Healthy Chicken Cacciatore: Simple Slow Cooker Supper
With winter chill in the air, there is nothing we crave more than the warmth of classic comfort food. Our Slow Cooker Healthy Chicken Cacciatore recipe is simple Italian comfort at its best! This aromatic and moist chicken dish is both rustic and hearty and its mouth-watering scents fill the air as it cooks itself. We love making chicken cacciatore in a slow cooker because it achieves the same tenderness and flavors as it would on the stove top, yet with much less hassle. Made with an abundance of fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients that simmer in the tomato sauce, this is the perfect one-pot comfort meal. We love serving heaping spoonfuls of our Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore over whole grain noodles, quinoa, sorghum, freekeh, spaghetti squash or any fresh vegetables. With just 15 minutes of prep time, you can set it and forget it while the slow cooker does the work for you.
Nutrient Booster: Tomatoes
In the past we’ve been told that fresh produce is healthier than canned produce. But let’s face it, the canned varieties often provide more convenience and have longer shelf lives with peak flavor sealed in every can. Even our ancestors and many home cooks preserved food in cans! We love using canned tomatoes in this delicious chicken cacciatore recipe because it allows us to enjoy and benefit from the tomato’s vitamin C, fiber, and lycopene all year long, not just during peak tomato season. In fact, research shows that the antioxidant lycopene is more bioavailable in cooked tomatoes, like those found in a can, than in fresh tomatoes. Why risk the success of your sauce with out-of season tomatoes when the can provides it all? That is not a bet we are willing to take in our recipes!
You don’t need a lot of time to serve healthy meals that taste like you’ve been cooking all day. We love slow cooker recipes because they make preparing delicious and nutritious dinners quick, easy, and stress-free. Our Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore recipe is the perfect combination of ease and convenience that won’t disappoint on flavor. For more warm, simple meals that bring together fresh, nutrient-dense ingredients with the push of a timer, try our Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas with Black Beans and our Sorghum, Vegetable and Black Bean Chili. We make cooking dinner simple when you have a complicated schedule and a busy family to feed!
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions diced
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 16 ounces crimini mushrooms sliced
- 2 bell peppers, your choice diced
- 2 (1-lb.) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 (6 oz. ) can tomato paste
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 1/3 cup fresh basil chopped, for garnish
- 2 4 lbs spaghetti squash, each cooked, yield 8 cups
- In the slow cooker or a saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and onions and saute until they are translucent. Add the garlic and saute until light brown, then add the mushrooms and bell peppers. Saute for about 2-3 minutes. Set aside when done.
- Place the chicken into the slow cooker, and add the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, white wine, tomato paste, oregano, basil, sea salt, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. If using a saute pan add the mushroom mixture to the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until chicken is tender (about 6-8 hours on low or 3 1/2-4 hours on high).
- Preheat oven to 400⁰F.
- Place the squash in a medium-sized pan. Poke a fork in several places on the squash so steam escapes. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, and place it in the oven. Cook for 45 – 60 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce through into the squash.
- Remove the squash from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes. Cut the squash in half and gently scoop out the seeds. Then use a fork to scrape the spaghetti-like strands from the inner flesh of the squash. Place spaghetti squash either on plates or on a platter.
- When chicken is done, serve over spaghetti squash and garnish with basil.
Serving size: 1 cup spaghetti squash, 2 chicken thighs, and 3/4 cup sauce, Calories: 420 calories, Fat: 15 grams, Saturated fat: 4 grams, Carbohydrates: 30 grams, Sugar: 14 grams, Sodium: 320 milligrams, Fiber: 7 grams, Protein: 35 grams, Cholesterol: 100 milligrams
(1) Why is it important to make lean or low-fat choices from the Protein Foods Group? Choose MyPlate. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/protein-foods-nutrients-health