This crockpot chicken cacciatore with chicken thighs is an easy and family friendly crockpot meal. Leftovers also make a great freezer meal!
Don’t you just love using your crockpot? It’s great for this hearty Italian chicken stew called chicken cacciatore. This stew is actually meant to simmer for a long time so using your crockpot for this recipe is perfect.
This crockpot chicken cacciatore recipe is not only an easy recipe for your crockpot but it if you have any leftovers it is also a great freezer meal.
⭐ Why I love this recipe
I usually always have chicken and spaghetti sauce on hand so not only is it great for the crockpot but no special ingredients are required.
This recipe is also one of my favorite meals to make for meal trains or for new moms. It is a family friendly recipe that freezes well.
This recipe also calls for chicken thighs. I find that when cooking in my crockpot, chicken thighs don’t dry out like chicken breasts. They are a great cut of meat to cook in your crockpot or slow cooker.
🥘 Ingredients needed
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Boneless and skinless chicken thighs: I like using chicken thighs for my crockpot recipes because they tend to not dry out as much as other cuts of meat. You can substitute chicken breast.
- Olive oil: I recommend extra virgin olive oil.
- Tomato sauce: You’ll need two jars that are about 24 ounces. Use your favorite brand.
- Zucchini, squash, white onion, yellow bell pepper: The vegetables for the cacciatore.
- Mushrooms: You can use canned or fresh.
- Italian blend seasoning and garlic: To season the cacciatore.
- Salt and pepper: I recommend doing salt and pepper to taste.
- Tomato paste: The tomato paste is only needed if freezing leftovers.
🍗 What type of chicken should you use in this recipe?
I find that when using a crockpot, chicken thighs tend to more juicy. You can use chicken breast or chicken thighs for this recipe. Feel free to use whichever you happen to have on hand though.
🍲 What size crockpot do I need for this recipe?
For this recipe, you’ll want a 6 quart or larger crockpot.
🔪 How to make this recipe
Begin by spraying your crockpot with non-stick spray. Next, add the chicken (you can use cubed breast or thighs) and olive oil.
Add the garlic, zucchini, squash, red onion, yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, and tomato sauce.
Next, add the Italian blend seasoning and salt and pepper.
Cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for four hours.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over linguini or spaghetti noodles and top with Parmesan cheese.
🥡 How do I store leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in your refrigerator in an airtight container for three to four days. Reheat over low medium heat on your stove top or you can also use your microwave to reheat leftovers.
📋How do I freeze this recipe?
If you want to freeze any leftovers, simply let them cool and then freeze the sauce with two tablespoons of tomato paste in a large freezer safe zip lock bag or freezer safe storage container. You’ll want to add the tomato paste because defrosting will cause the leftovers to become watery (mostly due to the zucchini).
Defrost overnight and then reheat in a microwave safe dish or you can also reheat in a large pot on the stove-top over low medium heat. I don’t recommend freezing any leftover pasta, instead make fresh pasta when you reheat this freezer friendly chicken cacciatore.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
Traditionally chicken cacciatore is made on a stove top but there is no reason why you can’t make a recipe that has been adapted to the crockpot!
Cacciatore translates to hunter in Italian and traditional cacciatore recipes often use chicken or rabbit.
Other easy crockpot recipes:
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Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore with Chicken Thighs
- Crockpot or slow cooker 6 quart or larger
- 1 ½ pounds cubed boneless and skinless chicken thighs or substitute chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 jars tomato sauce about 24 ounces each (use your favorite brand)
- 1 zucchini chopped into small pieces
- 1 squash chopped into small pieces
- 1 white onion finely chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper finely chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced (or substitute canned mushrooms)
- 1 tablespoon Italian blend seasoning
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- Begin by spraying your crockpot with non-stick spray.
- Next, add the chicken (you can use cubed breast or thighs) and olive oil.
- Add the garlic, zucchini, squash, red onion, yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, and tomato sauce.
- Next, add the Italian blend seasoning and salt and pepper.
- Cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for four hours.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over linguini or spaghetti noodles and top with Parmesan cheese.
To freeze for later
- To freeze the sauce, add two heaping tablespoons of tomato paste and mix well.
- Let cool and then freeze flat in a freezer safe container or freezer bag.
- To serve from frozen, defrost and heat on a stove top or heat in the microwave in a microwave safe dish.
This crockpot chicken looks so easy to make yet so flavorful. I really liked how you gave the tips to make the leftovers too.
Mihaela | https://theworldisanoyster.com/
What I love the most about Italian foods is they are easy to make, use healthy ingredients, and are so incredibly delicious! I make cacciatore often, and I know how delicious it can be, served as it is or with pasta. Anybody should give it a go!
I just showed my husband this recipe long story short I’m making this tonight for his weekly meal prep he is a sucker for anything chicken.
This chicken cacciatore was amazing and so full of flavor. I made a big batch for the family and put it over pasta with a side of fresh garlic bread.
I am a true fan of crockpot cooking. My crockpot is my friend in the kitchen. You are right, I usually have chicken in my freezer and spaghetti sauce in my pantry. This recipe is perfect for throwing together in the morning. Dinner will be ready and waiting on me when I get off work. Win-win!
great idea cause this can be a included for meal prep. no need to worry for the next meal.
This chicken cacciatore sounds amazing and I love that I can throw everything in my crockpot and have dinner later! We will be making this often.
I love this recipe! Especially the part where the crock pot is taking over all the work! 😀 Wonderful! Can’t wait to make this for my family! Thanks for sharing!
Cindy Mom, the Lunch Lady
What a fantastic recipe! I think I will throw it into the crock pot for dinner tonight and serve it with pasta! Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