This Italian-inspired dish is made with chicken breasts that get slow-cooked until tender in a tomato-based sauce that's loaded with vegetables. Enjoy Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore over pasta or rice for an easy dinner!
It's always a good night when there's Italian food for dinner, especially when it's easy to make!
Chicken cacciatore is an Italian dish that typically consists of chicken that is cooked in a tomato-based sauce with vegetables.
The word cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian, and this dish got its name because it was traditionally made by hunters who would cook the chicken over an open fire. Nowadays, chicken cacciatore is often made in a crock pot or slow cooker, making it an easy meal to prepare.
This crock pot chicken cacciatore recipe is a great way to enjoy a classic Italian dish without any of the fuss. Simply add chicken breasts, tomatoes, vegetables, and spices to your crock pot, and let it do all the work for you. In just a few hours, you'll have a delicious and healthy crock pot chicken cacciatore that's perfect for dinner any night of the week!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It's got a mix of protein and vegetables, which makes it hearty and satisfying.
- Assembly couldn't be easier! Just throw everything into the crock pot and let it do its thing.
- This crock pot chicken cacciatore is a great way to use up any vegetables you have on hand.
- It's a budget-friendly recipe that's perfect for feeding a family or a large crowd for dinner.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - This high-protein meat is hearty and satisfying and takes on the Italian tomato flavors.
- Vegetables - A mix of garden vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and carrots gives this dish a fresh taste and natural sweetness.
- Seasonings - Salt, ground black pepper, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic work together to properly season the dish, making it a true Italian classic.
- Tomatoes - A can of crushed tomatoes and tomato paste make up the base of the cooking liquid giving it rich tomato flavor and acidity.
- Chicken Broth - Helps thin out the cooking liquid while adding more savory chicken flavor.
- Brown Mushrooms - Sliced mushrooms are a great way to add more umami flavor and texture to the dish.
How To Make Chicken Cacciatore In The Slow Cooker
Prepare the chicken: Trim off any excess fat on the chicken breasts, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Add chicken to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
Assemble the dish: Chop the vegetables, then add them to the crock pot with the chicken along with the salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, red pepper, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and cook on HIGH for 2½ - 3½ hours or on LOW for 5 - 6 hours. Thirty minutes before cook time, add mushrooms and continue to cook until they are tender. Remove the chicken and stir everything together.
Garnish and serve: Serve chicken over pasta or rice with sauce. Garnish with fresh parmesan cheese and parsley. Enjoy!
- Chop the vegetables all roughly the same size. This will ensure that they cook evenly in the crock pot.
- If you don't have Italian seasoning, you can use a combination of oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary.
- Fresh herbs can be used in place of dried herbs. Just double the amount that is called for in the recipe.
- For more flavor, brown the chicken breasts in a skillet before adding them to the crock pot.
- For a thinner sauce, add an additional ½ cup of chicken broth. For a thicker sauce, add an additional ¼ cup of tomato paste.
- Instead of chicken breasts, you can also use chicken thighs. Just make sure to trim off any excess fat before adding to the slow cooker.
- For a vegetarian crock pot chicken cacciatore, omit the chicken and double the number of vegetables called for in the recipe. You can also add a can of white beans or chickpeas for additional protein and texture.
- If you don't have mushrooms, you can leave them out or substitute them with another vegetable, such as zucchini or squash.
- This dish can be served over rice, pasta, quinoa, or polenta. For a low-carb version, serve over cauliflower rice.
- A splash of red or white wine adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish. Just add it in with the other liquids.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezing: This crock pot chicken cacciatore freezes well! Let it cool completely, then store in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.
This dish can be assembled ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to cook. Just add everything to the crock pot, then cover and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, add the lid and cook according to the recipe instructions.
For this recipe its not recommended as it will take a while to defrost in the crock pot. The vegetables may get overcooked by the time the chicken is thawed and cooked through. It's best to use fresh or thawed chicken breasts for this dish.
Yes, it can! Just follow the recipe instructions, but cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then use the quick release to release any remaining pressure. Proceed with the recipe as written.
More Slow Cooker Italian Recipes
- Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers
- Slow Cooker Lasagna
- Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
- Crockpot Meatballs
- Crock Pot Lazy Lasagna with Ravioli
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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 medium green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 cup carrots (peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 tsp garlic (minced)
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes (do not drain)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- 8 oz brown mushrooms (sliced)
- Add chicken to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Then, add bell peppers, onion, carrot, salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, red pepper, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth.
- Cover and cook on high for 2½ - 3½ hours or on low for 5 - 6 hours. Thirty minutes before cook time, add mushroom and continue to cook.
- Remove the chicken and stir everything.
- Serve chicken over pasta or rice with sauce. Garnish with fresh parmesan cheese and parsley.
- Bone in chicken thighs can be substituted. You will need to add 1 hour to the cooking time.