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Slow cooker chicken stew recipes are hearty, home-cooked meals that consist of chicken, vegetables, and starches and are cooked in one pot. In this case, a crock pot.
A one-pot chicken vegetable stew is a delicious, quick, and easy dinner option that is healthy and filling. This dinner is simple and requires only a few ingredients.
What Makes A Healthy Chicken Stew?
First and foremost, a healthy chicken stew is made with whole-food ingredients. Nothing boxed or processed should be in your stew. If you use and cook with real food, you’ll typically get something healthy every time. The recipe below is a perfect example of that.
Slow Cooker Chicken FAQ’s
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about cooking chicken in a slow cooker.
Can You Put Raw Chicken In A Slow Cooker?
You can! In fact, that’s most often how it’s done unless a recipe calls for browning the chicken first. But even in this case, the chicken is not cooked all the way through. The outside edges are browned, but the rest of the cooking happens in the slow cooker.
How Long Does Chicken Take To Cook In A Slow Cooker?
While it can vary slightly depending on the recipe and amount of chicken, on average, raw chicken takes approximately 4-6 hours to fully cook in a slow cooker.
Can Chicken Get Overcooked In A Slow Cooker?
It can! While it’s less likely to happen in a slow cooker, it can happen. And when it does, the chicken will be quite dry, despite the wet cooking environment.
Do You Need To Cook Chicken Before Adding To Slow Cooker?
No. In fact, it’s discouraged because it needs to cook further in the slow cooker. If there is any cooking done ahead of time, it will be to simply brown the outside of the chicken. Not to fully cook it. Browning simply brings out a bit more flavor in the meat, which then enhances the flavor of the finished recipe.
How To Thicken Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
Typically, a chicken stew is naturally thickened by the addition of the potatoes. But if you feel your stew needs further thickening, you can add starch by making a slurry. This particularl recipe makes the potatoes optional. But if you want a nice thick stew, don’t skip them.
How To Make A Slurry
It’s important to not add starch directly to your hot stew because it will clump up very quickly before you have the chance to stir it in. Starch will easily dissolve in cold liquid, but clumps in hot liquid.
So instead, add the starch to a small mixing bowl and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water to the starch. Whisk it with a small whisk or fork until it is completely dissolved. Then stir the liquid into your stew. As long as the stew is still hot, the slurry will thicken the broth without clumping.
This recipe calls for arrowroot powder. But you can also use corn starch if that’s what you have handy.
Crockpot Chicken Stew Tips
- Don’t cut your chicken chunks too small or they may get dry from overcooking. Cut the pieces to a large stew-size.
- For additional flavor, you can dry roast the rosemary and thyme in a dry skillet before adding them to the stew. Warm them over medium heat. Once the aroma gets nice and strong, they are done roasting.
- If you prefer to use fresh garlic, you may do so. Add at least 4 large cloves that are finely minced to the skillet with the carrots, celery and onions. But add it in the last 1 minute of sautéing so you don’t overcook the garlic and make it bitter.
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew Additions & Variations
This recipe calls for carrots, celery, onions, peas, and potatoes. However, these aren’t the only vegetables you can use here. You can also try adding:
- Mushrooms – these can be sliced thick or thin, but thick will hold up better in the slow cooker.
- Corn – You can use fresh or frozen.
- Beans – types to try would be pinto, chickpea, black beans or white beans. White beans especially.
- Winter squash – If you cut a squash into small pieces ( inch cubes or smaller), you can easily add them in with the potatoes. Try one butternut, kabocha, or even pumpkin.
- Parsnips – Cut these small, just as you would winter squash.
- Green Beans – Add cut green beans for extra fiber.
- Heavy Cream – While I haven’t done this myself, you could add heavy cream to make this a creamy soup instead of a brothy one. If you are dairy-free and accustomed to coconut milk you can use the full-fat canned version here as well, though it will definitely change the flavor of the finished stew.
Herbs & Spices For Chicken Stew
I keep my herbs relatively simple in this recipe. But you can certainly add others, or try different combinations. I’ve seen other recipes that call for oregano, paprika, and basil. These can all be added in the amount of 2 tsp. each to a recipe like this. Pick and choose your favorites as you like.
