Slow Cooker Chicken with Apples & Rosemary

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on August 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Freezer Pack Costco Plan - 20 Meals for $150 in Less Than 2 Hours |

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This recipe is part of the 20 Slow Cooker Freezer Packs from Costco for $150 meal plan. Note that this is written as a single recipe, but is doubled in the Costco meal plan, so you will have enough ingredients to make 2 packs. 

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Slow Cooker Chicken with Apples & Rosemary

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 8 hours in slow cooker


  • 1 chicken breast, 2-3 chicken thighs
  • 3 apples, peeled and sliced
  • (lime juice for the apples)
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • Salt and pepper


Assembly Instructions: Add all ingredients to the pack, in the order they were listed. Remove as much air as you can or vacuum seal the pack. Freeze up to 6 months in a refrigerator freezer, or 12 months in a deep freezer.

Cooking Instructions: Thaw the slow cooker pack in the refrigerator overnight, or in a bowl of warm water for about 30 minutes. If the pack is partially thawed, cook on low for 8-10 hours. If the pack is completely thawed, you can cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.

Side dish suggestion: I would serve this with some brown rice or warm bread.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise Guiles August 12, 2014 at 2:45 am

Being in food service I must take exception to
your thawing method. Food should NEVER be
thawed in warm water! Always COLD running
water! I would hope you will correct
this misstatement so people
won’t get sick!


Idaho Mom August 18, 2014 at 10:03 am

30 minutes in warm water will NOT make anyone sick. Remember the old adage of food being out for 2 hours and then it needs to be tossed? 30 minutes from frozen solid to slightly soft around the edges (’cause let’s face it, a frozen block into a warm bowl of water will soon turn that warm water cold too ;) ) will not cause anyone any harm.


Kdrappo August 18, 2014 at 4:06 pm

A woman after my own heart – ONE WITH COMMON SENSE!


Cat Cain August 18, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Denise, the instructions for thawing the pack for 30 minutes in warm water, is not going to cause anyone to get sick, if it was a longer time it might, but it is fine to thaw a frozen pack of food for 30 minutes in warm water then throw it in the slow cooker. With meats that I’m thawing to cook i use cold running water or let it sit in cold water and change it every 15 minutes. But I think these instructions are just fine. The optimum choice, of course, would be to thaw it out in the refrigerator. ;) Peace.


Jay August 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Doesnt the cooking – kill any bacteria? I thought that pertained to food left out before being servied, not before being cooked?


Brenda Marxmiller August 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I recently saw this on America’s Test Kitchen. Having previously worked in the food industry, I too thought it seemed contradictory to the cold running water methos, but it is been tested and approved for smaller portions to thaw in hot water. Even approved by the FDA.


Kathirynne August 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm

You don’t have to thaw it at all, in my experience. Run it under hot water for a few seconds so that you can slide it out of the bag. Then plop it into the CrockPot, put a little water in the bag to rinse out all “the good stuff” and pour that water into the CrockPot, as well. Cover and cook.


Sarah L August 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm

That’s what I do. Lest we forget, these meals are going to cook for 5-8 hours. That is plenty of time to bring the temperature up, and kill off any bacteria that will grow in the short time the meat will be in the optimum bacterial growth temperature range in the crock pot.


Elaine Brown August 14, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Of all the work she did to put this together you guys griped about something? Would have been nice to say “Thank you for sharing your great ideas” And then keep your mouth shut about the negative stuff… Putting it in the fridge overnight to thaw is perfectly fine even according to HEALTH code standards! Thawing something “INSIDE A ZIPLOCK” in a “WARM” not hot water bath for literally half an hour isn’t going to cause poisoning or kill anyone. Really rolled my eyes when I read all your negative stuff. I want each of you that posted negative or rude things to think of 3 positive things every single morning when you wake up an post it or put it somewhere in your house. we’ve really got to turn your negative attitudes around :) Be HAPPY and spread HAPPY don’t be grouchy and negative! And it would be nice of you to apologized as well.


Karen August 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Well said! And I agree, thanks for sharing!


Kim Olson August 15, 2014 at 11:30 am

Ya I have to agree! I have managed to raise 2 boys and cook many dinners as a working parent, thawing foods by whatever means necessary. I can happily say that all those turkeys left out on the counter overnight or taken out of the fridge to the counter several nights in a row never killed anyone. I’ve left chicken to thaw overnight on the counter, I’ve eaten potato salad that was older than a day, and I’ve re-frozen raw and previously frozen meant to boot. I can assure you that my family and I are all still alive and well and will live to eat more poorly thawed meat! :-)


Heather August 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm

So I’m a little new to using the slow cooker, but this recipe sounded yummy. I’m curious though if there is any liquid? Most recipes I’ve done required some type of liquid in the slow cooker. I want to try this one out fresh, without freezing to see how the family likes it!


Jenn K August 16, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Heather, The meat and veggies/apples release enough liquid when cooking that they will be fine! But you can always add a 1/2 cup of water if you’re worried. I don’t add additional liquid to those recipes that do not call for it and they’ve always turned out great.


Lori August 15, 2014 at 10:58 am

I’m sorry…I’m such a visual person that I often require a picture with a recipe…so this may seem ridiculous.
Do you serve this on the bread? It doesn’t seem like enough chicken for a family of 4 unless it is a topper to the rice or bread.


Jenn K August 16, 2014 at 11:52 am

Lori – serve with bread on the side or serve on top of rice! You can always add more rice and veggies to make the meal stretch to feed your family.


Sandra Travis August 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I am guessing that if you use a crock pot liner to cook the meal in, you could also freeze the meal in the liner inside that Ziploc bag, thus eliminating the need to thaw the food at all! (I have never done this, so I am not positive it would work, in theory it sounds good though.) Recipe sounds good.


