Creamy Paleo Lemon Slowcooker Chicken

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January 1st marked Day 1 of our family Whole30. I know for a fact that we’re not alone in this, that many of you are also doing a Whole30 (or something similar) right now. While I’ve got a ton of recipe ideas and (literally) half-baked recipes planned out that are so very not Whole30-compliant, they will have to take a back seat for the month of January since I have no taste testers in my home for that type of food this month.

Instead, I’ll be focusing on more wholesome, Whole30-friendly meals. In case you haven’t seen it yet, go check out my Whole30 meal plan. It’s written out to make life easy for you and minimize cooking by utilizing leftovers for lunch so you don’t have to think as hard and can be just as healthy.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

Paleo Lemon Chicken Recipe

I’m a sucker for easy meals. I often overlook the all-powerful slow cooker, even though it can make my life eight million times easier. {Fun Fact: when I exaggerate, I always use the number 8} I recently bought a huge bag of lemons at Costco and by the time I got home, realized I had no idea what I wanted to use them for. So I tossed around a lot of ideas (some sweet, some savory) and tried to think of recipes to make using what I already had since I didn’t want to make any extra trips to the store.

Chicken thighs? Check. Lemons? Double check. Artichokes? Of course. Coconut milk, chicken stock, arrowroot? Duh. And if you don’t have these things, maybe you should check out our Paleo Food Staples, it’s a pretty thorough list of what we almost always have on hand and use on a regular basis.

Now that I had everything, it was time to get testing. The first time I made this, it was way too lemony. I also added white potatoes and really didn’t like the mushiness that they added. Maybe as a side dish, but not cooked in with the chicken, nope. So I made a few tweaks, changed the method a tad bit, and voila! Whole30 chicken perfection.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}
Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}
Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

And I love that because the chicken shreds up so easily due to the slow cooking, this is more of a stew, which just warms my heart (and toes, and fingers, and nose) during these cold winter months. Also, leftovers. Such good leftovers. If you’re not a leftover kind of person, you should start. So many recipes actually taste better the next day and it’s one less meal to prepare! How could you not love leftovers?!

Now, honestly, this meal would be really good with some gluten-free/paleo bread or rolls to sop up all the yummy sauce, but since I’m on this Whole30, and you probably are too, just pretend I didn’t say that. You can think of that later, like in 28 days, but not now. No bread, no bread, no bread….

Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe

Are you hungry yet? I am. Luckily, this isn’t an 8-hour slow cooker meal, and if I forget to put everything together first thing in the morning, I still have time to get it done by lunchtime and still have dinner ready before 6pm. Phew.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken {by Our Paleo Life}

Creamy Lemon Slowcooker Chicken

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Using ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen, this is a super easy meal that comes together quickly and tastes great as leftovers as well.The lemon isn't overpowering and the artichokes add great taste and texture.


  • 8 Chicken Thighs, boneless & skinless
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Avocado or Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • Approx 32 oz Artichoke Hearts, in water, not marinated - we get ours at Costco
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth, no added sugar
  • 1/2 cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 3 Tbsp Arrowroot Starch, divided


Crockpot Method

  1. Trim chicken thighs of any excess fat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken evenly with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Cook a couple minutes per side, until browned. Set aside.
  3. Drain the artichoke hearts and cut into quarters (if they didn't already come cut). Place the artichokes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add browned chicken to the slow cooker on top of the artichokes.
  4. With a whisk, mix 2 tablespoons of the starch into the chicken broth, then add in the coconut milk. Pour mixture evenly over the chicken in the slow cooker.
  5. Slice the lemon (not too thin, not too thick). Remove and discard any seeds. Place one lemon slice on top of each chicken thigh.
  6. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours. Remove the lemons and discard. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken and set aside.
  7. Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of starch with 1 tablespoon of water. Add to the crockpot and stir to thicken. Add the chicken back to the crockpot and stir to combine. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 627mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 20g

Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate

Please share:

  1. I don’t have arrowroot…what would you suggest I use in place of that as a thickener? I’m making it today, so I will post a picture of the finished product too 🙂


  2. You could use tapioca starch or potato starch, both work the same as arrowroot to thicken soups and sauces. Or you could just leave it out altogether and have a thinner sauce. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you.

  3. It sounds wonderful. I’m going to try this. I’ve never used artichoke hearts before. Presuming they are in tins? Must look for them next time I go shopping! Giving it 5 stars just because it sounds so good!

  4. Evee, I usually find them in jars. I get the big 33 oz jars from Costco. Try to find the non-marinated ones so there aren’t added flavors.

  5. I’m not a huge fan of artichokes. Is there anything I can substitute for them in this dish? I *am* a huge fan of your recipes, I *do love* my slow cooker, and I have a *ton* of lemons. So I eagerly await your response!

    1. Hmmm, do you like green olives? I don’t really, but I imagine if I did, they’d be good in this. Maybe zucchini but add them in the last hour so they don’t turn to complete mush. Or you could just leave out the artichokes with no sub and see how that goes.

  6. Has anyone tried not the full fat coconut milk? I don’t have it on hand just the light cocnut milk. so just wondering.

