{Slow Cooker} BBQ Chicken Quinoa Sloppy Joes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 sandwiches

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I have a thing for saucy, meaty sandwiches. Bread, meat and sauce.

barbecue chicken quinoa sloppy joes on open bun on white plate with pickles

Since I made these BBQ Beef and Lentil Sloppy Joes, I’ve been a little disappointed with their lack of popularity.

Maybe that sounds totally selfish, but it’s not that. It’s just because I know how absolutely, incredibly delicious they are, and I feel like people are really missing out.

For the last month or so I’ve really been thinking about doing a chicken and quinoa version.

I am just as inexperienced with cooking quinoa as I was with cooking lentils, but I figured things couldn’t go too wrong if I knew the correct amount of liquid for the quinoa to cook in the slow cooker.

bbq chicken quinoa sloppy joes on white plate closed bun

It turns out quinoa and lentils require the same amount of liquid to cook, so my job was pretty easy.

I made a couple other changes to try to make the recipe a bit healthier. I took out the brown sugar completely, but found that I had to increase the barbecue sauce a bit in its place. I halved the salt and used a shredded carrot instead of a zucchini.

If you want to make this even healthier, you could sub the ketchup for crushed tomatoes (keeping in mind you’ll lose some of the sweetness from the ketchup), and use a light barbecue sauce or one with less sugar.

We love this version just as much as the beef and lentil! You really wouldn’t believe how much healthy stuff you can sneak into some good old sloppy joes until you try.

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{Slow Cooker} BBQ Chicken Quinoa Sloppy Joes

5 from 2 votes
{Slow Cooker} BBQ Chicken Quinoa Sloppy Joes: a lighter, healthier version of an old favorite. Packed with protein! www.thereciperebel.com
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 8 sandwiches
Calories 234cal


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup quinoa dry
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium-large carrot shredded
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 pinches crushed red pepper


  • In a medium pan, fry chicken over medium-high heat until cooked, stirring regularly. When chicken is browned, add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until onion starts to soften. Add to the slow cooker.
  • Add the dry quinoa to the pan and toast over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until toasted. Add to the slow cooker.
  • Add water through crushed red pepper to the slow cooker (all remaining ingredients) and stir well. Scrape down the sides to make sure the quinoa is in the liquid.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Serve on buns or rolls of your choice.


*Using different brands or slightly different ingredients will affect the nutrition information for the recipe.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 234cal | Protein: 13.5g | Fat: 7.2g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 13g

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire says

    Weeknight deliciousness here I come!! I’m on my way to the grocery store, so I’m glad I stopped by to your blog first cause I am SO making this for dinner tonight! It looks so flavorful and like you won’t even notice that it’s good for you. I can’t wait.

  2. Christina @ Bake with Christina says

    What yummy looking sloppy joes! And I love that they’re slow cooker, that’s always a plus 🙂

  3. Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl says

    What a great idea! I wouldn’t have thought to add quinoa into sloppy joes, but I think you can probably sneak the quinoa in pretty easily, and it probably adds a nice little subtle flavor. Plus, I can always get behind a slow cooker recipe. I always need those in my life! 🙂

  4. Esther says

    My husband and I definitely loved the lentil and beef version! This one sounds delicious as well! Love your pictures and your blog!

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