Healthy Crockpot Chicken Stew
Why We Love This Recipe
This simple, healthy Crockpot Chicken Stew recipe is everything you need in the new year! Hearty and flavorful, without being too heavy, it is very satisfying on a cool evening.
It has similar ingredients to Manhattan-style chowder (using chicken instead of oysters) and could also be considered a healthy chicken chowder, without the heavy cream and fat of traditional chowders. But it is so delicious it’s hard to believe that this is a gluten-free, dairy-free, and even nut-free dish!
Slow cooker chicken stew is loaded with chicken, potatoes, and vegetables, and spices to add depth and zesty flavor. A handful of veggies are quickly sautéed with savory chopped bacon, then all other pantry staple ingredients get added to the crock. It’s perfect to set it and forget it before work and enjoy as a practically effortless dinner later in the day!
- Bacon – thick-cut, chopped
- Onion – diced
- Celery – diced
- Carrots – diced
- Garlic – minced
- Baby red potatoes – chopped into 1-inch cubes
- Chicken breast – boneless and skinless
- Canned diced tomatoes – low sodium is best
- Chicken base – or chicken bullion
- Spices and seasonings – bay leaf, smoked paprika, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper
How to Make Healthy Chicken Stew in the Crockpot
First, chop all the produce. Set a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.
Add in the bacon. Stir and brown the bacon to release the bacon fat. Once the bacon is reddish-brown, stir in the diced onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are soft and silky.
Move the sautéed vegetables to a large 6-quart slow cooker. Place the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables.
Then add in the chopped red potatoes, water, diced tomatoes, chicken base, and all herbs and spices. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of cracked black pepper.
Cover and set on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours.
The stew is ready when the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are fork-tender.
Remove the chicken breast with tongs.
Get the Complete (Printable) Healthy Crockpot Chicken Stew Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Use two forks to shred the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
Then stir the shredded chicken back into the stew. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Want to mix things up? Swap veggies or add to the party your choice of frozen corn, frozen okra, thick-chopped parsnips, or chopped sweet potatoes. You can also add a handful of fresh baby spinach at the end of cooking as you are turning the crock pot off.
- If you are short on time you can skip the skillet pre-cooking. Omit the bacon and add the onion, celery, carrots, and minced garlic right to the slow cooker with other ingredients.
- It’s easy to make this a healthy vegetarian and vegan-friendly crockpot stew recipe! Leave out the chicken and reduce cook time to 5 hours on low or 3 hours on high. In the last hour of cooking you can add 2 cans of rinsed and drained garbanzo beans or white beans, if you like.
- Consider adding several generous dashes of hot sauce for slow cooker chicken stew with a spicy kick!
- Finish the dish with your choice of fresh herbs. We love chopped parsley, chives, or cilantro for a southwestern flair.
This hearty and healthy dish is a perfect main course dinner soup! Ladle into large bowls and serve with a fresh salad on the side. Try one of our fave salads here:
- The Ultimate Wedge Salad
- Crunchy Kale Caesar Salad
- Lieutenant Dan’s Steakhouse Salad
- Healthy Rainbow Chopped Salad
If you aren’t counting carbs, a basket of warm crusty bread is always welcome on the table. These Homemade Breadsticks are always a hit!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is ok to put raw chicken in a slow cooker?
Absolutely you can put raw chicken in the crock pot! Like anytime you are cooking poultry, it is important to thoroughly cook the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. By slow cooking for several hours you are sure to have chicken that is safe to eat.
Should chicken be covered in liquid in the slow cooker?
For the most tender chicken it is best to cover it with liquid. It does not need to be fully submerged at first: Moisture will build in the crock as everything cooks.
How long do leftovers last?
This is a wonderful meal for prepping, and the leftovers are delicious! Let the stew cool at room temperature before transferring to an air-tight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Can you freeze chicken stew?
Definitely! It’s a great recipe for making ahead and freezing leftovers. Transfer the cool stew to an airtight container. I suggest wrapping in a layer of aluminum foil for extra frost protection. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Looking for More Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Healthy Crockpot Potato Soup with Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Shredded Chicken Tacos (Crockpot Taco Meat)
- Slow Cooker Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup
- Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Healthy Crockpot Chicken Stew Recipe
- 2 strips thick-cut bacon chopped
- 1 ½ cups diced onion
- 1 ½ cups diced celery
- 1 ½ cups diced carrots
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chopped baby red potatoes 1-inch cubes (about 1 ½ lbs)
- 1 – 1 ½ pounds chicken breast
- 3 cups water
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 5 teaspoons chicken base or bouillon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- Chop all the produce. Set a large skillet on the stove top over medium heat.
- Add in the bacon. Stir and brown the bacon to release the bacon fat. Once the bacon is reddish-brown, stir in the diced onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are soft and silky.
- Move the sautéed vegetables to a large 6 quart slow cooker. Place the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables. Then add in the chopped red potatoes, water, diced tomatoes, chicken base, and all herbs and spices. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of cracked black pepper. Cover and set on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 8 to 10 hours.
- The stew is ready when the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are fork-tender. Remove the chicken breast with tongs. Use two forks to shred the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Then stir the shredded chicken back into the stew. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.