Nutrition

Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken

A classic dish made easy thanks to meal prep.

Toby Amidor thumbnail by MS, RD
BBQ Chicken
Moya McAllister; Styling by Julia Choi
Calories 318
Protein 48g
Fat 9g
Carbs 9g
Fiber 1g
Moya McAllister; Styling by Julia Choi

Barbecue chicken is a beloved dinner favorite, but it isn't particularly well known for being easy or quick to make. Thankfully, that's where the magic of the slow cooker comes in. By the time dinner rolls around, you'll have a delicious (and not too heavy) family meal ready to go.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Servings: 4
Prep time: 20   |   Cook time: 120
You'll need
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 8 skinless chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup 100% apple juice
  • 1⁄4 cup Speedy Tomato Sauce (see recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • For the speedy tomato sauce:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (28oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Serving Tips:

1. Make a tex-mex salad with lettuce, tomato, onion, black beans, monterey jack cheese, and a handful of crushed tortilla chips.

2. Top over thin-crust whole-wheat pizza dough and sprinkle with mozzarella.

3. Top over a medium baked sweet potato.

4. Make a quesadilla with high-protein.

5. Tortillas, monterey jack cheese, beans, and diced tomatoes.

6. Roll into a high-protein tortilla filled with lettuce, tomato, onion, and colby-jack cheese.

Directions 
1. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Rub mix over drumsticks and place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or on low for 4.
2. About 10 minutes before chicken is done, preheat grill or heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium- high heat.
3. In a saucepan, bring to a boil apple juice, Speedy Tomato Sauce, honey, and vinegar, then simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.
4. When chicken is done, dip each drumstick into sauce. Grill until slightly browned, then flip.
5. For the sauce: Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
6. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves before eating.
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