Yes! It’s Fall!
I am a summer lover but the warm, comforting food in the Fall helps me forget that Winter is coming. This slow cooker chicken cacciatore is perfect for that purpose.
The use of a slow cooker is synonymous with autumnal comfort food for me. The long, slow cooking process allows you to set up your dish to cook during the work day or over night.
However, the Instant Pot can take all the time out of this dish instead. The results are similar but the Instant Pot makes this dish a snap to prepare.
See more Slow Cooker Meal Prep meals.
What is Chicken Cacciatore?
Chicken cacciatore is a classic Italian dish.
Cacciatore translates to “hunter” in Italian and is attributed to the way in which the dish is made; using tomatoes, onions, herbs, and bell peppers along with a meat such as rabbit or, in this case, chicken.
The Magic of Spaghetti Squash
I love squashes of all types. They are so versatile and healthy.
One of my favourites is spaghetti squash because pasta dishes are just so comforting and delicious but I don’t always feel the best after a big plate of it.
Spaghetti squash helps me still feel light and healthy and I don’t get that sugar crash after eating it. Plus, it adds so much more flavour and nutrition than plain old pasta.
The best thing about spaghetti squash as a noodle replacement is that you don’t have to bother with spiralizing it. The nature of spaghetti squash is that it shreds into noodle-like strings, perfect as a base for slow cooker chicken cacciatore.
If you love spaghetti squash, try this Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti Squash recipe.
In the summer, I typically use a spiralizer for zucchini noodles like in my popular Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken dish. Or try using cauliflower in place of macaroni in mac and cheese (try this Jalapeno Popper Cauliflower Mac and Cheese)
This makes an awesome one pot meal, but you can also serve with broccoli, or asparagus salad.
Tips for Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
When cooking slow cooker chicken cacciatore – or the Instant Pot version, I like to sear my chicken.
Searing helps lock in moisture and adds depth of flavour.
I also like to saute garlic, onion, and veggies for dishes like this. It adds richness and brings out the natural sweetness of the ingredients.
You can definitely skip one of both of these steps, but if you have the time, searing and sauteing is worth it.
Regardless, be sure to season your chicken and veggies well with salt and pepper. Seasoning at every step is a critical way to infuse flavour.
Using fresh herbs is nice but don’t worry if you only have dried. The results will still be amazing.
If you like this slow cooker chicken cacciatore, try my other chicken dishes:
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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Spaghetti Squash
- Slow Cooker
- 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 large carrot sliced
- 300 grams mushrooms sliced
- 1 28- ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1 6- ounce can tomato paste
- 2-4 sprigs of fresh thyme optional
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 spaghetti squash halved, seeds removed
- 4 cups spinach leaves
- 1 tbsp corn starch in 2 tbsp water to thicken optional
- Parsley to serve
- Green or black olives to serve (optional)
- Parmesan cheese to serve (optional)
- Season chicken with salt and black pepper.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and sear chicken on both sides until golden brown, set aside.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, fresh thyme, dried basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste into the slow cooker.
- Place chicken in the slow cooker.
- Add the garlic, onion, bell peppers, carrots, to the pan and saute 4-5 minutes, add mushrooms, and saute another 2-3 minutes. Place on top of chicken.
- Stir to combine.
- Add spaghetti squash halves cut side down on top of chicken mixture.
- Cover and cook. Set to low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Set to saute and sear the chicken in pot, set aside.
- Add the garlic, onion, bell peppers, carrots, to the pan and saute 4-5 minutes, add mushrooms, and saute another 2-3 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes, and scrape bottom of pot, add tomato paste, fresh thyme, dried basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste into the Instant Pot.
- Place chicken in the Instant Pot.
- Add spaghetti squash halves cut side down on top of chicken mixture.
- Cover and close vent. Set to High Pressure, 25 minutes. Vent.
When Finished Cooking (Both Versions):
- When time is up, remove squash and shred with a fork into strands.
- Add spinach and stir. Cover and let the spinach wilt.
- Add cornstarch and water mixture if you'd like a thicker consistency.
- Serve chicken on top of spaghetti squash, topped with chopped parsley, olives, Parmesan, and more salt and pepper as desired.
This recipe is incredibly delicious! I’m a recent convert to spaghetti squash and it works so well in this dish, it adds a nice depth of flavour and makes the whole thing very warm and comforting. So tasty!
Thanks so much! I’m glad you liked it 🙂 Spaghetti squash is a miracle plant!
I love using my crockpot in the fall and winter! There’s something about a hot bowl of soup or stew that truly warms the soul. I’m so glad that you mentioned you use spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I think that’s a great way to make things a little healthier — and you won’t feel as sickeningly full afterwards!
That was exactly my thinking! Thanks, Candace 🙂
Love this dish…haven’t tried in the slow cooker. Bookmarking it to try for this upcoming week. Yum.
Oh this looks so delicious! I will have to try making it soon.
Looks so good what a great recipe. I love to cook in my slow cooker. Saving your recipe !!
I was just telling the hubby that we need more slow cooker recipes. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!
My pleasure Krysten! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
This recipe looks so yummy. I love chicken, and can eat it every day. I’m always on the look out for new recipes! I’ll have to check this out.
Same with me! Chicken is a staple here. Thanks so much 🙂
OK, so I got a slow cooker about 6 months ago and have yet to use it. Might be time to give it a try.
Yes! It’s Crocktober after all 🙂
So easy and sounds delicious! Adding this to our menu board for next week!
Yay! I hope you enjoy it and thanks so much, Stephanie!
This made me so hungry ! Love this recipie so much and am going to try it for sure !
Awesome! That makes me super happy to hear 🙂
Sounds delicious! I need to get myself a slow cooker for this.
I do love Chicken Cacciatore, it’s such a flavorsome recipe. I didn’t know that you could make it in the slow cooker as well, I usually make it in the oven.
This looks so delicious! I am trying your recipe out this weekend. I am sure that the entire family will love it!
So happy to hear that! Thanks so much Cris!
I love chicken cacciatore! And adding spaghetti squash to it is genius! I’m taking the chicken out of the freezer right now so we can have this at my house tonight.
Thanks Marie! I hope you enjoy!
This looks like an amazing dinner! I love when I can use my slow cooker, so I’ll be making this for sure.
Slow cookers are a wonderful invention aren’t they? Thanks Amber!
THIS is one of my favorite chicken dishes that I do not eat enough of!!! So dang flavorful and belly warming on cooler days!!!
Thanks so much Gigi, it’s such a classic!
This looks wonderful. I’m getting a slow cooker for Christmas so I will definitely pin your recipe for future reference.