Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore – an easy crockpot meal loaded with tender chicken, tomatoes, bell peppers, kale, carrots and sliced mushrooms. Hearty, comforting and bursting with flavor.
Chicken Cacciatore is a classic Italian dish that is just perfect for this time of year. Ever since visiting Italy a few years ago, we love trying to recreate the delicious flavors of the meals we had while we were there.
I love making this hearty and rustic dish in the slow cooker on busy school nights. You just toss everything into the pot and set and forget it. Cooking it low and slow helps to create that amazing rich and flavorful broth.
But if you have some extra time, sear the chicken in a large skillet before placing in the slow cooker. It’s an extra step but it gives the chicken that extra layer of flavor.
This slow cooker chicken cacciatore is also loaded with a ton of healthy vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, diced tomatoes, kale, mushrooms, onions and Kalamata olives.
Serve this with your favorite sides or over some thick noodles, zoodles, or rice to soak up that amazing sauce.
- 6 skinless chicken thighs (I used bone-in)
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ medium white onion, chopped
- ½ cup diced red bell peppers
- ½ cup sliced carrots
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 (28) ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (6) ounce can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2-4 Kalamata olives (optional)
- ½ cup chopped kale, stems removed
- 2 teaspoons corn starch plus 3 teaspoons water, whisked together in a small bowl (to thicken up sauce - leave out if you want a thinner sauce consistency)
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, plus more for serving
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
- grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
- Season chicken with salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a large non-tick skillet over medium high heat. Sear chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to slow cooker. Alternatively, if pressed for time, skip browning and add chicken straight to a 6 quart slow cooker.
- Add the garlic, onion, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and salt and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine. **(Do not worry if the mixture looks dry, the tomatoes will release more liquid as this cooks - if you like this dish more saucy or soup-y - you can add ½ cup chicken broth or water)
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
- minutes prior to serving, stir in the olives, kale and corn starch / water slurry into the slow cooker and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes on HIGH, or until sauce thickens up slightly and kale is wilted.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley, basil leaves and taste and season with additional salt or black pepper, as needed.
- Serve hot over pasta, zucchini noodles, rice or your favorite sides and top with grated parmesan, if desired.
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