This easy Slow Cooker Italian Red Pepper Chicken is made with just a few ingredients you likely already have on hand and couldn't be more delicious.
This Crockpot Italian Red Pepper Chicken is simple, packed with flavor, and versatile. Serve it over pasta or rice, in a sandwich with melted cheese, layered on a pizza, or even scrambled into your morning eggs.
For a long time, I have been making this Slow Cooker Tomato Balsamic Chicken dish on the regular to have for quick and easy weeknight dinners, but lately, I have been looking to kick up the recipe a bit as I have been craving all things spicy.
Red pepper flakes were a no-brainer, but I also want to deepen the flavor of the sauce with something new and decided bell peppers were the perfect thing. With their sweet flavor, they balance out the red pepper flakes and black pepper perfectly. They also add another vegetable component, which is always a win.
The other key to building flavor in this recipe is the Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar. The combination of dried herbs adds tons of flavor without needing to measure lots of different herbs and spices. The balsamic vinegar adds some sweetness and makes the dish taste rich and complex.
Recipe Ideas and Tips
There are so many different ways to customize this recipe and make it your own.
- Make it creamy: Before serving this dish, consider adding some cream cheese to the slow cooker. Add it right to the pot and give it a good stir until it melts and transforms the sauce into something creamy and delicious.
- Leave out the spice: If you don't like things spicy, simply make this without the red pepper flakes. It will still have tons of flavor.
- Add extra veggies: Add some extra veggies to this recipe. You could add some kale at the beginning of cooking or stir in some spinach in the last ten minutes of cooking. Other options include green beans, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, or artichoke hearts. Since they all cook quickly, add them in the last 15 minutes of cooking so they don't overcook.
- Try different tomatoes: Switch up the flavors with different styles of diced tomatoes. Try Italian-style tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chilies for something spicy, or garlic-infused diced tomatoes for extra garlicky flavor.
- Use roasted red peppers: If you love the smoky flavor of roasted red peppers, swap them in for fresh red bell peppers. They will bring the same sweet pepper flavor with the added smokiness since it has been roasted.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Italian Red Pepper Chicken
There are so many different side dish options when it comes to this simple chicken dish. Popular options include white or brown rice, quinoa, polenta, or pasta. Here are some other sides to consider:
- Polenta: Serve it with some Creamy Spinach Polenta or roast premade polenta in the oven until crispy to serve on the side.
- Vegetables: Add some greens with some Crispy Baked Broccoli or a Kale Caesar Salad.
- Lighter options: For a lighter, low carb option consider serving it alongside some mashed cauliflower, spaghetti squash, or zucchini noodles.
- Grains: For a quick and easy side dish, consider serving it with some cooked brown or white rice. Other grains like farro and quinoa would also be delicious.
Can this be made with chicken thighs?
This Slow Cooker Red Pepper Chicken dish works great with boneless skinless chicken thighs. It also can work with bone-in chicken breasts or thighs, but you will need to crisp up the skin under the broiler or in the oven after.
For an alternative protein, this could be made with any type of lean pork including a tenderloin, trimmed pork shoulder, or pork roast.
How to make Crockpot Italian Chicken in the instant pot?
To make this in the Instant Pot, start by sauteing the onions and red peppers in a touch of olive oil. Once tender, add the garlic and spices. Cook for one minute and add the remaining ingredients.
Close the instant pot. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes and then naturally release it. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Can this be made with roasted red peppers?
If you love a little bit of smoky flavor, this recipe is delicious with roasted red peppers in place of red bell peppers. The roasted peppers will add a sweet flavor with some smokiness since it was roasted and charred.
This will work with either roasted red peppers packed in water, packed in oil, or homemade. When using roasted red peppers packed in oil, it will add some calories but also lots of flavor.
How to add more vegetables?
This meal works great with extra vegetables. When making it in the slow cooker, add quick-cooking vegetables in the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. This is true for veggies like spinach, zucchini, summer squash, or green beans.
For more slow-cooking vegetables like butternut squash or kale, add them to the meat at the beginning of the cooking process.
Slow Cooker Italian Red Pepper Chicken
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- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
- 20 oz. canned diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 3 red peppers, sliced
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more, optional)
- 1 tsp. black pepper (more to taste)
- 1 tsp. salt
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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