Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

a piece of chicken in a Crockpot with a thick, rich tomato based sauce with lots of vegetables

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Chicken Cacciatore is a wonderful rustic Italian chicken dish chock full of vegetables, a thick, rich tomato based sauce and pieces of chicken all simmered together. The end result is a deliciously healthy yet decadent dish that the entire family will love. You can serve this slow cooker chicken cacciatore over rice or your favourite pasta, the choice is up to you.

close up Chicken Cacciatore over pasta in a white plate
Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore in the Slow Cooker

Chicken cacciatore is usually make in a skillet or braising pan on top of the stove, frying the chicken up first, removing it and cooking the vegetables in the fat. Following that, a can of tomatoes is added, along with red wine and the chicken is returned to the pan for a long, low simmer of around an hour. While it certainly is the traditional way of making chicken cacciatore, I wanted to make a slow cooker version that can low and slow cook all day and doesn’t have to be babysat on the stovetop.

This worked like a charm and it’s because I use chicken thighs and not chicken breasts. I know everyone is always alll the rage about chicken breasts  – and I do like them too! –  but chicken thighs are where it’s at for slow cooking.

a piece of chicken in a Crockpot with a thick, rich tomato based sauce with lots of vegetables
Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

What is in Cacciatore?

Traditionally cacciatore can be made with chicken or rabbit as the word “cacciatore” literally means “hunter-style” in Italian. Thus cacciatore is supposed to be simple : onions, herbs, occasionally bell peppers, tomatoes, wine and the meat. However as I wanted to make a vegetable and protein loaded meal this chicken cacciatore has:

  • chicken thighs
  • onion
  • red/green peppers
  • carrots
  •  tomato paste
  •  stewed tomatoes
  • oregano
  • mushrooms
  •  zucchini
  •  garlic
  •  red wine
  •  chicken stock
Crockpot with Chicken Cacciatore simmering
Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Karlynn’s Tips & Tricks for Making Chicken Cacciatore

  • I use tomato paste because the vegetables are going to release water, especially the mushrooms, It gets too soupy using another can of juicy tomatoes. I like a little bit of a thicker sauce. I have been known to use ketchup to thicken it up when I don’t have tomato paste and it works like a charm!
  • Chicken cacciatore is usually made with SKIN ON chicken, so I usually leave the skin on and cook it that way. I am sure that the reason is the fat from the skin cooks into the dish, which makes it even richer. The choice is up to you, you can use skinless and boneless chicken thighs as well.
  • You can play around with the types of vegetables and the amounts. My family doesn’t like too many peppers in it, so I use red peppers minimally in mine.
  • Use chicken thighs. It’s just not as rich and rustic with chicken breast and chicken breasts really do dry out.
close up Crockpot with Chicken Cacciatore simmering
Chicken Cacciatore

The lovely thing about chicken thighs is they just fall apart instead of dry out when cooked like this, I would never use chicken breast in this recipe.Chicken thighs just get better and better the longer they cook, while chicken breasts dry out, even when they are cooking in a liquid.

Now, this is not a true traditional chicken cacciatore and nor am I claiming it is, there are far more vegetables in my version than there is in the original. I love to use carrots in mine and to be honest you guys, the point of a good chicken cacciatore is to use up what you have on hand. Don’t be afraid to throw in what’s in your vegetable drawer in your fridge, it’s far better to not waste food than it is to be “original”! This dish has so many possibilities and that’s why it’s so popular, a true hunters dish, you use what you have on hand.  I also LOVE zucchini in this dish, it holds up so well in the slow cooker!

Happy cooking!

Love,

Karlynn

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This Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore is a wonderful rustic Italian chicken dish chock full of vegetables, a thick, rich tomato based sauce and pieces of chicken all simmered together. The end result is a deliciously healthy yet decadent dish that the entire family will love.. #chicken #crockpot #slowcooker #easy #food #chickenthighs #tomatoes #vegetables #dinner #supper

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Chicken Cacciatore

This Crock pot Chicken Cacciatore is a wonderful rustic Italian chicken dish chock full of vegetables, a thick, rich tomato based sauce and pieces of chicken all simmered together. The end result is a deliciously healthy yet decadent dish that the entire family will love.
4.91 from 20 votes
a piece of chicken in a Crockpot with a thick, rich tomato based sauce with lots of vegetables
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Total Time
4 hours 10 minutes
Course
Main Course
Cuisine
Italian
Servings
8
Calories
270
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

  • 6-8 chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red or green pepper
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 28 ounces stewed tomatoes ( I use diced, you can use whole)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock granules

Instructions
 

  • Combine everything but the chicken pieces in the slow cooker.
  • Give it a taste. Want more red wine? Add more now. More stock for a salty taste? Go right ahead. Sample it now before you contaminate it with chicken. 
  • Place the chicken thighs on top, then press them into the middle of the sauce, making sure they are covered, but it's better that they don't touch the bottom and cook right in the middle. Then cover and cook! 
  • This took 4 hours in the slow cooker on high and will take all day (7-8 hours) in the slow cooker on low. This is the perfect meal to start in the morning when you head to work.
  • Serve over rice or pasta.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional values will vary depending on ingredients used.
 
