This easy, healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Stew is made with tender chicken thighs and loaded with hearty, delicious vegetables. It’s a budget friendly “dump and start” dinner that your whole family will love, all fall and winter long!
Why it Works
This chicken stew is healthy comfort food at its finest! Tender shredded chicken and lots of chunky vegetables are served in a rich broth flavored with homemade Italian seasonings.
Stews like this are great for stretching your ingredients, which helps your budget go a bit further. This meal feeds 6 people EASILY, all for about $2-$3 per serving.
It’s a dump and start recipe, which means you just need to add all the ingredients to your slow cooker, turn it on, and wait for the magic to happen!
It’s wonderful on a chilly winter night or any time you need an easy weeknight dinner to feed the family.
- Chicken Thighs. Use boneless and skinless chicken thighs.
- Potatoes. Use Russet, Yukon gold, or baby potatoes.
- Green Beans
- Tomato Paste
- Bay Leaf
- Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
- Italian Seasoning. Use a homemade blend or follow instructions in the recipe card to mix together a quick blend of rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme.
- Salt & Pepper. The saltiness of broths can vary quite a bit, so start with less salt. You can always add more to taste!
Recipe Variations (all optional)
- Substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts. This will not change the cooking time.
- For a Low Carb option: Omit the carrots and potatoes and substitute vegetables lower in carbs. I suggest diced radishes and zucchini.
- Add frozen peas or corn. Stir in 1.5 cups of frozen peas or corn 10 minutes before the end of cook time. As of 1/2021, peas are Whole30 compatible, however, corn is not!
- Add 1/4 cup heavy cream or coconut cream. Stir in the cream 10 minutes before the end of cook time. This will add extra creamy richness to the broth.
- Add 1/4 cup white wine. Choose a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc for added depth of flavor. This is not Whole30 compatible but will be absolutely wonderful in the stew!
Step by Step Instructions
Do the prep work. Mince the garlic, dice the potatoes, onion, celery, carrots, and slice the green beans into 1/2 inch pieces.
👉 If using Russet potatoes, I recommend peeling the tough skin. Yukon gold or baby potatoes have a buttery skin that holds up better in soups and stews, so I recommend leaving them unpeeled.
Step 1: Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker. Nestle the chicken thighs into the vegetables and broth mixture. They don’t need to be covered by liquid completely.
Step 2: Cover and cook for 5-6 hours on Low heat or 3 hours on High heat.
Step 3: Open the lid carefully, remove the bay leaf, and use two forks to shred the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.
👉 You can shred the chicken directly in the slow cooker, or set the chicken thighs on a cutting board to shred them, then return the meat to the stew.
Stir the stew well, and season with salt and pepper. Use a ladle to serve the stew in bowls and enjoy!
Instant Pot Instructions
Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot inner pot. Turn to High Pressure and set the time for 12 minutes. Allow for Natural Pressure Release for at least 10 minutes, then turn or press the pressure release valve. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred it with forks, then return it to the stew. Serve and enjoy!
Stove Top Instructions
Add all the ingredients except for the beans and potatoes to a large dutch oven. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat, then cover with the lid and lower the heat. Simmer covered for 35 minutes. Add the beans and potatoes, and cook for another 20 minutes. Once the vegetables are cooked through and the chicken is tender, it’s done cooking. Shred the chicken, and enjoy!
Expert Tips & FAQ
Yes, chicken stew is freezes and reheats beautifully! Simply allow the stew to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer safe bag. Squeeze as much air out as you can, then transfer to the freezer. For best taste, use it within 2-3 months.
To defrost frozen stew, set the container or bag on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the stew in the microwave in individual bowls for 3-4 minutes, or on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Leftover chicken stew will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, per USDA. To store leftover chicken stew, allow it to cool, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
In this recipe, the potatoes work as a natural thickener as the stew cooks. As an added bonus, it’s Whole30, Paleo and Gluten Free friendly. However, if you’d like it even thicker, make a slurry using 1-2 Tablespoons of cornstarch or flour.
Making this recipe? I’d love to hear about your experience!
Leave a comment below, or tag me on Instagram @cookathomemom!
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4-5 thighs), or substitute chicken breasts
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 small onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 medium carrots sliced
- 1 cup green beans sliced
- 1.5 Tablespoons Italian seasoning or use 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, and a pinch red pepper flakes.
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Step 1: Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker. Nestle the chicken thighs into the vegetables and broth mixture. They don’t need to be covered by liquid completely. Step 2: Cover and cook for 5-6 hours on Low heat or 3 hours on High heat. Step 3: Open the lid carefully, remove the bay leaf, and use two forks to shred the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.👉 You can shred the chicken directly in the slow cooker, or set the chicken thighs on a cutting board to shred them, then return the meat to the stew. Stir the stew well, and season with salt and pepper. Use a ladle to serve the stew in bowls and enjoy!