Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes

~ This chicken stew is so quick and easy with pantry staples and your slow cooker! Tender chicken, potatoes and carrots in a rich and savory, creamy, tomato-based sauce. Seriously delicious comfort food your whole family will love! ~

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

So, you know that childhood friend? The one you giggled and shared secrets with at recess? And then, the one that moved away in third grade? (We’ll call her Vanessa.)

You’d always kinda wondered how she’d turned out, what happened to her …

Then one day … (No way! What are the chances?!?)

There, right in front of you in the grocery line …

Vanessa!

Yep – definitely her! The same happy smile and sparkly eyes (she was always the life of every elementary school sleepover!).

But she’s not the third-grader of your memories. Nope! She’s all grown up (that’s pretty much the way time works, after all) … and she’s better than ever!

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

That fab cut and color (note to self: who is her stylist??) … those killer-cool boots (where did she score those beauties??) … and that lean, fit physique (Pilates? Marathons? Zumba?? Seriously – she must only eat recipes she finds on Two Healthy Kitchens! 😀 )!

An old friend … all grown up, reinvented, new-and-improved!

Just like this Chicken Stew. (I know … it’s a little bit of a leap from Vanessa to stew, but work with me on this one …)

Seriously. This stew is an old friend of mine that’s gradually been reinvented into something even more wonderful. It started as a crock pot beef pot roast. But over the years, it’s evolved and changed in more ways than I can even remember.

And now here it is, all grown up and better than ever!

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

This chicken stew is loaded with lots of yummy veggies, waaaaaaay healthier ingredients, and great new flavor components (kinda like Vanessa’s sleek new haircut and those killer boots)! But at its heart, it still strikes the same homey, comforting notes that I loved from the very beginning, back when it was a (third-grade, swingset-loving) beef pot roast recipe.

Incredibly tender, fall-apart chicken is nestled in a rich, creamy, tomato-based sauce. (Hint … you’re seriously gonna want some hearty, whole-grain bread to mop up every last drop of this delicious sauce. It’ll save you the embarrassment of licking your plate!) Plus, there are potatoes, sweet carrots, and savory bits of onion and tomato.

Oh my goodness, it makes me happy just thinking about it! (Old friends are like that!)

Stew is comfort food at its best, perfect for cold winter nights. It’s even better when it magically cooks all by itself in your slow cooker, while you go do something more exciting (like scouring the Internet for killer-cool boots!).

You’ll love this. So easy. So quick to throw together in the morning. So warm-you-up and give-you-a-hug comforting.

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

The chicken becomes fall-apart tender, so you have several options for serving it. The quickest choice is to spoon up whole pieces of chicken, draped in the creamy stew broth. Or, you can remove the chicken from the slow cooker at the end of cook time and dice it or shred it, and then stir it back into the stew.

No doubt, you’re already adding these ingredients to your grocery list, but stick with me for just one more second while I give you some tips for the best chicken stew ever:

You may be wondering why we didn’t use fresh veggies. I know … you expect fresh, vibrant produce from THK! But there’s a reason. Actually, a couple of really good reasons.

We’ve tested this recipe so many different ways, including with fresh veggies, like fresh diced onions. As with many of our crock pot recipes, though, we find that frozen vegetables actually work best here. (Remember this discussion from our Crock-Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder?) Frozen veggies meld and soften better than fresh, and you don’t end up with still-crunchy bits of onions or overly tough carrots, especially if you’re cooking this stew towards the shorter end of the suggested time frame.

And don’t worry – research is finding that frozen vegetables are generally at least as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, and sometime even more nutritious. (You can read more about that here or here.)

And fresh red skins? Yep – we tested this recipe with fresh potatoes, too. It worked fine, but really wasn’t any more delicious than when we used much-faster canned potatoes. You can try using fresh potatoes if you prefer, but here’s the other reason we don’t spec fresh veggies in this recipe:

The bonus for busy families! You can keep most everything you need for this stew recipe on hand, so you can throw it together at a moment’s notice! Believe me – I’ve done it!

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

All right! Now you’re ready to grab that shopping list and head to the grocery store! (And who knows … you just might see Vanessa!).

