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Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo

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Slow cooker chicken adobo is a foolproof way to get ultra tender and savory Filipino chicken adobo with little effort! Succulent chicken thighs and drumsticks cook low and slow in a tangy sauce made with vinegar, soy sauce, and loads of garlic and peppercorns.

The tender and flavorful chicken served over hot rice with a drizzle of the savory sauce is sure to become a regular meal in your dinner rotation. 

Chicken thighs and chicken legs in a slow cooker with a red chili, peppercorns and bay leaves.

This Filipino classic, with its straightforward preparation and depth of flavor, is a great example of how a slow cooker can infuse so much flavor into chicken, transforming a simple mix of ingredients into a comforting meal that resonates with home cooking at its finest.

About Chicken Adobo

Typically made over the stove top, chicken adobo is commonly known as the national dish of the Philippines.

Filipino chicken adobo is made with a short list of simple ingredients which includes chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and peppercorns. The combination creates a sticky reduction that is salty, savory, and tangy with a rich garlic flavor. 

The great thing about chicken adobo is that it’s surprisingly simple to prepare and goes great with a variety of other side dishes!

Serve it up with our easy pork fried ricegrilled pineapplesprouted brown rice or fluffy coconut rice!

Chicken thighs and chicken legs in a slow cooker with a red chili, peppercorns and bay leaves.

Why This Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe Works

Our crockpot chicken adobo recipe is a great way to make this popular Filipino dish with minimal effort!

The trusty slow cooker is ideal for getting extra tender chicken thighs and drums, and creating an ultra rich adobo glaze that beautifully coats each piece of chicken. 

Best of all, slow cooker adobo chicken is an easy recipe that’s mostly hands-off. All that goodness cooks low and slow over the course of several hours to create a delicious, Filipino chicken dinner with savory and slightly tangy flavors.

Add it to your favorite list of slow cooker recipes. It’s a chicken recipe the entire family will request year-round!

Slow cooker chicken adobo is:

  • Simple to prepare- your Crock pot or slow cooker will take care of the bulk of the work! We like to brown the chicken in a skillet for extra flavor, but if you don’t have time, you can make this a “dump and cook” slow cooker recipe. 
  • Savory and flavorful with strong notes of garlic and bursts of peppercorns infused into the chicken and all the juices. 
  • A no-fuss way to enjoy Filipino food right at home and the slow cooker makes it even easier.

Ingredients for Chicken Adobo

One of the things we love the most about this adobo chicken in the slow cooker is that it comes together with minimal ingredients.

Here’s a look at what you will need to make it but as always, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to view the recipe card with full ingredient amounts. 

Recipe ingredients for slow cooker chicken adobo.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Vinegar gives the dish a light, tangy flavor. 
  • Soy sauce. For a punch of salty, umami seasoning.
  • Whole garlic cloves. Use fresh, minced garlic for the best results. 
  • Vegetable oil. You’ll need some oil in a skillet to brown the chicken first, before transferring it to the slow cooker. 
  • Bone-in chicken. ​We use a mix of bone-in chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks for the most tender, flavorful results. Chicken breasts do not work well for this recipe as they tend to dry out. 
  • Birds-eye or Thai chilis. We like a small amount of heat in our chicken adobo recipe, and these chilis are perfect for adding a little bit of spice. You can usually find them in the fresh peppers area of your grocery store’s produce department. 
  • Black peppercorns. Whole black peppercorns give the sauce and meat a pepper-y bite.
  • Dried baby leaves. For a subtle, herbal flavor infused into this dish. 
  • Sliced scallions. ​Slice the green tops of the scallions only and use them as a garnish. 

Highlights for Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo Recipe

Here’s a look at how to make this slow-cooker chicken recipe. Scroll to the bottom of the page to view the full, printable recipe card, for all of the details. 

First, whisk together the vinegar and soy in a small bowl, then pour it into your slow cooker and add the garlic.

A skillet with two browned chicken drumsticks and three chicken thighs.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Brown the chicken thighs and legs in batches, then transfer them to the slow cooker and coat them in the sauce. 

Chicken thighs and chicken legs in a slow cooker with a red chili, peppercorns and bay leaves, ready to cook.

Add the chilis, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or until the chicken is tender. 

When ready to serve, remove and discard the chilis and bay leaves. Transfer the chicken from the slow cooker to a dish and garnish with the chopped scallions. 

