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Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken

Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken is a no-fuss pantry-staple slow cooker meal with little prep and tastes great served on a toasted bun.

Side view of a chicken pepperoncini sandwich on a toasted bun.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy, yet utterly delicious dinner idea then this Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken is the dinner for you.

This recipe has five ingredients, plus salt and pepper, so technically seven. Plus it is a completely toss-it-in-and-go with about 5 minutes of prep.

What are Pepperoncini Peppers?

There’s a lot of information out there about pepperoncini peppers, and some of it is conflicting.

The pepperoncini or peperoncini as it’s known in its homeland of Italy, is a mild sweet pepper. It ranks above the bell pepper and banana pepper on the Scoville scale but far below a jalapeño.

A heaping black bowl of shredded chicken with pimentos and peppers with a fork standing up in it.

Depending on your own personal heat tolerance, some pepperoncinis can give a bit of heat zing. I tend to be on the wimpy side and I’ve bit into some and felt the burn, then others, nada.

Are banana peppers and pepperoncinis the same thing?

Banana peppers and pepperoncinis are not the same thing. They are closely related and similar but alas, more like cousins than siblings.

Banana peppers are even milder than pepperoncinis, making them even closer to bell peppers than a jalapeño on the Scoville scale.

Physically, at a quick glance they look the same, but upon further inspection, their skins are quite different. Pepperoncini peppers have wrinkly skin while banana peppers have smooth skins.

An over stuffed sandwich filled with shredded chicken with pepperoncini peppers and pimentos served with french fries; white elephants and a cloth napkin visible in the background.

They are similar in color but banana peppers are a bit more yellow than the pepperoncini. Both are pickled, but it’s easier to find a fresh, non-pickled banana pepper in your local market than it is a pepperoncini pepper.

Can I use banana peppers instead of pepperoncini peppers?

For this recipe, absolutely.

Pepperoncinis are often pickled and served with your pizzas, subs, and nachos. But it is not uncommon to swap them out for the banana peppers. This recipe will work just fine using banana peppers.

How to make Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken

As mentioned about, this is a toss it in the slow cooker and go meal.

A slow cooker crock layered with chicken, onions, pimentos, pepperoncini peppers, and cream cheese.

Start by generously seasoning the chicken breast with salt and pepper. The brine from the pepperoncini can be salty, so if you’re salt-sensitive, reduce how much you salt at first.

Place the seasoned chicken breast in the slow cooker. Top the chicken with the diced onions and pimentos.

Pour the brine from the pepperoncinis around, but not necessarily over the chicken. Pouring it over could ‘wash’ way the seasoning on the chicken. Cover all with the pepperoncini peppers.

Now for the most labor-intensive part of the whole operation, slicing the cream cheese. Layer those slices over the peppers. Cover and cook.

The cooked chicken, pepperoncini peppers, and cream cheese are mixed and shredded using a hand mixer right in the slow cooker.

Once it’s done, you can use two forks to shred it or, make it even easier and pull out your hand mixer and shred away. I do like to pull out a few of the pepperoncini peppers to top the sandwiches with, but that’s not required.

Disclaimer: Using the hand mixer in the crock could scratch it, so exercise caution. Removing all the contents of the slow cooker to a large mixing bowl is encouraged if scratching the crockery insert is a concern.

I also like to toast the buns, giving the sandwich a nice crunch to the creamy meat mixture. But again, this isn’t required.

Is this peperoncini chicken recipe spicy?

It can be. As I mentioned, I am a bit on the wimpy side, so it did pack a punch.

To decrease the possible heat, add only a half cup of the brine, at most. Substitute low-sodium chicken broth or water for the remaining half cup of liquid.

The jar of brine itself should yield approximately a cup. Play with the ratios as best for your and your family’s tastes.

Close up have shot of the shredded chicken sandwich on a toasted bun.

What to serve with Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken?

If you’re looking to make this a full meal, here are some fun and delicious ideas:

A split image of creamy pepperoncini chicken; top half a bowl full of the shredded chicken and the bottom half made into a sandwich served wth french fries and ketchup.
A overflowing bowl of shredded chicken with a fork.

Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pepperoncini Chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 594 kcal
Author: Michelle De La Cerda

Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken is a no-fuss pantry-staple slow cooker meal with little prep and tastes great served on a toasted bun.

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Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. chicken breasts (2½-3 lbs.)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • 2 oz. pimentos
  • 16 oz. pepperoncini peppers jarred sliced with brine
  • 8 oz. cream cheese sliced or cubed

Toasted Buns

  • ¼ tbsp. butter softened
  • 6 buns

Instructions

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; place in the slow cooker.

  2. Add the diced onion and pimento on top of the chicken.

  3. Pour the brine from the pepperoncini peppers AROUND the chicken.

  4. Place the pepperoncini peppers onto of the chicken.

  5. Dot the cream cheese over the peppers.

  6. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.

  7. Once done, shred everything in the slow cooker together using forks or a mixer.

  8. Place the lid back on the slow cooker and set to keep warm until ready to serve.

Toasted Buns

  1. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat.

  2. Butter the insides of each bun.

  3. Toast the buns butter side down.

  4. Fill each bun with the shredded chicken mixture.

  5. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

Do I have to use toasted buns?

No, toasting the buns is not necessary, nor is even serving it on buns. 

How to decrease the heat of this recipe?

The pepper brine usually yields about a cup. Use only a ½ cup of the brine, and then use either low-sodium chicken broth or water to make a full cup of liquid. Adapt the liquid ratio as needed for personal tastes and heat tolerance. 

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 594 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 188mg63%
Sodium 852mg37%
Potassium 1119mg32%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 57g114%
Vitamin A 1099IU22%
Vitamin C 74mg90%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 12mg67%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thank you for sharing!

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Ned
    January 28, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    5 stars
    This is an excellent recipe!! Very simple to prepare and get into the slow cooker. Very good flavor that you can alter depending on your spice tolerance. Adding the chicken mixture on a toasted bun is seriously a perfect combination. I am so excited to make this one over and over. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Michelle De La Cerda
      January 29, 2020 at 12:36 am

      Thanks Ned. So glad you enjoyed it. Sorry the kiddos found it a bit spicy.

  • Reply
    Katerina Delidimou
    January 30, 2020 at 1:48 am

    Another slow cooker bookmark for me!

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