While running around throwing things into the crockpot last week I was lamenting the lack of time to post here on the blog. As usual, so much to blog about but so little time! Of course, I’m certainly not the only one feeling the time pinch and I had the perfect topic to share with you right in my hands– my 5 minute prep crockpot shredded chicken! Like my easy shredded chicken tacos, this one makes the slowcooker do all the work while you reap the rewards– a quick prep, set it to cook during the day, and you have a delicious and healthy dinner by evening. It’s also gluten-free and if you use a sugar-free sauce this recipe is Whole30 compliant.
First, I should note that you can literally just add chicken and sauce to your crockpot and skip the sauteeing for a less-than-5-minutes dinner prep. However, steps 1 & 2 below add in lots of extra flavor, so for me the extra 5 minutes are well worth it! Plus, I usually keep half an onion chopped in my fridge, cutting off even MORE time. With just 4 ingredients and our favorite slowcooker doing all the work, this recipe is in heavy rotation here lately.
1-2 TB olive oil
one clove garlic, minced (optional); I use the minced garlic in a jar
1/2 onion, chopped (optional)
1 jar of tomato sauce (use your favorite sauce, the best you can find because the flavor of the sauce determines the flavor of the chicken)
1 lb. chicken breast
salt and pepper to taste
- Add a little olive oil to a medium sized saute pan and heat. When ready, add in the garlic and heat until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Then add in your onion and saute for about 1-2 minutes. You don’t want to cook it through, just give it a quick sizzle to activate it’s flavor potential. Add jar of sauce to the crockpot, and stir in the garlic/onion mixture.
- Now give your chicken breasts a quick saute. First, add a dash of salt and pepper to each side of the chicken breasts (if your sauce contains salt, you may wish to skip salting the chicken). Add olive oil to your pan (if needed), and saute each side of the chicken for about 2 minutes or until it starts to turn brown. Add to crockpot and turn to coat in the sauce.
- Cooking times are flexible. If you’re in a hurry, set it on high for 2-3 hours. If you have more time, set it on low for 4-4.5 hours. When ready, take two forks and use them to shred chicken either in a bowl or carefully right in the crockpot. If it’s hard to shred, they need a little more time. After shredding, give the mixture a good stir and let it cook 30 minutes longer to really soak up the flavors.
- Serve and enjoy! We LOVE this over some jasmine rice with a veggie on the side. You can also put it in hoagie rolls as a shredded chicken sub. If you’re on Whole30, serve plain or over riced cauliflower or zoodles. So many possibilities, you can literally pair it with anything that tastes good with chicken and sauce.
Easy recipes like this one are keeping us sane and on track with healthy dinners during a particularly busy season. Just a few more months until we can start using the grill again and I can give the slowcooker a break!
What’s YOUR secret for easy, healthy dinners? Please share!
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