Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken


I started on a quest to try some of the amazing meals in 40 Meals-4 Hour Crockpot Freezer Cooking post.   I chose this Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken because 1) my kids love applesauce and 2) BBQ is a favorite at our house also.
So by combining those 2 ingredients with a few other spices we had a hit.  Even my fussy four year old downed the chicken which speaks for itself, because getting her to eat anything aside from peanut butter is like pulling teeth.  Pair it up with some Red Lobster’s {copycat} Cheddar Bay Biscuits and you’ll have the whole family raving!

Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup chunky applesauce
  • 2/3 cup BBQ sauce (I used Brown Sugar/Hickory)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t chili powder


  1. Spray Crockpot with non-stick cooking spray, or use a Crockpot liner for easy clean-up.
  2. Place chicken breasts on bottom.
  3. Mix all remaining ingredients together, and pour over chicken.
  4. Cook 6-8 hours on low setting. Serves 4.
  5. ***If FREEZING, place all ingredients in gallon-sized freezer bag. Freeze. Thaw overnight in refrigerator prior to placing into slow cooker.***


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  1. This sounds wonderful and it’s so easy it would take no time to put together. Pinning now!

  2. So making this right now didn’t have chunky applesauce so I used regular and cut up a small apple. Plus I added some bacon that we had leftover from last night we’ll see how this goes over I thought it sounded really good. But everyone else in my house is like well we’ll see…thanks for the great recipes


  3. Making the pork version of this tonight! YAY! I’m super excited that it tastes as good as it smells!!

  4. Hi,
    We found your blog from the Six Sisters Blog Hop. This looks really good.
    We are hosting our first blog hop tomorrow and would like to invite you to link us with us.

    The Busy Bee’s,
    Myrna and Joye.

  5. I made this last night and my family went crazy over it. I will definitely be making this many more times.

  6. Awe, you already linked up to my party!! AWESOME! This recipe sounds awesome too! Pinned it to the party board! :)

  7. does the chicken have to be cooked before you put it in or just thawed or can it be frozen?

    • The chicken does not need to be cooked beforehand. You can put it in either frozen or thawed- just adjust the cooking times if it’s frozen by a couple hours.

  8. What a great combo with the barbecue sauce and the applesauce!

  9. Def makin this weekend maybe add some pineapple chunks??

  10. Oh YUM!! Thank you so much for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday!

  11. Would leaving out the brown sugar really ruin this? Trying to avoid added sugars.

    • You could try something else instead of the brown sugar, maybe Agave? I’d just add additional spices/herbs, it’ll still be delicious.

      • Real maple syrup would probably work as a healthy and natural alternative to brown sugar.

        • I agree about the real maple syrup. It would add a whole new dimension of flavor, plus it is much slower-burning in your body, which really helps!

          • I, too, agree about the real maple syrup. Problem for me, though, is I can’t afford it. However, I’ve substituted using a brown sugar substitute, and no one even realized it! Just something else to think about.:-)

  12. Melanie says:

    can you double this recipe?

  13. When you’re freezing this, do you mix everything, dump it over chicken in bag, then freeze? I’m new at freezer cooking and pretty confused:) thanks and can’t wait to try it.

    • I was wondering the same thing with all of the crock pot freezer recipes. I would like to see the instruction for freezing in with the recipes for clarity.

      • Hey Rhonda – we will keep that in mind for part 2 of freezer meals! But for this one, literally everything is put into a bag and stuck in the freezer. Take it out of the freezer the night before you want to use it, thaw it in the fridge and then dump it into the crock pot and cook ;) Hope this helps

  14. Caitlin says:

    This is in the crockpot, ready to go! I’m excited to see how it works…as a single, new professional it’s hard cooking for one person after a long day so I’m testing out some crockpot recipes and freezing the leftovers!

  15. To say this was a hit would be an understatement. My picky toddler who rarely eats meat took one bite and declared tummy! She cleaned her plate and asked for more. She ate all of it too!

  16. I love how you “slipped” the apple sauce into your BBQ. It sounds so delicious and I’m going to have to try this one out on my family. Thanks for sharing on Dial Moms Mondays Linky Party. -Deb (

  17. Just wondering what you’d recommend to serve with this. Is there enough sauce for it to go on rice? It’s in the crockpot now, smells delicious! Thanks!

  18. Visiting you from a link on Moneysavingmom. Is this recipe spicy at all? I have picky little ones and am pregnant. Thanks!

