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Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese

On Monday nights, I harbor fleeting hopes that dinner will cook itself. Until that miracle arrives, you’ll find me making Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese. It’s easy, cheesy, and as close to a zero-effort dinner as I can come, without involving the digits “711-PAPA.”

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Capese

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese is a dinner for nights when the act of even thinking about cooking is exhausting, and all you want to do is call Papa John’s for pizza—and those fluffy wonder breadsticks (personal weakness alert!).

I adore cooking (and breadsticks), but some nights I barely have the energy to put together a peanut butter sandwich, let alone an entire meal (which is interesting considering that I always have the energy for a pan of brownies, but I digress). My mood not to cook, however, has zero impact on my mood to eat, which is a force as fierce and persistent as the rising sun.

Monday nights are typically when cooking sounds the least appealing to me, so I try to anticipate the agony with easy meals like this Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese. It’s simple, filled with sweet Italian flavor, and you probably have everything you need to make it in your pantry rightthissecond.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken-2

As its name suggests, Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese is bursting with the classic tastes of caprese salad: basil, tomato, and mozzarella. It’s a summertime triple threat—cool flavors for warm weather that I find myself eating as often as possible these dog days.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella

I adore drizzling my caprese salad with a glossy balsamic reduction to give it a sweet tangy somethin’ somethin’ that ties all of the flavors together, but the extra stove time it requires to prepare is a no-cook night no-no. For our Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese, let’s create a similar effect by pouring balsamic vinegar right into the slow cooker with the chicken. As it cooks, the balsamic sweetens like a reduction, with less effort (and one less pan to wash.)

Along with the balsamic, toss in a can of diced tomatoes, garlic, a red onion, and a few spices. Set the dial, and voila! Dinner will appear. All we need is a smother of gooey mozzarella cheese and sprinkle of lively fresh basil to complete the caprese picture.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken. Easy and healthy slow cooker recipe. This is my go-to for a fast dinner!

Monday night may do its worst. We have a big, yummy pot of Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese to keep us full, healthy, and happy and to ward away the delivery boy.

Unless the delivery boy has breadsticks, in which case please open the door immediately.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese

An easy slow cooker balsamic chicken recipe topped with mozzarella cheese and bursting with the flavor of Italy. You won't believe how quick, easy, and tasty this dish is to prepare, and it's perfect for nights when you don't feel like cooking.

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese, for serving
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil, for serving


  1. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Place chicken on top of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, garlic, bayleaf, basil, and onion. Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear, 5 to 6 hours on low heat or 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high heat, depending upon your slow cooker. Transfer the chicken to a plate, then with a slotted spoon, scoop the tomato-balsamic slow cooker sauce over the chicken. Top with mozzarella and fresh basil.

More slow cooker recipes to try:

50 Responses to “Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese”

  1. Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens — July 21, 2014 @ 6:49 am (#)

    YUUUMMMM!!!! You are totally right – tomatoes, mozzarella and basil are the foods of summer! And I just LOVE slow cooker meals! My kiddos keep me pretty busy during the day, and when we return home from the pool late afternoon, and my husband is on his way home from work … and oh no … what’s for dinner? (Friday is my ‘I don’t want to cook’ day.) So when I can get dinner going in the morning and literally arrive home and dinner is ready … I’m a very happy girl!! :)

  2. Marie — July 21, 2014 @ 6:54 am (#)

    This is the perfect summer Monday meal!

  3. Georgia — July 21, 2014 @ 7:27 am (#)

    Making this tonight! Love the slow cooker in the summer when you don’t want the oven to heat up the house…

    • Erin | The Law Student's Wife — July 22nd, 2014 @ 6:20 pm

      A-to the-MEN to keeping the heat in the house to a minimum Georgia. Secretly I don’t mind using the oven because I’m chronically freezing and Ben loves the AC on high, but I know for those who don’t have AC (or run it lower than we do) that a slow cooker is a lifesaver!

  4. dessertfortwo — July 21, 2014 @ 8:11 am (#)

    I can’t wait to make this! These photos make my eyeballs pop out of my head!

  5. claire @ the realistic nutritionist — July 21, 2014 @ 8:22 am (#)

    This looks INSANE.

  6. Trisha (Stew or a Story) — July 21, 2014 @ 8:22 am (#)

    I’m in need of some slow-cooker recipes for the next two weeks, as my in-laws will be in town. Definitely trying this one. And I agree with dessertfortwo–lovely, vibrant photos!