THK By Shelley

P.S. All Vanessas appearing in this post are entirely fictitious and any resemblance to Vanessas real or imagined is purely coincidental. I never had a best childhood chum named Vanessa, although if I did, I’d for sure want to rediscover her at the grocery store and share some of this stew with her while I admired her cool boots.

More healthy and delicious slow cooker chicken recipes to try …

And, be sure to check out our fantastic Healthy Slow Cooker and Crock Pot Recipes board on Pinterest!

THK Pinterest Crock Pot

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Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes
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Yield: About 11½ cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans new potatoes, drained (large potatoes cut in half or quarters)
  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen, crinkle-cut carrot coins (see note)
  • 2 cups frozen diced onions (see note)
  • 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 14.5-ounce can organic chunky tomato bisque (we use Amy's Organic)
  • 14.5-ounce can organic cream of mushroom soup (we use Health Valley Organic)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Preparation
  1. Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker and sprinkle evenly with salt.
  2. Add potatoes, carrots, and onions.
  3. Next, add diced tomatoes, tomato bisque, mushroom soup, cornstarch, soy sauce, and vinegar. Stir this top layer through just a bit to combine. (It's ok if it mixes a little with the veggies underneath as you do this).
  4. Cook on low (6-8 hours) or on high (4-6 hours).
  5. Remove chicken from slow cooker and dice or shred. Then return chicken to slow cooker and stir back into stew. (Alternately, to serve more quickly, you can spoon chicken directly onto plates, allowing people to cut it into pieces as they eat.)
Notes
Frozen Vegetables: Just as we did in our recipes for Crock-Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder and Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup, in this recipe, we prefer to use frozen diced onions (and also frozen carrots) for two reasons. Of course, it saves the step of chopping the vegetables yourself, and allows you to keep ingredients for this recipe on hand for last-minute meals. More importantly, however, the frozen vegetables become softer in the slow cooker and meld better into the stew, especially when cooking this stew quickly.

 

This recipe was loosely inspired by the So-Easy Slow-Cooker Pot Roast recipe I found years ago in the Gooseberry Patch Super-Fast Slow Cooking cookbook.

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
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Comments

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes — 28 Comments

  1. I made this today and it’s not bad but it tastes a little bland. Are there any herbs or spices you can recommend that would give it more flavor? Thyme maybe? Or cumin?

    • Oh no, I’m surprised and so sorry to hear that you found this bland. Let me see what I can do to help! First, I’m just curious what brands of bisque and mushroom soup you used? That could possibly make the difference, as sodium levels (and, therefore, the level of “blandness”) can vary widely between brands. But regardless, the first things I would try would actually be to pump up the existing flavors with just a tad more soy sauce and balsamic. The soy sauce will also add salt, which honestly is probably what you’re finding to be lacking if it seems bland. I hate to suggest adding too much salt, but people’s perception of saltiness can vary a lot, and that’s often what leads to a perception of blandness, so you could also just try adding a bit more kosher salt. Go slowly, maybe 1/4 teaspoon at a time, stirring it in very well and tasting before adding more so that you don’t go too far and end up ruining it. You could also try adding a bit of freshly ground pepper to give it a bit of kick. In terms of herbs – you could definitely play around with whatever you like, but I think your suggestion of thyme is an excellent idea. In addition, I adore rosemary, and I think that would be lovely here, too – but dried rosemary would probably be better added at the beginning next time around, rather than at the end. If you happen to have fresh rosemary on hand (lucky you!), you could finely mince a bit of fresh and add that now, at the end. I hope all of this helps you out!! Good luck! 🙂 ~Shelley

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    • Oh my goodness, yes, Liz! We’re beyond the teething stage at my house, but sometimes we still have days when there’s a LOT of neediness 😀 (although in much, much different ways than it used to be)! Regardless, this is a slam dunk on crazy days … plus you don’t have loads of pots and pans to clean! Yay! Thanks so much for the pin, too! ~Shelley

    • Oh no, Meagan! I’m really sorry to hear you’ve been sick! This chicken stew seriously is so comforting, though – I hope maybe it’s just the thing you need for a little pick-me-up! Feel better soon!!! 😀 ~Shelley

