A Delicious Recipe for Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Lauri Patterson/E+/Getty Images
Total Time 215 min
Prep 20 min, Cook 195 min
Servings 6

This hearty, tomatoey stewed dish gets a healthier, slow cooker makeover in this alternative to traditional chicken cacciatore, which would include the skin of the chicken and perhaps not as many vegetables. Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian because this dish was originally made with a hunter's catch such as rabbit, pheasant, or boar. Over time, and especially in America, cacciatore has come to include chicken instead of game meat.

This may take a bit more effort, but rather than cooking all the ingredients at once, this dish does better in a two-part method. First, you need to sauté the vegetables, reduce the liquid, and add tomato paste, before combining with the chicken in the crockpot. Otherwise, the dish can get overly watery.

Adding Parmesan cheese rind is a trick that adds a savory depth of flavor to the sauce. It is optional, but if you happen to have some hard Parmesan in the fridge it is definitely worth a try.


  • 3 pounds skinless bone-in chicken thighs and/or legs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces brown crimini or portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup dry wine (white or red)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mixture, or 1 teaspoon each oregano, basil, and thyme
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • Pinch of sugar or natural sweetener (optional)
  • 1 inch of Parmesan cheese rind (optional)


1. Put chicken in a crockpot set to high and cover. Alternatively, you can brown the chicken in a skillet with a little oil and then transfer to the crockpot. You can use the same skillet for cooking the vegetables.

2. Heat olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Cook the onion and green pepper for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes; add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes, wine, herbs, and more salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the liquid is almost completely boiled away. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. If it tastes harsh or acidic, add just a touch of sweetener (a pinch of sugar or one drop of Sweetzfree can do the trick).

4. Add the tomato paste and Parmesan cheese rind, if using, and stir to combine. Place chicken in the crockpot and spoon tomato mixture on the top of the chicken. Cook for 3 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, check and adjust seasonings one more time.

Ingredient Substitutions 

If you prefer boneless chicken, use 8 or 9 boneless chicken thighs. Feel free to add or replace vegetables in this recipe—try artichoke hearts, black olives, or even throw in a few capers for an added zip. Just be sure to taste before adding any additional salt since capers are quite salty.

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