Kansas City Sue's Chicken

While I managed to use my slow cooker plenty over the summer, I’ve now officially kicked into Slow Cooker High Gear thanks to the cooler weather and fall leaves changing. This is great news for me because the slow cooker fantastically simplifies my life.

This particular recipe, sent to me by Tammy* is slow cooker perfection. The tender, juicy chicken soaks up all the flavors of the sweet and tangy sauce and it requires, oh, maybe five minutes of prep work. I like to think of this as a sweet and sour slow cooker shredded chicken. But I happen to like the original name better, even though I have no idea who Sue is and why this recipe is tied to Kansas City.

What To ServeI served it over brown rice with a green salad and steamed peas on the side. Simplicity and deliciousness at it’s best.

*Have I mentioned I love it when I receive recipes from all of you? I don’t have time to try them all but some of my favorite recipes have come from readers and I appreciate each and every one you send to me!

One Year Ago: Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Kansas City Sue’s Chicken

Yield: Serves 6

Kansas City Sue’s Chicken

Note: The chicken cooks up with quite a lot of juicy sauce. I prefer lightly draining the sauce and serving it on the side so that it isn’t so “soupy” as we are dishing it up over our rice. Serve it as you please!


  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth


  1. In a large skillet, heat the butter/olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook them for 1-2 minutes on each side, until nicely browned but not cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken to the slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine all the other ingredients. Whisk well. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  2. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve with rice or noodles.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Tammy, a reader

71 Responses to Kansas City Sue’s Chicken {Slow Cooker}

  1. Christina says:

    I have cooked this many times and loved it, and today I tried it in the pressure cooker since we have to get dinner in early before activities. It was great! Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. Darcy says:

    Hi Mel,
    How long would you suggest cooking this in the Instant Pot?

  3. Sheree L says:

    Tried this tonight. Used frozen chicken breasts, cut the sugar to 1/8 cup, used chicken broth, and skipped the onion. Hubby and I loved it! Thanks, Mel!

  4. Gilliane says:

    I just made this tonight. I realized at noon that I was in a pinch for dinner-activities all afternoon until dinner time. Had all these ingredients on hand and quickly whipped this up. Delicious! Another amazing Mel’s recipe. Thanks so much!

  5. Natalia says:

    tried this. was so, SO good. thank-you very much for the great recipe! I’m definitely doing this time and over again. SUCH a good and fulfilling meal!

  6. Mel says:

    katz – I think it’s referring to people shredding the chicken after it cooks and serving it that way (which you can do or you can leave the chicken pieces whole).

  7. katz says:

    Mel, I’m confused: Everyone talks about shredded chicken but your recipe doesn’t mention that. Could the recipe be missing a paragraph?

  8. Lynne Dyer says:

    Made 4 recipies including this one since finding your site. All excellent!!! Where have you been all my life 🙂

  9. Nancy E says:

    Love this!! The first time I made this we had it on roll and the second time over rice. A couple of my kids just picked the meat out to eat. I wanted to make it again the next night. I love your recipes!

  10. Katie says:

    I’ve made this twice now. The first time I used frozen chicken breasts. It was good, but tonight I used fresh chicken breasts, browned them, and cut the sugar to 1/4 cup and it was GREAT! Thanks for another winner, Mel!

  11. Nathalie says:

    Made this tonight and wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had everything on hand so I’d give it a try, I’m surprised how these simple ingredients come together for such a wonderful tasting chicken- will def. be making again!

  12. Amy says:

    Made for dinner tonight and all 3 kids ate it… great recipe!

  13. Callie says:

    made this with 4 large boneless pork chops and chicken broth rather than beef broth. doubled up the soy sauce and it was great over rice!

  14. Menu Plan Monday - Plate4Eight says:

    […] – Kansas City Sue’s Chicken (Slow cooker) with brown rice and stir-fried […]

  15. Courtney says:

    Made this yesterday, yummy! I did use regular yellow mustard in place of the powder, and I think browning the chicken first is what really seals in the flavor and texture. Served over brown rice with asparagus. Will definetely be making this again and again!

