diet coke chicken featured image
Diet Coke Chicken is a sweet and sticky healthy meal that is so easy to make. Perfect if you’re following a calorie or carb controlled diet and fits many of the major food plans.
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Table of Contents
  1. Diet Coke Chicken (aka Cola Chicken)
  2. Why We Love This Diet Coke BBQ Chicken Recipe
  3. Ingredients for Diet Coke Chicken
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make Diet Coke Chicken
  7. Tips for Making Diet Coke Chicken
  8. How to Store Leftover Diet Coke BBQ Chicken
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Other Easy Chicken Recipes
  11. Diet Coke Chicken Recipe

This Diet Coke Chicken recipe takes 5 minutes to prepare and produces a sweet and sticky easy dinner option, whether you’re following a Weight Watchers diet, counting calories, or simply want a homemade healthy meal.

Made with chicken broth, tomato paste, lean chicken, and a can of coca cola, you can cook this family-friendly dish on the stovetop, in a crock pot, or in an Instant Pot.

diet coke chicken hero image

Diet Coke Chicken (aka Cola Chicken)

Our Diet Coke Chicken is similar to the original Slimming World Diet Coke Chicken recipe, but this revised version removes the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce and replaces them with some simple seasonings.

Diet coke and chicken may seem like an odd combination, but cooking with cola is actually a low-calorie, low-carb liquid that makes the most delicious sticky sweet bbq sauce when mixed with tomato paste.

This healthy diet cola chicken is perfectly flavorful for anyone following a calorie-controlled diet and fits with most low carb, gluten free, dairy free meal plans.

In a matter of minutes, you can make your barbecue sauce, pour it over the poultry, and cook it all together until it’s thick enough to be served over vegetables, a whole grain, or your other favorite sides.

Why We Love This Diet Coke BBQ Chicken Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Uses simple kitchen staple ingredients.
  • Homemade sauce has a sweet flavor and sticky texture that coats each piece of chicken.
  • Alternative sugar free cola products can be used if you prefer not to consume aspartame (regular “full-fat” Coke will work fine as well).
  • Use a slow cooker to prepare tender pulled chicken that can be stuffed in tacos and sandwiches or served over rice and salads.
  • Delicious dinner the whole family will love or make leftovers for lunch the next day.

More Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes

diet coke chicken ingredients

Ingredients for Diet Coke Chicken

  • Chicken broth
  • Tomato paste
  • Smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Diet Coke 
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs: You can use chicken breasts if you prefer white meat.
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional garnish)

Substitutions and Additions

  • Soda Swap: Feel free to use Diet Pepsi (or Pepsi Max), Coke Zero, or a store brand cola for this recipe.
  • Add Some Spice: You can increase the cayenne pepper to ¼ – ½ teaspoon for a spicier version of sauce or substitute ground chipotle chili peppers for the cayenne pepper.
eating diet coke chicken with rice
  • Whisk
  • 10 to 12-inch deep, nonstick skillet
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How to Make Diet Coke Chicken

  1. Make The Sauce: Whisk together the chicken broth, tomato paste, paprika, salt, cracked pepper, and cayenne. Whisk in the Diet Coke. 
  2. Cook: Place the chicken in a skillet and pour the diet coke mixture over the pieces. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, turning the chicken every 7-8 minutes. After 20 minutes, cook uncovered for another 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  3. Serve: Garnish with parsley and serve while hot. Enjoy!

Tips for Making Diet Coke Chicken

  • If you want to avoid aspartame, you can use regular cola instead of diet. Keep in mind that this will increase the calorie count.
  • You can cook the dish in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours or 6 hours on low.
  • You can substitute 1 cup of ketchup for the chicken broth and tomato paste.
  • You can serve the dish over cooked rice or cooked mixed vegetables.

How to Store Leftover Diet Coke BBQ Chicken

  • To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze the Diet Coke chicken for up to 1 month. Allow the chicken to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and serving.
diet coke chicken over rice

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs in this recipe?

I prefer to use chicken thighs in this recipe because they stay perfectly tender on the stovetop. But you can use absolutely use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you like white meat over dark.

Why didn’t my sauce thicken?

Make sure you are using tomato paste and not tomato sauce in this recipe; tomato paste is concentrated and much thicker. You also want to make sure that your heat isn’t too low because the sauce will not bubble enough to reduce down.

Can I add vegetables to the skillet of chicken?

I prefer to cook my veggies separately so that I don’t have an entire plate of food that is too sweet. I think the savory vegetables are the perfect balance to the sweet sauce.

What should I serve with my diet coke chicken?

This chicken dish pairs perfectly with a simple salad, a steamed veggie, or some whole-grain rice. Some of my favorite sides include cauliflower breadsticks, broccoli slaw, and garlic green beans.

zoomed in diet coke chicken

Other Easy Chicken Recipes

5 from 1 vote
diet coke chicken featured image

Diet Coke Chicken

Serves — 4
Diet Coke Chicken is a sweet and sticky healthy meal that is so easy to make. Perfect if you’re following a calorie or carb controlled diet and fits many of the major food plans.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 6 ounces can of tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 12 ounces can of Diet Coke
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Add the chicken broth, tomato paste, smoked paprika, kosher salt, cracked pepper, and cayenne to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Whisk in the Diet Coke.
  • Add the chicken thighs to a 10 to 12-inch deep, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Pour the Diet Coke mixture over the chicken. Cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes, turning the chicken every 7-8 minutes. After 20 minutes, cook uncovered for another 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, garnish with parsley, and serve while hot.

Jenn’s Notes

Servings: 4 individual servings of 2 thighs each
Storage:
  • To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze the Diet Coke chicken for up to 1 month. Allow the chicken to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and serving.
Tips:
  • If you want to avoid aspartame, you can use regular cola instead of diet. Keep in mind that this will increase the calorie count.
  • You can cook the dish in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours or 6 hours on low.
  • You can substitute 1 cup of ketchup for the chicken broth and tomato paste.
  • You can serve the dish over cooked rice or cooked mixed vegetables.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 216mg | Sodium: 1287mg | Potassium: 1032mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1308IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 3mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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