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.

a plate with crockpot italian chicken with tomatoes and cheese

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Caprese

5 from 8 votes
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.

Prep: 10 mins
Total: 4 hrs

Servings: 4 servings


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


  • 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.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, garlic, bayleaf, basil, and onion. Pour over the chicken.
  • Cover and cook on low until chicken is no longer pink, juices run clear, and the chicken reaches 155 degrees F on an instant read thermometer about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours for breasts or 4 to 5 hours for thighs, depending upon your slow cooker. (Chicken is considered safe to eat at 165 degrees F, but the temperature will continue to rise as the chicken rests. Do not over cook or the chicken will be dry.)
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover, and let rest 5 to 10 minutes (keep the slow cooker on so that the sauce mixture in it stays warm). To serve, uncover the chicken then use a slotted spoon to scoop the tomato-balsamic slow cooker sauce over the chicken. Top with mozzarella and fresh basil. Enjoy immediately.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I’ve made this a few times now and I have to say it’s my absolute favorite slow-cooker recipe!! So so easy and the flavors taste like I’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day! I serve it with a fresh mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil salad and brown rice. Love it!!!!5 stars

    1. Alexa, I am thrilled to hear this! Thank you so much for taking time to let me know. Have a wonderful day!

    1. Hi Kristy! I know this isn’t the answer you want to hear, but I think that chicken breasts would definitely dry out after that amount of time. If you have a slow cooker that would automatically switch to “keep a warm” when the time expires, you might be able to get away with it with chicken thighs, but even then, I think it would risk being dry. I know this isn’t the news you were hoping for, but I really want it to turn out for you!

  2. Hey Erin!  Thank you so much for the recipe.  I made it last night and think I may have taken a wrong turn somewhere- the chicken ended up tasting wonderful, but we had to shread it with a fork to eat it, and it almost had a stew-y taste to it.  Was I supposed to drain the tomatoes before I put them in the crock pot?  I left the chicken for 2 hours and 45 minutes on high, so maybe I left it in a tad too long?  Either way, thank you for the recipe :)5 stars

    1. Hi Carrie, It sounds like your slow cooker might just be especially powerful! The texture of the chicken is related to the cook time, so it sounds like yours must have been done early. I’m glad the recipe still tasted great! It’s normal to have a fair amount of liquid at the bottom (which is why I suggest spooning the tomatoes with a slotted spoon). Next time, I’d just try checking the chicken earlier. 

  3. Made this for dinner tonight. We couldn’t stop eating it. This dish is so good. I already recommended it to friends.5 stars

  4. I’m prepping meals for the freezer before baby #2 comes. And came across your page and my favorite flavors in this recipe. I am wondering if you could put unfrozen chicken and the sauce in a bag to freeze then throw in the crockpot frozen?  Or do you think that would marinate too long for the flavors?

    1. Hi Jackie,
      I think that would work just fine! I’d suggest thawing the bag in the fridge overnight, then putting it in the crockpot once it’s thawed. I think that will help it cook more evenly. Congrats on your baby to be, and I hope you love the recipe!

  5. We have a ton of fresh basil that needs to be used. Can you substitute fresh basil for the dried? If so, how much?

    1. Hi Kate, you can omit the dried basil when cooking, then sprinkle on as much fresh on as you like afterwards! If you need more ideas, you can also check out more recipes featuring basil here! :)

  6. This was super good! I’m not going to rate it just because I only had half the balsamic vinegar needed for the recipe… :c It was still pretty good even without that and I bet next time I try it, with better preparation, I’ll be giving it five stars! So easy and so tasty!

    1. So happy you enjoyed the recipe Jessi! Thank you so much for taking time to leave this kind comment. I hope you enjoy it the next time around too!

  7. Do you think this could work in the instant pot? Do you have any thoughts on cooking it in that?


    1. Victoria, I am afraid I’ve never tried! I love making chicken in the Instant Pot, but think it would turn the tomatoes into a sauce under the intense pressure. If you’d like to experiment, I’d suggest you reference some articles online about converting slow cooker recipes to the IP and see if that helps. If you decide to play around, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  8. How could something so simple be so utterly delicious?  It permeated the house with a lovely aroma affording is a Proustian nose gay of the senses.   I served with roasted yukon potatoes and a medley of Italian squash and green beans.  A perfect summer meal!  Thank you!5 stars

  9. Was very good. I did add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes. I also omitted the onion, since I am allergic.5 stars

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