Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken

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Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken, this slow cooker meal will be an instant family favorite. Throw in your slow cooker and you’ll enjoy a great dinner.


I chose to make this Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken for a couple of reason, #1 my kids love applesauce in pretty much every single way you can make it and #2 BBQ is a favorite at our house also. With so many varying palates in my home, sometimes its difficult to find dishes that appeal to adults, young adults, teens, kids and preschoolers.  I had a hunch this meal would work, and it did.

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, 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!

This dish is part of 40 Meals in 4 Hours Slow Cooker Freezer Meals post.  You can easily prep this dish and others at the same time, freeze the contents and then slow cooker as desired.  Such a time and budget saver.  Find out more by clicking HERE!

40 Meals in 4 Hours Recipe Collection | Who Needs A Cape?

Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken

Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken
Recipe from: [Applesauce Barbeque 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.

**If FREEZING, place all ingredients in gallon-sized freezer bag. Freeze. Thaw overnight in refrigerator prior to placing into slow cooker.**

Important Cooking Tips | Who Needs A Cape?
Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken, this slow cooker meal will be an instant family favorite. Throw in your slow cooker and you'll enjoy a great dinner.


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

    • Does anyone anywhere cook meals without the use of sugar in every possible shape or form? I have looked for a chicken crockpot recipe for 45 min now…all I find are sugar sugar sugar

      applesauce , brown sugar , BBQ sauce( all have sugar in it)
      – obesity and diabetes are at record highs in this country
      That includes juvenile diabetes.
      Sorry for venting

      • So I hear what you’re saying but I disagree with you. Here’s some of our recipes that would be just fine (with no added sugar)

        Just a few. Also some of our recipes yes do have sugar added. If you are looking for sugar free recipes there are a bunch on here that are slow cooker friendly. Let me know if you need anymore help.

      • Here’s a variation: When I made this myself a couple months ago, I had only one small unsweetened, organic applesauce cup in the fridge (they’re great in baking to replace oil too). But one wasn’t enough for this recipe; I had fresh apples on hand so I chunked them through the processor and used them instead. Instead of regular barbecue sauce, which I agree is laden with sugar and sodium, I opted for my homemade Lexington BBQ sauce (, which is vinegar based with less sugar added but in the form of ketchup and apple juice. No, it’s not sugar free but it does lower the sugar content quite a bit. You could also make your own thick BBQ sauce by using sugar-free ketchup and reducing the amount of brown sugar. With a recipe like this, you can adjust and be creative to suit the tastes and preferences to your family’s situation or dietary needs. Hope that helps a bit, Birgit, and thanks for stopping by!

      • I always use applesauce with no sugar added. You could probably substitute tomato paste, a little liquid smoke and a tablespoon vinegar for the BBQ sauce. I don’t usually add sugar to main dishes, but I would add the brown sugar to this for flavor – or the maple syrup someone else suggested.

        • I usually only have no sugar added Applesauce as well 😉 But to be honest – as long as my family isn’t swimming in it – or drinking it by the gallon – one dinner with real bbq sauce is just fine with me 😉 but yup…the great thing about the slow cooker is the ability to change up the flavor or change a recipe a bit (I bet the syrup would be DELISH!)

      • I try to avoid sugar as much as I can too! Instead of brown sugar I just used two teaspoons of honey. And then I used this BBQ sauce recipe that’s sweetened only with apples. And it came out amazing! Check out my bbq sauce recipe!

      • My son has Type 1 Diabetes. So I take offense to people blaming sugar for this condition. He almost died because his body stopped functioning. No amount of lack of sugar will fix him. We have never stopped letting him be normal. He eats everything, candy, cakes BBQ sauce… We treat him for what he eats, it isn’t the sugar it’s the carbs. And half the time sugar free has more carbs then regular.

        • Jennifer W says

          Thank you for clarifying. My husband has tried to tell me that before, but I didn’t get it until I read what you wrote.

  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. 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. 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. Hi! I tried this — it turned into a liquid-y mess and I basically had to shred the chicken and use it for tacos. Any ideas as to how I can keep the BBQ sauce ON the chicken while using a crockpot? Chicken breast, in general, doesn’t seem like the ideal type of meat for crockpot cooking. Thanks!!

    • Sylvia, I personally have not experienced this issue, not have had issues preparing chicken breasts in my slow cookers. Perhaps add a smaller amount of BBQ sauce or less applesauce so there is less overall liquid to begin with.

  36. Kathleen says

    I really enjoyed this recipe, it is quick, easy and yummy. I like that it has fruit and that it is not as salty as normal bbq. It was done after 4 hours on low and the chicken was moist and juicy. I added a bit of cayenne to mine for a little more heat. This recipe is going in the meal rotation, thanks for posting!

  37. Elva Roberts says

    I really like this Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken Recipe and I have saved it so I can make it when I have an occasion to do so. Thank you for this recipe.

  38. I am making this in a skillet right now and, I must say, it’s turning out wonderful. I omitted the sugar and have added carrots, celery, onion, several Ts of chili powder and a can of rinsed mixed fruit. Serving over white rice with a slice of garlic bread. Good recipe just the way it is, but there are just so many ways to build on this idea. I love it!

    • Hi Karen, Glad to know I’m not the only one who does this to recipes. I’m always mixing things up. 🙂 Thanks for stopping over!

  39. So I have this right if I’m freezing these meals. I don’t cook anything first. All meat and everything goes in raw and put in the freezer to crockpot at a later time. Thank you

  40. This may sound dumb but I’m new at the whole crockpot stuff but my mom got me one since I have three kids under three. Do you cook it before putting it in the freezer bags or put it all together frozen in the freezer bags then cook it in the crockpot the day you are using it?

  41. I’ve enjoyed looking through your recipes, but I sure do need the nutritional values of these meals. By the way, I really wish I’d seen your site years ago. Really need these time savers. Thank you.

  42. Ok, so I’m new to this 40 meal thing and wanna give it a try. I’m a single mom, in school full time ,and then do in home daycare so I think this will help me out with time tremendously! This will be my first time attempting and I have picker eaters so I’m going to try a cpl meals and see how they work. However, I’m confused on this recipe if you’re going to freeze it AM I going to cook ANYTHING, or just put everything in freeze bag and freeze it til I’m ready to cook it?

    • Hello, Nothing gets cooked ahead of time for this recipe. All contents are placed into a freezer bag. Everything will get cooked in your slow cooker. Hope you enjoy!

  43. Christina Bennett says

    We made 16 different frozen crockpot meals for our 1st time and this was the first one we cooked. I used unsweetened applesauce and made my 21DF approved BBQ sauce. Served with steamed mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. It was delicious and is going on our list of recipes we are definitely doing again.

  44. Hi, just letting you know I’m linking to my blog post about Freezer Meals over at

    Thanks for the great post.


  45. 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

  46. MrsMeanMom says

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


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