  7. Amber, it should be fine, it just might be a little thinner. Maybe add a bit more starch to thicken it up.

  8. My husband is allergic to nuts of all kind but for this recipe and other ones that call for coconut milk what can be an alternative?

  9. Very very tasty. Came together quickly, chicken shredded up beautifully. Served it over pasta for the non paleo boyfriend, and cauliflower rice for myself. Definitely recommend trying this…

  10. Sounds like it will be delicious! Do I have to brown the chicken? Please share the reason for that step. I’m tempted to just skip that step and leave in the slow cooker for 8 hours instead.

  11. I have made this a couple times. Substituted cornstarch for arrowroot starch and substituted low fat coconut milk for full fat. Turned out FABULOUS. I usually serve over rice, but I’m going to have to try the cauliflower rice. This recipe reminds me of old school chicken a la king for some reason. Really great. Thanks!

  12. I used boneless chicken breast instead of thighs and worked great. Additionally, I added chopped spinach and mushrooms for the last hour to bulk it up a bit more. Served it over zoodles! Have made it several times now and love it!

  13. Loved this! I used breasts and added mushrooms and corn. I also added some spice cumin, paprika and tumeric. Served over quinoa. Yum! Satisfies the comfort food craving as it is very reminiscent of chicken Ala king.

  14. Made this tonight for dinner. I have to say it was just ok. There was a certain bitterness to the final taste that I can only attribute to the lemon slices. Maybe lemon juice squeezed in with no peels cooking in the mix would fix this problem. The recipe seemed like it was missing something, but I’m not sure what that might be. However, it was definitely a change from a lot of the usual slow cooker meals!

  15. Absolutely delicious! Tastes sinful but it’s not! Stuck to the paleo recipe & wouldn’t change a thing ?

  16. @MegS, you might need to reduce the salt a bit if there is already salt in the marinated artichokes. I haven’t used those, so I can’t vouch for the flavor, but I imagine it would still taste great.

  17. I would like to make this for a large gathering and my crockpot is not big enough for a double or triple batch. Can I make this in the oven? If so, at what temp and for how long?

  18. I made something based from this recipe (only because I forgot about the slow cooker part). I butterflied and sauteed the chicken breasts, mostly drained the quartered artichoke hearts and dumped them in when I flipped the chicken. I seasoned the chicken with Penzy’s Fox Point seasoning. Towards the end, I added a jar of roasted red peppers and the juice of a lemon. I served it over riced cauliflower and I must say, it was pretty great. Total time was about 30 minutes (thank goodness for riced cauliflower in the freezer section!)

  19. So easy & So Good! This was amazing, I served it over spaghetti squash! I just finished my first week on the Whole 30, thank you for your Meal Plans and recipes. They have made the transition easy. My Family Loves the food and I feel like I have become a better cook. Thank You!!!

    1. You could certainly try. I would be sure not to lift the lid at all during the cooking process, same as you would do with a slow cooker.

  20. I made this recipe last night. Came home for lunch and placed all ingredients in the crockpot. I served it with cauliflower rice and a salad it was delicious. I’m definitely saving this recipe to use again… ??

  21. I made this for dinner and was excited, however, it was to sweet for what I was wanting. I was thinking. I added spinach and was thinking spinach-artichoke dip flavor. But it did not have that. I added some garlic and parm to try and dull down the sweetness. That must have been the coconut milk. Having not cooked with it before.

  22. Sorry I just need clarification on the recipe…it says at the end of cooking you remove the chicken and use two forks to shred before putting back in the slow cooker…but in the pictures it shows the chicken whole?!? Excited to try this because it sounds delicious but I can’t cook without a recipe so just looking for clarification!!! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Meredith. You can do either, but the chicken will be fall-apart-tender so it may just shred into pieces anyway when you remove them from the slowcooker. The pictures just looked better with a whole piece of chicken instead of shredded 😉

    1. I haven’t made it in the Instant Pot yet, but what I would do is brown the chicken in the IP on Saute, layer everything in the pot as directed in the recipe, then lock the lid, set it to “sealing”, and press the “Chicken” button. Depending on how much time you have available, you could probably do either a NPR or QPR, I think it would be fine with either. Good luck! If you try it, let me know.

    1. I have’t tried this with frozen chicken yet, but you may want to add a couple hours to the cook time just to be safe.

  23. Going to try this one out with pheasant! (Was gifted some but even wrapping it in bacon left it super dry.) My dad and uncle have both recommended cooking it in a cream sauce but I have tried to avoid dairy… maybe this will do the trick?!

  24. Couple questions:
    1) When you say “full fat coconut milk”, do you mean you refrigerate it and then skim the solid stuff off the top? Or do you just take a can of liquid coconut milk and use that (non-refrigerated)?
    2) Can you taste the coconut at all? I’m not a fan of coconut, so the taste really sticks out to me if there aren’t enough other tastes to mask it completely.

  25. I agree with Jen that this was bitter, but I think it’s the artichokes. I am not a fan of artichokes – though in spinach artichoke dip it’s okay, so I thought I’d give this a try. I made enough for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow, and with no one eating tonight we now have loads of leftovers :(. So heads up – unless you love artichokes, I would skip this dish. I might try the tip add red peppers to the leftovers to see if it’s bearable.

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