In the summer months, I am looking for fast and convenient meals. We spend most of our time outside in the garden, in our arena, or just out on the ranch which means meal time needs to be quick. These crockpot pepperoncini chicken sandwiches are the perfect simple meal.
Some of our favorite recipes are crockpot meals, however people tend to stay away from the crockpot in the summer months.
I would tend to argue that I use the crockpot MORE in the summer months. That’s because I am needing meals that people can eat when they need to and that I don’t have to put much thought into it.
Now I am not talking about soups, stews, or chilis in the crockpot (although you certainly can), I am talking about other creative ways to use slow cooking so your meal is ready when you are.
One of the most simple ways to do this is to cook your meat in the crockpot for sandwiches, then all you have to worry about is sides. These sides can be easy salads from garden produce, it doesn’t have to be anything complicated.
Some of my favorite meals I do this with is french dip sandwiches or BBQ chicken sandwiches (I will be sharing that recipe soon). They both are a simple delicious recipe that will please the whole family with little work from you.
When we start thinking outside the box for our recipes, that’s when incredible meals start happening around the table.
What pepperonicini’s do I use?
This recipe is a twist on a well known recipe called, crock pot Mississippi chicken sandwiches. This recipe doesn’t use a ranch seasoning packet, au jus packet, or cream cheese. It only uses 3 simple ingredients and you will get the most delicious flavorful chicken sandwiches without having to add multiple ingredients.
The main ingredient in my version of this is, yes you guessed it, pepperoncinis. This is where all your flavor is going to come from because I don’t use any other spices or seasoning packets in this recipe.
You can use any jar of pepperoncinis from the grocery store but my favorite is to use ones I have canned here at home! Nothing like home grown peppers that you can into pepperoncinis.
I always grow banana peppers in the garden every year. Well except this year because I had so many last year I still have plenty of jars on my shelf. Make sure to always use your garden space wisely every year and not just grow what you “always do”. If you need some help with garden planning, check out my post on how I garden plan every year.
Canning pepperoncinis at home is so simple and you are left with delicious tangy pepperoncini peppers. You will need a water bath canner and some simple ingredients like vinegar, garlic, and salt. I will have to share my home canned pepperoncini recipe soon. This crockpot pepperoncini chicken sandwich recipe is a great way to use up those jars of them!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 jar of sliced pepperoncinis
- 1 TBSP cornstarch (or preferred thickening agent. Use cornstarch to keep it gluten free)
- sandwich bun, hamburger buns, or rolls of choice
- Slices of provolone, white cheddar, or swiss cheese (optional)
How to make crockpot pepperoncini chicken sandwiches:
- Place both chicken breasts in the bottom of your crockpot in a single layer. I don’t use cooking spray or oil at the bottom, there is enough juices that they don’t stick.
- Pour the jar of pepperoncinis over the top of the chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Your cooking time will differ depending on how thick your chicken breasts are.
- Once the chicken is cooked, take two forks and shred chicken right in the crockpot. You can also use a hand mixer to shred your chicken. It is quick and shreds it to perfection. You should have some remaining juices in the crockpot to stir your shredded chicken around with it.
- Take out about 1/2 cup of the liquid from your crockpot and put it in a glass measuring cup. Whisk in 1 TBSP of cornstarch or other thickening agent. Whisk until smooth and there is no clumps.
- Pour back into the crockpot and stir around. Cook for another 15 minutes in the crockpot until the liquid around the chicken starts to thicken some.
- Toast hamburger buns, sourdough bread, or dinner rolls. Place some chicken on one side of the bread, top it with your favorite slice of cheese and place the other slice of bread on top. The chicken and toasted bread should be hot enough to melt the cheese. Serve with your favorite sides.
Does my chicken have to be thawed?
This delicious dinner is the perfect one to make on busy days. I have even made this using frozen chicken breasts and it turns out great. Before you leave the house in the morning just pop them in the crockpot and you will have the perfect dinner ready to go when you get home.
If you don’t have chicken breasts, you can also use chicken tender. You will just need to use about 4-6 tenders since they are smaller. If all your have is boneless skinless chicken thighs it will likely work. I have never tried it because they never shred as nicely, but if that’s all your have it will still be delicious!
If you don’t want to make this chicken into a sandwich, it would be perfect over a bed of rice, over some egg noodles, or just by itself with a side of potatoes.
Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for a week or so and can easily be heated back up for sandwiches!
I love an easy meal that you can make in the morning for those busy nights with not a lot of time. The next time you just don’t know what to make, try these crockpot pepperoncini chicken sandwiches and see how your family goes nuts over the flavor. Even your picky eaters will love it!