Chicken cacciatore is an easy slow cooker recipe that is hearty, tasty, and perfect for a weeknight dinner. This Crockpot cacciatore recipe is so easy and results in a rich tomato sauce packed with vegetables, chicken, and flavor. It is the perfect meal for a busy weekday since there is little prep and then you let it cook all day long on low so it is ready by dinnertime. Simply serve chicken cacciatore with pasta, rice, polenta, spaghetti squash, or any of my other recommendations below and you have a complete meal that is healthy and delicious.
Chicken dinner recipes are a popular item for what is on the menu each night in many homes. It is always great to have a few quick recipes in your rotation and this should be one of them. The beauty of this recipe too is you can adjust a few things to ensure your favorite vegetables are used or to adjust to make it keto or even more low-carb than as written below. (see notes along the way) It is a great combination of both fresh and pantry ingredients that literally thrown together into the slow cooker become the perfect chicken cacciatore dinner that adults and kids will love. Using a store-bought jar of spaghetti sauce is a great shortcut. After all, chicken with pasta is a great combination and this Italian recipe showcases that.
For another great slow cooker recipe that is hearty, easy, low-carb, keto, and amazing, I highly recommend you try out my recipe for SLOW COOKER BEEF & BACON CHILI (NO BEANS)
What Does Cacciatore Mean?
I have had several friends ask me what chicken cacciatore is and what it means. Simply put, cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, “alla cacciatora” refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” which typically includes onions, herbs, tomatoes, often bell peppers and mushrooms, and sometimes wine. Cacciatore is popularly made with braised chicken or rabbit. For this recipe, I am using boneless skinless chicken breasts but chicken thighs, rabbits, or even duck can be used for a lovely cacciatore meal. I have made it this way for years as it is just like grandma’s authentic chicken cacciatore recipe that I grew up with.
What Goes Well with Chicken Cacciatore?
The possibilities of what to serve with homemade chicken cacciatore are endless. The most popular way to eat chicken cacciatore is with pasta. It is commonly served over spaghetti, linguine, or egg noodles. However, no matter what you love or how your diet or lifestyle is, there is something that pairs beautifully with this rich and hearty cacciatore dish. For those that want something low-carb, keto, grain-free, paleo, or Whole30, I recommend spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, or eat is just as is like an Italian chicken stew. For anyone with gluten sensitivities, those options work also but I also recommend serving this chicken cacciatore recipe with rice, soft polenta, or gluten-free pasta.
How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
This recipe includes a combination of pantry staples and fresh vegetables and chicken. For a shortcut to make this a bit easier, I recommend using your favorite store-bought marinara sauce. Our favorite is Rao’s Homemade Marinara due to its natural ingredients and that it doesn’t include sugar (yes, many jar pasta sauces have sweeteners added!) This recipe will be low-carb and keto-friendly when using a no-sugar marinara.
Ingredients Needed for this Cacciatore Recipe
For this slow cooker version, the chicken cacciatore is made with boneless breasts. This recipe also calls for fresh bell peppers, mushrooms, and diced onions (you can omit the onions if doing keto or want an even lower carb count. I like a combination of different colored bell peppers for more color. In addition, dried herbs, tomato paste, and marinara sauce go into the slow cooker to make the cacciatore. As is, it is a rich and hearty paleo chicken cacciatore recipe. Also optional, add red wine to complete the recipe if you are not doing paleo or low-carb.
For a quick and easy keto chicken cacciatore dinner, this recipe works great. Simply omit the red wine, and then at the end add some heavy whipping cream for a tomato cream sauce that is to die for! You will have a wonderful low-carb and keto-friendly cacciatore recipe that goes great with spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or just as is with a big salad.
Season the Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Place the four boneless skinless chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker insert. Season liberally on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Add Vegetables to the Slow Cooker
Dice the vegetables and add them to the slow cooker (oops, mushrooms were off to the right and camera shy!)
Add Remaining Ingredients
For the last step, add the marinara sauce, tomato paste, dried herbs, and optional red wine.
How Long to Cook the Chicken Cacciatore in the Slow Cooker
After stirring all the ingredients together, set your slow cooker/Crockpot to low. If yours has a timer also set it for 8 hours or just keep track of the time. This recipe will be done after it simmers on low for 8 hours. Keep the lid closed and try to only stir 1 or 2 times during those hours. This helps keep the temperature even, the moisture in the slow cooker, and the old saying “if you are looking, you ain’t cooking” comes to mind!
Once the 8 hours are done, the chicken cacciatore is complete. Keep it warm while you make the additional dinner menu items. If you want to add more fat to your diet, such as on a keto diet, at this point add 1/2 C of heavy whipping cream to the chicken cacciatore and stir to combine. Let warm and combine for about 30 minutes on warm before serving. For side dishes or what to serve this with, see the detailed section above. ENJOY!
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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Slow Cooker
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 & 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 medium onion diced (omit for keto version)
- 1 C bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 C white mushrooms sliced
- 1 28oz Jar Rao's Marinara sauce
- 1 TB tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 C red wine OPTIONAL (omit for keto version)
- 1/2 C heavy whipping cream OPTIONAL (add at the end for keto version)
- fresh basil leaves - for garnish washed and dried
- Place the four boneless skinless chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker insert. Season liberally on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Dice the vegetables and add them to the chicken in the slow cooker.
- For the last step, add the marinara sauce, tomato paste, basil, red pepper flakes, and optional red wine. Stir to combine sauce ingredients evenly over the chicken breasts at the bottom.
- After stirring all the ingredients together, set your slow cooker/Crockpot to low. If yours has a timer also set it for 8 hours or just keep track of the time.
- FOR KETO/TOMATO CREAM SAUCE VERSION - If you want to add more fat to your diet, such as on a keto diet, at this point add 1/2 C of heavy whipping cream to the chicken cacciatore and stir to combine. Let warm and combine for about 30 minutes on warm before serving.
- For side dishes or what to serve this with, see the detailed section above. Garnish with fresh basil. ENJOY!
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