Um, yum. Those are about the only coherent words I can put together thinking about this meal. While I won’t go so far as to say these are authentic Philly chicken cheesesteaks (is that even how they are termed in Philly?), they are a delicious take on that type of recipe and are so, so easy thanks to the slow cooker.
I know the weather is warming up and you might not be inclined to pull out your slow cooker now that the cold, winter months are over, but I find that I actually use my slow cooker just as much in the summer as I do in the winter because it doesn’t heat up my house like using the oven or stovetop can. So if you don’t already, I’m thinking you should definitely get on board with that philosophy too so I can keep sharing summer slow cooker recipes!
This recipe couldn’t be more simple – green peppers, onions, and chicken are layered in the slow cooker with a delicious, flavorful seasoning blend and cooked until the chicken and veggies are tender. Stuffed onto a toasted bun with melted provolone cheese and you have one killer sandwich. A perfect recipe for serving company (it could be easily doubled or tripled in a larger slow cooker) or just for a busy weeknight when you can throw it in the slow cooker in advance, this has quickly become a family favorite.
While you could certainly use storebought hoagie buns, when time permits, I like to make up a double or triple batch of these fluffy whole wheat dinner rolls and shape them into hoagie buns keeping them in the freezer for easy access. I’m a huge sandwich-for-dinner fan and this recipe only solidified that little fact. Soft, fresh bread loaded with tender chicken, peppers and onions, and smothered in creamy, melted Provolone? Like I said earlier: um, yum.
If using frozen chicken breasts, use the longer length of cooking time (about 6-7 hours) and only use about 1/4 cup chicken broth. Also, instead of tossing the frozen chicken breasts with the seasoning mixture, just sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the top after they have been placed in the slow cooker.
- 1 teaspoon paprika (regular or smoked)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 green peppers, cored and sliced
- 1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and sliced into half moons
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Sliced provolone
- Whole wheat hoagie buns (I use this Whole Wheat Dinner Roll recipe but shape the rolls into longer hoagie buns using this method)
- Lightly grease a 5-quart (or similar sized) slow cooker insert with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine the paprika, pepper, salt, garlic powder, coriander, red pepper flakes and thyme.
- Place the green peppers and onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mixture over the top.
- Toss the chicken with the rest of the seasoning mixture. Layer the chicken on the top of the green peppers and onions.
- Pour the chicken broth inside around the edges of the crockpot.
- Cook on low for 5-7 hours until the chicken is tender (over cooking the chicken may make it a bit dry so only cook it until the chicken is cooked through and tender). Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred into pieces. Set aside.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the peppers and onions to a plate. Pour out all the liquid into a bowl or liquid measure.
- Place the chicken, peppers and onions back in the slow cooker and toss. Pour in enough liquid to keep the chicken moist (but not soggy) - about 1/4 cup to start and add as needed. Keep the slow cooker on warm or low until ready to serve.
- Toast the buns under the oven broiler. Place chicken and peppers on each half of a bun and top with Provolone cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and slightly bubbly. Serve warm.