Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken with Tomatoes and Basil
This healthy slow cooker balsamic chicken with tomatoes and basil is a fresh, easy meal that draws on the flavors of bruschetta for a simple, flavorful meal everyone will love. It’s one of those recipes that we find ourselves making on repeat week after week!
This post was originally published with the title “Slow Cooker Balsamic Tomato Basil Pulled Chicken”, we’ve changed the name and updated it to improve the post but it’s the same great recipe!
About this Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken with Tomatoes and Basil Recipe
If there are three flavors everyone in my family can agree on they would be…tomatoes, basil, and balsamic!
I could cook pretty much anything, and if I topped it with this magic trio, everyone would be happy.
Given our love for all these things it’s amazing that I never thought of putting them all together before into a weeknight, family-friendly crockpot meal.
From the first bite of this bruschetta-inspired Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken, I knew this was going to be on our menu every week all summer long.
It’s light, bright, beyond easy to prepare and makes the most flavorful pulled chicken you’ve ever tasted (you seriously can’t mess this one up!).
Meal Prep Tip: On weekdays, easy slow cooker recipes are such a time saver! Any hands-on prep is done in just a matter of minutes, freeing you up to do anything else but hover over a hot stove top.
Process & Tips
I’m all about simplifying around here, and this recipe is definitely simple!
I intentionally designed this recipe to have a short list of ingredients, so it’s easy enough to throw together whenever you want.
The prep steps are also very minimal – all you need to do is make your bruschetta mixture, add it to your chicken, set the timer function and let your crockpot work do all the work for you!
Before you know it you’ll have lots of beautifully tender, flavorful, shredded chicken to enjoy for meals all week long.
The trick to keeping this recipe tasting fresh is when to add the tomato-balsamic-garlic mixture. After you mix it up, you toss some of it in with the chicken during cooking process and then add the remaining mixture on top with a generous sprinkling of basil AGAIN at the very end.
Ways to Serve this Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken
You could serve this balsamic shredded chicken with a side of veggies, in a rice or quinoa bowl, tossed with freshly cooked pasta, stuffed into a bun or with some warm crusty bread on the side.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is just with some brown rice and a simple side salad made with any fresh greens tossed in a healthy dressing (if it were me, I’d pair it with either the easy balsamic vinaigrette or the creamy balsamic dressing!).
For a bruschetta inspired stuffed baked potato, add it to these slow cooker baked potatoes with some melted mozzarella.
This recipe is super versatile and pairs well with almost any vegetable, salad, grain or side dish – but here’s a few more of our favorite recipe pairings to get you inspired!
Roasted Green Bean & Brussels Sprout Salad
Ingredients & Modifications
Chicken breasts: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts but you could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. Both work great in this recipe. If you want to use frozen chicken, be sure to fully thaw it first before adding it to your slow cooker.
Tomatoes: Fresh cherry tomatoes or Roma tomatoes both work great in this recipe.
Garlic: In keeping with the bruschetta inspiration and since we’re using so few ingredients, I used fresh garlic cloves for this recipe. But you could use granulated garlic powder in its place if you prefer.
Balsamic vinegar: The dark balsamic vinegar brings some subtle sweetness and a tangy flavor to this dish. It pairs beautifully with the natural acidity of the fresh tomatoes and really helps tie all the ingredients together.
Extra virgin olive oil: I like the subtle flavor from the olive oil but you can also use any other neutral oil you like – such as avocado, canola or vegetable oil.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Tip: Since fresh basil has such a delicate flavor and this recipe cooks low & slow for several hours, be sure to wait to add it at the very end of cooking for the best results!
Tips for Storing & Freezing Leftovers
This recipe can be made ahead! Perfect for meal prep on busy weeks (or anytime you need to feed a crowd quickly & easily).
