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How to Make the Famous Ohio Shredded Chicken Sandwich

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The Shredded Chicken Sandwich is one of the most classic sandwiches in Ohio. This hot and creamy chicken sandwich is so easy to make, only requires a handful of ingredients, and is budget friendly. Once you make this sloppy chicken sandwich, you will understand why it’s so popular.

Shredded chicken inside a bun with chips and a dill pickle and milkshake
Traditional Ohio Hot Shredded Chicken Sandwich

Shredded Chicken Sandwich

Growing up in Ohio, it seemed that every event; whether it be a graduation, a church potluck, a carry in dinner, family reunion, baseball game, school events, or even the fair, you would find this creamy and delicious sandwich.

I think one of the reasons why this recipe became such a mainstay in Ohio kitchens is because it’s very budget friendly AND it’s ready to go in 10 – 15 minutes if you use chicken that has already been cooked.

If you love easy classic recipes, I have a few more of my family’s favorites that you might enjoy. Such as my Creamed Chicken on Biscuits, my Doritos Nacho Casserole, and my Salmon Patties.

Why Should You Make This Recipe

I think you should definitely make this recipe because it’s:

Easy – You only need 5 to 6 ingredients.

Budget-friendly – You probably have most of these ingredients already in your pantry.

Hearty – this is one of those rib-sticking and hearty dishes that warms the soul.

What You’ll Need

You will find the complete ingredients list as well as the full directions in the free printable recipe card below.

Ingredients List and Suggestions

Chicken breast – you can either use up leftover roasted chicken, rotisserie chicken, canned chicken, or make it fresh.

Soup – most cooks will use Cream of Chicken, however, some will use Cream of Mushroom. It’s totally up to your preference. For my family, we prefer using the chicken soup.

Crackers – if you’d prefer you can use day old bread crumbs, saltine crackers, or croutons. Any of these will work fine. It’s to help bind everything together. Add this ingredient also helps to thicken it up.

Ingredients needed to make a Shredded Chicken Sandwich.
Ingredients that you need to make a Shredded Chicken Sandwich

How to Make Hot Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

If you are making this on the stove-top with pre-cooked chicken

Step 1: In a medium-sized pan, add in your chicken and take two forks and shred the chunks of chicken. Or if you prefer you can use your hands. If you are using leftover chicken, do this same process.

Step 2: Add in the remaining ingredients.

Step 3: Heat until everything is thoroughly heated.

Step 4: Spoon onto the buns.

Step 5: Enjoy.

Is Shredded Chicken Sandwiches an Ohio thing?


Yes, it sure seems to be. The one thing that I’ve always found interesting is that it’s more of a Northwest Ohio and Central Ohio thing. I really haven’t found them in other parts of the state. The Traditional Ohio Hot Shredded Chicken Sandwich

How do you thicken shredded chicken?

This can be done by adding a thicken agent such as Ritz crackers, saltine crackers, bread crumbs, or stuffing mix.

Can shredded chicken be made in the crockpot?


Yes, it can be. Just take 3 or 4 chicken breasts, add them into the slow cooker with the cream of chicken soup, and let it cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.

Before you are ready to serve, add in the remaining ingredients and let everything cook together for 10 – 15 minutes.

If you feel that it’s a little too dry, add in a 1/4 cup of chicken broth or water. If you still feel it’s too thick and dry, slowly add in more liquid.

What sides do you serve with a hot sloppy chicken sandwich?


If you are in Ohio, the best side is a handful of Ballreich Chips. These chips are like a mainstay in Ohio. In addition to these sandwiches, you would also find a bag or box of Ballreich.

Other side ideas are baked beans, coleslaw, homemade potato salad, or mac and cheese.

