I’m in love with this Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Peppers. I’m just going to lay it out there. It’s every bit as easy, delicious, and versatile as those Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls that everyone loves so much, but with Italian flavors instead of southwest flavors.
It’s just mind blowing when so few ingredients thrown into a pot can come out tasting so good and so complex. Add to that the fact that you can serve this mixture a number of ways and you’ve got a real winner and a super practical answer to, “What’s for dinner?” I ate this saucy shredded chicken and peppers over my Garlic Parmesan Polenta, but you could totally spoon this over pasta or rice, OR my favorite idea: spoon the hot mixture into rolls or a loaf of Italian bread, top it with some mozzarella, and make yourself the most amazing slow cooked sandwich ever. EVER.
So, there’s just a few ideas to get you started. I can’t wait to see how all of you end up eating this delicious dish. I have to admit, I’ve even just eaten it straight out of the bowl by itself a couple times this week!
Despite carrying a hefty price, I added a red bell pepper to the mix for color and visual appeal. You can totally just use three green bell peppers if that’s what your budget allows, or go all out and get a trio of colors (green, yellow, and red or orange). It will taste great either way you go. I used the most basic, generic jarred pasta sauce for this recipe, so don’t think you have to get very fancy with it. And of course, I always buy my chicken when it’s on sale so that it’s at least close to affordable (I bought this chicken a few weeks ago and stored it in the freezer). You could even cut it down to one chicken breast and add in extra peppers and onions to bring the cost down further.
- 3 bell peppers (any color) $2.77
- 1 medium onion $0.37
- 2 boneless-skinless chicken breasts or thighs (1.5 lbs. total) $2.66*
- 1 tsp basil $0.10
- 1 tsp oregano $0.10
- salt and pepper $0.05
- 24oz. jar marinara sauce $1.65
- Slice the bell peppers and onions into ¼-inch strips. Lay half of the onion and peppers in the bottom of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
- Place the chicken breasts on top of the onions and peppers and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the basil and oregano over the chicken.
- Cover the chicken with the remaining peppers and onions, then pour the marinara sauce over top.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. After cooking, remove the lid and use tongs to stir the mixture and shred the chicken. The chicken should be so tender that it falls apart when pinched with the tongs.
- Serve the saucy mixture over pasta, rice, polenta, or stuffed into a roll as a sandwich.
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Peppers
(shown served over Garlic Parmesan Polenta)
Step by Step Photos
Start by slicing three bell peppers and one medium onion into 1/4-inch slices. I used two green bells peppers and one red, for extra color.
Lay about half of the onions and peppers in the bottom of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
Lay two boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or 1.5 pounds total) over the peppers and onions. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then sprinkle 1 tsp of basil and 1 tsp of oregano over top.
Add the second half of the peppers and onions, then pour an entire 24oz. jar of marinara sauce over top.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. Then it will look a little something like the photo above… not too appetizing, I know. Just wait.
Take a pair of tongs and begin to stir the mixture and shred the chicken. The chicken should be so tender that it falls apart when pinched with the tongs, so I just stirred and pinched…
And stirred and pinched…
Until it looked like this, which only took a few minutes. YUM. Now it’s done! That’s it! Seriously.
Beautifully shredded chicken mixed with sweet strips of peppers and onions, all in a delicious red sauce. What will you do with it?
I ate mine over fried cakes of Garlic Parmesan Polenta, but I would also love to stuff it into a roll with some mozzarella.
Done and DONE.