Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore is a delicious, no-mess, no-fuss crockpot comfort food dinner. This make ahead recipe helps you prep it, then forget about it until dinner time!
Ingredients in chicken cacciatore
There are simple but wholesome ingredients in chicken cacciatore. Here’s what you’ll need to make this comforting chicken dinner:
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs: Use bone-in thighs if you prefer them, but it will require more work on your end to remove the bones either before serving or as you eat the meal. It will also add more fat and calories
- Vegetables: Button mushrooms, red bell peppers, carrots, celery, and onions
- Marinara sauce: You can use homemade sauce or your favourite store-bought variety
- Red or white wine: This is optional. I prefer to use red wine as it adds deeper flavour
- Seasonings: Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper
- Chicken broth or stock
- Egg noodles
- Fresh parsley (for garnish – this is optional as well)
How to make chicken cacciatore in the slow cooker
Seriously, making slow cooker chicken cacciatore could not be easier; it’s truly a dump and go meal! With the exception of the egg noodles and fresh parsley, all of the ingredients go into the crock pot at one time.
You don’t need to saute the chicken or vegetables either. This is exactly why this recipe is so easy to make! After everything is in the slow cooker, cook on high power for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
About 15 minutes before you're ready serve the meal, cook the egg noodles in a pot of boiling water, according to package directions, then serve the cacciatore overtop.
Chicken cacciatore is known for its classic ingredients like mushrooms, bell peppers, and tomatoes. But there is no reason for you to use those if you prefer others! For example, to make the most of summer produce, you could swap out the mushrooms for summer squash or zucchini.
Or, for a deeper flavour, consider using roasted red bell peppers to use as a substitute for regular red peppers.
When I make slow cooker recipes with chicken, using thighs is my choice. This is because dark meat stays moist, even over the long cook time. However, if you prefer to use boneless skinless chicken breasts, you certainly can do so.
How do you thicken chicken cacciatore?
If the sauce is thinner than you like it, thickening it is easy to do.
- Make a cornstarch slurry. To do this, combine equal amounts of cornstarch and cold water or chicken broth in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker. If it has broken down into small pieces, you can simply run everything through a strainer. All you want to do is remove the majority of the chicken. If a little is left behind, it won’t hurt anything.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate, and cover with foil to keep it warm.
- Stir the slurry into the sauce and cook on low power for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.
Making it in the Instant Pot
If you have an electric pressure cooker and want to make Instant Pot chicken cacciatore, the easiest way is to use your Instant Pot’s slow cooker setting. As a result, you can make the recipe as written below.
You can also cook it under pressure. To do so, you'll add olive oil to the bottom of the pot then add in your chicken and veggies. Leave out the egg noodles or they'll overcook! Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release of the pressure. Make sure to cook your egg noodles about 5-10 minutes before the cacciatore is ready, then serve the chicken overtop of the noodles.
What do you serve with chicken cacciatore?
Traditionally, egg noodles or pasta are served with the meal. Because it's a hearty meal on its own, you really don't even need to serve it with anything extra. However, some people prefer to serve it with rice rather than pasta. Other tasty side dish possibilities include:
- Roasted potatoes
- Cauliflower rice
- Mashed potatoes
- Garlic bread
- Garden salad
Storing and reheating the meal
For an easy meal prep dinner, you can prepare crock pot chicken cacciatore ahead of time, according to the recipe below. The only thing you won’t make until you’re ready to serve the meal are the egg noodles.
- Cool the meal to room temperature before storing.
- Store the cooled cacciatore (or leftovers of it) in meal prep containers or an airtight food storage container.
- Refrigerate and reheat to serve within 5 days. You can use the microwave or stovetop to reheat.
Freezing crockpot chicken cacciatore
To freeze the meal, follow the directions above, but be sure to use freezer-safe storage containers. And of course, place the containers into a freezer. When properly frozen, chicken cacciatore should keep well for 3 to 4 months.
To reheat from frozen, you will need to be sure that the storage containers are safe for use from freezer to oven.
Otherwise, place the containers in the refrigerator overnight. Then, follow one of these methods to reheat:
- Warm the contents in a microwave.
- Transfer contents to a saucepan or pot on the stove and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
More easy slow cooker recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this cacciatore into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Get a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked through.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced in half
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning optional
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 (650mL) jar marinara sauce
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth
- 1/2 cup red or white wine optional - I recommend red wine for best results
- 1 lb egg noodles to serve
- Fresh parsley or basil, for garnish
- Dump all ingredients except for egg noodles and parsley in slow cooker, then cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Meanwhile, cook egg noodles according to package directions.
- Turn off slow cooker once finished cooking. Serve chicken mixture over egg noodles then garnish with fresh herbs. Serve and enjoy!