Chicken a la Criolla (Crock Pot or Instant Pot)

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Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices. Slow cooker or Instant Pot directions provided.

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices.Chicken a la Criolla

Criolla (literally creole) is a Spanish word widely used to describe Caribbean or Hispanic cuisine. This is one tasty and inexpensive meal for 10 Smart Points. A few other chicken Crock Pot recipes I love are Pollo in Potacchio (Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Rosemary), Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine, and Easy braised Chicken Drumsticks in Tomatillo Sauce.

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices.

As promised, I played around with my crock pot last night making this easy yet flavorful dish which requires no pre-cooking on the stove. In most cases, I think it’s always best to brown the chicken, onions and garlic in a skillet before adding it to a slow cooker because it adds a depth of flavor you just don’t get when you skip that step. That being said, for this dish I didn’t think it was necessary because it has so many aromatics, herbs and spices that flavor is not lacking.

Because slow cookers tend to mute the flavors from the long cooking times on low heat, you should always taste it at the end and adjust the spices and salt if needed. Also, adding extra fresh herbs at the end is always a must in my opinion.

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!

This dish was loved by all in my house, including my two year old. Enjoy!!

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices.
Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla – In this simple yet flavorful dish, boneless skinless chicken thighs are stewed in the slow cooker with bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices. Served over rice.

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices.

Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices. Slow cooker or Instant Pot directions provided.
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4.84 from 6 votes
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Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla

211 Cals 28.8 Protein 9.9 Carbs 6.2 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 6 hrs
Total Time: 6 hrs
Yield: 5 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
Chicken a la Criolla, a simple yet flavorful Latin dish made with stewed boneless skinless chicken thighs bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices. Slow cooker or Instant Pot directions provided.

Ingredients

  • 10 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped or sliced
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp alcaparrado or pitted spanish olives
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus 2 tbsp more for serving

Instructions

Slow Cooker

  • Place chicken, onion, garlic, pepper and tomatoes in the crock pot. Season with salt, cumin and oregano. Mix well so everything is seasoned.
  • Add tomato sauce, alcaparrado (or olives) along with 1 tbsp of the brine, 1/2 cup water, bay leaf and cilantro.
  • Mix well and set crock pot to HIGH 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  • When done, taste for salt and seasoning and adjust spices as needed.
  • Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro and serve over rice.

Instant Pot

  • Place chicken, onion, garlic, pepper and tomatoes in the instant pot. Season with salt, cumin and oregano. Mix well so everything is seasoned.
  • Add tomato sauce, alcaparrado (or olives) along with 1 tbsp of the brine, 1/2 cup water, bay leaf and cilantro.
  • Mix well and cook high pressure 20 minutes, natural release.
  • When done, taste for salt and seasoning and adjust spices as needed.
  • Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro and serve over rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 2thighs + sauce, Calories: 211kcal, Carbohydrates: 9.9g, Protein: 28.8g, Fat: 6.2g, Saturated Fat: 3.3g, Cholesterol: 144mg, Sodium: 447mg, Fiber: 1.9g, Sugar: 2.1g
WW Points Plus: 5
Keywords: creole chicken, crock pot chicken, Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla, easy healthy chicken crock pot recipes, instant pot chicken

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162 comments

  1. I cannot believe that this recipe doesn’t get more people commenting. I have been making this for years, and my Italian husband goes crazy for it…. Just so good and so goof proof!

  2. Do you put the tomatoes in whole ?

  3. We’ve made this recipe several times and the whole family loves it. The flavors are refreshing and bright. We use a dutch oven to make this dinner, rather than the crockpot. We’ve also added about half a jar of Spanish olives rather than the recommended 2 TBSPs, just because we love them. We serve it over white rice. This meal is a nice alternative to regular Tex- Mex dinners we’ve been making for years.

  4. Would boneless, skinless breast work?

  5.  Confused on the amount of chicken this recipe is calling for?

  6. If I want to make this with chicken breast would this still be 5 points?

  7. I did this tonight in the instant pot for 15 minutes NPR was very good! Im thinking it will be even better leftover letting the flavors sit!

    • Kim, 
      Was 15 minutes long enough in the IP?  I got one for Christmas and am trying IP Chicken Parmesan tonight; I can’t wait!
       
      Thank you!

      Susan

  8. I don’t understand how every single one of your recipes turns out absolutely, freakin delicious. Anyway, thanks again for another wonderful recipe. You’re amazing!!! 

  9. I made this tonight and will for sure be making this again. So good. I serve over the Mexican cauliflower rice. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

  10. Made this yesterday and served it with rice and avocado. Very yummy! Will definitely make this again.

  11. I am planning to make this in the coming weeks. Does anyone know if the tomatoes need to be chopped? I am assuming they need to be but just want to confirm. The recipe does not specify…

  12. Pingback: Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Taco Salad from Skinnytaste | Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker

  13. What is the brine? it says to add 1 T of the brine.

  14. Can you make this without the crockpot? Do I put it in the  oven or stove top and for how long. 

  15. I accidentally boughthe Italian Castelvetrano olives instead of Spanish. Ugh. I don’t know if three is a major difference and can’t seem to find anything online. Should I just use these or leave them out? Thanks!

  16. You don't say to chop the plum tomatoes. Are you supposed to put them in whole? I went ahead and chopped them anyway. Can you clarify please.

    • I was wondering the same thing. I chopped mine last night but haven’t thrown everything into the crockpot yet.

  17. I made this tonight. DELICIOUS

  18. I had to add more cumin not spicey enough for my husband but I enjoyed it

  19. i plan on making this soon, and using chicken breasts..do i need to cut them in half ?

  20. What size crockpot?