How to cook Crockpot chicken frozen breasts to tender with a balsamic vinegar sauce like chicken caprese in slow cooker. Healthy dinner idea. I mean our Crockpot frozen chicken thighs are great but for white meat you’ll love this one.
Ok so I set out to perfect the sauce and timing when making Crockpot frozen chicken breasts, and we got it just right! We have a lot of easy Crockpot recipes on our site but if your meat isn’t defrosted it can be a bit trickier. Now we’re taking the guesswork out of it and sharing our winner for dinner here. (originally published 5/22, affiliate links present)
Frozen Chicken Breast in Crockpot
If you buy meat in bulk online you probably have a freezer full of these right now. We do the same thing each year to save money and know our meat is organic from local farms. If you have never cooked frozen meat to tender you’re in for a real treat. You’ll be astonished as to how well it turns out, and you may not be able to tell the difference.
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Once you get the hang of this there are TONS of variations to it when it comes to the sauce. Not that this won’t be a hit and you might just stick with it every single time. But you could use bbq sauce, our homemade teriyaki sauce or a jar of spaghetti sauce.
Let’s talk a little bit about slow cooking shall we?? First off I have a few different varieties and I love them all. Each one has an occasion to be used like….
- This is my favorite 6 quart programmable one with a locking lid so it’s great for bringing to a potluck too.
- If you just want to serve a few appetizers you should get this one that sit side by side one another.
- I prefer not to use liners, but rather just spray olive oil inside before adding my food for easier cleanups.
Let me give you a peek of my pretty thang I bought recently. It goes with my kitchen so I can just leave it out on the countertop all the time. 😉
Slow Cooked Frozen Chicken Breast
Basically the gist is, you need some sort of liquid with your frozen meat to get it tender. Same goes for Instant Pot frozen chicken but I tend to just use chicken broth and seasonings for that. You could do the same for this, cook until you can shred with 2 forks and then toss with your sauce at the end.
It will soak in a lot more though this way and absorb a lot of those great flavors so just go with what is listed below at least for the first go around. Now this is surprising, whether you’re cooking fresh or frozen the cook time doesn’t really vary that much.
I know, that kinda’ doesn’t make a lot of sense but it’s true. I have cooked frozen chicken in a slow cooker a lot and share my findings, most recently, with our Crockpot frozen whole chicken recipe. Why do I cook without defrosting so often? Well it is not on purpose really, it’s just that I am forgetful.
Slow Cooker Chicken Caprese
It isn’t specifically for poultry though, I refer to my instructions for how to cook frozen burgers in the oven all the time too. Yep, that is right, I don’t only share recipes to help you but so that I can refer back to it regularly too. Like I said, I have a tendency to be forgetful. It’s all good y’all.
So let’s get to the ingredients I used for this pot full of YUM shall we?
- 6-8 quart Crock pot
- Fresh or frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts (my preference)
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar, choose the good stuff
- Tomato paste
- Brown sugar
- Garlic powder and salt
- Mozzarella cheese, optional but great on top
- Slices of fresh tomato, optional as well but traditional if making slow cooker caprese
Timing on how to cook frozen chicken will vary slightly depending on how thick your pieces of meat are, but 6 hours is typical.
Chicken Caprese with Frozen Chicken
If you cook it longer the meat will just start to fall apart more and become more like shredded chicken. I don’t really care either way and sometimes prefer when chicken shreds in pieces but if you really want to keep them whole keep an eye on them. Once the thickest part reaches a safe 165 F. you’re ready to serve it up.
- Prepare the slow cooker by drizzling about 1 tablespoon of oil into the bottom. Lay chicken in the Crockpot on top of the oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining oil, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, dried, basil, garlic powder, and salt.
- Pour over the chicken. Cover the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or until the chicken is fork tender and reaches a safe meat internal temperature 165 degrees F. in the thickest part.
- Remove the lid and stir the sauce. Place a mound of cheese over cooked chicken breast. Re-cover until the cheese has melted.
Then you can add a slice of tomato and basil on the top right before serving. Those add freshness and a bit of texture but are optional.
If you’re a busy home cook this is a great one to throw in, cover and cook all day and make chicken tacos when you’re all home. 3-4 pieces were used and timed here, if you use a few more you may need to increase the cook time and use a larger pot. It is best if they don’t overlap so each cooks evenly.
It is a great idea to have a meat thermometer handy to ensure food safety when it comes to poultry. Not just this one but for all of our slow cooker chicken recipes too.
How long can leftover chicken be kept in the refrigerator?
If you do have food left, don’t throw it out!! That would be tragic. Instead put it into a container with the sauce to keep it nice and moist. Then you should reheat within 4 days max. You can dice it up and use it in all sorts of leftover chicken breast recipes too.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Crockpot Chicken Frozen Breasts
- Prepare the slow cooker by drizzling about 1 tablespoon of oil into the bottom. Lay the chicken on top of the oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining oil, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, dried, basil, garlic powder, and salt.
- Pour over the chicken. Cover the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or until the chicken is fork tender and reaches 165 F. in the thickest part.
- Remove the lid and stir the sauce. Place a mound of cheese over each chicken breast. Re-cover until the cheese has melted.
- Prior to serving, you can lay one slice of tomato over each chicken breast and sprinkle with fresh or dried basil for a caprese style meal.