Stuffed Chicken Breast with Stuffing

Ultimate Crack White Chicken Chili

Homemade Chicken Tenders

Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breast

Creamy Cajun Chicken Sandwich

The traditional Ohio Sloppy Hot Shredded Chicken Sandwich

Hot Shredded Chicken Sandwich

The Shredded Chicken Sandwich is one of the most classic sandwiches in Ohio. This hot and creamy chicken sandwich is so easy to make, only requires a handful of ingredients, and is budget friendly. Once you make this sloppy chicken sandwich, you will understand why it’s so popular.
4.61 from 87 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dinner, Entrees, Lunch, Sandwiches
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Dutch oven
  • 2 Forks or hand mixer or stand mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 2 12 oz Canned Chicken Breast or 3 or 4 uncooked chicken breasts if cooking in the slow cooker
  • 1/4 c stuffing mix chicken flavor
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 regular sleeve Ritz crackers crushed
  • 1 10 3/4 oz Cream of Chicken soup
  • Chicken broth or water this will vary on how thick you want the chicken

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sized saucepan, add in the canned chicken. Using a fork or your fingers, shred the chicken. Then add in the remaining ingredients.
  • Turn the heat on medium and cook until all of the ingredients are thoroughly heated through.
  • If you are wanting to use your crock pot, the full instructions are in the article.

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Sandwich Recipe

  • Just take 3 or 4 chicken breasts, add them into the slow cooker with the cream of chicken soup, and let it cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Before you are ready to serve, add in the remaining ingredients and let everything cook together for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • If you feel that it’s a little too dry, add in a 1/4 cup of chicken broth or water. If you still feel it’s too thick and dry, slowly add in more liquid.

Making This Recipe Using Chicken Tenderloins

  • If you are buying a pack of chicken tenderloins at the store (they normally come in a pack of 7), you will get 3 cups of cooked shredded chicken.
  • Place the tenderloins in a Dutch oven and cover them with either water or chicken broth and turn the heat to medium high.
  • Let the ingredients come to boil, reduce the heat to medium and let everything cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until the chicken is done (registers 165 on a meat thermometer).
  • Shred the chicken with two forks or your mixer. Add in the remaining ingredients. Finish cooking as directed above.

Notes

Other additions by some of our readers:
Instead of stuffing: Italian breadcrumbs, crushed potato chips.
Diced or minced onion
Omit the stuffing and crackers and just enjoy the chicken, soup, and seasonings. 
This recipe is also referred to as a “Sloppy Chicken Sandwich” and a “Creamed Chicken Sandwich”.
Wikipedia:  
Ohio Magazine:  
Unofficial Home of Shredded Chicken Sandwiches  
Root’s Poultry – believed to be the start of it all in Fremont Ohio – Root’s Poultry | Shredded Chicken (rootspoultry.com)
Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/Ohio/comments/pd96oz/is_ohio_the_only_place_that_eats_shredded_chicken/

Nutrition

Serving: 4g
Keyword Classic Ohio Sandwich, Hot Shredded Chicken Sandwich, Shredded Chicken Sandwich, Shredded Chicken Sandwich filling, Sloppy Chicken Sandwich
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for posting this recipe!! I grew up in Northwest Ohio on Roots shredded chicken sandwiches and have missed them greatly since moving down south. Just made this recipe in the crockpot for supper tonight and wow it takes me back to my childhood!!

    1. You are very welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! Unless you grew up in Ohio, you can’t understand how much a part of your life these sandwiches really were.

    2. Agree. I live in Alabama for 27 years. Every trip home, I get a shredded chicken sandwich and Rootbeer at Stewart’s. Nothing better

      1. Isn’t there just something about that combination that makes life just a little sweeter? And unless you’ve tried it, you really can’t understand it.

  2. 5 stars
    Living in Florida after 10 years 1 hour away from Fremont. So excited to try this recipe!!! Quick question, do I add the canned soup AND the broth to make the shredded chicken, or just the can of condensed soup no mixer? Thank you!

    1. Hello fellow transplanted buckeye! That will depend on how thick you want your chicken. Some people don’t, some do. I do because that’s how my family likes it. My suggestion is trying it first with just the soup. Then if you want it a little thinner, add in the broth and/or water. Especially if you are going to add in the other ingredients. You may find that the mixture is way too thick for your liking.

