale’s intense flavor pairs well with the rich taste of slow cooked meats. As an alternative, try a crisp white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc- its citrusy flavors will help cut through the richness of the meat.

In conclusion, this crock-pot pulled turkey recipe offers numerous options for servicing and pairing that will appease everyone’s culinary preferences!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Served on a bun or by itself, either way it's delicious.
Served on a bun or by itself, either way it’s delicious.

This recipe makes for a great meal-prep option and is perfect for get-togethers or parties. Making it ahead of time will give the flavors a chance to meld together, making it even more delicious.

To make ahead, simply follow the recipe as instructed and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Before serving or reheating, you may need to add more liquid, such as broth or barbecue sauce, to keep the turkey moist.

To reheat the pulled turkey, you can use a variety of methods. One option is to reheat it in a slow cooker on low heat for several hours until heated through. Alternatively, heat it up in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until hot.

If you have any leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or frozen for up to three months. To reheat frozen pulled turkey, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat according to your preferred method.

One tip for storing and reheating shredded turkey is to separate it into smaller portions instead of one large container. This way, you can easily take out one serving at a time and avoid having to reheat more than you need.

Overall, this recipe is incredibly versatile and easy to store and reheat. Whether you’re making it ahead of time or trying to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving dinner, this crock pot pulled turkey recipe is sure to be a hit at any meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Comfort food that feels like a warm hug on a chilly day.
Comfort food that feels like a warm hug on a chilly day.

Cooking a turkey breast can seem like a daunting task but with the right tips and techniques, it can be a breeze. Here are my tips for achieving the best results with this crockpot pulled turkey recipe:

First, don’t skip the rub! This is what gives your turkey those delicious flavors that everyone will love. Take the time to mix together the liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, black peppercorns, salt, chili powder, and cider vinegar. It’s best to rub this mixture on the turkey breast the night before cooking so that all of those flavors have time to infuse into the meat.

Next, consider substituting some of the ingredients for healthier options. Instead of corn syrup, try honey or maple syrup. Swap out tomato ketchup for tomato paste or organic tomato sauce. And if you’re watching your sodium intake, use low-sodium or no-salt-added versions of onion soup mix and chicken broth.

When it comes to cooking in the crockpot or slow cooker, low and slow is always better than high and fast. This allows the turkey breast to cook evenly and become tender without drying out. For best results, cook on low for 6-8 hours in an 8-quart slow cooker.

If you’re looking for a little variety with your pulled turkey sandwiches, try adding some Dijon mustard or coarse-grain mustard to your sandwich instead of plain yellow mustard. You can also add some sliced avocado for a creamy and healthy touch.

Leftover shredded turkey can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to three months. To reheat shredded turkey, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals until heated through.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with this recipe! Try using ground turkey or even leftover turkey thighs instead of a whole turkey breast. This recipe is also great for making slow-cooked sloppy joes with leftover shredded turkey. The possibilities are endless!

By following these tips and making little substitutions along the way, you’ll be sure to have tender, juicy pulled turkey that will make the perfect addition to any sandwich recipe.


Before you head to the kitchen to try out this delicious crock-pot pulled turkey recipe, let’s go over some frequently asked questions to ensure that your meal turns out perfectly. From cooking times to ingredient substitutions, I’ve got you covered with all of the insider tips and tricks you need for a successful dish. So, let’s get started and answer those burning questions.

Can you cook raw ground turkey in a crock pot?

When it comes to cooking ground turkey in a slow cooker, it is not mandatory to brown it before adding it to the pot. Although browning the meat can enhance its flavor, you can simply place the raw ground turkey directly in the slow cooker without any extra steps. This method is an option that can shorten your prep time while still producing mouth-watering results.

Is it safe to cook turkey in slow cooker?

Slow cooking a turkey is definitely possible and can be done using our Slow Cooker Christmas Turkey Joint recipe, which is the perfect guide for those who are new to this method.

What do you do if your turkey is too big for the crock pot?

Don’t worry if the turkey breast is too large for the cooker; simply trim the rib bones to fit it in nicely. To enhance the taste and aroma, we’ll be using onions, sage and lemons, which will also flavor the drippings from the meat.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this crock pot pulled turkey recipe is an absolute must-try for any barbecue enthusiast. With its rich and complex blend of spices and sauces, this recipe delivers the perfect balance of savory and smoky flavors, making it ideal for all types of sandwiches or even as a topping for salads.

From its effortlessly easy-to-follow instructions to its customizable and versatile ingredients list, this recipe is perfect for anyone who loves BBQ. Whether you prefer to use turkey breast or raw ground turkey, this recipe has got you covered.

So, if you’re looking for an amazing crock pot turkey recipe that can be made ahead of time and reheated later, look no further than this delicious creation. It is sure to impress your friends and family, and will leave everyone craving more! Trust me, once you try this recipe out, it’ll become a personal favorite that you’ll be cooking every year.

Crock Pot Pulled Turkey

Crock Pot Pulled Turkey Recipe

Here’s a lower fat variation on the theme of pulled pork, a barbecue favorite from the South. If you like intensely smoky flavour, increase the quantity of the liquid smoke, but be careful–a little goes a long way. Serve this between hot split onion or Kaiser buns, accompanied by a bowl of coleslaw for a "down home" dinner that all will enjoy.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 88.5 kcal


  • 3 -4 lbs skinless turkey legs or 3 -4 lbs skinless turkey breast
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard or 1/4 cup coarse grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • warm bun


  • Place turkey in slow cooker stoneware.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining ingredients except for liquid smoke.
  • Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in liquid smoke.
  • Pour sauce over turkey.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours, until turkey is falling apart.
  • Transfer turkey to a cutting board and pull meat off the bones in shreds, using two forks.
  • Return to sauce and keep warm.
  • When ready to serve, spoon shredded turkey and sauce over warm buns.
  • Delicious& Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes.



Serving: 52gCalories: 88.5kcalCarbohydrates: 21.5gProtein: 1.2gFat: 0.7gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 585.3mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 10.1g
Keyword Canadian, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Poultry, Weeknight
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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.