Gluten-Free Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
Dana Angelo White
Total Time: 255 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 240 min
Servings: 6 servings

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

227 calories
9g fat
18g carbs
18g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving  
Calories 227
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 386mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 13g  
Includes 9g Added Sugars 18%
Protein 18g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 355mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Every home cook needs some reliable slow cooker ideas for busy weeknight dinners. This recipe uses flavorful chicken thighs, packed with heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats that help keep the meat tender with the long cooking time.

The sweet and tangy sauce is speckled with vegetables and thickened with cornstarch instead of flour to keep it gluten-free and safe to eat for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.


  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large package boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup 100% apple juice
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, sliced


  1. Place the cornstarch and salt in a large resealable bag.

  2. Add the chicken thighs, seal the bag, and shake to coat with cornstarch.

  3. Heat the oil in a skillet or slow cooker with a browning function. Shake excess cornstarch from the chicken and brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. (Depending on the size of your skillet, you may want to brown chicken in two batches.)

  4. In the slow cooker, combine the browned chicken, BBQ sauce, apple juice, onion, and bell pepper; stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours. Shred meat with a fork before serving.

Variations and Substitutions

Use any kind of barbecue sauce you like, just check the label to make sure it’s a gluten-free variety. Trader Joe’s Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce is highly recommended or you can make your own.

If you're a fan of garlic, try throwing a few cloves of sliced garlic in the slow cooker along with the other ingredients.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Serve on gluten-free rolls or wrapped in gluten-free tortillas with a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Ladle into bowls over cooked brown rice and top with fresh sliced jalapeños.
  • Consider serving with a side of gluten-free baked beans.
  • Store leftovers in a container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Rate this Recipe

You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating!
Was this page helpful?
1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Liu AG, Ford NA, Hu FB, Zelman KM, Mozaffarian D, Kris-Etherton PM. A healthy approach to dietary fats: Understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusionNutr J. 2017;16(1):53. doi:10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4