5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Chicken is simple to prepare and yields super tender chicken in a sweet and savory sauce that everyone in the family will love.
Well, hello fall!
I’m sort of in denial that summer’s over, but there’s no denying that the season is changing.
Elle’s first day of preschool is today, and the weather is decidedly cold and drizzly.
Between her going back to school and the shift in weather I’ll admit I’m feeling a bit wistful.
We had such a fun together as a family this summer and it’s a bit sad to see it come to an end.
The good thing about the season transition, though, is the food!
Fall is my absolute favorite time of year for so many reasons, with food coming in right at the top of the list.
Apples, pumpkin, winter squash–the fall flavors are some of my favorites and inspire me to get back into the kitchen to create new recipes.
Fall is also slow cooker season for many (every season is slow cooker season to me) and a time to dig into cozy soups, stews, and one-pot wonders.
Plus, if you’re running kids around to activities after school or working long days, the slow cooker becomes absolutely essential!
This recipe is all about transitioning into fall with a sweet and savory sauce made of onions, garlic, and rich apple cider.
After a low and slow bath in the delicious sauce, the chicken gets shredded and topped with a crunchy Quick Apple Slaw.
Our family loves the versatility of pulled chicken, since everyone can enjoy it in their own way.
If you’re going grain-free or low-carb, use it to top greens.
Top a bowl of warm, fluffy quinoa or pile it into a bun.
Allow each family member to customize and everybody’s happy.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try soon, weather the chill of fall is upon you or not.
This one’s good any time of year.
If you make this one, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
Now, let’s make some 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Chicken!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Serve over greens, rice, quinoa, baked sweet potato, or piled into whole wheat or gluten-free buns. Top with Quick Apple Slaw.
2 | Serve the shredded chicken plain, with a pinch of salt and the sauce from the slow cooker on the side. Add sliced apple and the Quick Apple Slaw on the side, or swap in a chopped raw veggie of choice.
3 | While apple cider adds the richest flavor for this recipe, apple juice can be used in its place if that’s what you have on hand.
4 | Use pre-bagged slaw mix in place of the cabbage if you’re short on time.
PREP-AHED & LEFTOVERS
1 | Store the leftover shredded chicken tightly covered in the fridge for 2-4 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.
2 | Store the Quick Apple Slaw, separately, for up to 3 days. Drain off any extra liquid prior to serving.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, grain-free, and paleo friendly
Tools to Make 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Chicken
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5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Chicken
- 2 medium sweet crisp apples (such as Honeycrisp or Fuji), cored and chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion very thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- ¾ cup unsweetened apple cider divided
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- Place the apples and onions in the base of a 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, tossing to combine.
- Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with an additional ½ teaspoon salt and garlic powder.
- Place the chicken on top of the onion and apple mixture. Pour over ½ cup apple cider. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6, or until the chicken very tender and cooked through.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Shred with two forks, then place back into the slow cooker, add the remaining ¼ cup apple cider, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt or apple cider to taste.
- Serve the Apple Cider Pulled Chicken over greens, rice, quinoa, baked sweet potato, or piled into whole wheat or gluten-free buns. Top with Quick Apple Slaw.
Quick Apple Slaw
- 2 apples cored and thinly sliced or grated
- 1 scallion white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 small medium Napa or green cabbage sliced into thin shreds (about 4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper optional
- In a medium bowl combine the apples, scallion, cabbage, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and ¼ teaspoons salt. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes for the flavors to combine and the cabbage to wilt, then serve.