Slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew is healthy, hearty, and so easy to prepare in the crockpot! Rosemary, fennel seeds and balsamic vinegar give this stew a ton of flavor.
When it comes to comfort food, stew is pretty much at the top of my list...I just want to cozy up with a bowl of Slow Cooker African Peanut Stew, Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken Stew, or this slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew! Perfect to warm you up, and excellent for bread dunking.
This Tuscan chicken stew slow cooker recipe is one of the most popular recipes on Sweet Peas and Saffron because of the amazing flavor you can get for very little effort!
It's perfect for busy weeknights, lazy Sundays, or anyone who wants to stock the freezer for easy meals.
Reasons you'll ♡ this slow cooker Tuscan chicken stew
- it's hearty, healthy and delicious
- no sauteeing means you can get it cooking quickly
- it works great for meal prep!
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Which ingredients do we need?
For this Tuscan chicken stew, you'll need:
- boneless skinless chicken thighs- I love using thighs as they stay nice and juicy in the slow cooker, however you could swap for chicken breasts and reduce the cook time to 3-4 hours.
- carrots, celery and onion- chopped
- tomatoes- swap for a can of diced tomatoes in a pinch
- potatoes- I recommend baby potatoes, halved
- fennel seeds- crush them with the side of a knife before adding to the stew
- rosemary- fresh if possible
- stock- I used homemade bone broth but regular chicken stock works great
- balsamic vinegar- to add a tangy aftertaste
- cornstarch- to thicken; you may also use arrowroot starch
Can I cook this in the Instant Pot?
Yes, you absolutely can! Find the directions in this Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Stew post.
How do you thicken crockpot chicken stew?
Thickening your stew is optional, but it really helps give it that comfort food texture...velvety and smooth and just a little more substantial than an un-thickened stew. It also helps the delicious broth stick to the chicken, bringing it even more flavor.
For this crockpot chicken stew, I simply mixed a bit of cornstarch with some water, add it to the pot 30 minutes before serving, and turn up the temperature to high. You can also use arrowroot starch.
This Tuscan chicken stew is a great as written but you can totally change it up depending on what you have on hand in your fridge or pantry!
- chicken thighs- chicken breasts may be used (adjust the cook time to 3-4 hours on low), readers Karen and Aletta added browned Italian sausage, and reader Dani added ½ a cup of lentils
- potatoes- sweet potatoes would go well with the flavors in this stew (although they may end up quite soft by the end of the cook time). You could also leave the potatoes out and increase the other veggies to make up for them.
- fennel- fresh tarragon may be a good alternative (add at the end of the cook time). Fresh thyme is great in this stew with the rosemary.
- other add ins- reader Yae added 1 teaspoon of turmeric, and I personally think adding in some roasted garlic would be fantastic!
Meal prep tips
This is the perfect recipe to add into your meal prep routine! You can meal prep it in two different ways:
- cook ahead and reheat- cook a big batch of this stew on the weekend and reheat for easy lunches or dinners.
- store in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer for up to 3 months
- I like storing the cooked stew in a 2 cup glass meal prep containers or a meal mug
- assemble ahead but don't cook- as a crockpot freezer meal (find 34 more crockpot freezer meals here!)
- combine all ingredients in a large freezer bag, a large meal prep container or a reusable silicone bag
- freeze for up to 3 months
- when you are ready to cook, thaw completely and cook as directed
find my favorite meal prep containers & freezer equipment in my shop!
More slow cooker chicken recipes
- Crockpot Whole Chicken and Veggies
- Thai Slow Cooker Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
- Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
- 7 No Sautee Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
- Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs
Watch the video below to see how easy this recipe is to prep! Watch this 1-minute video! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
This recipe was originally posted in 2014. It has been republished with fresh photos, tips and a new video in 2020.
- 6-8 boneless chicken thighs
- 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
- 1 ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste optional!
- 2 tablespoon white wine
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed with side of knife
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
Just before serving:
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- chopped parsley
- Toss chicken, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, wine, fennel seeds, salt and rosemary into the slow cooker.
- Cook on the lowest setting for 4-6 hours.
- During the last 30 minutes of cook time, combine the corn starch with the water and mix until no lumps remain and add to the slow cooker along with the balsamic vinegar.
- Turn heat to high, and cook for 30 additional minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Transfer chicken thighs to a clean bowl and shred with two forks or an electric hand mixer. Return to the stew and mix in.
- Remove the rosemary and serve.
To assemble ahead and freeze:
- In a heavy-duty gallon sized freezer bag, combine all ingredients except the water/cornstarch/balsamic vinegar. **Make sure to leave the baby potatoes whole**
- Remove as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before cooking as directed above.
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