Happiness is coming home to Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore, a clean kitchen and the amazing aroma from a stew loaded with LOTS of healthy vegetables. It simmers in a tasty tomato sauce with a hint of red wine vinegar that's delicious!
It's the ultimate comfort meal and it's easy to make.
Similar to Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetables this recipe gets a flavor boost from stewed tomatoes. But, for our chicken stew, we added a touch of red wine vinegar instead of wine to the tomato sauce.
Or, just dish it out! The end. This version of chicken cacciatore is truly a one-pot, family-friendly dinner that everyone will enjoy straight from the crock-pot.
Ingredients and Variations
Cacciatore means hunter in Italian. And, true to its name, this recipe is easily adjusted based upon what you have on hand.
These are the main ingredients we used and some variations to consider:
- Chicken thighs - with the bone in or out. Or, use chicken breasts.
- Stewed tomatoes - contain seasonings and most likely a pinch of sugar that gives the cacciatore sauce a slightly sweet flavor.
- Red wine vinegar
- Vegetables traditionally included
- Additional vegetables to add (we added the first two)
- Green beans
Browning the Chicken Debate
Brown it. Or not! It's going to taste a little better if you take this step. I shudder at the thought of messing up a pan first thing in the morning. But, I usually do it!
It helps seal in moisture and adds to the appearance. And, after all, we eat with our eyes.
If I'm making this up to freeze uncooked, I don't. It's still very, very, good.
Bottom line: Don't let this step stop you from making this easy Crock-pot Chicken Cacciatore recipe!
How to Thicken Sauce
Near the end of the cooking time, make a slurry of corn starch and cold water. Mix it into the slow cooker and turn the heat to high. In about 15 minutes the sauce will be smooth and velvety.
Depending upon who you talk to corn starch may or may not be a good choice for low-carb diets. We used a small amount that when spread over many servings results in a low-carb meal overall.
If you want to try a different method, then check out How to Make Gluten-Free Roux by Cotter Crunch.
Another option is to remove the lid from the slow cooker during the last hour of the cooking time to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
This recipe was used at our Make-Ahead Meal Stores. It's a tried and true freezer meal that can be prepared before you cook it. I recommend making one up for the freezer at the same time. Just dump all of the ingredients into a freezer bag that seals (double bag it) or an airtight container with a lid.
When you are ready to enjoy Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore, simply defrost it in the refrigerator overnight and then cook it according to the instructions.
More Slow Cooker Comfort Meals
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Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs excess fat removed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion halved and sliced
- 1 pepper red, green or yellow, sliced into thin strips
- 2 carrots sliced or cut into 1 inch pieces
- 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
- 29 ounces stewed tomatoes Two 14.5 ounce cans
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
- Brown chicken for about 3 minutes on each side.
- Add chicken, onions, peppers, carrots and mushrooms to crock pot.
- Mix tomatoes, garlic, oregano and red wine vinegar together.
- Pour tomato mixture over chicken and vegetables and stir slightly to allow tomato mixture to coat vegetables and chicken.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
- To thicken the tomato sauce, remove chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.
- Mix together corn starch and water and then stir into sauce remaining in the crock pot.
- Cook on high for 15 minutes.
- Return chicken to crock pot or pour sauce over chicken on serving platter.
- For keto-friendly South Beach diet, leave out carrots and select stewed tomatoes with minimal sweetener. See notes above for alternative ways to thicken sauce if desired.
- Browning chicken is optional. It seals in moisture and adds to the appearance of the chicken.
- To make ahead and freeze: Add all of the ingredients to plastic bag that seals (double bag) or a container with a lid. Remove to the refrigerator to defrost and cook normally in the slow cooker.
- Serving ideas: