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This Healthier 30 Minute Beer Braised Chicken is for cold fall nights when you want a hearty and warming slow-braised chicken, but you want it ready in less than an hour. All made in the instant pot (with slow cooker and stove-stop directions too), using simple, wholesome ingredients that you may already have on hand. The key to this chicken is all in the beer, which gives the sauce a deep, rich flavor. This dish is warm, flavorful, hearty but healthy, so delicious, and great for busy nights.

overhead photo of Healthier 30 Minute Beer Braised Chicken with rice, beer bread and towel

You know those recipes that are just really good? The ones you turn to time and time again because they never fail and everyone always loves them? Well, this is very much one of those recipes. And I love so much that I get to share it with you guys because it’s so perfect for the crazy months ahead.

Funny enough, this recipe was inspired by one I made way back in the very early days of writing Half Baked Harvest. I was still living at home with my family, and cooking dinner every night. When it comes to eating, my family usually sways towards the simpler, midwest style recipe. They’ve now come to love just about everything I make, but the comfort food recipes will always be their favorites.

Anyway, the original recipe that inspired today’s similar, but different, recipe was from October 2013. I still cannot believe that HBH is getting so old! It was and still is, a delicious dish, but this version is healthier, better, and easier too. Our recent extra chilly temperatures call for serious comfort food, so I pulled this out of the archives.

PS. if you want to take a little trip down memory lane, you can see the post I’m talking about here. My writing and my photos scare me, but I love that I have these super old posts to look back on. It’s really fun to see the growth and how far HBH has come since the beginning of our second year!!

As I said, my family loves comfort food and one of their favorites is chicken and rice. This is basically just the fancier upgrade. And you guys…it’s SO GOOD.

The chicken is cooked in pumpkin beer along with roasted tomatoes, seasonings, and a touch of bacon for added flavor. I like to serve this over steamed with a generous side of my favorite honey butter beer bread. (Recipe in the HBH cookbook).

It’s so cozy and so delicious, but yet pretty healthy too!

Healthier 30 Minute Beer Braised Chicken in instant pot with spoon picking chicken up out of instant pot

Here is how you make this easy beer braised chicken:

I prefer to make this in the instant pot. I recently upgraded to this one and am loving it so much. That said, I’ve also included slow cooker and stovetop cooking directions for those who may not have an Instant Pot.

First things first, start a pot of rice so that it cooks while the chicken is cooking. Yes, rice and beer bread are pretty much required with this dish. Promise you will be so happy you went along with these additions.

Next, the bacon. This adds so much flavor to this dish and using a little really goes a long way. I love the smokiness it brings.

Once the bacon has been crisped, sear the chicken right in the instant pot. Then add all the remaining ingredients…tomatoes, peppers, spices, and pumpkin beer (or whatever beer you love). Cook for 6 minutes.

Less than 10 minutes after sealing the instant pot, your dinner is complete. It’s so quick and leaves you with chicken that’s so tender it’s almost falling apart.

overhead close up photo of Healthier 30 Minute Beer Braised Chicken with towel and beer bread in photo

As delicious as the chicken is, this recipe is all about the sauce.

It reminds me of a warming slow-cooked chili, but a little less spicy. The beer adds a really deep, rich flavor. And if using a pumpkin beer, a very subtle undertone of warming pumpkin spice as well.

To bump up the flavors of this sauce, I used a mix of chili powder, smoked paprika, and my secret ingredient, apple butter. I know it may seem weird to use apple butter in a savory chicken recipe, but the sweetness balances out the spices. Go with me on this, promise it takes this braised chicken to a whole new level of GOOD.

And you guys, that’s it. So simple, but yet so delicious, pretty healthy..ish, and an all-around a great dinner for any night of the week from now…until winter’s end. I find this especially fitting for Sunday and or Monday night dinner at home with the fam. And again, simply serve with rice (use brown rice or quinoa if you prefer) and a side of beer bread.

