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 a marinara base and Italian herbs and spices.
How to Serve Italian Chicken and Peppers
I ate this saucy shredded Italian chicken and peppers spooned over my Garlic Parmesan Polenta, but you could totally spoon this over a bowl of pasta or rice. BUT my favorite way to eat this saucy mix is to spoon it into rolls or a loaf of Italian bread, top it with some mozzarella, and make yourself the most amazing slow cooked sandwich ever. EVER.
What Size Slow Cooker Do I Need?
I used a 5 quart slow cooker, but it was only about half full, so you could probably get this to fit into a 3 quart slow cooker.
Keep it On Budget
- Bell Peppers: 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.
- Sauce: I used the most basic, generic jarred pasta sauce for this recipe, so don’t think you have to get very fancy with it.
- Chicken: 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.
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Peppers
- 3 bell peppers (any color) ($2.77)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.37)
- 1.5 lbs. boneless-skinless chicken breasts or thighs ($2.66*)
- 1 tsp dried basil ($0.10)
- 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
- salt and pepper ($0.05)
- 1 24oz. jar marinara sauce ($1.65)
- Slice the bell peppers and onions into 1/4-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.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
Scroll down for the step by step photos!
(shown served over Garlic Parmesan Polenta)
How to Make Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Peppers – 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.
How should I adjust this if I only have bone-in chicken on hand?
Hi, Matt! I would just remove the skins (if needed) and debone the chicken! (You can look up some tutorials online!) And then proceed with the recipe as written. If you’re working with a whole chicken, I would just use the two breast & two thighs. Save the wings and legs for soup or stock! (You can also freeze for later.) Good luck! – Marion :)
You could very likely proceed as written, and just pull the bones out easily at the end of cooking when shredding the chicken.
I tried this and I found it was bland. The peppers release a lot of moisture which make this dish watery. As another commenter said, pan fried peppers are much more flavorful.
For me personally- More peppers, add mushrooms and squash and more spices.
So tasty and easy! Had it over pasta, can’t wait to try it on a bun with some mozzarella tomorrow!