If you leave out the sugar this recipe rings in at 13 grams of NET carbs per serving, making it a healthy low carb choice.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 270kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 674mg, Potassium: 933mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 3570IU, Vitamin C: 31.7mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 2.9mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Joe Hoagland says

    It doesn’t say how much liquid to put in. Looks really dry im making right now

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      Hey Joe, all of the vegetables are going to release their juices,. And this is going to turn out just perfectly! Trust me between the canned tomatoes and the mushrooms you’re going to get a couple cups of liquid!. This has been tested many times you don’t want to add any liquid to it!.5 stars

  2. Bette says

    How long would you cook this meal in a Dutch oven? My crockpot meals never taste good. I love my Dutch oven. Love all of your recipes. Thank you!!!

  3. Lindsay Skinner says

    Hello MS. Wendy . I was wondering if you ever cooked Curry Goat or Curry Chicken ??? I could use some tips and hints . Or the recipe that you used to make it please. Thank you very much .

  4. Esther says

    Can it be made with KFC chicken already coated with the herbs just need rest of ingredients.

    • Lindsay Skinner says

      Hello MS. Wendy . I was wondering if you ever cooked Curry Goat or Curry Chicken ??? I could use some tips and hints . Or the recipe that you used to make it please. Thank you very much .

  5. Wendy Maillet says

    Very good! For those wondering how to thicken…cook your vegetables first. Fry them up or roast them to release some of the water. The diced tomatoes, onion, bell pepper and especially the mushrooms release water while cooking. So I cook them first so my sauce isn’t watery. I know it’s a pain because we only want to clean one pot but…that’s how you make it not watery or runny ? Also add grated Parmesan cheese at the end and stir it in to thicken. Otherwise follow the recipe!5 stars

  6. cbrierley@bell.net says

    Made this recipe yesterday and served it over rice. What a hit it was with the family!!
    The only thing I needed to do was thicken it a bit as it was a little too runny. Will definitely be making this again.5 stars

    • Kate says

      Hi! If anything you make is too thin and you wouldn’t use a thickening agent like flour or arch, remove the liquid to a pot and simmer it to reduce the liquid, then add it back into the crockpot4 stars

  7. Rhonda Notschaele says

    I have this on the crockpot now and it has been cooking on low all day but seems to need thickening. Did you thicken yours and if so how? Tastes amazing5 stars

  8. Jennie says

    Karlynn, this looks so comfort food-a-licious. Sadly, my Crock-Pot gave up the ghost a while back. Do you think this recipe might work in my Instant Pot on the slow cook setting?

  9. Carol says

    Last night I looked in my freezer and spotted 2 packs of frozen chicken thighs(4-5 in pack). I do not recall what it was that I intended to use these in but there they are. I just noticed this recipe come in on my email and looked at the ingredients. Now what are the chances that I have everything listed? Shopping the other day I bought zucchini, mushrooms, peppers- the rest I usually have in house. So it looks like this delicious recipe will be made in the next day or two?YAY!!5 stars

  10. kim says

    This recipes is wonderful. Very flavorful. Veggie are an extra bonus.5 stars

  11. Joe Yablonski says

    Enjoyed your chicken cacc recipe. When I saw Magpie in your heading, I knew you were Canadian.
    I’m enjoying your recipes, unfortunately I’m trying a low carb, sugar free diet. I dont think your receipe book pierogis etc would fit
    Thought I love them.

    Joe

    • Lisa Harvey says

      Thanks for the inspiration, Karlynn. The stew was very good. You are right about the plentiful juices the meat & vegetables produce. I used chicken thighs & legs, omitted the sweet peppers & tomato paste, but glad I had zucchini & carrots on hand. Like you, I like browning meat & then sauteing vegetables with herbs & spices to get flavoring blooming before adding everything to the crock pot. As usual, I use high setting for 1 hour then turned down to low. It took only 3 hrs. total before meat was tender. I removed the solids to a casserole dish & added about a tsp. balsamic vinegar to the sauce. Served over egg noodles it made a wonderfully hearty dinner. Thank you for the recipe.4 stars

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