Fall came early to the Pacific NW this year. With that quick transition I was inspired to start cooking up my favorite fall recipes a little sooner than usual.
Each new season brings so many delicious foods to enjoy. Pumpkins, apples, squash, and sweet potatoes are just a few of the fall staples that I cook with in my kitchen.
One of my favorite tools to use when the weather turns cooler is a slow cooker. Meals take on a whole new host of flavors when they are allowed to simmer slowly throughout the day. Cooking with a slow cooker also allows me to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my family. With school and activities in full swing, I will take any extra time with them that I can!
These Apple Cider Chicken Sandwiches are one of my favorite dinners to assemble on busy weekdays. Using a pre-shredded bag of cabbage and carrots makes it even quicker! With minimal ingredients and prep work, you are just a few steps away from a delicious and healthy meal.
Slow Cooker Tips
- Before throwing all of the ingredients into the slow cooker, sauté the onions with olive oil and salt for approximately 10 minutes. As the onion sautés and browns it develops a sweeter flavor. Sautéing also reduces the moisture in the onions and softens the texture.
- Meat and vegetables release a lot of liquid while cooking in a slow cooker. If there is too much liquid, remove the lid at the end of the cooking time and allow the liquid to evaporate on high for up to an hour.
Slow Cooker Apple Chicken Sandwiches Recipe
The super simple ingredients in this recipe makes these sandwiches so easy to throw together. Once the onions are sauteed and the apples are chopped, you pretty much throw it into the slow cooker and forget about it until dinner.
One of my least favorite things about cooking is handling raw meat. Not. A. Fan. But it is sometimes necessary to feed my always hungry family.
Apple Coleslaw Mix
Our local New Seasons grocery store has these small bags of fresh coleslaw in the salad section, which makes dinner prep even easier.
Once your chicken is cooked and shredded and your coleslaw is prepped, assembly is a breeze. I like to serve these apple cider chicken sandwiches with roasted sweet potato chunks/fries and a tossed green salad. The bonus is that my kids have three different vegetable choices, so I can rest assured that they will eat at least one of them! 😉
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 medium apples cored and chopped into bite sized pieces (honeycrisp and pink lady are our favorites)
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- salt to taste
- crusty rolls such as ciabatta or small baguettes
- 4 cups pre-shredded mix of red/green cabbage and carrots
- 1 large apple, cored and grated
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- salt to taste
Turn on the slow cooker to low while you are preparing the ingredients and let it warm up for about 20 minutes.
Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil until it shimmers and covers the pan easily. Add the thinly sliced onions, sprinkle with the ½ teaspoon of salt, and stir to coat the onions with the olive oil. Stir occasionally for about 10-12 minutes, watching carefully so that the onions do not burn.
Once the onions are finished sautéing, add them along with the chopped apples to the bottom of the pre-heated slow cooker. Salt both sides of the chicken and layer them on top of the onions and apples.
Sprinkle the chicken with the garlic powder. Add the dijon mustard, apple cider, and place on the slow cooker lid. Cook for 4-5 hours on low.
When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks. It should shred easily. Place the shredded chicken back in the crockpot and mix with the juices before serving.
Tip: If there is too much liquid, remove the lid at the end of the cooking time and allow the liquid to evaporate on high for up to an hour.
Core and grate the apple then gently use a clean kitchen or paper towel to remove excess water. Use a medium sized bowl to toss together the four cups of shredded cabbage/carrot mix and grated apples. In a separate small bowl whisk the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and salt to taste.
Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mix and toss until well combined.
Serve the shredded apple cider chicken on buns topped with the apple coleslaw mix.