Slow Cooked Chicken Sloppy Joes

Let me just say that I don’t really have a green thumb.  I can’t really say that it’s brown, either.  In fact, I think I would have to call it a red thumb.  Why?  Because the one thing that I seem to have a lot of success with is growing hot peppers.  In the last few years, the only thing I have consistently grown in my garden are hot peppers – jalapeños, Thai chiles, wax peppers, poblano peppers, red cherry peppers, and more.

This summer, my red cherry pepper crop is booming.  I have already picked six peppers, and I think I have about 15 more that will ripen in the next week or so.  So, in an effort not to waste any of the beautiful red peppers, I have been trying to think of new ways to utilize them in my cooking.

Last weekend, after our camping trip, I was pretty busy trying to get back in the swing of things. To save some time, I decided to make chicken sloppy joes in my slow cooker so that I would have some extra time for things like laundry and cleaning. In addition to being quick and easy to prepare, it was also a perfect meal for the Penny Pinching Pantry Raid. I had two split chicken breasts on the bone in my freezer and some leftover whole wheat rolls from our camping trip.  All of the other ingredients were pantry staples that I always have on hand!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can play with the ingredients to use what you have on hand – just about any hot pepper would work well in this dish, just be cautious to adjust the quantity based on how hot your peppers are!

Slow Cooker Chicken Sloppy Joes

  • 2 split chicken breast halves, on the bone
  • 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 hot cherry peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Whole wheat rolls

Liberally season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce and tomato paste, until smooth.  Add the onion, peppers, brown sugar, smoked paprika, dried mustard, and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir to evenly combine all ingredients.  Pour the mixture on top of the chicken in the slow cooker.

Cook on high for 3 hours (or on low for 6-7 hours) until the chicken reaches 165°F.

Transfer the two chicken breasts to a cutting board or large platter.  Use two forks to shred the chicken, removing all bones.

Return the chicken to the slow cooker, combining with the sauce. Cover and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.  Serve on toasted whole wheat rolls.

15 Responses to Slow Cooked Chicken Sloppy Joes

  1. Mmmm…tasty looking sloppy joes. You’ve definitely got the gift for peppers. I gotta start cooking with my slow-cooker again.

  2. I love using the slow cooker/crock pot! Your sloppy joes look like they have so much flavor and spice, I am loving this recipe. I love the addition of whole wheat rolls as well to keep it on the healthy side :)

  3. This looks fantastic. I may have to do this myself. I love the idea of a chicken Joe, and the paprika and peppers give it that crazy kick!

    Please visit me at –I’m a brand spankin’ new blogger (but a long-time slow cooker.)

  4. When I made the sauce, it turned out more like a tomato sauce and chicken… am I missing something?

  5. Jen K – I’m sorry it didn’t turn out the way you had expected. This recipe is definitely a tomato flavored sloppy joes (not exactly like what you would find in a canned sauce, perhaps). However, in mine, the brown sugar, paprika, and mustard definitely added some additional flavors. You could always add a bit more of the spices or even add some molasses if you wanted more of a sweet/spicy sloppy joes flavor.