Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew

slowcookerThis slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew couldn’t be any easier to prepare!  The flavors are enhanced by fennel seeds, rosemary, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Don’t forget a hearty chunk of bread for dipping!

This recipe was updated on 3/1/2017 to include instructions for cooking in the Instant Pot.

Two weeks ago was still pretty summery.  Last week was wintery {wah! see my Instagram}.  This week seems to be pretty autumny.

Mother Nature is trying to keep us on our toes.  I have to check the Weather Network before dressing in the morning!

Whatever the weather is doing, I am doing my own thing.  It’s called soups and stews.  And big chunks of bread.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew

Basically, my slow cooker has come out to play again.

I am still pretty new to the whole slow cooker thing; we never had one growing up, and  I am slowly learning what you can and cannot do in a slow cooker.

Can: big tough cuts of meat…after hours in the slow cooker they are heavenly soft and falling apart.  Example: Slow Cooker Jamaican Beef Tacos with Mango Salsa.

Cannot: actually cook chicken for 10 hours, even though that’s what the temperature setting says.  Example: um, that one did NOT make it on the blog!

DO:  add more spices and seasoning to the slow cooker just before serving.  Love this one, I used this tip in the Slow Cooker Chicken & Sweet Potato Korma, and that step is the magical step.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew @sweetpeasaffron

This slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew recipe is another one inspired by something my mom cooked for us just after Kai was born.  I remember looking at this chicken stew and not thinking much of it.  But then we dug in {with huge chunks of bread, completely mandatory!} and…holy yum.

The potatoes and the chicken and rosemary and THE BREAD…just so delicious, soul-warming and not a drop {or a crumb} were left behind.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew

With that stew as an inspiration, I set out to recreate it in slow cooker form….but once I got going, it evolved into a new version, that tasted completely different, but still totally delicious and comforting, and {duh} amenable to bread-dunking.

I added some crushed fennel seeds, because I love the flavor it gives to soups and stews.  The rosemary is also delish, make sure you try to get the fresh stuff, it makes a big difference!  I added some white wine because I find it adds so much depth to my soups.  And my favorite part was the addition of a few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar just before serving.  It gives it a tiny hint of sweet and a teeny bit of tanginess to the slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew.

My FAVORITE PART: throw it all in the crockpot and hit start.  Walk away for 4-6 hours.  I lovvvvve this.  {Yes, browning your chicken and then deglazing the pan with the wine adds more flavor, but the non-browned version is still reeeeally good, great news for us lazy busy people}.

So.  Are you guys ready for some slow cooker recipes?  I’m just getting started 😉

(NEW) Check out my Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew Video!

More slow cooker soups for us!

4.7 from 15 reviews
Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This easy slow cooker recipe simmers chicken, potatoes and rosemary with vegetables for a delicious and flavorful supper.
Serves: 6
  • 6-8 boneless chicken thighs, fat removed and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 12 baby potatoes, left whole or cut in half
  • 1¾ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed with side of knife
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • a sprig of fresh rosemary {roughly 1 tsp chopped}
Just before serving:
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • chopped parsley
Slow Cooker
  1. Toss chicken, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, wine, fennel seeds and salt into the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on the lowest setting for 4-6 hours.
  3. Just before serving, combine the corn starch with the water and mix until no lumps remain.
  4. Add the water/cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, and rosemary. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
  5. Replace lid and allow to cook for 5 or so more minutes, until slightly thickened.
Instant Pot
  1. Cook the carrots, celery and onion for 5 minutes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil using the sautee function on your Instant Pot. Add the chicken thighs and cook for 5 more minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  2. Turn off the sautee function. Add all ingredients except for the water, cornstarch & balsamic vinegar to the Instant Pot and stir.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, then do a natural pressure release: turn off the Instant Pot and let it sit for 10 minutes before releasing remaining pressure.
  4. Stir together the cornstarch & water, then add to the stew with the balsamic vinegar. Stew should thicken quickly.
Serve with a crusty baguette, or fresh focaccia.

I used a 5 quart slow cooker.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙ of batch Calories: 280 Fat: 11 g Saturated fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 19 g Sugar: 5 g Sodium: 352 mg Fiber: 3 g Protein: 28 g Cholesterol: 123 mg

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