Nothing is more delicious. This is a top HBH recipe…as declared by my family. Enjoy, enjoy!!

overhead photo of Healthier 30 Minute Beer Braised Chicken with fork in bowl

If you make this healthier 30 minute beer braised chicken, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Healthier 30 Minute Beer Braised Chicken.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 323 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

Instant Pot

  • 1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken through the flour, coating it completely.
    2. Set Instant Pot to sauté. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. Add the chicken to the instant pot and sear on both sides until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, cook 3 minutes. Turn the instant pot off.
    3. To the instant pot, add the beer, tomatoes, apple butter, bell pepper, chili powder, paprika, thyme, cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.
    4. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function. Set the Instant pot to sauté and bring to a boil, boil 10-12 minutes or until the liquid reduces slightly. Turn the instant pot off. Remove the thyme and discard. Stir in the parsley and reserved bacon.
    5. Serve the chicken and sauce over rice.

Slow Cooker

  • 1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken through the flour, coating it completely.
    2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. Add the chicken and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place directly into the slow cooker. Add the onions, garlic, beer, tomatoes, apple butter, bell pepper, chili powder, paprika, thyme, cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
    3. Remove the lid, cook 30 minutes on high to thicken the sauce. Remove the thyme and discard. Stir in the parsley and reserved bacon.
    4. Serve the chicken and sauce over rice.

Stove Top

  • 1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken through the flour, coating it completely.
    2. Cook the bacon in a large braiser over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon. If there's excess bacon grease, drain off all but 1 tablespoon. Add the chicken and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Add the onions and garlic, cook 5 minutes.
    3. Reduce the heat to low. Add the beer, tomatoes, apple butter, bell pepper, chili powder, paprika, thyme, cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Partially cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the parsley and reserved bacon.
    4. Serve the chicken and sauce over rice.
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am not a beer drinker. In fact I really dislike beer. But I trusted your taste from my experience with other recipes so I went for it. This was very good. I’d call it a gumbo and really enjoyed it.

    1. Hey Joan,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks bunch for giving it a go! xxTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Hello Tieghan,
    I felt like this recipe needs to get the credits it deserves as a gread week night dinner!
    I prepared it on the stovetop and used Guinnes instead of pumpkin beer. Its really the perfect beer to use as it is kind of sweet, not very bitter and has a lot of depth. I also shredded the chicken before serving and is was the perfect feel good dinner 🙂

    1. Hey Valentina,
      Fantastic!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  3. 3 stars
    Mine was soo spicy! I tried to tame it down adding another bottle of beer and more apple butter. (I followed the stove top recipe but finished mine in the oven uncovered at 350.) I honestly did not like it, too hot, too bitter and I like spicy. After looking at all the positive comments, I wondered what I did wrong?!? Then it occurred to me that I have noticed a difference in the spiciness of smoked paprika in other recipes. And after a little investigation, not all smoked paprika’s are created equal. Some are sweet and some are spicy. Not sure how to determine the “sweet smoked from the spicy smoked,” but in my experience not all
    Smoked paprika’s are the same.

  4. Can you sear the chicken on the stovetop in a cast iron chicken fryer/skillet, then add the other ingredients and place in the oven to bake/finish?

    1. Hey Jane,
      You can go ahead and follow the stove top instructions for this recipe. Please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  5. I tried to compensate the lack of chilies in my diced tomatoes by using 2x green chilies and 2 x pacquiao peppers and a little bit more cayenne pepper. Ooohh boy. It was spicy. I ended up using red wine to lessen the spice.

    After reading a few comments about the dish being watery, I decided not to cover the pot while cooking. That worked a treat in reducing the sauce.

    Came out to be really yum! Thank you for the recipe !

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for trying out this recipe and giving some feedback as well. I really appreciate it! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I made this last night stove top! I was hesitant with the taste before I did the final 20-30min cook, but it turned out soooo good! Super easy! I didn’t add rice, and it was still amazing, but I bet the extra sauce would’ve been amaaaazing with something to sop it up! I’m new to cooking meats, and this was a perfect recipe to start!

  7. 5 stars
    Wow, this was hot but delicious! I made it on the stovetop and used all the bacon grease for the chicken and vegetables (sauteed the red pepper along with the onions and garlic). Since a lot of people said it was too watery, I drained the tomatoes (a can and a half of Rotel fire-roasted with green chiles) and actually had to add maybe a half cup of water to compensate (so next time I won’t drain them). Served it on rice, and we both loved it, although I will say that it was almost fiery!

    1. Hey Helen,
      Awesome!! I am so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan