Slow Cooker Tomato Balsamic Chicken

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Slow Cooker Tomato Balsamic Chicken features chicken breasts, tomatoes, spinach, onions, and balsamic vinegar. It’s the perfect balance of savory and tangy, and makes for the ultimate cozy dinner with the family!

227 CAL 12g CARBS 2g FAT 35g PROTEIN 0

‘Tis the season of slow cooker dishes galore! As you can see from my extensive selection of cozy slow cooker recipes, we are big fans of the trusty slow cooker around here. From gloriously hearty side dishes to main courses that steal the show, I have made full use out of one of my favorite kitchen appliances this winter season.

Slow Cooker Tomato Balsamic Chicken is made with chicken breasts, canned tomatoes, fresh spinach, sweet onion, and balsamic vinegar. It’s packed with delectable flavor and is easily one of my favorite slow cooker chicken recipes of all time.

All you have to do is add your ingredients to the slow cooker, then sit back and relax as it does all the work for you. There is something so incredibly satisfying about hanging out and watching TV or getting work done, then beginning to smell the amazing dish as it comes to life on its own.

You can serve this Slow Cooker Tomato Balsamic Chicken on its own for a delicious low-carb dinner or serve it over rice, quinoa, angel hair pasta, or creamy polenta. This dish is savory, sweet, tangy, and beyond delicious. It’s perfect for quiet nights at home with the family, especially if you’re busy and looking for a hands-off dish!

Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps

To bring this mouth-watering slow cooker chicken dish to life, you’ll need the following key ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts: Make sure to use the boneless and skinless kind. Alternatively, you could use boneless and skinless chicken thighs instead or lean pork.
  • Canned tomatoes: You will want to use canned diced tomatoes and drain half of the liquid before using. You can used any type of diced tomatoes you like.
  • Sweet onion: The natural sweetness of the onions pairs beautifully with the tangy flavors of balsamic vinegar. Any onion will work or swap in onion powder.
  • Fresh spinach: In this case, fresh spinach is best. Frozen spinach would alos work, just defrost it and drain it first. Leave it out until the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Balsamic vinegar: This sweet and tangy vinegar adds a ton of incredible flavor to this slow cooker chicken dish.
  • Italian seasoning: You can use a store-bought blend or make your own using this quick and easy Italian Seasoning recipe. You can also swap in any other seasoning or spices you like.

Recipe Ideas and Ways to Customize

Want to make the best slow cooker chicken ever? Here are some of my top tips and tricks to help you make that happen:

  • Add extra veggies. You can either swap out the spinach for kale or add some additional veggies to the mix. I love adding mushrooms to the slow cooker for the last hour of cooking.
  • Cheese, please. Yes, this dish tastes fantastic with some cheese added at the end! Try grating some fresh parmesan cheese over the chicken or adding a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.
  • Add garnishes. For a stunning pop of color, add some fun and flavorful garnishes just before serving the dish. My top picks include fresh basil or parsley, freshly cracked black pepper, and lemon wedges.

Ways to Serve Tomato Balsamic Chicken

While this dish tastes absolutely delicious on its own, I like to pair it with a side dish or two to make it even more satisfying. Not sure what to serve? Here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with slow cooker balsamic chicken:

  • With pasta. For the ultimate Italian-inspired feast, try serving this dish over a bed of angel hair pasta. Alternatively, for a low-carb meal you can serve the chicken over zoodles or spaghetti squash noodles.
  • With grains. Looking for something on the heartier side? You can serve this dish over a whole grain like brown rice or quinoa. To keep it grain-free, try pairing the dish with a bowl of cauliflower rice.
  • With polenta. One of my all-time favorite ways to serve this dish, creamy polenta pairs brilliantly with the savory and tangy flavors of the chicken. If you’re serving a group, this pairing guarantees to be a crowd-pleaser!
  • With a salad. I love serving cozy slow cooker dishes like this one with a light and a refreshing side salad. Some of my top picks include my Easy Arugula Salad and this Healthy Caesar Salad.

