This easy and flavorful Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Chicken is a healthier and tastier alternative to take out, and even better – it’s no fuss!
Finding ways to save time, money and stress while eating healthier is definitely a passion I love sharing! That’s why I’m excited to share an updated version of one of my favorite slow cooker meals, which just so happens to be featured in the new cookbook, From Freezer to Table, by my dear friends Polly and Rachel at Thriving Home.
My new-and-improved Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Chicken is a definite family favorite. The all-natural sweetness of apricot jam combined with a flavorful array of seasonings results in a sweet-n-spicy sauce perfect with slow-cooked chicken and veggies. Simply serve over a bed of basmati rice or cauli-rice for a quick and healthy meal!
It’s not only a healthier option to typical take-out – it’s also no-fuss! Simply prep the ingredients ahead of time and place them in the freezer. Then, when you know you’re going to have one of those days where there’s just no time to cook, you can simply toss this tasty freezer meal right into your slow cooker and enjoy a super-easy home-cooked meal! (See note in recipe below for details.)
As a busy mom like you, I know it can be a real challenge to get a healthy meal on the table, which is why I’m so excited that my talented friends Polly and Rachel decided to combine all of their freezer meal expertise into a helpful new cookbook, From Freezer to Table. Their beautiful book contains 75+ delicious whole food recipes and how-to-strategies for creating easy, family-friendly meals that can go from the freezer to the table in a snap!
P.S. If you’re gluten-free like me, you’ll be happy to hear that 20+ of the recipes are gluten-free (including my recipe featured in the book, which I’m sharing below). A few of my favorite gluten-free/grain-free freezer meals from the book include: Lemon-Garlic Chicken (p. 88); Flank Steak with Chimichurri (p. 101); Totally Tasty Taco Kit (p. 108), Zesty Marinated Shrimp (p. 137); Chili-Rubbed Beef Brisket (p. 195) and there’s so many more!
Of course, many of the grain-based recipes in the book can easily be adapted to be gluten-free and grain-free meals by simply substituting with zucchini noodles or cauli-rice instead. Burgers and sandwiches calling for a bun can easily be wrapped in lettuce instead, or served on a sweet potato bun.
And last but not least, I love that Polly and Rachel share step-by-step freezer cooking basics, and their awesome how-to tips for planning Freezer Cooking Parties with friends and family. They have so many helpful, practical ideas for stocking your freezer with lots of simple, healthy meals to make it easier and more enjoyable to gather around the table with those you love, even on the busiest days!
- 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups all-fruit apricot jam
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 2 tsp dried minced onion
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (use more for a spicier sauce)
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder (for thickening sauce)
- Cut chicken thighs into bite-size chunks and place into a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Cut the veggies as noted above. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use, as noted below.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the apricot jam, garlic, soy sauce or coconut aminos, mustard, onion, salt, ginger, and red-pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. Check chicken at the 4-hour mark, if it's not cooked through, continue cooking. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the sliced bell peppers and broccoli florets. Then, continue cooking on low until veggies are al dente (about 30-45 minutes).
- Use a slotted spoon to remove chicken and veggies from slow cooker and place in a serving dish. Whisk in the arrowroot powder to thicken the sauce, if desired.
- To serve, ladle the sauce over the chicken and veggies. Serve over basmati rice or cauli-rice.
- To Freeze: Place the veggies into a freezer-safe container and freeze. Add the diced chicken to a separate freezer-safe container, top with the sweet-n-spicy sauce, and freeze.
- To Prepare: Thaw the chicken mixture and veggies in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to cook, follow the instructions above beginning in Step 4. Easy and delicious!