  16. Heidy says:

    I made this one for dinner tonight! It was awesome! I have enjoyed everything that I’ve made so far and look forward to trying more of your recipes!

  17. ali says:

    can i use chicken stock instead of beef broth??

    • Mel says:

      Ali – I’ve never made that substitution but you can try. The flavor will be different, of course, but it will probably still turn out just fine.

  18. Vivienne says:

    Very yummy! The sauce came out kinda thin. Is that how it’s supposed to be or did I do something wrong? 🙂

  19. Deb says:

    YUM! Had this chicken for dinner tonight with roasted broccoli and this brown rice recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/dressed-up-rice-recipe/index.html) and it was great! I love how I can start dinner early in the afternoon (in the slow cooker and the rice cooker) and then my feast is ready to eat when we get home from soccer that evening. The only change I made to the chicken recipe was to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts because strangely enough, that’s all I had in the freezer. I think I’ve been making too many of your tasty chicken breast recipes on the grill!

  20. […] Wednesday:  Kansas City Sue’s Slow Cooker Chicken via a website that Stacey sent  http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2010/09/kansas-city-sues-chicken-slow-cooker.html […]

  21. Shay says:

    My children love this!! They request it a few times a month. I throw everything in the crockpot without browning the chicken and it’s wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  22. scrappysue says:

    in fact – i made this one last night! with creamy garlic salted and pepper whipped/mashed potatoes! everyone loves it!!!

  23. Kelley says:

    I made this and it was so tasty. I actually added some Splenda instead of sugar and it was great. I didn’t have beef broth, so I used chicken broth, and it was still good although I bet that beef broth would give it a fuller flavor. Nice and sweet and tangy! I LOVE this blog!!!

  24. Jennifer says:

    I put this in the crock pot before church and shredded it when we got home. Served it over the oven baked brown rice from this blog. I made that last night and just reheated it in the oven. This was a good, tasty alternative to my other chicken recipes I have. Most importantly-everyone in my family ate it! That is a minor miracle. They all had seconds. My picky son even liked it (because of the sugar) and had two helpings of brown rice to soak up sauce. I don’t think he’s ever willingly eaten brown rice. This simple slow cooker meal will go in my rotation. Thanks!

  25. Louisa says:

    I made this tonight and it was a hit with my family. We did it with cous-cous and I really liked dripping the tasty sauce over the cous-cous. I did use yellow mustard from my fridge and it was great. Thanks!

  26. Kyra says:

    Melanie, I love this recipe. I seriously love it so much I make a huge batch and use the leftovers in a million different ways. On top of a salad, on a bun with some BBQ sauce, tossed in a soup, even in a tortilla! So yummy!

  27. Allison says:

    I’m making this tomorrow!

    I think this didn’t make it under your “slow cooker” tab in your recipe index for some reason- just wanted to make sure you knew that!

  28. Allison says:

    Thanks Mel! I made it today, using the grill pack, and it turned out wonderfully! My 4 year old asked if we can have it every day. 🙂 I didn’t have time to brown the chicken beforehand, and only cooked it for 5.5 hours on low, but it was done and delicious!

  29. Allison says:

    Do you think I could substitute bone-in chicken for the boneless breasts? I have a grill pack in the freezer that I’d love to use up. 🙂 I think I’d need to leave it in a little longer to account for the bone-in aspect. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Allison – yes, I think they would work fine, although you obviously will want to take out the bones after you shred the chicken.

  30. grace says:

    it’s incredible to me how much impact a little dry mustard can have on a batch of chicken barbecue or really any random dish. it’s potent and wonderful stuff!

  31. Mary says:

    OH I just love slow cooker recipes and this sounds (and looks!) fabulous! Bookmarked!!!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  32. Tracey says:

    Made this for dinner tonight, served with your baked brown rice recipe! First time I’ve made either recipe, and both turned out really good:) I especially like the brown rice, it WAS better than any other brown rice I’ve had!
    I halved the chicken recipe and used 3 chicken breasts, since 4-6 breasts was a huge amount for my small family of 3. It was a little tricky halving some of the items, but I pretty much just eyeballed it. It was really good and a nice change from what I’m always making. I love the slow cooker! I also didn’t have any apple cider vinegar, so I used white vinegar with a little bit of apple juice added to it…it seemed to work? 🙂 Thanks again for all of your awesome recipes!