  7. Angie (@angiesrecipess) — July 21, 2014 @ 9:02 am (#)

    Looks very inviting!

  8. Elizabeth Devaney — July 21, 2014 @ 9:28 am (#)

    so going to make this!!

  9. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — July 21, 2014 @ 10:32 am (#)

    This is getting added to the menu asap!

  10. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — July 21, 2014 @ 10:32 am (#)

    Dang girl this looks off the chain good! PLus a slow cooker meal equals heaven in my book.

  11. shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com — July 21, 2014 @ 10:34 am (#)

    Erin, I so love this easy dish – such a wonderfully flavorful crockpot recipe. My Sundays are usually cray cray – I know what will make my next Sunday less cray cray – this in the crockpot when I come home! Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. cheri — July 21, 2014 @ 10:48 am (#)

    There has to be so much flavor in this dish with summer tomatoes and basil, love it!

  13. leahgreenbergdavis — July 21, 2014 @ 10:58 am (#)

    Getting motivated to cook, especially after cooking and cleaning up things for a food blog, is not easy!! I will have to give this a try – I love caprese salad, so I’m sure I would love these flavor combinations!!

  14. Sweetphi — July 21, 2014 @ 12:46 pm (#)

    Can I just say yes yes yes and more yes to this dish? I am the same way on Mondays…I just stand in front of the fridge and want to wave a magic wand…and then find dinner on the table…sadly, this does not work lol! Definitely need to try this easy and delicious sounding recipe :)

  15. Polly - TastyFoodProject.com — July 21, 2014 @ 1:17 pm (#)

    This looks delicious! I like how you can just throw everything in a slow cooker and not worry about it. I don’t use my slow cooker enough but I think I might have to try this recipe out. I believe I even have all of the ingredients!

  16. CakePants — July 21, 2014 @ 2:26 pm (#)

    Oh gosh, this looks SO good! The tomato balsamic sauce sounds uber delicious :) Now if only slow cookers were self-cleaning, too…

  17. Ashley — July 21, 2014 @ 4:02 pm (#)

    I love crockpot meals for days when I don’t really feel like cooking! This looks delicious!

    haha for me it’s tuesdays … no idea why but I never want to make anything!

  18. Bri | Bites of Bri — July 21, 2014 @ 4:34 pm (#)

    I love planning ahead and making slow cooker meals! They’re such a great reward at the end of the day and require so little effort to throw together. I can’t wait to try this combo, Erin.

  19. Julie @ Table for Two — July 21, 2014 @ 4:59 pm (#)

    Obsessed with easy slow cooker dishes that you don’t really have to think about! I’m burnt out when I get home from work and this little chicky just sitting pretty waiting for me is my kinda dish!!

  20. Danae @ Recipe Runner — July 21, 2014 @ 7:13 pm (#)

    A perfect slow cooker summer meal! Love the caprese flavors and the more balsamic the better!

  21. nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — July 21, 2014 @ 8:54 pm (#)

    Simple, beautiful meals?? I’ll take ‘em!

  22. Anna @ shenANNAgans — July 21, 2014 @ 8:55 pm (#)

    Holy bajinkas, this looks absolutely amazing. How seriously great is Caprese?! Mmmm… tomato balsamic sauce, that’ll go great with my mushroom brushetta. :)

  23. She Likes Food@ She Likes Food — July 21, 2014 @ 10:03 pm (#)

    I’m the exact same way, there are so many nights that I just wish dinner would magically appear on the table! My husband has such a weak spot for papa johns and I’m trying to make us limit pizza to only once a week, so I usually have to be strong and muster up the energy to cook something or else he would order pizza everynight! I’ll definitely be coming back to this recipe!

  24. Julia — July 21, 2014 @ 10:12 pm (#)

    Ohhhh gaaaawl, this chicken looks amazing! I’m always up for a slow cooker meal. Looks so healthful and tasty!!

  25. Anna — July 21, 2014 @ 10:26 pm (#)

    This is a MUST-add to my meal plan! I’m so with you – if only I could get my desire to eat to line up with days when I have the desire to cook :)

  26. Kelly — July 21, 2014 @ 11:56 pm (#)

    Haha I’ve feeling that way a lot lately and take-out and slow cooker meals have been a life saver :) This looks amazing – love the caprese flavors in here! Count me in for this easy and delicious summer meal!

