~ 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! (And psssst … if you love throw-together slow cooker recipes, be sure to check out the whole list of Our Best Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes Ever, that’ll definitely make your life easier!)
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.
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!
- 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)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can organic chunky tomato bisque (we use Amy's Organic)
- 1 (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 Corn Chowder with Chicken and Bacon 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.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 11 1/2 servings Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 578mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 29g
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.
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.
52 thoughts on “Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots and Tomatoes”
This is a wonderful stew.
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
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
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
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
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