This lemonade chicken crock pot recipe is so easy to throw together into your slow cooker and is always a family favorite! The tangy lemon sauce is delicious over rice or noodles, and the ingredients are all simple pantry staple items. It’s budget friendly, freezer friendly, dairy free, gluten free and just perfect for quick weeknight dinners!
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Why You’ll Love This Lemonade Chicken Crock Pot Recipe:
- There are under 10 ingredients in this slow cooker lemonade chicken which makes this a quick and easy meal to throw together for dinner!
- Crock pot lemonade chicken is dairy-free, and can easily be made gluten-free so everyone in the family can enjoy it no matter how they eat or what allergies they may have!
- The tender, slow cooked chicken goes perfectly with the sweet and tangy lemon sauce! It’s almost like a sweet and sour sauce, but with pantry staple items.
- This recipe can be frozen cooked or uncooked! It’s a great dump and go meal that you can prep ahead of time with frozen chicken breasts. This is great for planning for postpartum, bringing to a sick friend or family member, or just stocking your freezer!
- Lemonade chicken is budget friendly! The ingredients are all very standard and easy to find in your local stores, and you likely already have most of them in your kitchen!
What is better than a recipe with under 10 ingredients? Throwing this lemonade chicken in the crock pot is really easy as most of the ingredients are all standard pantry items you likely already have on hand.
You will need 4 chicken breasts, lemonade concentrate, a few tablespoons of brown sugar, ketchup and white vinegar. For thickening the sweet and sour lemonade sauce you will need a bit of flour and water. That’s all this easy dump and go recipe requires!
There are a few simple substitutions you can make to this recipe to make it fit your needs, whether that be based on allergens or what ingredients you have in your kitchen already, without changing the flavor outcome.
For reduced refined sugar: Instead of brown sugar you can substitute in coconut sugar, and make sure to use a no-sugar ketchup such as Primal Kitchen. Both of these items are readily available at most stores, as well as online from places like Amazon and Thrive Market.
For gluten-free: To thicken the lemonade chicken crock pot sauce, this recipe uses a few tablespoons of flour. However, you can use any type of gluten free thickener you’d like, such as a standard 1:1 gluten-free flour, or alternatives like arrowroot flour or tapioca starch.
How to Make Slow Cooker Lemonade Chicken
The cooking process for lemonade chicken is incredibly easy and the preparation needed is almost nonexistent. In just a few minutes you’ll have your chicken in the slow cooker cooking and you’ll be hands off until dinner is ready! These step by step directions will walk you through exactly how to make it.
The first step is to spray the bottom of your slow cooker with just a light coat of cooking oil spray, such as olive oil spray or avocado oil spray. The sauce will be dumped on top, so this just ensures that your chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom of the slow cooker.
Then place your chicken breasts into the slow cooker insert. They can be touching by try not to overlap them too much if you can help it so they are lying flat on the bottom.
The next step for your lemonade chicken crock pot recipe is to make your lemon sauce! To do this, whisk together the lemonade concentrate, ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar until it’s combined well. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker over the top of the chicken breasts.
Then go ahead and cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook the chicken on low for 4 to 6 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours.
30 minutes prior to your chicken being done cooking, add the flour and water into a small dish and whisk with a fork until the flour has dissolved into the water. This is called making a slurry. You’ll then remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker and pour in the flour and water mixture (“slurry”).
Whisk the slurry into the sauce and turn your crock pot onto “high” if it isn’t already. Place your chicken breasts back into the sauce, spooning some sauce over the tops of the chicken and let it finish cooking for the remaining 30 minutes.
How to Serve Crock Pot Lemonade Chicken
Serve over white or brown rice with a side of vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, asparagus, or sautéed bell peppers, zucchini or summer squash . Pour some of the sauce over the chicken breast and even the veggies if you’d like. Garnish with lemon slices or wedges and salt and pepper if desired!
To store leftover lemonade chicken you will first want to let it cool completely. While it’s cooling you can also shred the chicken or chop it to toss in the sauce and store as leftovers that way. The leftover shredded or chopped chicken is great in salads or wraps.