  27. Danielle | Krafted Koch — July 22, 2014 @ 7:22 am (#)

    This looks fantastic! I was just reducing baslamic last night for a caprese dish, and needless to say, I caramelized the first batch while I was doing dishes. I adore balsamic and I can’t wait to try this!

    • Erin | The Law Student's Wife — July 22nd, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

      BALSAMIC FOR LIFE Danielle. I could eat it on just about anything, especially if it’s reduced!

  28. Julie Evink — July 22, 2014 @ 7:35 am (#)

    I soooo wish supper would cook itself every single night. Or I could eat Papa Johns forever without gaining an ounce! Until then we can devour this amazing recipe!!

  29. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — July 22, 2014 @ 8:59 am (#)

    Mmmm looks delicious! I see the word “caprese” and I’m a goner.

  30. Courtney @ Neighborfood — July 22, 2014 @ 12:10 pm (#)

    Oh yeah, this is happening. I need a lot more meals like this in my back pocket. I love that the slow cooker helps reduce the balsamic too! That’s genius!

  31. siftwithstyle — July 22, 2014 @ 3:30 pm (#)

    Love slow cooker recipes and this looks amazing thank you so much!
    Love your instagram as well!

  32. Julius Brown — July 22, 2014 @ 6:12 pm (#)

    What’s a good side for this? Besides salad?

    • Erin | The Law Student's Wife — July 22nd, 2014 @ 6:18 pm

      Hi Julius! This chicken would be fabulous with any green vegetable you enjoy, such as green beans, or yes a salad. It also tastes great served with brown rice or polenta (my favorite).

  33. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig — July 22, 2014 @ 7:06 pm (#)

    Wow…I wish this was on our table tonight! Looks amazing…but sigh, just having something simple over here.

  34. Layla @ Brunch Time Baker — July 22, 2014 @ 10:02 pm (#)

    This is my kind of dinner. Yum!

  35. laurasmess — July 23, 2014 @ 5:05 am (#)

    This is a great way to use low-fat chicken breasts, ensuring that they’ll still be tender and flavoursome. I’m pretty much addicted to tangy balsamic so, uh, this is definitely a big YES for our dinner table! Now all I need is a slow cooker. Darn it. Why don’t I have one already?! Thanks Erin! Xx

  36. Truest — July 27, 2014 @ 8:35 am (#)

    I am very happy I took the time to write her the letters and highly recommend it to all new moms. Hope you try the recipe. . I love that I know what is in this and not like some restaurants where they add a lot of stuff. Thanks!! ckrp-eu

  37. ksosa410 — July 30, 2014 @ 3:19 pm (#)

    This may sound silly, but should the chicken be defrosted before putting in?

    • Erin Clarke — July 30th, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

      Not silly at all! Yes, defrosted first :-)

  38. Stefanie — August 8, 2014 @ 9:10 am (#)

    Hi! First time commenter here. I found your blog via Dessert for Two. I made this recipe last week and LOVED it! I am definitely keeping it. Thanks so much for creating a “no-pre-cook” required slow cooker recipe!!!! The flavor/sauce is amazing!!!

    • Erin Clarke — August 8th, 2014 @ 9:26 am

      Stefanie, it’s so great to hear from you, and I’m so happy you found my blog! Thanks for trying this recipe, and letting me know how it turned out. Hearing from readers who make my recipes is one of my favorite parts about blogging, and I’m thrilled you enjoyed it!

  39. dee — August 11, 2014 @ 5:44 pm (#)

    That recipe looks wonderful. Couldn’t use bone in best? I am new to your blog and am rather surprised you identify yourself as the wife of a law student…what about what and Who You are?

    • Erin Clarke — August 11th, 2014 @ 6:52 pm

      Hi Dee! I’m so glad you like the look of this recipe. I’ve never used bone-in chicken in the slow cooker, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t work (though your cooking time will be impacted–it will need longer.) As far as the name of my blog, there’s actually a story behind it. If you’d like to read more about me, what I’m about, and how my blog got it’s name, I have all the juicy details on my About page: http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/about-2/, as well as my FAQ page: http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/faqs/

  40. Shari — August 20, 2014 @ 12:30 pm (#)

    Erin, I made this the other night and really enjoyed it. My husband and I are on a weight-loss journey, so this recipe is perfect! Thanks for your blog.

    • Erin Clarke — August 20th, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

      Hi Shari! I am so happy to hear that you and your husband enjoyed this recipe. Thank you so much for taking time to let me know. Hearing from readers who try what I post never fails to make my day!!! Best wishes to you both :-)

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