Crock Pot Chicken Stew Ingredients
(Print recipe from the recipe card at the bottom of this post)
2 tbsp. oil – I used coconut oil, but you can use any oil you normally cook with.
2½ cups sliced carrots – peeled or washed and sliced to about a ¼ inch thickness.
2½ cups thinly sliced celery – Slice to about a ¼ inch thickness.
2 cups diced yellow onions – This should be a small dice.
2½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs – Cut into larger, stew-size pieces. I like to cut off the excess fat, but that’s your choice.
2 cups frozen peas – You can use fresh peas too if you have them.
2 tbsp. garlic granules – garlic powder works too.
1 tbsp. ground rosemary
1 tbsp. dried thyme
3 medium bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper – to taste after cooking
6 cups chicken broth – no sugar added
1 lb. diced potatoes – Optional. These should be approximately ½ inch cubes. I used russet potatoes, but you can also use Yukon gold potatoes or fingerling potatoes.
1 to 2 tbsp. arrowroot powder – You can also use cornstarch. This is optional for thickening. See notes on making a slurry before adding this to your stew.
How To Make Chicken Stew In A Slow Cooker In 4 Simple Steps
Warm the oil in a medium or large skillet and add the carrots, celery, and onions. Sauté the until the onions are translucent and just beginning to brown on the edges.
When done, transfer this to your slow cooker.
Using the same skillet, brown the chicken pieces over high heat. Once browned, transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the remaining ingredients, and set the slow cooker to the low setting, and cook for 4 to 6 hours.
When done, ladle into your favorite soup bowl and enjoy.
You can easily garnish this soup with some fresh rosemary sprigs, fresh thyme, or fresh parsley.
How To Store Crock Pot Chicken Stew
Pack this in an airtight container. Store this in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can You Freeze Slow Cooker Chicken Stew?
It freezes quite well! If you pack it properly, this will freeze for up to 6 months.
How To Serve Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
This is best served directly from the slow cooker in a deep soup bowl. Pair it with warm, crusty garlic bread, and maybe a small green salad on the side to round out the meal.
Make Ahead Instructions
If you want to do the prep work on this ahead of time, the best way to do that is to sauté the veggies, brown the meat, and combine everything in the crock of your slow cooker. Then set the crock in your fridge until you are ready to cook this. Never prep this more than 3 days ahead of time.
More Healthy Stew Recipes
Love Chicken Soup? Give These A Try Too!
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Slow Cooker Chicken Stew Recipe Card + Video
(Recipe updated 1/15/22)
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew Recipe
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- 2 tbsp. oil (any kind)
- 2½ cups sliced carrots (peeled or washed and sliced to about a 1/4 inch thickness)
- 2½ cups thinly sliced celery (slice to about a 1/4 inch thickness.)
- 2 cups diced yellow onions (this should be a small dice.)
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into stew-size pieces.)
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 tbsp. garlic granules (or garlic powder)
- 1 tbsp. ground rosemary
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- 3 medium bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken broth (no sugar/dextrose added)
- 1 lb. diced potatoes (optional – cut to approximately a ½ inch dice.)
- Warm the oil in a medium or large skillet and add the carrots, celery, and onions. Sauté the until the onions are translucent and just beginning to brown on the edges.
- When done, transfer this to your slow cooker.
- Using the same skillet, brown the chicken pieces over high heat. Once browned, transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients, and set the slow cooker to the low setting, and cook for 4 to 6 hours.
- When done, ladle into your favorite soup bowl and enjoy.
For those of you who love the original recipes, here is the original recipe.
Clean Eating Chicken Veggie Stew – Original Recipe
(Makes approximately 3-4 quarts)
- 5 raw chicken breasts (thawed if frozen)
- 1 pound organic frozen corn, thawed
- 1 pound organic frozen peas, thawed
- 2 chopped, fresh or frozen bell peppers (any color)
- 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, no sugar added
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, no sugar added
- 3 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 3 tablespoons dried basil
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, layering them in the order listed.
- Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until the chicken easily falls apart when stirred.
Number of servings (yield): Approximately 15 cups, give or take.