  33. Kara Larson says:

    This was better than I expected! so much flavor and my kids LOVED it. Usually if I like the flavor on it the kids don’t! I made it with Orzo, next time I think I am going to make it with rice for sure.

  34. Kensi says:

    We made this a few nights ago and really enjoyed it. My husband especially liked the vinegar based sauce because it reminded him of the NC BBQ from home.

    And thank you SO much for the tip about homemade buttermilk. Who knew it was that easy? I will be making the new cinnamon roll recipe along with your other recipes that require buttermilk! Thank you Mel!!!

  35. […] Kansas City Slow Cooker Chicken and zucchini medley […]

  36. Sharon says:

    This looks so yummy, my mouth is watering right now!! I also think I found my Sunday dinner recipe!! Thanks for sharing!

  37. Alisha says:

    Made it last night– it was yummy & a nice variation from my usual dinners. I’m trying to cook healthy these days so we lack some variety! J

  38. Elizabeth says:

    I love using my crock pot when the weather turns colder, and this sounds like a winner!!! Hope to try it soon!

  39. claire says:

    I love my crock pot! I am in Dallas though so we have some time before fall hits! This looks amazing!

  40. I am always in search of a good crockpot recipe so I will add this to my list to try!

  41. The Southern Cookbook says:

    Looks good Mel, anything in the slow cooker works for me. This chicken dish looks fantastic 😉

  42. I have to say I would have never put these ingrediants in the slow cooker on my own but think they will mesh well and think I will give it a try. I too lovethe slow cooker in the fall. I made your brown rice yesterday 🙂

  43. Jennifer says:

    Do you have to brown the chicken? Could you just put it in frozen and cook it all day and then shred it?

    • Mel says:

      Jennifer – the honest answer is no, but you’ll definitely get more flavor from browning the chicken. If you are in a hurry or don’t want the hassle, you could throw frozen chicken in there, though. I can’t vouch for the results, but I’m guessing it will still work out alright!

  44. Emily Marie says:

    This sounds great and I really want to try it, I just have one question: Can I sub bottled mustard for the dry mustard? I know I need to just pick some up next time I’m at the grocery store, but I never seem to remember and I’ve always wondered if I could just swap for the stuff I always have in the fridge!

    • Mel says:

      Emily Marie – I don’t really know the answer to that since I haven’t tried it but it is always worth a try, I’d say. I don’t think it will make that much of a difference to use yellow mustard in place of the dry since it is such a small amount.l

  45. Hillary says:

    This is so handy ’cause I’ve realized that if I have my kids’ friends over in the afternoon I can say goodbye to a home cooked dinner. Crockpot to the rescue!

  46. Amy says:

    I saw this & immediately made it for dinner tonight. Excited to try it in a few hours. I love my slow cooker – keep posting recipes for it!

  47. Jannifer says:

    I’m always looking for slow cooker recipes. Will definitely have to try this, thanks!

  48. i’m such a sucker for chicken and rice. i’m definitely on this recipe!

  49. Christina says:

    This sounds great. I love using my slow cooker!

  50. Carmen says:

    This sounds really good. I am going to try it. Hopefully our weather will cool down soon. Had a couple days of really cool, but now, we are back in the 90’s. I’m ready for soup weather!

  51. StephenC says:

    Ah, the slow cooker. Hardly ever use mine. Why? Hmmm – I’ll have to think about that one. Your recipe looks delicious.

  52. Jeanette says:

    i use my crock pot all the time. it is by far my favorite household appliance! this recipe looks great!

  53. Shut Up! My crock pot is my bestest friend ever! I’ve already done the menu for this week but am putting this down for next week!

  54. Michelle says:

    I don’t use my crock pot nearly enough. This sounds like a tasty dinner.

  55. Kim in MD says:

    This looks yummy! Love that you cooked it in the slow cooker!

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