This easy recipe for crock pot sweet salsa chicken is a perfect weekday meal that takes minimal prep but has maximum results.
One thing I’ve noticed over my years of slow cooking is that salsa/picante sauce does well in the crock pot. The flavors are still recognizable over many hours of cooking and it brightens foods up without a lot of extra work. I decided to heighten the flavors of this recipe even more by adding in extra onion and plenty of garlic. Softening the onions beforehand by using the microwave is a key to success in slow cooking. Adding raw onions in most dishes doesn’t usually work. They don’t get soft enough and it leads to an overpowering onion-y taste. I also used half chicken thighs and half chicken breasts…the thigh meat trades some of its juices and fat with the breast meat to kind of equal each other out. The brown sugar adds just enough sweetness but it isn’t too strong (I am not a big fan of sweet stuff for my main dish…I’ll just take it with dessert, thank you very much). You can serve this chicken by itself, over rice or wrapped up in tortillas.
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup diced onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp water
3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup salsa or picante sauce (mild, medium or hot…your choice)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp quick cooking tapioca
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1. Combine tomato paste, diced onion, garlic and water in small microwave safe bowl. Cook in microwave for 4-5 minutes, stirring every minute. Onions should be soft. Transfer to the slow cooker.
2. Place chicken, salsa, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, tapioca and Worcestershire in slow cooker. Stir gently to combine.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. Break up chicken with a fork into large pieces.
4. Cover and cook for an additional hour to really coat the individual pieces in the sauce.
5. Serve alone or shred and serve wrapped up in tortillas or over rice.