My Mother-in-law recently made us a most delicious Tuscan chicken in cream sauce for my husband’s birthday and I knew I had to give it a try in the crockpot! This Tuscan chicken is made with boneless chicken thighs, veggies and bacon, then topped in a creamy white sauce that enhances the dish and brings all the flavors together into a mouth wateringly delicious comfort food meal. This recipe uses cherry tomatoes instead of sundried tomatoes (to make the dish budget friendly) and also uses boneless chicken thighs which produces a more tender meat than chicken breast. We like to serve this crockpot Tuscan chicken over buttered noodles or rice but it can also be served with mashed potatoes, quinoa and more. Cheddar green beans, garlic knots and salad are all great side options to pair with the Crockpot Tuscan chicken. To double this recipe for feeding a larger group, simply hit the 2x button in the recipe card and use a 6-7 quart crockpot for cooking the chicken and veggies.
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Crockpot Tuscan Chicken
- 4 quart crockpot (linked below)
- Saucepan (linked below)
- Cutting board (linked below)
- Whisk (linked below)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs *see note
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms fresh
- 6 slices cooked and diced bacon divided
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- large handful of fresh spinach
- Place the chicken thighs and chicken broth in the bottom of a 3-4 quart slow cooker, then season generously with salt and pepper. Add the minced garlic, then layer on the halved cherry tomatoes, sliced mushrooms and half of the crumbled bacon (*see note).
- Cover and cook the chicken and veggies on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken and as many veggies as possible, then place onto a separate dish. Pour the chicken broth through a fine mesh sieve to strain, reserving one cup of broth (*see note).
- Return the chicken, veggies and strained veggies (optional) back to the crockpot. Add a handful of spinach, then cover and turn the heat to low to allow the spinach to heat up and wilt while you cook the sauce.
- Place the one cup of chicken broth into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 2-3 tablespoons of water to create a slurry, then pour it into the simmering chicken broth and whisk until the mixture is thick and clear. Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan, then continue stirring and cooking over medium-low heat until the sauce is smooth (1-2 minutes). If needed additional broth can be added to thin the sauce.
- Pour the cream sauce over the spinach, veggies and chicken in the crockpot, then sprinkle the remaining bacon over top. If the spinach has not wilted yet, you can continue cooking on low for 15-30 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve and enjoy!
Equipment needed for this Crockpot Tuscan Chicken:
- 4 quart crockpot For the amount listed in the recipe you will need a 3-4 quart crockpot, but if you wish to double the recipe you will need a 6-7 quart crockpot.
- Saucepan I prefer to use my 1 quart Farberware (not and ad) sauce pan for cooking the sauce in. Bonus for me is the pan is dish washer friendly!
- Cutting board I prefer to use a plastic cutting board that is dish washer friendly for slicing and mincing the veggies. Using a chef’s knife makes the process easier too.
- Whisk A whisk is needed to combine the ingredients in the cream sauce and for eliminating any lumps.
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Ingredients needed for this Tuscan Chicken: Cherry tomatoes, bacon, spinach, chicken, heavy cream, mushrooms, cornstarch, chicken broth, pepper, garlic, parmesan and salt (not shown).
I usually add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper to the chicken thighs. I do recommend adding the salt and pepper to taste as the level of seasoning you prefer may differ from mine.
Step 1-2: Place the chicken thighs and chicken broth into a 3-4 quart slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Layer the minced garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms and bacon over top, then cover and cook as directed in the recipe card.
I used my 2.5 quart slow cooker for this recipe, but found it to be a little on the small side. I do recommend using a 3-4 quart, but a 2.5 quart does work if that is your only option. If you wish to double the recipe be sure to double the crockpot size as well. (6-7 quart crockpots work well for double the amount.)
Step 2-3: Once the chicken thighs are cooked through and the veggies are soft, remove the chicken and veggies from the crockpot. Strain the remaining broth, reserving one cup for the sauce. Return the chicken thighs and veggies to the crockpot, then add a handful of spinach. Cover and turn the heat to low to allow the spinach to wilt while the sauce is being made.
Step 4: Pour the broth into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Create a slurry with the cornstarch and 2-3 tablespoons water, then whisk into the broth and continue cooking (and stirring) until thickened.
Step 4 continued: Add parmesan and heavy cream to the saucepan, then reduce the heat and continue cooking and stirring the sauce for another minute or two until the parmesan melts into the sauce and no lumps remain.
You may need to add additional chicken broth or water to thin the sauce. The sauce will also thicken some as it cools.
Step 5: Pour the cream sauce over the chicken thighs and veggies in the crockpot, then top with the remaining bacon. If needed, continue to cook on low until the spinach is fully wilted.
Cool slightly and enjoy! We enjoyed our Tuscan chicken over browned butter noodles.
Leftovers can be kept refrigerated for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the leftovers after they have cooled completely. This Tuscan chicken tastes even better the second day (In my opinion), making it perfect if you like to meal prep at the beginning of the week.
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