I called this post flashback Friday because the taste and smell of this slow cooker marinara chicken and veggies reminded me of one of my favorite meals from my childhood; Chicken Cacciatore. My dad was known for a few dishes when I was growing up, among those were chili, chicken marsala, fudge (yeah, it’s a dessert, but he was known for it, and still is) and of course chicken cacciatore.
I can still remember the distinct smell of all of his dishes, especially the fudge because he still makes it every year at Christmas time. When I was preparing this slow-cooker recipe I was feeling nostalgic all day long!
Slow Cooker Marinara Chicken and Veggies
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed **
4 tomatoes, chopped or one 14.5-ounce can low-sodium tomatoes, drained **
4 medium ribs celery, diced (~ 1 cup) **
2 small zucchini, diced (2 cups)
1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
One 18-ounce jar low-sodium marinara sauce **
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
**NOTE: If you are following a low FODMAPs diet this will never be 100% free of FODMAPs, but you can reduce the amount by omitting the garlic cloves, using fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes without garlic or onion added, and making your own garlic and onion-free marinara sauce (actually Rao’s has a product that is garlic and onion free). I made this recipe with a regular jar of marinara sauce and seemed to be ok. I stuck to one serving a day of this delicious recipe! Also, omit the celery if you are sensitive to the polyols (or the “P” in FODMAPs).
- Place the chicken in the slow cooker; add the garlic, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, and pepper. Pour the marinara sauce over all, and sprinkle the basil and time on top.
- Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 6 to 7 hours. Before serving shred the chicken with a fork.
Before shredding the chicken….
After shredding the chicken!
The chicken was so tender, it barely needs a fork to help with the shredding. That’s what I love about slow cookers, the meat is always so juicy and tender, even when it’s really lean like a chicken breast!
Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/8th of recipe, using fresh tomatoes instead of canned
Nutrition Highlights: Under 300 calories, a good source of fiber and iron, an excellent source of vitamins A and C.
So, how many different ways could you eat this marinara chicken?!
- Over brown rice or whole wheat pasta
- Alone (it’s amazing by itself, it doesn’t even need anything)
- On a baked potato
- Over some steamed vegetables (volumetrics!)
- Wrapped in a soft whole-grain tortilla