Rich, savory Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Thighs are delightful served over baked sweet potatoes. This is a great plan-ahead meal for busy times.
A year ago, I didn’t believe we’d be dealing with so many changes for a year. Now, I truly believe we’ll see some of life return to normalish in the next six months. And with that normalish will come the need to have easy dinners that cook without a lot of hands-on work.
Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Thighs on Sweet Potatoes is a recipe like that — and it’s one my kids love.
This dinner uses two cooking methods to offer a lush meal that is both filling and pleasing. Chicken thighs are slow-cooked with vegetables and sauce until so tender, you can shred them with a couple of forks. And sweet potatoes are baked to tender perfection, to serve the chicken over.
Two cooking methods might seem like a bit much, but I assure you that this is still an easy recipe. Cooking the potatoes — it’s an almost entirely hands off endeavor.
Just toss them in the oven when you get home (or otherwise get done with work). Then, while they cook, you can change your clothes and relax a bit. Maybe read a book or chat with your kids. Or catch up on the work you have to do outside of work. Whatever.
And then, when everything’s done cooking, you have a warm, wonderful meal to dig into.
Using a Slow Cooker to Make Pulled Chicken
The slow cooker, or Crock-Pot if you prefer, is a great tool for busy people. You layer ingredients inside and then cook them slowly over the course of the day on low, or a little faster on high.
In this case, Slow Cooker Pulled Barbecue Chicken starts with the layering of ingredients — onions, chicken thighs, frozen pepper strips, barbecue sauce. Then it’s set on low to cook for about 8 hours. Adjust the cooking time as needed though, some slow cookers may take a little longer.
When the chicken is done cooking, use two forks to shred it. Then mix the chicken into the other ingredients and serve.
As the cooking time nears its end (or after it’s done, if you prefer — it’s totally okay to leave the chicken on warm for awhile), bake your sweet potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, prick the cleaned sweet potatoes a few times on one side and cook them directly on the rack for 50-60 minutes until tender. You’ll want to place a baking sheet on the oven rack below to ensure that nothing bubbling out of the potatoes hit the hot oven floor.
How to Serve
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s pretty filling on its own and hits a lot of nutritional boxes. So, serve the pulled chicken on the sweet potatoes and you have an excellent meal.
For lighter appetites, you might want to serve the chicken on half a potato. If that’s the case, feel free to add a small tossed salad to the mix too.
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container for up to five days. I like to store the leftovers in meal portions (half potato size) for easy grabbing for lunch. This meal can be reheated in the microwave, if desired.
- 1 sweet Vidalia onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, visible fat trimmed
- 8 oz bag frozen mixed pepper strips
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- 4 sweet potatoes
- Layer the onions, chicken thighs, pepper strips and barbecue sauce in the bowl of a slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- As the chicken is nearing it's completion, it's time to bake the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, prick the cleaned sweet potatoes a few times (on one side) and cook them directly on the rack for 50-60 minutes until tender. A baking sheet lined with foil on the rack below will ensure that nothing bubbling out of the potatoes hit the hot oven floor.
- Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. Mix together with the veggies and sauce.
- Cut open the potatoes. Arrange on plates, topping each with pulled barbecue chicken. For lighter appetites, cut the potatoes in half and serve only one half topped with chicken.