Recipe Variations

I love taking a classic dish and giving it a little twist. That’s exactly what we’re doing with this Adobo chicken recipe. Whether you’re a devotee of your slow cooker or just looking for ways to shake up your chicken routine, these variations on the traditional Adobo will add some excitement to your dinner lineup. Here are some fun ways to put a spin on your Adobo recipe. 

Pineapple Adobo Chicken Slow-Cooker: Substitute ¼ cup of the cider vinegar with pineapple juice for a tropical twist. Add half a cup of pineapple chunks to the slow cooker after browning the chicken pieces.

Coconut Adobo (Creamy & Rich Version): Replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil for browning the chicken. Pour a can of coconut milk into the slow cooker after adding the chicken. Cook the rest of the recipe per the instructions in the printable card.  This is a fun spin on adobo and the chicken will swim in a rich and creamy sauce. Some grated fresh ginger will also go wonderful with this version.

A dish of chicken adobo with a serving fork.

​Pro Tips for Amazing Crockpot Chicken

  • For a thicker gravy, you can make a cornstarch slurry by mixing in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Pour the sauce into a small pan and bring it to a boil, then stir the slurry into the slow cooker and cook the chicken until the sauce has thickened. 
  • If you’re tight on time, you can skip browning the chicken. This step isn’t mandatory, but it does add immense flavor to the dish and will give you the best results. Plus, it gives the chicken a much prettier golden color. 
A serving of a chicken thigh and chicken leg on a mound of white rice and broccolini.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Do not salt the chicken at any point. The soy saucein the recipe adds enough seasoning. If you’re sensitive to salt, you can easily use a low sodium soy sauce instead of regular soy. 
  • We prefer cider vinegar but rice vinegar or white vinegar are good substitutions. 
  • If you have skinless chicken thighs and drumsticks, you can also swap those in. Chicken adobo is the most flavorful using darker portions of thighs and drumsticks since the fat content adds flavor to the sauce. 
  • The chili is optional. If you don’t have them but would still like a small amount of heat in this dish, you can swap in 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes instead. 

Spooning sauce over a serving of chicken on a bed of rice with a side of broccolini.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy this multi cooker chicken adobo with a few delicious sides like these dishes:

I hope this recipe becomes a cherished addition to your slow cooker collection. It’s a dish that embodies the spirit of home cooking, combining the ease of modern kitchen gadgets with the authentic flavors. Whether you’re drawn to the classic preparation or one of the variations, this slow cooker recipe promises to deliver a heartwarming meal that gathers everyone around the table.

Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Chicken thighs and chicken legs in a slow cooker with a red chili, peppercorns and bay leaves.

Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

The long simmer of this Slow Cooker One Pot Chicken Adobo delivers succulent chicken thighs and drums with a savory sauce of vinegar and soy sauce, spiked with garlic and peppercorns. Serve this national dish of the Philippines with hot rice.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cicer vinegar
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 12 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 skin on-bone-in chicken thighs
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1-2 whole birds-eye or Thai chilis
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sliced scallion tops, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a small dish, whisk together the vinegar and soy sauce then pour into the bottom of a 6-qt. slow cooker.  Add the garlic cloves and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.  Working in batches, brown the chicken thighs and the legs then transfer them to the slow cooker, turning to coat in the sauce.
  3. Add the chilis, peppercorns and the bay leaves.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours until the chicken is tender.  
  5. When ready to serve, remove and discard the chilis and bay leaves, transfer the chicken to a dish and garnish with snipped scallions or chopped parsley. Pour the sauce into a dish or pitcher. (see notes.)
  6. Serve the chicken adobo with white rice along with the sauce.

Notes

  • To thicken the sauce, combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Pour the sauce into a small pan and bring to a boil, stir in the cornstarch/water slurry and cook until thickened.
  • Browning the chicken is not mandatory and can be skipped, but it does add huge flavor to the dish.
  • Do not add salt to the chicken during the browning process as the soy sauce will add enough seasoning.
  • We used regular soy sauce, if sodium-sensitive substitute with the low-sodium soy sauce.
  • We used cider vinegar but rice vinegar or regular white vinegar can be used instead.
  • Chicken adobo is more flavorful using the darker portions of thighs and drumsticks as the fat content adds flavor to the sauce.
  • Skinless chicken thighs and drumsticks can be used in this dish.
  • The chili is optional and can also be substituted with a 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 362Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 157mgSodium: 1304mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 32g

Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Mike Smith

Friday 24th of November 2023

The Chicken Adobo sounds really good. I'll try it soon and let you know if I can make it look like yours!

Dahn Boquist

Friday 24th of November 2023

Thanks for the comment! I hope you enjoy it.

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