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BBQ Bacon Apple Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Since most barbecue sauce is loaded with corn syrup, I had to get a little creative in the kitchen to make a Paleo friendly BBQ sauce. I must say, this one is fantastic! The molasses and maple syrup adds a rich flavor that you definitely don’t get with store bought. Add in a few diced apples, bacon, and chicken and you’ve got one easy, delicious slow-cooker meal!

BBQ Bacon Apple Chicken in the Slow CookerAuthor/Source:

Christine @ onceamonthmeals.com


  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • 1 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • .5 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 apples, diced
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 each chicken breasts


In a medium bowl, combine tomato paste, molasses, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, garlic, smoked paprika, Dijon mustard, and sea salt. Stir in diced onion and apples.
Wrap 2 bacon slices around each chicken breast and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with tomato mixture. Turn slow-cooker on low and cook 6 hours.

Freezing Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine tomato paste, molasses, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, garlic, smoked paprika, Dijon mustard, and sea salt. Stir in diced onion and apples.
Wrap 2 bacon slices around each chicken breast and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with tomato mixture. Turn slow-cooker on low and cook 6 hours. Let cool. Place in freezer bags, label, and freeze flat. To serve: Thaw. Reheat.



**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

38 Responses to “BBQ Bacon Apple Chicken in the Slow Cooker”

  1. Chris says:

    Sounds delicious! What are coconut aminos & where do I find them?

  2. Jessi says:

    Is there anything else I can use for aminos? I can’t find it locally.

  3. Jackie says:

    I made this on Friday. I don’t have a ton of experience using a slow cooker, but I think mine might run a little hot. After six hours, the chicken was pretty dry. The sauce was very tasty though! Thanks for the easy paleo recipes!

    • Kelly says:

      Yes Jackie, mine seems to always be hot too, I typically do it on low for longer time and that helps. Or add just a little bit of water like 1/4 cup.

      • Jackie says:

        Thanks Kelly – I had it on low for six hours exactly. I read somewhere that some slow cookers have a pretty hot “low” setting. Next time I’ll check it after 4-5 hours and see how it looks. Good idea to add a bit more water, too!

        • Barbie says:

          I put a couple of empty tuna cans under my pot, this lowers the temperature similar to the “old” crock pots we used to have. Using chicken thighs might be a good alternative as well.

        • Kelly says:


  4. stephane says:

    Could you add more than4 chicken breasts, or do they need to sit flat on the bottom of the slow cooker? I was thinking of doubling the recipe, but not sure if stacking the chicken will work. Would the cooking time increase or stay the same?

    • Katie says:

      Hi Stephane, you could absolutely double the recipe- it’s not a big deal if the chicken is stacked on top of each other. I think 6 hours would still be enough time but you could check it at 6 and if it’s not done, cook for another 30 min to an hour.

      • stephane says:

        Thanks! Made this the other night and impressed my wife!

        This will be a regular on our menu from now on.

        Loved it and looking forward to trying out more recipes from your site.

        Keep up the good work !

  5. Barb says:

    Are the chicken breasts skinless, boneless or with the bones and skin?

    • Kelly says:

      We chose boneless skinless, but you most certainly can chose the cuts you have. You may just have to cook for a little bit longer. Check your temps.

  6. Pam says:

    Are we talking about boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Or chicken breasts with the bones and skin? Thanks.

  7. Anne says:

    It’s been my understanding that newer slow cookers cook at higher temps on low because the manufacturers got so many complaints about food safety. I find 4 hours works pretty well, but I always check doneness. I also cook on high for 2 1/2-3 hours and then check. Unfortunately the days of leaving a chicken dish to cook while you’re at work are gone. I’m really looking gorward to trying your recipe–it sounds great!

    • Kelly says:

      Interesting! I think I’m going to try the rammekin trick next time just to see.

    • Jayne says:

      I agree with Anne on the newer crock pot temps. I bought a new one last year and it cooks much hotter and I would never trust to leave it all day as in the crocks of the good ole days. :)

  8. Jennifer says:

    I’m curious, why does this recipe need to be cooked before freezing? Is it because of the bacon?

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Jennifer, it doesn’t have to be. I actually made this in my cooking day last weekend and froze it raw. We have it to be cooked so it can be a lunch and just reheated. But if you prefer it for a dinner dish and have the time to cook it all day you most certainly can make it just a throw and go.

      • Kelsey says:

        Really good to know! Thank you. I have my first batch in my crock pot now. I prepped it last night, stored it over night in the fridge and just put it in. I was afraid the apples would turn brown, but they looked fine! Can’t wait to have this for dinner tonight.

  9. Charlene says:

    What quantity of soy sauce if you decide to use it instead of the coconut aminos?

  10. KateDC says:

    HI there,
    Can you sub-in Braggs aminos instead of the coconut (coconut allergry)? will you get a similar result?

  11. Joan says:

    This did not turned out like I thought it would. Far too tomatoey for my taste, and a little too sweet. Next time I would use maybe a tablespoon or so of tomato paste, and lesser amounts of molasses & maple syrup. I also put the whole chicken in the pot, and it was more than done after being on low for 6 hours. And the bacon should be chopped, in my opinion. Came out sort of long & stringy.

  12. Debra says:

    Made this and the whole family (including kids) loved it. However, it is a little bit rich, so it’s good to pair with something else lighter in flavor to add some contrast. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Kim says:

    Thanks so much for the info about coconut aminos! I am allergic to soy and had pretty much given up on anything that required soy sauce. Now, off to find them!

  14. [...] crockpot dinner this week was BBQ Bacon Apple Chicken. The picture in the link to the recipe is better. Note: I feel like I should disclaim that the [...]

  15. Samantha says:

    This was awesome!!! Seriously, this is the best crockpot chicken recipe I’ve ever made. I used frozen breasts (still wrapped those suckers in bacon) and cooked it for 7 hours on low. It was perfect! My husband and 5 kids loved it! Thanks for this recipe. It’s going into our rotation for sure!

  16. Risha says:

    I have a suggestion. It might be helpful to change the .5 teaspoon of salt to 1/2 teaspoon as recipes are more traditionally written. I viewed the recipe from my phone and the decimal point was so small I missed it. Now I’m trying to salvage a super salty sauce!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Risha – If you scroll to the bottom of each recipe post, there is a handy little chart that can help with conversions. Due to the nature of the site, ie the menu creation specified to your desired number of servings, our ingredients are listed in decimal form for conversion reasons. We always appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

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