Slow-Cooker Blackberry and Jalapeño Chicken Sandwiches

Slow-Cooker Blackberry and Jalapeno Chicken Sandwiches 5

One of the most versatile gadgets in my kitchen has got to be my slow-cooker. It not only brings dinner to the table with minimal effort, but it’s an absolute life-saver on the days when I literally don’t even have a moment for myself to just breathe (which is a LOT of days, and I don’t even have any kids yet!). Another instance my slow-cooker is a life-saver? Game-day!

Seriously, when I’m entertaining and having a gaggle full of friends and family over, one of my go-to slow-cooker dishes is always something that’s involved in the food lineup – as I’m sure it is with you too. That’s why I’ve teamed up with, Oh Sweet Basil, Crème de La Crumb, The Recipe Critic, Sweet Treats and More, Something Swanky and Favorite Family Recipes to bring you some of our best slow-cooker recipes for game day. Hamilton Beach was kind enough to provide slow-cookers for all of us girls, and I have to say, I’m totally smitten with mine!

Hamilton Beach collage 3
In our house, messy slow-cooked sandwiches reign supreme, and I think this Blackberry Jalapeno version might be my favorite riff yet. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are covered in a mixture of sliced jalapenos, blackberry preserves, molasses, ketchup and garlic for a unique spin on a classic barbecue chicken sandwich. After about four hours, I pull the meat out, shred it and transfer it back to the pan to soak up all the sweet and spicy juices. I switch the dial to warm so that it’s nice and hot when guests start to pile their plates up. If you guests happen to be arriving early, go ahead and prepare everything the day before, and store the entire vessel in the fridge until about an hour before your guests are set to arrive.

Slow-Cooker Blackberry and Jalapeno Chicken Sandwiches 4

I like to serve each sandwich on a sturdy pretzel roll (you’ll need it for these messy guys!), but a hearty brioche or hard-shelled hoagie would work wonderfully as well. Because I like my sandwiches chock-full of topping, each sandwich is piled high with sliced jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and – my favorite – crispy slices of bacon.

Be sure to check out all of the other mouth-watering slow-cooker recipes below!

Slow-Cooker Blackberry and Jalapeno Chicken Sandwiches

Slow-Cooker Blackberry and Jalapeño Chicken Sandwiches

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 6

Serving Size: 1 sandwich

Boneless, skinless chicken breast are slow-cooked in a bath of blackberry preserves, jalapeno and molasses until fork tender. They're piled high onto pretzel buns, covered with melty cheese and ready to be devoured!


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup blackberry preserves
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 jalapeños, sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 6 slices pepper jack
  • 12 slices bacon, cooked
  • 6 pretzel buns


  1. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together preserves, chicken stock, ketchup, vinegar, molasses and salt. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle with sliced, onion, garlic and jalapeño.
  3. Turn the slow-cooker on low, and cook for 5-6 hours until the chicken is fork-tender.
  4. Pile hot chicken on pretzel buns and top with sliced jalapeños, cheese and bacon.
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Special thanks to Hamilton Beach for provided slow-cookers!

Shrimp Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Sweet Vermouth Cream Sauce

Shrimp Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Sweet Vermouth Cream Sauce 2

Move over fettuccine alfredo, there’s a new pasta love in my life. He’s prettier. More refined. And won’t instantaneously put five pounds on my hips post meal time.

Shrimp Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Sweet Vermouth Sauce

Ahhh just typing the name alone sends a wave of memory-induced hunger pains through my body. I can’t.stop.thinking about it.

Shrimp Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Sweet Vermouth Cream Sauce 6

This is the second time I’ve made this exact variation of pasta in the last month, I wasn’t even going to post it here, because I wasn’t convinced it would actually be something share-worthy, but by gosh it HAS TO BE SHARED. I literally ate it for a week straight since I have an innate compulsion to make enough food for a family of eight when there are only two of us, leaving us with infinite leftovers after each meal. Except in this case, there were four of us, but still.

Shrimp Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Sweet Vermouth Cream Sauce 5

By the looks of it, it may appear that this is just any ordinary pasta with shrimp, but what you can’t see from the pictures are the two ingredients that make this pasta seriously lust-worthy.

Sweet vermouth and the BEST egg pasta.

First, let’s talk about the pasta. One may assume that all dried pastas are created equal; if this is your assumption, you’d be dead wrong. Most dried pastas when cooked, taste like dried pasta, but this particular brand I got from a local specialty food store actually mimics the texture of fresh pasta when cooked. It’s on the pricey side at about $9 for eight ounces, but as of late, I’ve been trying to cut back on my carb intake, so I have no problem shelling out the cash for something a little more high-quality when I don’t have the time to make the pasta strands from scratch.

Sweet vermouth. I’ve officially decided that sweet vermouth should be an ingredient in everything I make from now on. White wine has been replaced by sweet vermouth. Chicken stock has been replaced by sweet vermouth. Sherry has been replaced by sweet vermouth. EVERYTHING has been replaced by vermouth.

Shrimp Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Sweet Vermouth Cream Sauce 4

Unlike most uses of sweet vermouth that call for only a conservative pour, here it’s used rather liberally (almost a cup) since I really wanted it to be the focus, and not just an undistinguishable mystery flavor Normally, I would say you could replace the liquor for chicken stock if you don’t have it on hand or don’t drink, but in this particular recipe, the swap out would give you a completely different flavor. Granted, it will still be delicious (hello roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, butter and cream), but it won’t have that luxurious, underlying sweet taste the vermouth permeates throughout the pasta, so a trip to the liquor store is totally warranted. Plus you could also get the ingredients for a Manhattan while you’re at it – the classic cocktail made with sweet vermouth – that alone, is worth a trip to the liquor store.

Shrimp Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Sweet Vermouth Cream Sauce 3

The remaining components may not be as assertive as sweet vermouth, but they are equally noteworthy. Sautéed shrimp, homemade roasted garlic and sun-dried tomatoes are all part of the ensemble that makes this pasta so incredibly addictive. Spinach adds a bright green color, and added nutritious effort, while red pepper flakes add just a hint of spice that’s not at all overwhelming.

If you’re just a family of two like Kev and I, may I suggest you stick with the full recipe, because you’ll be sorry if there aren’t any leftovers…

Shrimp Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Sweet Vermouth Cream Sauce
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