    • If you aren’t looking for any spice, I would omit the chili powder & pepper. The BBQ sauce I used was brown sugar based & very sweet. Hope you enjoy!

  19. Quick question for you! I’m halving this recipe because I live alone and don’t have much freezer space to keep leftovers. Should I shorten the amount of time it spends in the slow cooker, or keep the cook time the same?

    Thanks – looking forward to trying to this recipe :)

  20. Ok, I made this recipe, and doubled the sauce part based on reviews above. It was delish, but my mistake was having noodles with it. They just did not go together.

    So the next time I make this, I’m going to serve them on some hamburger buns with some cheese. YUM

  21. My husband has bad GERD with chili, wonder if this reciepe will be ok without the chili

    • Hi Lyn, I can’t say I’ve tried it, but me and my wife have made this a few times now and I think cutting the chili would be fine; it would only reduce the little bit of kick that it adds. If you’re worried it might go too sweet by taking out the chili, maybe try using plain bbq sauce instead of the hickory/brown sugar?

  22. Sharon Cook says:

    I doubled the recipe and used chicken thighs. When it was done, I shredded the chicken, threw it back in the sauce and served it on buns. Coleslaw on the side and it was a huge hit for dinner.

  23. Made this with tempeh instead of chicken (as we’re vegetarians) and it smells delicious! Also, as to what to serve it with, I’m going to make some garlic roasted potatoes or some parmesan rice. I haven’t decided yet :) Thanks for the great recipe!

  24. This is my first time cooking something from this site and I just put this recipe together to slow cook tomorrow – I just noticed when I dumped in a tbsp of chili powder that you use the abbreviations t and T rather than the standard abbreviations for these measurements. Arg…hope I didn’t just wreck my dinner! Maybe it’s just me, but I find that confusing.

  25. Put this together freezer bag style last week and put it in the crock pot this morning. I just came home and it was burned and inedible. I had this on low for 8 hours and it went into the crock pot still a little frosty after thawing in the fridge overnight. Not sure if this has happened to anyone else but I wonder if the frozen version needs additional liquid in the crock pot.

    • Sorry this dish didn’t work out for you. Quite possibly be that your slow cooker cooks hotter/faster than some, they all vary tremendously.

  26. Is the chicken frozen when you put it in the crockpot?

    • We recommend placing the freezer bag into your fridge overnight, it will be partially thawed when you dump the contents into your slow cooker.

  27. Miranda says:

    It smelled good while cooking and tasted fairly good but at the same time the salt content from the BBQ sauce seemed quite high. Any ideas about how to cut the salt content down? I’ve tried looking before for a low sodium BBQ sauce but there doesn’t seem to be much out there. Would reducing the BBQ help with that? Any ideas on how low you can go before the flavor is significantly changed?

  28. I made this today for my family. I used cinnamon applesauce (its all I had). When it was done cooking, I shredded it, put on buns then made it into a panini using the foreman grill. It was yummy! My 4 year old and 20 mo old both ate it!

  29. I don’t know if the crockpot just cooked it quickly, but the sauce turned into a soupy texture. Is this how it is supposed to end up? Looks more chunky in the picture:) I turned it down. I guess we will see how it tastes tonight!

    • Crock pots are a weird thing for sure – sometimes my food simmers, sometimes it doesn’t. I think all of them have a different idea of “low”. Bet it still tastes great :)


  31. Tracy Bradley says:

    I have a question. I cooked this and it has alot of liquid. Doesn’t resemble bbq chicken at all. What could I have done wrong?

  32. I love a good crock pot meal! I mean, what could be better than coming home and finding dinner all made. This recipe sounds great!

  33. Made this as a “frozen” crockpot meal and it was DELICIOUS!

    The only thing I changed was the applesauce. I used non-chunky applesauce. (Not a fan of chunks!)
    Took it out of the freezer and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Threw it in the crockpot in the morning on low for six hours and it was perfect. I put this recipe over white rice.

    I will definitely make this recipe again!

  34. My family of picky eaters had only compliments. We served it over white rice and enjoyed every drop!

  35. The chicken I bought is fresh and not frozen- in the past I have defrosted cooked skinless boneless for 6-8 hours and it comes out dry, which basically means I haven’t mastered the art of crock pot cooking so forgive me for being nervous. Do you think that time is too long or should I shorten it to 4-6? I am really excited to make this recipe

  36. MrsMeanMom says:

    I’ve made this one with chicken and pork (nice lean loin). It was amazing both ways!


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