    • So true! I mean, stew is pretty much great no matter how you cook it, but on busy-busy days, the slow cooker is a total life saver! Plus, the flavors have a nice long time to hang out together in the slow cooker and mingle beautifully by the time they’re all done cooking! Yum! 😀 ~Shelley

    • It seriously is! I really love the creamy, tomato-y sauce and the sweet carrots. I’ve honestly been known to pilfer yummy little bits of carrots out of the container of leftovers in the fridge (shhhhhh … our little secret!). So, so good! The softly cooked onions and hearty chicken and potatoes round it all out beautifully. Ok, geez … now I’m totally craving this all over again, and I just finished off the last round of leftovers yesterday – lol! Anyway, thanks a million for stopping by! 😀 ~Shelley

  6. Thanks for the post. I love that you explained your thinking on this recipe. And, I think everyone needs an easy quick but still homemade recipe now-and-then. And, I love the addition of soy sauce and balsamic to the stew. I’m a big fan of adding soy sauce to my soups and stews; it gives a nice flavor without being overpowering. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    • Hi, Debi! Thanks so much for your sweet comment! This really is the perfect bridge between “kinda homemade” … and yet also a recipe you can always have at-the-ready for when all your plans change and you suddenly have to punt on the evening dinner plan! No matter how I plan, I’m at that phase of life (hello, super-busy kiddos! 😀 ) when everything can (and usually does!) change at a moment’s notice. With this stew recipe ready to pop in the slow cooker, I’m out the door (with dinner cooking merrily away) at a moment’s notice! Whew! No take-out drive-thru food for us that night! 😀 ~Shelley

  7. Wow, Shelley, thanks for this one!
    I love new, healthy recipes that utilize my crock pot. The ingredients are all ones that I have on hand. Quick and convenient combined with yummy and healthy, does it get any better?

    Thanks for the information regarding fresh vs. frozen vegetables. I had not considered all of that.

    • Awwwww, thanks! That’s really what we were hoping – that this would be a “save-the-day!” kind of recipe for those times when you have to rely on party staples in order to make dinner happen on hectic days. Sometimes pantry staples can make all the difference between busy families eating a family meal at home, or having to fall back on fast-food drive thru food. I sure do love a well-stocked pantry! (But then, as a regular reader, I know you’ve heard THAT before! 😀 ) ~Shelley

  8. I love how some great recipes evolve over the years. I have a chicken and rice casserole my Mom always made when I was little and over the years her and I have both changed it and now I think it is better than ever. Comforting and so good–just like this stew! 🙂 I would definitely need bread for that yummy sauce.

    • Oh, Julia, I just love recipes that evolve this way! I think they become favorites sometimes not just because they’re so delicious, but also because they have such an interesting backstory and history in your family, you know?!? I can’t wait for you to try this stew! And – have you posted your chicken and rice casserole on your own site?? I’d love to take a peek at it if you have! 😀 ~Shelley

  9. Why is everything premade or out of a can? I doesn’t sound very delicious to me. Why not use the real things, fresh potatoes, fresh carrots, tomatoes etc etc???

    • Hi, Catherine! That’s a very good question, and one that we addressed at length in the text of our post. Most of our recipes definitely do focus on fresh produce, but there are some very specific reasons why this stew recipe utilizes shelf stable (and freezer items). Without reiterating everything from the post, we did test this recipe with various fresh items as well, but there are texture issues that result from using raw onions and carrots in this recipe, particularly when cooking this stew for shorter periods of time. Frozen actually offers a much better texture without the extra step of precooking the vegetables to soften them. It’s a common strategy we use for crock-pot cooking in a number of our recipes because of the improved results. In the post, we also address the nutrition issues of fresh vs. frozen vegetables and offers some links you might find interesting for further reading on that topic. You also could certainly use your own homemade versions of cream of mushroom soup and tomato bisque for the base of this chicken stew, but we love the two organic brands we suggest (they have great flavor and nutrition profiles), and using them makes this chicken stew doable for busy families, which is a major goal for our site and its recipes. I really hope all of this info helps! We just love this chicken stew and hope you’ll give it a try, but we also certainly understand that every recipe just won’t resonate with everyone. You might prefer some of the other recipes on our site, that use fresh ingredients. Either way, thanks so much for stopping by to check us out! 😀 ~Shelley

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