  3. I am a buckeye and remember this sandwich at the concession stand at every football game. I am making it tonight for dinner. Thanks for posting this recipe.

    1. You are very welcome! This sandwich always seemed like it was a part of everyday life growing up. I hope you enjoyed it.

  4. I’m a native Virginian, been in Virginia all my life. (I’m 66.) Recently discovered this recipe and don’t know how I’ve lived without it! SO DEE-LISH! I added a little cream cheese in my mixture, because isn’t everything better with a little (or a lot of) cream cheese! Thanks for sharing! I’m making this tonight!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I love the idea of adding cream cheese! I’m definitely going to try that the next time I make it! That addition sounds amazing!! I hope you enjoyed it!

  5. Thanks for the new treat for me to serve. My family loves Chicken wings with Blue Cheese dressing to dip them in! When I served them, I spread Blue Cheese dressing on the buns and they were a real hit!

    1. Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never used them to make it. I would imagine you could though. You would definitely get a delicious flavor profile since you are using the thigh meat. Maybe another reader can chime in on their experience. I will definitely update my comment though if I find out.

  6. As a Fremont, OH native, grad of Ross Hi ’57, I grew up on the Hot Creamed Chicken Sandwiches. When I make them, I don’t use all the crackers and stuffing mix. I cook my own chickens, save the broth, shred them and put in crockpot. Add cup or so of broth, salt and pepper and simmer until chicken is really tender. Add Cream of Chicken or Mushroom soup (I have used both) and thicken more with little cornstarch\broth mixture to thicken to your own taste. Very good and much cheaper to make. More chicken and less fillers.I My Mom and sister also made it this way. I also cook chickens at least one day in advance, refrigerate, then skim hardened fat off top. Balance of broth makes some good chicken rice soup. I use everything except bones and skin.

    1. Thank you for sharing those tips and suggestions! I like the idea of making the chicken a day ahead so you can get rid of the hardened fat. I bet that Chicken Rice Soup is divine!

  7. Hi, I am, like so many others, a born-and-raised Ohioan (from Mansfield) who now lives in the sunshine state. And, yes, I’ve missed these sandwiches, the street fairs with the church tents and my go-to meals there…these amazing sandwiches with homemade soup and pies of all kinds that were baked and donated to the effort by ladies of the church. Yum!

    I’ll add one more idea… during my life journey, I spent several years in Pennsylvania, and there, I was introduced to chicken and waffles made a special way by Mennonite cooks in a one-of-a-kind “reservation only” house in Central PA. Nowadays, you may see chicken-and-waffles on some restaurant menus, and they are made with fried chicken on a waffle, with gravy. INN THE PINES made theirs with baked chicken and gravy, mashed potatoes on the side, and freshly-made hot waffles with homemade ice cream for dessert (ever had a waffle ice-cream sandwich??) I’m pretty sure Ohio’s shredded chicken would be a great substitute for this amazing meal, which, unfortunately, is no longer available, as the restaurant closed decades ago…

    1. Hello, fellow Transplanted Buckeye, and thanks for stopping by! I have never had a waffle ice cream sandwich, but I am intrigued! And I’m really intrigued with the baked chicken and gravy. I’m making a note to research that idea! That sounds delicious! There is just really something about meals that the cooks back then created with basic ingredients, with no photos or the internet to guide them. They really do stand the test of time.

  8. These were everywhere up on the lake, Port Clinton, Sandusky, Huron. This is what I’m making for Father’s Day, have it available in the Crock Pot for self-serve. I don’t want to be on the grill all day while family is gathered. Now to find Ballreich’s in SC

    1. Sounds like a perfect plan for Father’s Day! Oh I hope you find some Ballreich’s! That would be the icing on the cake!

  9. I added all the breaded ingredients to my chicken and soup before cooking! I should have read the recipe before adding everything. Do you know if it will still turn out ok! I just couldn’t throw it away!