Italian Crock Pot Chicken (a.k.a Slow Cooker Chicken, Tomatoes and Olives)

One of my favorite blogs for browsing healthy slow cooker recipes is I’ve already pinned a bunch of recipes and even tried a few. So when I saw the photo of her Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla, I was excited! Cilantro, chicken, tomatoes and olives? Yum! So when B went to the store, I sent him off with the grocery list, and was excited to enjoy what was sure to be a delish dish.

BUT of course B forgot a few things. Like tomato sauce. And cilantro. Though the cilantro was probably on purpose because he hates it. Determined to still have a crock pot meal, I adapted the recipe somewhat and turned it into an Italian dish – served on top of orzo, instead of rice! It was yummy and I’ll definitely be making it again, especially since B and I finished it the first night. What can I say – he’s training for a marathon and was hungry!

Italian Crock Pot Chicken (a.k.a Slow Cooker Chicken, Tomatoes and Olives)

(Adapted from’s Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla)

Here’s what you need:

  • 4-5 skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 1 lb)
  • 1 medium sized white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, either finely diced or crushed with garlic press
  • 1bell pepper, finely sliced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped into cubes
  • 6 – 8 small pitted Spanish olives + 2 tbs olive juice
  • 1 c tomato sauce (I used homemade sauce that we had on hand … B or I make it at least once a month for pasta, etc. but you probably could use a can)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Handful of fresh basil (if on hand)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Put chicken, onion, garlic, pepper and tomatoes in the crock pot.
  2. Add salt, cumin, basil, oregano. Stir it all up so everything is well-seasoned.
  3. Add tomato sauce, olives, 2 tbsp of the olive juice, 1/2 cup water, and bay leaves. Mix well.
  4. Set crock pot on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
  5. When done, add fresh basil and adjust spices as needed.

Serve over orzo or with a big chunk of Italian bread for dunking in the broth. Or both!

Everything in the crock pot, ready to go!

Italian Crock Pot Chicken (I need to work on my food photography skills)