Crockpot Italian Chicken Recipe

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This crockpot Italian chicken recipe takes just 5 minutes to prep for the freezer, and then you dump it frozen into your slow cooker so dinner is ready when you get home!

As I type this, I’m knee-deep in the school semester and basically burning the candle at both ends. So I need dinners that can cook for a good portion of the day while I study.

A ladle lifts a scoop of this Crockpot Italian Chicken Recipe out of the crockpot and towards the camera.

I try hard to come up with meals that I can prep in minutes, and I have found over the years, that the best way to do that is to prep meals using frozen ingredients. They are already peeled and chopped and they make life so much easier.

What Size Crockpot Do You Need?

For this recipe, you’ll want a crock pot that holds 5-6 quarts. You can go a little smaller, but I wouldn’t go less than 3- 4 quarts. Basically, you want your crock to be at least half full, but you don’t want to totally overflow when things defrost either.

Should You Cook On High Or Low Temperature?

Technically, you can cook at either temperature. It just depends on how fast you want this meal to cook. For this specific recipe, you have two choices.

Low temperature – 6 to 8 hours

High temperature – 4 to 5 hours

Is It Better To Cook Chicken On High Or Low In A Crockpot?

It’s not about which setting is best for cooking chicken, it’s how fast you need it done. You can cook chicken on high or low in a slow cooker, and it will turn out wonderfully every time.

A side view of Crockpot Italian Chicken served over penne pasta in a white bowl.

How Long Does Chicken Cook In A Crockpot?

Generally speaking, chicken breasts will cook fully in about 4 to 6 hours in a slow cooker, if the chicken is raw. If it’s frozen it will cook from 6 to 8 hours and sometimes longer depending on what else is in the crock with the chicken.

Can You Put Raw Chicken In A Slow Cooker?

Absolutely! In fact, it’s one of the best ways to cook chicken because the moist cooking environment makes very tender chicken.

Creamy Italian Chicken

If you prefer this to be creamy, you can stir in a block of cream cheese after cooking and stir until it dissolves. And if it ends up being a bit too thick, thin with a splash of milk. Also, make sure you at least double up on the chicken if you go this route or there just won’t be enough.

Optional Additions

You can round this out even more by adding frozen versions of the following:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Fresh parsley – for garnish after cooking
Crockpot Italian Chicken in a black slow cooker crock. A ladle rest inside the crock.

Crockpot Italian Chicken Recipe Ingredients

(Print the recipe from the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)

Combine For Freezer

1½ lbs. frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts – This is approximately 2 large breasts. This is not a ton of chicken, and this ends up having a lot more of the other ingredients than chicken. So feel free to add up to 4 or 6 chicken breasts, depending on their size, to make this recipe meatier. I just had to work with what I had on hand, which happened to be two chicken breasts.

5 oz frozen chopped onions – Purchase these pre-chopped. Avoid the small, whole, pearl onions.

8 oz. frozen bell peppers – This can be a tri-color package or single color. Up to you.

8 oz. frozen, peas and carrots – If you hate one, you can purchase a package of just peas or just carrots.

15 oz. canned tomato sauce – Make sure there is no sugar added. Low sodium is best.

28 oz. can diced tomatoes – Again, make sure there is no sugar added. You can use a can that has added basil if that’s what you have, but avoid fire-roasted tomatoes for this recipe.

2 tbsp. Italian seasoning – to make your own, try this Italian Seasoning recipe. It takes only minutes to throw it together from spices you probably already have in your spice cabinet.

2 tbsp. garlic powder – You can also use garlic granules.

Add For Cooking

Note that these are optional. Adding the vinegar or Italian dressing will add some tang to this recipe. If you like that Italian, tomato-y tang, you can add one or both!

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar – I used red, but you could also use apple cider vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.

½ cup Italian dressing – You can use store-bought or make your own. I use this Italian Dressing recipe. It’s made in minutes in a blender.

1 cups chicken broth – Only necessary if cooking this in an Instant Pot. Omit for slow cooker cooking.

How To Make Crockpot Italian Chicken

Freezer Bag Instructions

Two frozen chicken breasts added to the freezer bag.

Set up your bag holders, attach your bags, and add two chicken breasts to the bags.

Chopped frozen onions added to the freezer bag.

Pour the frozen chopped onions into the bags over the chicken.

Frozen multi-color bell peppers added to the freezer bag.

Pour the bell peppers into the bag.

Frozen peas and carrots added to the freezer bag.

Pour the peas and carrots into the bag.

Diced tomatoes added to the freezer bag.

Add the diced tomatoes.

Tomato sauce added to the freezer bag.

Add the tomato sauce.

Italian seasoning added to the freezer bag.

Add the Italian seasoning.

Adding garlic granules to the freezer bag.

Add the garlic granules (or powder).

The zipper top on the plastic bag, zipped closed.

Zip the bag closed and moosh the bag around a bit to distribute the tomato sauce around the other ingredients.

The finished bags of Crockpot Italian Chicken laying on a countertop.

Lay flat and freeze until ready to cook. Remember that if you want to cook this in an Instant Pot, you’ll need to either thaw it a bit or freeze it in round containers instead of a bad so that the frozen food fits into the Instant Pot insert.