How to Store Slow Cooker Chicken

To store leftovers of this dish, allow them to fully cool first. Once cooled, you can transfer the chicken to an airtight container and store it in one of two ways:

  • In the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Leftover slow cooker chicken works great as a quick and easy dinner option. You can also add it to a salad, grain bowl, or sandwich for lunch!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this slow cooker recipe:

Do I have to use chicken breast?

Nope. You can swap out the chicken breasts for chicken thighs if desired. Just make sure to use the boneless and skinless kind.

What should I serve with this dish?

I love serving my slow cooker chicken over a bed of angel hair pasta, creamy polenta, or quinoa. For a grain-free pairing, you could also serve it over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. It also tastes delicious with a simple side salad!

Can I cook this dish in the Instant Pot?

Yes! To cook this slow cooker chicken in the Instant Pot, simply add in your ingredients along with an additional ½ cup of chicken broth or water, then set the time to 10 minutes on high pressure. When the timer goes off, flip the nozzle to quickly release the pressure and mix in the spinach to allow it to wilt.

The Recipe
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Slow Cooker Tomato Balsamic Chicken

227 CAL 12g CARBS 2g FAT 35g PROTEIN 0
COOK TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes, half of liquid drained
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (plus more for serving)
  • 6 cups fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper

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Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the spinach.

Spices, onions, tomatoes, and chicken breast being added to a slow cooker.

Cook on low for 4 hours adding the spinach during the last 30 minutes of cooking.Taste and season as needed.

Spinach being added to a slow cooker with tomato balsamic chicken.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 227
Calories from Fat 14
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 74mg
Sodium 222mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 7g
Protein 35g

* 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.


