~ 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! ~
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 …
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!
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!
Health-ified Comfort Food
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.
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:
The Perfect Veggies for This Chicken Stew
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!
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!).
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 …
- Hearty Crock-Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup from Two Healthy Kitchens
- Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla from Gina at Skinnytaste
- Crock-Pot Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder from Two Healthy Kitchens
- Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken from Dara at Cookin’ Canuck
- Plus these lists of great recipes from top bloggers: Top 10 Easy, Healthy Crock-Pot Chicken Recipes and Top 10 Healthy Crock-Pot Chicken Soups and Chilis!
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- 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
- Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker and sprinkle evenly with salt.
- Add potatoes, carrots, and onions.
- 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).
- Cook on low (6-8 hours) or on high (4-6 hours).
- 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.)
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.