This family friendly Italian classic dish Chicken Cacciatore is made in the slow cooker for a convenient weeknight dinner!
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
There is nothing better than the sweet aroma of bell peppers and tomatoes simmering slowly all day in this Chicken Cacciatore dish. You may also like this slow cooker Pollo in Potacchio or Salsa Chicken with Beans and Corn.
Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. Often the chicken is dusted with flour and fried in oil before simmering in tomatoes with onions and peppers. This healthier version removes the skin and skips the deep frying, but you won’t miss it.
Slow Cooker Tips:
- When using your slow cooker, I always recommend browning the meat and vegetables first for deeper flavors and a thicker sauce because liquids don’t evaporate in the slow cooker.
- But for those of you who don’t want to dirty a pan, or don’t have that extra time to brown first I tested this out using the quick method of dumping it all in the slow cookers.
- Verdict: The sauce wasn’t as thick as I would have liked, so my easy fix: I set the crock pot to high with the cover off for one additional hour to let it simmer and thicken and that worked fine. Perhaps adding a little flour would also help it thicken. If you want to add mushrooms to the sauce, this would also be a great time to do so.
- If you like white meat, you can certainly use chicken breast but I highly recommend keeping the chicken on the bone. The bone is what gives you such great flavor, you can always remove it after.
- And since so many are asking, although I have and love my Instant Pot, I still love my slow cooker! I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker (affil link). I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook, and it automatically turns to warm when it’s done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This slow cooker is so great, I actually own several!
What do you serve with Chicken Cacciatore?
- We love it served over pasta, spaghetti squash, rice or polenta.
For the stove top version, see Chicken Cacciatore. Cooking on the stove differs from the crock pot, liquids evaporate quickly on the stove where as in the slow cooker nothing evaporates. When you add all the elements to your crock, you may be tempted to add broth but don’t. There will be plenty of liquid once it starts cooking. Also, flavors tend to get muted in the slow cooker, so I always adjust my herbs and seasoning in the end to get it where I want it.
I’ve also now included an Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore recipe. Enjoy!
Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
- 8 chicken thighs, with the bone, skin removed
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, Tuttorosso my favorite!
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1/2 large onion, sliced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for topping
- Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the slow cooker.
- Pour tomatoes over the chicken, top with onions and peppers, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover.
- Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.
- When the timer beeps, remove lid and keep the crock pot on HIGH one hour to help it thicken.
Better method but requires more prep:
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high, lightly spray with oil (I use my Misto) and brown chicken on both sides a few minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add to the slow cooker.
- To the skillet, spray with a little more oil and add onions and peppers. Sauté until juices release and the vegetables become golden, a few minutes.Add to the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover.
- Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. Remove bay leaf, adjust salt and pepper and enjoy!
- * Pasta not included in nutritional info.
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