Cooked chicken will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This recipe also freezes well, store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken with Tomatoes and Basil
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
- 1 ½ pound Roma or cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 5 cups total)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thighs
To Add at the End
- ¼ cup thinly sliced basil
- In a medium bowl, stir together the garlic, tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Add 2 cups of the tomato mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, then add to the slow cooker. Top with an additional 1 cup of the tomato mixture. Set aside the remaining tomato mixture, covered, for serving.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board or plate, shred with two forks, then return to the slow cooker, stirring to combine with the tomatoes and juices.
- Serve the chicken, topped with the remaining fresh tomato mixture and sprinkled with the fresh basil.
OMgoodness! So delicious.
I had cooked a whole organic free-range chicken for bone broth and could not bear to throw away the meat, even tho it was pretty tasteless after simmering for 36 hours. So I went in search of a shredded chicken recipe with delicious sauce to flavor the meat and found this. I threw 3 large roma tomatoes, a large clove of garlic, the 3 tbs of balsamic, the 4 of EVOO, and the salt in my vitamix. The marinade that created is stunningly delicious. I had to add a little water to make it pour over the chicken, and I’m going to let it marinate for a day for the chicken to soak it up.
I have to cook for a meeting next week. They are definitely getting this chicken dish. I will follow your recipe exactly for that.
Thanks for sharing.
Emily, I love that you were able to use the meat from your bone broth and LOVE the idea of blending everything together to make a marinade. Thanks for sharing that idea. I hope it’s a hit for your meeting, too. 🙂
My fridge is old and cranky and froze all my beautiful fresh organic basil. So my meeting group is getting chicken slow-cooked in the marinade I made from the frozen basil leaves, and the rest of the ingredients. It’s cooking right now. I’l let you know how it turned out!
Bummer about the basil, Emily. I hope it still turned out okay and that everyone enjoyed!
It was a huge hit. Absolutely delicious!
Yay, glad everyone enjoyed Emily!
This is going in my crock pot right now! I have the day off but have tons of errands today so it’ll be nice to come home to this dish…especially since it’s a rainy day. What do you recommend eating with it? I was thinking maybe serving it over some brown rice.
Shannon, yes, brown rice would be great. It’s great over pasta as well, or with some crusty bread. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
Made this for dinner tonight. Not only was it simple to prep on a hot Summer day (crockpot didn’t heat up the house…bonus) but tasted delish. We had it over brown rice with a side salad. It’s definitely "a keeper" and will be in our rotation of dinners. Thank you!
p.s. love your one bowl brownies too. They don’t last more then a few days in our house. 🙂
Kristen, I’m so glad you enjoyed. Loved the idea of serving the chicken in rice bowls, and bonus that your kitchen stayed cool! So glad you’re enjoying the brownies as well. They definitely don’t last very long around here either! 🙂
Made this and it was a winner! I served it over quinoa. My husband who normally doesn’t eat tomatoes and thinks quinoa is a vegetable even enjoyed it. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Ashley, fantastic, so glad you and your husband enjoyed!!
Made this today! Sooo yummy and simple. Thanks for sharing!
Sarah, yay, so glad you enjoyed!
Do you refrigerate the leftover tomato mixture or leave it at room temp? I’m making this with seeded large slicer tomatoes since I was given 6 of them (hate to compost the seeds and juices, but seemed like a good way to use them). Looks delicious in the crock pot!
Melissa, if it’s just during the day I let the tomatoes sit at room temp. If you’re making it more than a day ahead I’d refrigerate. Hope you enjoyed this one!
So the basil only goes over the chicken at the end? It doesn’t go in the tomato mixture at all?
Michael, that’s correct, per recipe instructions. Add the fresh basil at the end for best results. Hope you enjoy.
Is this something that could be done in the Instant Pot? Thanks!
Hi Lauren, I haven’t tested it, but I think it could work. It’s possible the balsamic could set off the burn function, but otherwise it should work. You could try 8 minutes high pressure with a quick release. If you try it let us know how it turns out!