Napa Chicken Salad - Freezer to Slow Cooker Easy Recipe

Napa chicken salad is a fast meal to pop in the slow cooker. It is a ‘set it and forget it’ recipe that doesn’t require any cooking that morning.  The bone-in chicken has an amazing flavor, and you can change up the dried fruit to what you have on hand or for different flavor combinations.  We love raisins, dried pears, dried apricots, and even figs!

Make this with winter cabbage, either Napa or the less common (but all they had at the store when I videoed this), Savoy.  Both cabbages have lovely crinkly leaves, and hold the rich and delicious ‘salad dressing’ that comes from the chicken drippings.

Equipment used in this recipe: 

Slow cooker

Stainless bowl (or glass) to ‘shrink’ slow cooker

Chef’s knife

Cutting board

Napa Chicken Salad (freezer-to-slow-cooker meal, with video)

Course: Main dish
Cuisine: AIP, GAPS, Gluten Free, Paleo, SCD
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Cara Comini
The cooking liquid from the chicken becomes the salad dressing in this delightful winter salad


  • 4-6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs 2 lbs
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit raisins used here
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 savoy or napa cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar optional


  1. To shrink your slow cooker: Fill slow cooker 1/4 full with hot water. Place an ovenproof bowl (pyrex or stainless) inside on top of the water that will still allow your lid to close.
  2. Place chicken, dried fruit, and sea salt in bowl within slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4.
  4. Remove bowl from water, dump out water, and place chicken in the still-warm slow cooker crock.
  5. Use two forks to shred chicken and dried fruit, set aside bones to make stock another time.
  6. Slice cabbage thinly, into 1.5 inch by 1/2 inch (approx) pieces.
  7. Combine sliced cabbage, chicken, dried fruit, and the drippings from cooking the chicken into a delicious salad.
  8. Top with additional apple cider vinegar if desired.
  9. Serve warm or chilled.

Recipe Notes

This is a fantastic freezer recipe. Simply place extra chicken thighs, dried fruit, and sea salt in freezer bags, label, and toss in the freezer for easy meals in the future!



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