Once cooled, place the chicken and sauce into a container, or individual containers if you’re using for meal prep. Lemonade chicken makes great meal prep lunches by storing with a serving of rice and a vegetable. Lemonade chicken can be stored in the fridge and kept fresh for up to 4 days.
Lemonade chicken can be frozen both cooked and uncooked. It’s a great recipe for giving to new parents after the arrival of a baby, a sick family member, recovering from surgery, or any other number of reasons you may want to stock you (or someone else’s!) freezer.
To Freeze Cooked:
You can cook lemonade chicken ahead of time and then freeze it for easy meals later. To do this, cook the chicken in the slow cooker as directed and then let it cool completely. Once cooled, you can either freeze all fo the chicken and sauce together, or divide them up into individual portions with 1 chicken breast and 1/4 of the sauce per portion or 2 chicken breasts and 1/2 of the sauce per portion.
Use freezer safe containers or bags and try to remove as much air as possible prior to sealing and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, you can either remove the chicken from the freezer 24 hours prior and then bake or microwave to reheat, or you can remove it frozen and bake it on 350 degrees F. for 30-40 minutes until it has thawed and reheated.
To Freeze Uncooked as a Crock Pot Dump Meal:
If you’re preparing this meal to freeze uncooked (raw), you will first want to select a freezer safe bag or container with lid. Then add the fresh or frozen chicken into the bag or container. Whisk together the sauce using the brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar and lemonade concentrate and pour it into the bag or container with your chicken.
Do not add the water and flour, instead write the slow cooker cooking instructions on the outside of the bag and include the instruction to add the flour and water at the end of cooking to thicken the sauce. Seal the bag or container well and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Once you’re ready to cook it, remove it from the freezer 24 hours prior and then add to your slow cooker and cook as directed.
Yes you can cook the lemonade chicken on the stove by first adding a bit of oil into a large skillet and cooking your chicken breast. A few minutes before the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken from the skillet and add the sauce into the skillet with the chicken.
Once the sauce is hot, add in the flour and water slurry and whisk it into the sauce. Add the chicken back into the skillet and cook for the last few minutes in the sauce until chicken is cooked through and sauce is hot and thickened.
Yes! You can add veggies into the slow cooker to cook with the chicken. Vegetables such as sliced onions, bell peppers or green beans would be great additions and go well with the sauce.
Leftovers of this lemonade chicken crock pot recipe are good for 4 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer when stored in an airtight container.
Yes! You can reduce the amount of sugar in the lemonade chicken by using a lemonade concentrate that is low in sugar, such as the Old Orchard reduced sugar lemonade concentrate which is sold at Target and many other stores. There are many different brand options that have a lower sugar content. You can also swap the brown sugar for coconut sugar, and use a no-sugar ketchup such as Primal Kitchen.
Other Slow Cooker Recipes You’ll Love:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Creamy Sausage Gnocchi Soup
- Chicken and Chickpea Tikka Masala
- Creamy Potato Bacon Soup
- Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken and Rice
PS. If you’ve made this recipe, don’t forget to rate this recipe and let me know in the comments how you liked it!
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 ounces thawed lemonade concentrate (3/4 cup)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Lemon slices or wedges for serving
- Spray the slow cooker insert with a light coating of cooking oil and add the chicken breasts to the bottom
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the thawed lemonade concentrate, brown sugar, ketchup and vinegar until combined. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken
- Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours
- 30 minutes prior to the chicken being done cooking, whisk together the flour and water to make a slurry
- Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker and set aside. Turn the slow cooker to high if it isn’t already and pour the slurry into the slow cooker and whisk into the sauce. Place the chicken back into the slow cooker and let it finish cooking for the remaining 30 minutes
- Serve over white rice with a side of vegetables such as broccoli. Pour some of the sauce over the chicken breast. Garnish with lemon slices or wedges
- You can add an extra two tablespoons of water if you want more sauce/thinner sauce
- For gluten-free: use gluten free flour, or an alternative flour thickener such as arrowroot flour or tapioca starch
- For Paleo/refined sugar-free: use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar and a sugar free ketchup such as Primal Kitchen
Keywords: lemonade chicken crock pot, slow cooker lemonade chicken, lemonade chicken, crock pot lemonade chicken
- Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
- Calories: 312
- Sugar: 20 g
- Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 31 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 40 g
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