Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore is the latest dinner recipe that you’re going to be crazy about. Chicken thighs or breasts are slow cooked with tomatoes, garlic, onion, bell pepper and spices to create a wonderful chicken tomato sauce. Use the sauce to top noodles or rice, or eat it all on its own.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
This slow cooker recipe makes a hearty chicken marinara sauce that is perfect for topping pasta, spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Scroll all the way to the end of this post to print out the recipe. Nutritional information and Weight Watchers points are included on this one (see the top of this post). If you’re counting WW points for this recipe, you’ll want to serve it over zoodles or spaghetti squash or eat it on its own. Also, you’ll want to use chicken breasts in this recipe instead of the chicken thighs that the recipe calls for (for a lower point count).
Today’s recipe comes from my friend Gina’s new cookbook: Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes by Gina Holmolka: Clarkson/Potter, 2016. I was SO EXCITED to get this book in the mail the other day. Gina put her heart and soul into this second book of hers, and every recipe conveys that. 140 recipes are included in the book– all either slow cooker or quick oven/stovetop recipes.
Here are some more recipes I’ve bookmarked to make later: Banana-Almond Smoothie Bowl, Breakfast Banana Split, Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup, Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili, Drunken Seafood Stew, Slow Cooker Hamburger Stroganoff, Cauliflower-Potato Tacos, Slow Cooker Stuffed Turkey Tenderloins with Gravy, Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner, Fork and Knife Cheeseburgers, Slow Cooker Brisket with Onions, Baked Fish and Chips, Salad Pizza… oh my gosh… I could go on and on! It’s really a great cookbook. There is nutritional information included for every recipe.
Gina’s original recipe calls for bone-in skinless chicken thighs (bone-in means the chicken will stay nice and tender). I had trouble finding bone-in thighs, so I used full chicken legs (drumstick + thigh) instead. If you want this to be ZERO points, you will use chicken breast instead (see the recipe at the end of this post for more details).
All kinds of goodies go into this one- onions, bell pepper, mushroom, tomato, herbs and spices.
4 hours later, dinner looks like this. The chicken is taken out, pulled apart, bones discarded and the meat put back in.
We love this dish! My son eats his chicken cacciatore over thick fettuccine noodles. My husband and I (forever watching our waistlines) enjoy ours over roasted spaghetti squash. Both are delicious!
Check out another recipe from this book on RecipeBoy.com >> Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes!
Here are a few more chicken recipes you might enjoy:
- Tuscan Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- Chicken Divan
- Light Chicken Parmesan
- Smothered Chicken Casserole
- Chicken with Mustard
- Rosemary Lemon Chicken Skewers
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- 8 (about 40 ounces) bone-in skinless chicken thighs, fat-trimmed (See Recipe Notes below for using WW points substituting chicken breast)
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- cooking spray
- 5 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving, optional
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray, add the chicken, and cook until browned- 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to your slow cooker. If you're using chicken breast, you can skip this step and put the chicken directly into the slow cooker (with salt and pepper). I recommend 6 hours in the slow cooker on low (2 to 3 hours high), if using breasts.
- Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and coat with more cooking spray. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until soft- 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and add the tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, thyme, oregano and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Discard the bay leaf and transfer the chicken to a large plate. Pull the chicken meat from the bones (discard the bones), shred the meat, and return it to the sauce. Stir in the parsley (if using). If desired, serve topped with Parmesan cheese.
- If you are counting WW points, prepare this recipe with 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of the thighs.
- Note: in the photos for this recipe, you'll notice that I actually used 5 full chicken legs (drumstick and thigh) instead.
- If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, just be sure to use a brand of tomatoes that is known to be GF.
How much is a serving? 1 cup, 1/2 cup?
It’s hard to say because everyone’s total amount will vary some– you would need to divide up the recipe into 8 equal servings.
How much water goes into the crockpot?
no water needed
What kind of onion?
I like to use sweet onion.
Is this cooking time based on frozen chicken or thawed?
What is “a serving?”
There are 8 servings in the recipe. So one serving is the total amount divided into 8 servings. Sorry I don’t have exact measurements.
This looks amazing. I have to make this for my family I know they will love it.
Made this for dinner last night and it has instantly become a new family favorite recipe in our home! Looking forward to making it again! Delicious and easy too!
I love this recipe when things get chaotic! So easy to make and even I can’t screw it up.
Love this! Chicken cacciatore is such a flavorful meal – I love that this one is made in the slow cooker, it really cuts down on a lot of the work.
What’s the actual serving size? I see where it says 220 calories per serving, but no actual amount to go from.
Yeah, sorry… I don’t have an actual amount. It will serve 8, so you’d just have to eyeball it or divide it out and then go from there.
Followed the recipe and used bone-in chicken thighs. It was absolutely delicious!
If using chicken breast are we cooking for 6 hours on LOW or HIGH? Thanks!
Six hours on low, 2 to 3 hours on high– if using breasts
Would this work in an instant pot?
Probably, but I’m not familiar with how to convert slow cooker recipes to Instant Pot. Sorry!
It’s very misleading to claim that a recipe using dark chicken meat and laid upon a bed of pasta is Zero smart points. Even if you replace the dark meat with breast it’s still not even close. You shouldn’t tag this as such.
sorry, it does say in the nutritional info: “Weight Watchers POINTS: Freestyle SmartPoints: 0 (but only if you use chicken breast instead of thighs)” but you’re right… I need to add it into the wording of the recipe, so it’s not confusing. The recipe is for the chicken only– what you decide to put it on is extra points (or none, if you use squash).
Just want to point out this us not a zero point recipe in freeestyle as it was written or as you suggest substituting whole chicken legs, only boneless skinless chicken breast is zero points.
Right- in the recipe card you will see that it states zero points if you use chicken breasts.
There are 8 servings, how much would you say a serving size is? Thanks! Got it in the Crock Pot now, can’t wait to try it!
Hi Crystal, I should probably figure that out– would make it easier for everyone. But I’m not sure.
If I use chicken breasts, how much do you recommend I use for this recipe?
I’d say 1 1/2 pounds would be good.
This looks incredible, Lori! I just got Gina’s new book too and have been wanting to try every recipe! This is definitely on our list next! 🙂
Looks amazing Lori!! We love this dish, it’s comfort food for sure! Thank you for sharing!
I purchased this cb several days ago. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I have all ingredients on hand. I really love my slow cooker but have found that it cookers faster than many recipe’s indicate.
, so I stick with low settings. Thanks for the recipe!