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Slow Cooker Pulled Turkey With Cherry Sauce

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Easy but takes some time

Quick, easy, healthy and very festive

I like to have a cheater recipe or two in my back pocket that does not require that everything is made from scratch. This is my latest cheater and is based on a Cherry Chipotle sauce by Not Ketchup. The slow cooker does the work, spices and Not Ketchup provide the flavoring and I add fresh pomegranate seeds and finely sliced green apple to add color, flavor, nutrition and crunch.

A healthy and easy turkey variation on pulled pork that is bursting with cherry chipotle flavor and crunchy with pomegranate seeds and finely sliced apples.


Makes a great sandwich or a beautiful holiday appetizer

You can make a batch of this pulled turkey for sandwiches or tacos. Or do as I did and make a pile of sliders for your next holiday appetizer. This makes a great Cook Once - Eat Twice recipe in that you can freeze the pulled turkey for a future meal. Just hold off on adding the pomegranate seeds and apples until after you have thawed the pulled turkey.

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Not Ketchup cherry chipotle sauce

I was inspired to develop this recipe after tasting one item in Erika Penzer Kerekes' new condiment line Not Ketchup. Erika's blog In Erika's Kitchen was recently featured in our 60 Blogs Inspiring Something New For Dinner. Erika's Not Ketchup sauces are a line of ketchup-like condiments, meaning they are fruit and vinegar based. There is no refined sugar or corn syrup and the sauce is certified "Paleo-friendly" by The Paleo Foundation. 

The Best Way to Seed a Pomegranate

Check out my post for the best way to seed a pomegranate. No beating it with a wooden spoon, no submerging it in water, no red stains on your chopping block, just beautiful pomegranate seeds ready to eat.


Slow Cooker Pulled Turkey With Cherry Sauce

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A healthy and easy turkey variation on pulled pork that is bursting with cherry chipotle flavor and crunchy with pomegranate seeds and finely sliced apples. Make a sandwich, a taco or a batch of sliders for your next holiday appetizer.

  • Author: Something New For Dinner
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Cuisine: New American


  • 1 t Spanish paprika
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t chile powder
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 4 turkey thighs, about 34 pounds
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 bottle Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup sauce (you may want to have a second bottle on hand)
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds


  1. Mix the first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Rub the turkey thighs with the olive oil and then dust each thigh in the spice mixture.
  2. Peel and slice the onions and slice one of the green apples in wedges and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Arrange the turkey thighs on top of the onions and apples and pour half a bottle of Not Ketchup on top of the turkey, reserving half a bottle for later. Cook on slow for 8 hours.
  3. Remove the turkey thighs and let them cool on a plate. When they are cool enough to handle, use two forks to shred the thighs into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl.
  4. Cut the remaining apple into thin 1″ match stick pieces, leaving the peel on. Add apple pieces, pomegranate seeds and remaining Not Ketchup sauce to the turkey and toss.


  1. Erika at Not Ketchup says:

    This looks SO delicious! I think the pomegranate seeds and green apple are brilliant additions. Can’t wait to make this for my next dinner party. Just to clarify, did you use turkey thighs with the skin and bones, or were you able to find boneless skinless turkey thighs?

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Hi Erika, I used turkey thighs with skin and bones. After 8 hours in the slow cooker, remove the thighs and let them cool. Slip off the skin and shred the meat with two forks. I am a little old fashioned and like to cook with bone-in, skin on chicken and turkey. I think you get more flavor that way. Can’t wait to try your other Not Ketchup sauces!

  2. Mary says:

    Could you use bone-in chicken breasts instead of turkey?

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Hi Mary. My suggestion is that if you want to use chicken use the thighs and not the breasts. Why? Chicken breasts are lower fat, which can result in dry meat with less flavor. I would try the recipe with bone-in thighs, or even skinless boneless thighs. Check out my article on Chicken Thighs for more information on why I love cooking with chicken thighs over chicken breasts. If you do try this recipe with either chicken breasts or thighs please write back and tell us how it worked out for you.

  3. Michelle says:

    Hi! Im making this for a party….can I stir in apples/pom seeds ahead of time? Or does it have to be a last min add? Thank you!

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      HI Michelle, I add the apples and pomegranate seeds for texture, crunch and brightness. Therefore, I recommend adding them last minute so you get the most of their texture and flavor. That said, you could always try adding them earlier. If you do, please let me know how it works.

  4. Michelle says:

    I brought this to a party in a crockpot…I did end up bringing the pom seeds and apple slivers separately…so as to toss in right before serving. I also used chicken thighs. IT WAS SO GOOD!!! Even the kids liked it (I warned them ahead of time about the seeds so they weren’t thrown off by them.)
    Will def be using this recipe again!!

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