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Frozen chicken thighs Crock Pot or in a slow cooker is easy! Best way to cook frozen chicken smothered in teriyaki or bbq sauce, shredded tender and moist. If you love our plain Crockpot frozen chicken this will be a hit too.
Frozen chicken thighs Crock pot style was a huge hit with my family tonight. A healthy cheap slow cooke recipe that takes just 5 minutes to prep and great over rice or made into sliders. Just one of many easy Crockpot recipes on our blog. (affiliate links present)
Crockpot Frozen Chicken Thighs
I have made this slow cooker chicken thighs recipe and they’re great. Sometimes I’m forgetful though and they’re not thawed. This time I had a bunch those to use from my Imperfect Foods order. Thought about our favorite way to eat this protein and it is certainly tossed in a sweet sauce. I had some time so threw them in a Crock and bam.
To be honest that is the best way to cook frozen chicken thighs so they get super tender and soak up all the juices they are laying in. You could use barbecue if you’d rather but I am from Hawaii so teriyaki is where my mind goes to first all of the time.
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. 😉
How to Cook Chicken Thighs Frozen
If you want to make this faster you can follow our Instant Pot frozen chicken thighs instructions. This is the old fashioned method but yes I do it often too. I love all the things because options are king.
Yours may look like this or all stuck together. I have done it both ways and there is just a 5 minute difference between the two. If they are already separated like you see here you can skip breaking them apart a few hours through the entire cook time.
If they are in a big hunk it is important to lift the lid and separate them mid way thru. That way every area can cook, get moist, soak up the sauce and be easily shredded later on. You could do this same thing with boneless skinless breasts as well. Those are typically larger and thicker though so you may need to add an extra hour or so.
Frozen Chicken Thighs Crock Pot BBQ
You could really use any type of sauce you like. Thicker is better so it becomes a sort of sticky sweet bite of protein that is great served as tacos or on a bed of white rice. There are a few other options you could add in like a small can of pineapple tidbits for added sweetness, we did this with our Instant Pot shredded chicken.
I was born and raised for a while in Hawaii myself, so teriyaki sauce is the first thing I think of when I marinate or cook anything. There are a few varieties out there. You can find a thin almost like soy sauce type, not my favorite. To really soak in and get like restaurant quality I love Veri Veri Teriyaki or I make my own (linked above).
That is literally all that you need. There really isn’t any other need for liquid in order to “steam” them because when cooking frozen meat to tender it will emit a bit of water when it thaws.
How Long to Cook Slow Cooker Frozen Chicken Thighs
Of course when it comes to how to cook frozen chicken there is a bit of variation depending on whether yours are stuck together in a big chunk, and how thick they are. The difference would be about 30 minutes. Note that the longer you cook it the more fall apart tender it will get and continue to soak up the sauce. 6 hours is average though.
When I do have them stuck at hour 3 I open the top and use a fork to separate them so all sides can cook evenly and start to fall apart. You could serve them whole I suppose, but we don’t. I think it is WAY better if you shred the meat with two forks about 30 minutes before you eat. Then add a bit of extra sauce to coat.
- 1.5 cup of your favorite sauce
- 6-8 frozen thighs is what I typically cook to feed 5 people with a bit of leftovers
- boneless, skinless is best but bone in skin on could be used
- if using bone in chicken thighs you’ll want to shred the meat off 30 min. before and remove the skin and bones to discard before serving
You could add a few minced garlic cloves too if you like, salt and pepper could be added at the end if you feel you need it. Seriously the best slow cooker recipe when you have forgotten to thaw chicken the night before for dinnertime.
How to Cook Chicken Thighs Frozen
Like I said, all the way thru it will soak up the sauce but I do feel there needs to be an additional 1/2 cup or so added at the very end. That will add more of a thickness to the outside and give it more of a kick when it comes to flavor.
- You’ll start out by laying your chicken in the slow cooker inner pot and pour the sauce of your choice over the top. Close lid and cook on low for 6 hours.
- If yours are in one solid chunk, break apart the pieces after hour 3 or 4 so the meat can break down easier.
- Continue cooking until 20 minutes before serving. Then use two forks to shred meat. Leave in pot, pour last 1/2 cup of sauce over meat and stir.
- Allow to continue sitting and cooking in sauce for last 15-20 minutes. Then serve.
I never ever recommend cooking on high. Even when you make a frozen whole Crock pot chicken I do it on low too. If you want shorter hours on high you need to realize that the meat will get dried out. To get the best tender chicken you need to cook low and slow (like the name of the product). Nothing is meant to be cooked fast in this y’all.
What should I make with shredded chicken?
So we like to fill air fryer tortillas made fresh with this with some Hawaiian cole slaw on top for a bit of crunch. You could serve it on top of rice instead kinda’ like a copycat Panda Express teriyaki chicken bowl idea.
- If you used enchilada sauce as the liquid you could then use the meat inside of enchiladas!!
- Slice Hawaiian rolls in half and stuff this inside with a slice of pineapple on top and be the hero for dinner with the kiddos.
- Grill up some onions and peppers and toss everything together as a sort of fajitas dish that everyone will love, and it’s low carb compared to other options.
How do you warm up shredded chicken?
If you do have leftovers they stay really well to warm up the next day, don’t throw it out. keep the juices and transfer what’s left into a sealed container or freezer bag. You don’t need all the sauce but enough to keep the proteins nice and coated all over. Then when you’re ready transfer to a heat safe bowl and add fresh sauce on the top.
Microwave in 30 second increments stirring in between until it is warmed. This way will maintain the moisture and not dry it out the second go around.
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Frozen Chicken Thighs Crock Pot
Frozen chicken thighs Crock Pot or in a slow cooker is easy! Best way to cook frozen chicken to shredded smothered in teriyaki or bbq sauce.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American, Japanese
Keyword bbq, chicken thighs, crockpot, frozen, shredded chicken, slow cooker, teriyaki
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Author The Typical Mom
Lay frozen thighs inside pot and pour 1 cup of your sauce of choice over the top. Close lid and cook on low for 6 hours.
If yours are in one solid chunk, break apart the pieces after hour 3 or 4 so the meat can break down easier.
Continue cooking until 20 minutes before serving. Then use two forks to shred meat. Leave in pot, pour last 1/2 cup of sauce into pot. Stir to coat meat. Allow to continue sitting and cooking in sauce for last 15-20 minutes. Then serve.
Frozen Chicken Thighs Crock Pot
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 499Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Vitamin A 132IU3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.