This slow cooker chicken cacciatore is tender chicken thighs that are cooked in the crock pot with peppers, mushrooms and olives. An easy Italian dinner that’s perfect served over pasta!
Chicken cacciatore is one of my go-to dinner recipes. My kids happily eat it, it’s got a ton of flavor and it’s so easy to make. This slow cooker version takes just minutes to put together and you’ll come home at the end of the day to a restaurant quality meal.
I just love a good meal I can throw in the crock pot. Especially when it’s like this slow cooker chicken cacciatore which my entire family loves. It’s not always easy to find one meal that everyone is head over heels for, but this crockpot chicken cacciatore really hits the spot.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CACCIATORE?
This dish contains a delicious mixture of bone-in chicken thighs cooked to perfection amid the aromatic flavors of peppers, mushrooms, and olives in the crock pot. Italian chicken cacciatore is the perfect hearty dinner that’s both easy and satisfying. Serve it over pasta to round out your meal and up the kid friendly factor!
Tips for crock pot chicken cacciatore
- I prefer using bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs when making crock pot chicken cacciatore. This type of chicken holds a ton of flavor and doesn’t dry out or lose its shape after a long cooking time. You can substitute boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs – your meat may fall apart a bit when you go to serve it, but it will still be delicious.
- I highly recommend browning your chicken before it goes into the slow cooker, but if you’re in a big hurry, you can skip that step and it will still be great. If you have a favorite brand of marinara sauce, definitely use that in your dish. I use Newman’s or Classico brand.
- The chicken will release liquid as it cooks, which will thin out the sauce. If you feel like your sauce is too thin, you can thicken it up by uncovering the slow cooker and running it for 20 minutes on high heat.
- The bell peppers and mushrooms will get quite soft from being in the slow cooker all day. If you prefer firmer veggies, add them about 2 hours before the chicken cacciatore is done. I stir in the olives at the very end right before serving.
WHAT DOES THE WORD CACCIATORE MEAN?
This word means “hunter” in Italian. In the culinary world, this usually means that a meal is prepared “hunter-style.” Hunter-style means prepared with onions, bell peppers and herbs. This word also means a dish that is typically cooked in a spicy tomato sauce.
CAN SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CACCIATORE BE MADE WITH OTHER MEATS?
As with most meals of this nature, just about any meat can be substituted in place of the chicken. The flavors and cooking times will definitely adjust so be aware of this when making your substitutions. A great substitution would be beef stew meat, or other cuts of chicken such as chicken drumsticks.
I typically serve slow cooker chicken cacciatore over pasta, but it’s also delicious over rice or mashed potatoes. I will definitely be making this again in the near future!
MORE ITALIAN DISHES YOU’LL LOVE
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- 6 bone in skin on chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup onion thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and place it in the slow cooker. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds.
- Place the mushroom mixture, onion, bell peppers, Italian seasoning and marinara sauce in the slow cooker.
- Gently toss all the ingredients together.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Remove the cover and stir in the olives. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve.
This post was originally published on August 2, 2018 and was updated on December 1, 2019 with new content.
I love the flavor but the sauce is too thin even after trying your recommendation to leave the lid off for 20 min. That didn’t seem to make any difference. I’ve tried with different brands of sauce too. Would it help to put the sauce in more toward the end instead? Or I have tomato sauce and ketchup. Would adding them in help?
The sauce gets thinner because the chicken releases liquid as it cooks. You could try adding half the sauce initially, then stir in the rest during the last 20 minutes of the cooking time so it can warm through but still should maintain its thicker consistency.
This recipe sounds delicious!!! Do you think it would work with boneless chicken breasts?
Omitted olives, and only had 4 thighs on hand but otherwise followed to a T, chicken was falling off the bone! I personally loved it, and while my personal slow cooker couldve done it in less time for more tender meat, that’s just an edit for me. It was a hit!