Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
This Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is a great way to cook one of your favorite dishes without a lot of fuss.
It’s starting to really heat up here. We took the kids to the park and had to leave early because the slides were literally scalding their legs. Looks like we’ll be permanent fixtures in the pool. Like I’ve said before, I really don’t mind turning on my oven in the summer because my husband keeps our house at artic temperatures. But most of you will do anything it takes to not turn the oven on which means the slow cooker gets a lot of mileage. I know I already have a Skinny Chicken Parmesan and Kimi’s Chicken Parmesan on this blog. They’re great too. But I’ve been looking for a slow cooker version.
I’ve tried slow cooker chicken parmesan recipes and have always found that something is missing. The problem with other slow cooker chicken parmesan recipes is that it’s lacking the crispy breading on the outside that we all crave. In this version, the breadcrumbs are toasted and added after the chicken has cooked.
This recipe requires 5 minutes of prep before and a couple minutes after to finish the dish. We start with a homemade marinara. Now I know you’re saying, “Christy…I don’t have time to make homemade marinara.” Fine. Don’t make it. Use the bottled stuff. I won’t tell. As long as you don’t skip the breadcrumbs at the end. Homemade is always better but I live in chaos and know that some days, that just isn’t going to happen. Since the chicken releases moisture when cooking, this marinara sauce is thick anticipating the liquid from the chicken to thin it out.
The good news about this recipe is it only takes 3-4 hours to cook so if you don’t start dinner until 2pm, you’re good. The bad news is that if you are at work all day, 8 hours is going to be way to long to cook this and will dry out your chicken.
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
- 6 6- to 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 5 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained well
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 6 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion, tomato paste, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until onions are soft and tomato paste is rust-colored.
Place tomato paste mixture to slow cooker and stir in drained tomatoes.
Dissolve the cornstarch in water and stir into tomato mixture.
Shingle, or lay the chicken breasts on top of tomato mixture with tapered ends pointing toward control panel, slightly overlapping each other. Cover and cook on low until chicken reaches 160 degrees, 2 1/2 to 4 hours.
Combine mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan in a bowl.
Sprinkle the chicken with 2 tablespoons chopped basil and top with the mozzarella mixture. Turn off the slow cooker with the lid still on and let it sit until the cheese is melted.
While cheese is melting, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil and Panko crumbs in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the toasted panko crumbs to a bowl. Let the crumbs cool slightly and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, remaining 1 tablespoon basil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle panko mixture over cheese. Serve over pasta.
Source: adapted from Cook's Country