This easy slow cooker pizza chicken recipe is a perfect, any-night-of-the-week dish. Tender chicken smothered in pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and your choice of pizza toppings - what could be better??
Not sure I have ever met anyone who didn't like pizza. It's just full of goodness: tangy tomato sauce, gooey cheese and toppings to please every palate. The first time I came across pizza chicken, I knew I had to make it into a crockpot recipe. This slow cooker version is every bit as great as the original...it just requires a little less oversight.
How To Make This Dish
One great thing about slow cooker pizza chicken is that you can really customize it to satisfy your audience. If you have one pepperoni lover, one mushroom hater and one who insists on spinach and pepperoni, you can just divide your slow cooker into thirds and top accordingly.
- Spread a layer of pizza sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker vessel.
- Add chicken pieces into the crockpot on top of the sauce. This easy recipe works well with breasts, thighs, or even a combination of both. It depends on your preference. Keep in mind that breasts will always come out dryer than thighs.
- Spread another thick layer of sauce on top of the chicken.
- Add shredded cheese and any seasonings you prefer to pizza. This recipe specifically calls for just oregano. However, this is a great area to customize. Do you like it hot? Sprinkle on some hot pepper flakes. Need more flavor? Extra garlic and ground basil work great.
- Add favorite toppings! Some suggestions: pepperoni, turkey pepperoni, onion, green peppers, ground (cooked) sausage, mushrooms.
- Cook for approximately 4 hours on low, (depending on your slow cooker).
- Optional (yummy) Step: about half an hour before serving, sprinkle with extra shredded cheese, return lid and allow extra cheese to melt
Pizza Chicken Hints and Hacks
- Slow cooker liners are an optional, but helpful hack whenever using a slow cooker. They allow you to cook with little to no cleanup. I like to buy mine in bulk for a cheaper per-piece price. Click here to see what I buy.
- To confirm when the chicken is finished cooking, I suggest a meat thermometer. Chicken that is overcooked will be dry and rubbery. According to the FDA, chicken is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Here is my favorite meat thermometer.
- I refer to pizza sauce often in this recipe. However, I am a fan of using whatever kind of sauce you like best. I usually use my homemade marinara sauce.
- If you choose to use quick-cooking vegetables as toppings, they may get mushy during 4 or so hours of slow cooking. Instead, add these about half an hour prior to serving. This applies to toppings such as spinach, fresh basil, and broccoli.
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Lazy Slow Cooker Pizza Chicken
- Large spoon
- cheese shredder
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 4 thighs Or, if you prefer all breasts or all thighs, those work too.
- 4-5 cups pizza or marinara sauce about one cup per breast or half a cup per thigh
- shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese amount to your liking
- pizza toppings ( pepperoni, mushrooms, etc)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Add slow cooker liner into cooking vessel (optional)
- spread a thick layer of sauce on bottom of slow cooker
- Place chicken on sauce
- spread another thick layer of sauce on top of chicken
- Top with shredded cheese
- sprinkle oregano over cheese
- place topping on some or all of the chicken pieces
- Cook on low for 3-5 hours, depending on your slow cooker.
- about half an hour prior to serving, sprinkle with more shredded cheese if you like it extra cheesy!