Slow Cooker Instructions

Emptying the thawed Crockpot Italian Chicken and pouring it into a black slow cooker crock.

Thaw the bag in the fridge overnight, then pour all the contents of the bag into a slow cooker. Your slow cooker should be sized so that the food fills at least half of the crock, otherwise, your chicken could end up dry.

Adding Italian dressing the the crock for this Crockpot Italian Chicken Recipe.

If using, add the Italian dressing and/or balsamic vinegar.

A slow cooker set to cook on low heat for 8 hours.

Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and set the temperature to low. Cook for 6-8 hours.

Instant Pot Instructions

An Instant Pot sitting on a white background with a red and white checkered towel laying next to it on the left.
  1. Pour the contents of the bag into your IP insert.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir a bit.
  3. Secure the IP lid and close the vent valve.
  4. Press the “Manual” button and adjust cook time to 30 minutes. Note that because you are cooking from frozen, it can take much longer for your IP to come to pressure. Sometimes up to 20 minutes.
  5. When cooking is done, allow for a 10-minute natural release. Open the valve to release any remaining steam. You can now serve as is or shred your chicken to serve over pasta.

What To Serve With Crockpot Italian Chicken

To round out the meal, you can serve this over pasta, rice, or quinoa. But if you need additional sides, I recommend one or both of the following:

Recipe Cost

These prices were true at the time I purchased my groceries. Prices vary from region to region and store to store. Price does not include any taxes.

1½ lbs. frozen chicken breasts

5 oz frozen chopped onions

8 oz. frozen bell peppers

8 oz. frozen, peas and carrots

15 oz. canned tomato sauce

28 oz. can diced tomatoes

2 tbsp. Italian seasoning

2 tbsp. garlic powder

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

½ cup Italian dressing

1 cups chicken broth

Recipe Total

Cost Per Serving

$10.99

$0.99

$1.27

$1.27

$1.77

$2.67

$0.35

$0.15

$0.25

$1.04

$0.78

$21.53

$2.69

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Easy Crockpot Italian Chicken Dinner Recipe

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A ladle lifts a scoop of this Crockpot Italian Chicken Recipe out of the crockpot and towards the camera.

Crockpot Italian Chicken

Serve by itself or over pasta. Grate a little parmesan over the top for garnish Goes great with a green salad.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 209kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker OR Instant Pot

Ingredients

Combine For Freezer

  • lbs. frozen chicken breasts (2 large breasts – or add up to 6)
  • 5 oz frozen chopped onions
  • 8 oz. frozen bell peppers
  • 8 oz. frozen, peas and carrots
  • 15 oz. canned tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning (to make your own, check link in post above)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder

Add For Cooking

  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup Italian dressing

Instructions

Freezer Bag Instructions

  • Set up your bag holders, attach your bags, and add two chicken breasts to the bags.
    Two frozen chicken breasts added to the freezer bag.
  • Pour the frozen chopped onions into the bags over the chicken.
    Chopped frozen onions added to the freezer bag.
  • Pour the bell peppers into the bag.
    Frozen multi-color bell peppers added to the freezer bag.
  • Pour the peas and carrots into the bag.
    Frozen peas and carrots added to the freezer bag.
  • Add the diced tomatoes.
    Diced tomatoes added to the freezer bag.
  • Add the tomato sauce.
    Tomato sauce added to the freezer bag.
  • Add the Italian seasoning.
    Italian seasoning added to the freezer bag.
  • Add the garlic granules (or powder).
    Adding garlic granules to the freezer bag.
  • Zip the bag closed and moosh the bag around a bit to distribute the tomato sauce around the other ingredients.
    The zipper top on the plastic bag, zipped closed.
  • Lay flat and freeze until ready to cook. Remember that if you want to cook this in an Instant Pot, you'll need to either thaw it a bit, or freeze it in round containers instead of a bad so that the frozen food fits into the Instant Pot insert.
    The finished bags of Crockpot Italian Chicken laying on a countertop.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Thaw the bag in the fridge overnight, then pour all the contents of the bag into a slow cooker. You slow cooker should be sized so that the food fills at least half of the crock, otherwise your chicken could end up dry.
    Emptying the thawed Crockpot Italian Chicken and pouring it into a black slow cooker crock.
  • If using, add the Italian dressing and/or balsamic vinegar.
    Adding Italian dressing the the crock for this Crockpot Italian Chicken Recipe.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and set temperature to low. Cook for 6-8 hours.
    A slow cooker set to cook on low heat for 8 hours.

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Pour the contents of the bag into your IP insert.
    Add the remaining ingredients, and stir a bit.
    Secure the IP lid and close the vent valve.
    Press the "Manual" button and adjust cook time to 30 minutes. Note that because you are cooking from frozen, it can take much longer for your IP to come to pressure. Sometimes up to 20 minutes.
    When cooking is done, allow for a 10 minute natural release. Open the valve to release any remaining steam. You can now serve as is, or shred your chicken to serve over pasta.
    Next select the High Pressure setting and set time to 20 minutes.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 800mg | Potassium: 900mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3979IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3mg

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