Optional: Add fresh mushrooms, spinach, or kale
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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Slow Cooker Tomato Balsamic Chicken
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March 18, 2024 - 17:43
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I've been looking for healthy crockpot meals to meal prep with, and this one is officially part of my rotation =]
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Janelle Flacks
March 12, 2024 - 12:13
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I was looking for a chicken crock pot recipe and found this. I had all the ingredients. Will make again. Hoping to freeze some. What's the best way to reheat? Defrost and microwave? Really like this.
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October 30, 2023 - 09:11
What size slow cooker to you use
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June 29, 2023 - 17:23
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Body won’t digest spinach,IBS-D. Another substitute, or alternate accompaniment to round out meal.
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June 6, 2023 - 06:34
Is it 4 hours on high or low? (I have the Ninja Foodie). Thanks!
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November 15, 2022 - 21:59
If using frozen, diced, cooked chicken, does the chicken need to be defrosted first? Thanks.
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November 16, 2022 - 10:26
According to the USDA, the chicken should always be defrosted before going in the slow cooker to avoid bacteria growth. So I would defrost it and then check it after about 2-3 hours since the smaller pieces of chicken will cook more quickly.
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July 5, 2022 - 11:17
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I bought a 3lb bag of frozen diced cooked chicken. Will 2 lbs work with your 4 hour cook time or should I shorten it?
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October 4, 2022 - 18:52
I would definitely shorten the time since the chicken is already cooked. You are basically just reheating it in the sauce. The recipe will turn out a little different. It may work better to make the sauce stovetop and then add the chicken to heat through.
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Maxine Lang
August 4, 2021 - 07:27
Have you tried split chicken breasts with this recipe?
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August 9, 2021 - 13:34
It should work great! I would recommend removing the skin either before or after cooking since it will get soggy. Cooking time may change slightly as well.
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ibrahim hasan
March 3, 2020 - 04:04
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February 22, 2020 - 04:58
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Can this recipe be converted for Instant Pot cooking?
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September 24, 2020 - 10:19
I haven't tried it in the Instant Pot, but it should work! Just adjust the time for chicken breasts.
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February 21, 2020 - 15:17
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The recipe sounds good, but I don’t like cooked spinach. Can you suggest alternatives? Thank you.
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October 16, 2020 - 10:04
My son can't eat spinach, so I add a can of green beans. The green beans work well in this recipe. This is one of my family's favorite recipes.
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September 24, 2020 - 10:21
You could leave it out completely or substitute another leafy green like kale or Swiss chard, just add them at the beginning so they cook. You could also add mushrooms or cauliflower.
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March 24, 2019 - 15:10
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Delicious and easy! Definitely a keeper! Thank you for a great recipe!
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January 6, 2019 - 16:15
Would this work if you cooked it longer? I’m always looking for recipes that I can throw in before work.
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January 8, 2019 - 10:49
So I find that chicken breasts quickly overcook when cooked for a long time in the slow cooker. If you want to cook it longer, I would recommend using boneless skinless thighs to make sure they don't dry out.
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Debbie Napier
October 23, 2018 - 05:44
Can frozen spinach be used?
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October 23, 2018 - 09:51
Honestly, I haven't tried it with frozen spinach. If you defrost it beforehand and squeeze out any excess liquid, it should work fine. If you use the spinach without defrosting it, it will likely make everything a bit more liquidy. Hope that helps!
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May 13, 2018 - 04:12
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I really liked this dish, as well as my husband, even my 3 year old ate some. The chicken came out cooked, in the 4 hours on low. I added murshrooms.
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August 9, 2019 - 14:15
Hi, did you add the mushrooms at the beginning or in the last 30 minutes along with the spinach?
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John K.
July 20, 2020 - 08:31
All four hours, the mushrooms, unlike the spinach needs time to cook.
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Katie C
April 9, 2018 - 16:49
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Absolutely dreadful. I made this exactly as directed, and it was bitter, WAY over seasoned, and a crime to my tastebuds. The tang of the balsamic never came through, 4 hours on low is too long for chicken breasts, and there was WAY too much onion and Italian seasoning involved. I threw all the leftovers out, which amounted to about a pound and a half of chicken. Awful, awful, awful!!!!
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May 13, 2018 - 21:48
I am so sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it. I would love to help you figure out what may have happened since this is a pretty popular dish that many people have had success with. The only bitter element would be the spinach, perhaps it didn't cook all the way.
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November 12, 2019 - 15:57
What would this recipe be if I wanted to cook in the oven??
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Madeleine A
June 7, 2016 - 19:05
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This recipe is wonderful! It was so easy - dump ingredients in and sit back with a glass of wine and wait.
Also so good for you. I added green beans (at the last half hour with the spinach), along with fresh rosemary, basil and thyme. So flavourful and the chicken was perfectly cooked.
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Jennifer Allred
January 15, 2016 - 17:30
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This was so easy to make, and yet, tasted amazing! I made enough to have leftovers throughout the week and the chicken remained juicy until the last meal! I served it over some white Japanese rice and it was perfect!
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Lorie Glackman
December 29, 2015 - 17:16
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I'm surprised that I'm the first to leave a review for a recipe that's so easy and delightful. We love this meal! Chicken tasted scrumptious, and was perfectly tender. I didn't add the Italian seasonings and I was glad I didn't because the combination of the spice from the ground pepper and balsamic vinegar was just perfect for us. We had this for dinner two nights in a row, both with angel hair pasta. The second night's dinner was a bit spicy because of the ground pepper I used, but we like spicy food so we didn't mind the change in taste at all, it was just as delicious.
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August 28, 2020 - 08:57
I am going to try this over the weekend so I will be there to shut it off after 4 hours and I'm sure the left overs will be great. Thank you
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joan morrow
March 20, 2021 - 08:44
can I use thin chicken and lower the time in cooking
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March 22, 2021 - 13:34
Thin chicken breasts can be used, I would check the slow cooker around 2.5 hours to make sure they don't overcook.
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