Cathy August 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm

May be a dumb question, but … when you say “1 chicken breast, 2-3 chicken thighs” are you saying the breast PLUS the thighs or the breast OR the thighs? I think others have questioned the amount of protein in some of the recipes, too. I assumed you meant both but then began to wonder. :)
Thanks for these great suggestions, by the way.


Jenn K August 16, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Yes, both the thighs and breasts will be used! Adding chicken thighs in the slow cooker really keeps the meat juicy!


Donna August 17, 2014 at 8:55 am

Great Question & Answer!


Celeste August 16, 2014 at 7:57 pm

I also am curious about the above question – breast plus thighs or one breast OR thighs? Assuming it’s both and putting them in together for now :)

Thank you!


Maria beauton August 16, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Yes, you would need at least 1 cup of broth with any recipe in the crock pot. It’s too bad this didn’t say that. I downloaded the recipes and it didn’t even say that in the downloaded version. Kinda sad I stupidly paid for it!


Jenn K August 16, 2014 at 9:03 pm

So sorry to hear that you aren’t satisfied. We really don’t add more liquid to a lot of slow cooker recipes as the juice from meat (and in this case – the apples) makes it more than juicy enough! Feel free to add stock or water as you desire.


Maria beauton August 16, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Oh…and chop up the the chicken breast… (It didn’t say that either) ug


Zipporah August 17, 2014 at 12:16 am

Maria – There is no need to chop the chicken breast. After a day in the crock pot, it will be falling apart. Chopping it would just be a waste of time.


Donna August 17, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Did you use boneless chicken? You mention the chicken will be falling apart. What a nuisance if you are using bone-in chicken.


Melanie August 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm

I just went shopping for the ingredients in the Costco meal plan. The chicken thighs that match her description/price were boneless skinless and were in saddle bag packaging. This isn’t the bulk pack from the frozen section–it’s over by the fresh meat.


Neil Watters August 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

We just made this for today’s dinner and it turned out great. 8 hrs is overkill for cooking on low. I stopped the slow cooker after 6 hrs. The apples turn into mush but that’s ok, it’s just a super apple sauce now. The chicken tastes great! My wife said it reminded her of Thanksgiving so we are going to eat this meal with stuffing. I look forward to trying all the recipes under the Costco plan. I appreciate you putting this together.


Melanie August 17, 2014 at 9:50 pm

I work 12 hr. shifts. If I put this in crockpot frozen and and a little liquid, do you think it would turn out pr by mush?


Neil August 18, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Get a crockpot with a timer and you’ll be good. It’s worth the investment.


DH August 19, 2014 at 1:43 am

What should the approximate weight be for the chicken and apples? These things can differ in size quite a bit, so I’m just trying to make sure I don’t mess it up. Thanks!


Neil August 19, 2014 at 8:21 am

The ingredients are from Costco, we are all dealing with the same sizes.


DH August 19, 2014 at 11:40 am

I understand that the intention of the meal plan is to buy everything from Costco, but I live in the middle of a large city without a Costco and rely on public transportation. I’d be buying the ingredients from my neighborhood grocery store, which doesn’t package things in the exact same way Costco does. Just trying to get some clarity.


Neil August 19, 2014 at 7:17 pm

1/2 lb chx breast, 1/2 lb chx thigh, about 1.4 lbs of unpeeled apples.


Angela Phillips August 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Wish you included the nutritional information with all your recipes! Would certainly help those of us who need to count calories or WW points…..


Terri Miller September 1, 2014 at 11:43 pm

If you do work out the nutrition facts out on these recipes, would you share them? Thanks!
I’ve not tried them yet, but I’d be willing to do some of them, too.


Karen Lynne August 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Can you elaborate what you mean by “lime juice for the apples”? I don’t see it referenced in the recipe…



Rochelle Murphy August 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

Karen, you toss the apples with a little lime juice after slicing just to keep them from browning. Technically you could leave the lime juice out if you don’t mind the brown color.


Shannon August 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm

This recipe looks something my kids would like and easy, but I can’t stand rosemary, substation recommendation? or just leave it out?


Jenny September 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Basil or sage go well with poultry. You could try the blend called poultry seasoning, as well.


Colleen October 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

I would use fresh thyme instead of rosemary. Two or three sprigs would be fine.


Rebecca August 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Does anyone have the microwaveable slow cooker from QVC?
If yes, how do you change cooking times?….looking forward to hearing back some good thoughts, thanks so much


Elaine September 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm

How can one chicken breast feed 4 people? I would think 2 – but not one.


MT September 9, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Elaine, it’s one chicken breast AND 2-3 thighs.


Jenn K September 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Elaine – one chicken breast AND 2-3 chicken thighs :)


MT September 9, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Love the recipes!! Cannot wait to try them starting this week!!


Cindy D September 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Thanks so much for posting these! I hate the negativity, but LOVE the recipes! :)


Arbodnangle Scrulp September 22, 2014 at 7:11 am

Just found this site thanks to eBaum! I love the idea of freezer cooking, but as a single person who cooks only for himself I would need to cook the 4 person meal in a crockpot and then freeze 3 meals to be reheated later in a microwave. Is this sensible with this recipe?


Lynne catrow September 29, 2014 at 11:50 am

Does the kind of apple you use matter? Thanks!


Natalie November 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Would it be possible to use ALL chicken breast instead of breast and thigh? We have an eater who refuses to eat chicken off the bone.


Rita November 15, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Do you need to add any water or stock?

I’m assuming if frozen it may produce some of its own mois ture but what if you are adding all the ingredients fresh and not frozen or thawed…then would it need water?


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