Joy Bauer makes pulled chicken sandwiches for a healthier holiday barbecue

To help get your backyard (social distance) party started, she's serving up a sandwich that'll hit the spot.
/ Source: TODAY

Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer, is almost here, which means welcoming back to sunshine, stylish shades and, of course, beloved barbecue fare. To help get your backyard (social distance) party started, I'm serving up two recipes that will hit the spot: sweet and smoky Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches and a crazy good Apple Cider Coleslaw to pair it with. BYO appetite and SPF!

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Joy Bauer

This recipe is everything you crave in a barbecue recipe — saucy, sweet, smoky and fall-apart-tender! It's also a breeze to make and you don't have to stand over the hot grill on flip duty while your hungry gang anxiously awaits the feast. Instead, just toss everything into the slow-cooker ahead of time and then, hours later, you have 8 cups' worth of meaty, flavorful filling. In my house, we love to use the saucy, shredded chicken to build oversized sammies on toasted whole-grain buns piled high with pickles, crunchy slaw and an extra drizzle of barbecue sauce. For folks looking to cut back on carbs, this works amazingly well on lettuce wraps, too. Extra napkins are strongly encouraged.

Get the recipe here.

You can't have a cookout without crunchy slaw. This no-mayo, zesty rendition is gussied up with apple cider vinegar and perfect for summer. And don't get me started on the health perks of cabbage: Let's just say it does the body real, real good. This recipe is light and tangy and terrific as a standalone side or a tasty topper for sandwiches (like the one above!), burgers and salads. For the perfect vegetable-to-dressing ratio, be sure to add the dressing slowly until you reach your desired amount, because you'll likely have some leftover and you don't want to oversaturate the shredded veggies. Once everything is mixed together, serve immediately or let the bowl sit in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors can sink in and mingle.

For more tasty recipes, order Joy's new cookbook Joy Bauer's Superfood!

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