Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

I love my slow cooker.  Being able to fill it with ingredients in the morning before work and then coming home to a finished meal after work keeps me sane!

I don't always love the way the meals look when they come out of the slow cooker though.  Delicious yes, but beautiful?  Not always.

And a little crunchy texture?  Forget about it.

I set out to find a way to have my slow cooker ease AND a beautiful dish.  This chicken parmesan was a perfect choice.

Chicken done in the slow cooker often comes out falling apart - because we often cook it too long.  I cooked this only until it was done, just a little over 3 hours.

I also started with a thick, almost paste-like sauce because chicken gives off a lot of moisture when it cooks and makes the sauce soupy.

Then, at the end, I added the cheese, which melted while I make a crispy herbed bread crumb topping.

This was a fantastic meal.  The best compliment of the evening:  when I served this to my mother-in-law, she said "I thought you said you made dinner in the crock pot"  Recipe WIN!

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

by Susan Zentmyer
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 - 4 hours
  • 6 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, tomato paste, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until onions are softened and tomato paste is rust-colored, about 4 minutes.
2. Transfer tomato paste mixture to slow cooker and stir in tomatoes. Dissolve cornstarch in water and stir into tomato mixture. Shingle breasts on top of tomato mixture with tapered ends pointing toward control panel. Cover and cook until chicken registers 160 degrees, 3 to 4 hours on low.
3. Combine mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan in bowl. Sprinkle chicken with 2 tablespoons fresh basil, followed by mozzarella mixture. Cover and let sit in turned-off cooker until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine panko and remaining 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer panko to bowl, let cool for 5 minutes, then stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, remaining 2 tablespoons fresh basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle panko mixture over cheese. Serve.
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  1. That does look real good!! and a nice compliment is always welcome.
    This looks like a real comfort meal. Blessings, Catherine

  2. I adore the slow cooker for jsut about everything, and this certianly does LOOK as well as sound delicious! I love your blog and your link party, Tuesday's Table, and would especially love it if you would swing by my link party The Yuck Stops Here and share this delicious recipe with us there as well. You can find us until Sunday evening @8pm ET at Hope to see you there! HUGS

    1. Susan, I'm pleased to let you know that I will be featuring this yummy recipe on next week's The Yuck Stops Here link party! Come by to pick up your "I've Been Featured" button anytime after 8pm ET tomorrow at CONGRATULATIONS & HUGS

  3. One of my favorite meals, although I have found ways to not have the chicken breaded for a lower glycemic version. I've pinned this. Thanks for linking it at The Yuck Stops Here! Chrystal @

  4. Coming over to say hi from the Yuck Stops Here party! These chicken breasts look incredible!