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Salsa BBQ Keto Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

Not only is this chicken thigh recipe easy to throw together, it’s insanely flavourful, has minimal prep time, can be left for hours in your slow cooker without worry and is keto friendly! Bonus, get some extra keto salsa out of it for later!

Bowl of salsa bbq chicken thighs with cauliflower rice.

At no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission for purchases made through links in this post. 

This post was originally published December 30, 2018, and has been updated to a keto friendly version.

My mom gave me the idea for this recipe a few years ago. She likes to slow cook country style ribs in a mixture of barbecue sauce and salsa (which is freaking delicious btw), so I decided to give chicken thighs a shot.. oh boy, so, so, delicious!

Instead of using store bought salsa and bbq sauce, we make it keto friendly by whipping up a low carb salsa in minutes and using your own favourite low carb bbq sauce. I always have some of this on hand. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Why it works

  1. Easy peasy. You’ll need about 20 minutes of prep time, and the slow cooker does the rest!
  2. Flavour packed deliciousness – there is nothing lacking about this dish, with the fresh salsa, bbq sauce and spices.
  3. Make it a healthy dish by pairing it with Cauliflower Rice and steamed broccoli, or turn it into pulled chicken sandwiches by baking some Low Carb Onion Buns or making a 90 Second Keto Bread.

Ingredients

All ingredients needed to make salsa bbq keto slow cooker chicken thighs.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – I rarely buy my thighs boneless and skinless because they are just too expensive. It’s easy to debone them, though! Never done it before? Check out this video to learn how.

How to make Salsa BBQ Keto Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

Heat a skillet on medium high with the avocado oil. Combine the rub ingredients and massage it into the chicken thighs. Once the skillet is hot, sear the chicken thighs for a minute or so on each side until golden.

Pan with seared chicken thighs.

Place the seared chicken thighs inside the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2 ½ – 3.

Seared chicken thighs in a slow cooker.

Make the salsa right away so that it can rest while the chicken is cooking. Chop up the onion, cilantro and jalapeño.

*For a spicy salsa, use all of the jalapeño including the white pith and seeds. For a mild salsa discard the white pith and seeds. Medium? Keep just a few of the seeds. Use gloves to avoid the burn from the jalapeño juice. If you get the juice on your skin, wash it away with first olive oil before washing it with soap and warm water.

Add the chopped veggies to a food processor along with the diced tomatoes and sea salt.

Salsa ingredients in a food processor.

Squeeze the juice from the lime over top and then process for only a few moments, depending on how chunky you like your salsa. Pour out the salsa into a dish, cover and place inside the fridge.

Salsa all ready to go.

45 minutes before the chicken has finished slow cooking, take 2 forks and shred the chicken. If there is a lot of grease in the slow cooker, drain it first.

Slow cooker with shredded chicken.

Add the Low Carb BBQ Sauce and 1 cup of the salsa to the shredded chicken, mix well, then return the lid and continue to slow cook for the remaining time.

Finished keto slow cooker chicken thighs.

Expert Tips

  1. Wait until the skillet is hot before searing the chicken to ensure a nice golden colour without overcooking the chicken.
  2. The remaining salsa can be refrigerated for up to a week and enjoyed with Low Carb Cheese Crackers or Low Carb Baked Tortilla Chips.

What to pair with Salsa BBQ Chicken Thighs

Bowl of salsa bbq chicken thighs with cauliflower rice.

Here are some other keto friendly chicken recipes you might like:

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Bowl of salsa bbq chicken thighs with cauliflower rice..

Salsa BBQ Keto Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

Not only is this chicken thigh recipe easy to throw together, it’s insanely flavourful, has minimal prep time, can be left for hours in your slow cooker without worry and is keto friendly!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Aleta

Ingredients

Rub

  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Salsa

  • 14 oz canned organic diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup white onion
  • 1 small jalapeño
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Instructions

Directions

  • Heat a skillet on medium high with the avocado oil. Combine the rub ingredients and massage it into the chicken thighs. Once the skillet is hot, sear the chicken thighs for a minute or so on each side until golden. Place the seared chicken thighs inside the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2 ½ – 3. Make the salsa right away so that it can rest while the chicken is cooking.
  • Chop up the onion, cilantro and jalapeño *see notes. Add them to a food processor along with the diced tomatoes and sea salt. Squeeze the juice from the lime over top and then process for only a few moments, depending on how chunky you like your salsa. Pour out the salsa into a dish, cover with wrap and then place inside the fridge.
  • 45 minutes before the chicken has finished slow cooking, take 2 forks and shred the chicken. Add the Low Carb BBQ Sauce and 1 cup of the salsa, mix well, return the lid and continue to slow cook for the remaining time. Enjoy with Cauliflower Rice and steamed veggies or as pulled chicken sandwiches on Low Carb Onion Buns or 90 Second Keto Bread.

Notes

  1. Wait until the skillet is hot before searing the chicken to ensure a nice golden colour without overcooking the chicken.
  2. For a spicy salsa, use all of the jalapeño including the white pith and seeds. For a mild salsa discard the white pith and seeds. Medium? Keep half the seeds. 
  3. Use gloves to avoid the burn from the jalapeño juice. If you get the juice on your skin, wash it away first with olive oil before washing it with soap and warm water.
  4. The remaining salsa can be refrigerated for up to a week and enjoyed with Low Carb Cheese Crackers or Low Carb Baked Tortilla Chips.
 

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition facts are an estimate only! The ingredients you choose could have different nutritional values than the ingredients I have used.  
 * Net carb count excludes both fibre and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people.
Deduct fibre and sugar alcohols from the total carbs to get 5.9 g net carbs per 1/4 of the whole recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 2thighs | Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.6g | Protein: 28.6g | Fat: 16.3g | Sodium: 1610mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar Alcohols: 3g | Net Carbs: 5.9g
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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    these look super delicious, tender and flavorful! Slow cooker meals are a must for those crazy week days. Love when dinner is ready with little effort.

  2. I love finding new ways to spice up chicken. It can get so boring having the same old baked chicken breast all the time and I love the sound of the salsa barbecue.

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