Tuscan Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
You’ll love this easy crock pot recipe for Tuscan Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs! This Tuscan chicken recipe has tender slow cooked chicken, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes in a creamy sauce.
Slow cooker meals are one of my favorite tricks for getting family dinners on the table. Prep this Tuscan Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs Recipe in the morning or afternoon and then you won’t have to worry about cooking dinner during the evening crazy hour.
You’ll love cooking chicken thighs in your slow cooker because they don’t dry out as easily as chicken breasts can. These Tuscan chicken thighs are moist and tender, cooked to perfection in an herbed sun-dried tomato sauce. If you love chicken thighs, you are also going to go crazy for my crockpot chicken and mushrooms, crockpot chicken with potatoes, crispy baked chicken thighs, chicken cacciatore or grilled chicken thighs recipes!
After the chicken is cooked through, you’ll stir in fresh spinach and a bit of cream to make the sauce luxuriously creamy. You can use coconut milk in place of the cream for a dairy-free option.
Besides pantry staples like olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic and chicken broth, you’ll need just five ingredients for this recipe. I try to keep ingredient lists short and simple whenever possible, to save you both time and money.
This Tuscan chicken is one of our favorite slow cooker meals
- The method and ingredients in this recipe give these slow cooker chicken thighs so much flavor.
- This meal is versatile. Serve your Tuscan chicken with a side of sautéed, steamed or roasted veggies. This chicken also goes well with pasta, rice and quinoa.
- This crock pot recipe is perfect for Sunday dinner or a weeknight meal.
- Try my other delicious Italian chicken recipes: Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Piccata, Chicken Marsala and Chicken Cacciatore.
How to make Tuscan Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
Bone in or boneless skinless chicken thighs?
I like to make this recipe with boneless skinless chicken thighs because they are leaner. You can use bone in chicken thighs, but you may need to cook them a bit longer. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check that the chicken has reached a safe 165 degrees F.
Brown the chicken
You will start by browning your chicken thighs in a hot skillet on the stove. I encourage you to not skip this step, because browning the chicken adds so much flavor to the finished dish.
Cook the chicken thighs on the first side until they easily release from the pan, then flip the chicken pieces and cook them for a few minutes on the second side. Once the chicken has browned, transfer it to your slow cooker.
Sauté the shallots and garlic
Next you’ll sauté some shallot and garlic in the same pan that you browned the chicken. Don’t wash out the pan first! You want all of the flavor left behind by the chicken.
Deglaze the pan
To make sure that you get all of the flavor from the sauté pan into your slow cooker meal, you’re going to deglaze the pan with some chicken broth. This just means that you will pour in the broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. You’ll transfer the broth and all of those bits of flavor to your slow cooker.
You’ll add a few more ingredients to your slow cooker: Italian seasoning, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper. Then slow cook until the chicken is cooked through to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F. If your chicken cooks a bit longer than needed, don’t worry. It will still be tender and flavorful.
Finish the sauce
Once the chicken is cooked through, you’ll finish the sauce. A cornstarch slurry helps to thicken the sauce. Stir together the cornstarch and heavy cream and then stir this mixture into your slow cooker. Add some chopped fresh spinach, cover, and cook on high for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly and the spinach wilts.
I like to sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese over these Tuscan slow cooker chicken thighs before serving.
Cooking Tips for Crockpot Chicken Thighs
- This recipe has a cook time of a couple of hours, so you should make it on a day when you’ll be able to start your crockpot mid-day. The chicken will be overcooked if it cooks all day.
- Don’t skip the step of browning the chicken, as it adds a lot of flavor.
- You can use 1/2 cup yellow onion in place of the shallot.
- If you like a lot of sauce, increase the chicken broth to 1 1/2 cups and the heavy cream to 1/2 cup. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3 cloves garlic.
- I tend to go light on the salt in my recipes. I recommend tasting the finished dish and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
- In place of the heavy cream, you can use half and half or coconut milk.
More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
- Crockpot Shredded Chicken
- Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
- Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
- Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Tuscan Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 6 thighs
- 1 shallot, chopped, about 1/2 cup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, not in oil
- 1/3 cup heavy cream, or coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- grated Parmesan cheese, optional, for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet on the stove over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken thighs. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Brown on both sides, 2-4 minutes per side.
- Transfer chicken to the slow cooker.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot to the pan. Saute, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Pour the chicken broth into the pan and cook for 1 minutes, gently scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat.
- Transfer the contents of the pan to the slow cooker.
- Add the Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and sun dried tomatoes to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high heat for 2-2.5 hours or low for 4-5 hours, until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and cornstarch. Stir it into the slow cooker, along with the spinach. Cook for 5 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
- You can substitute 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion for the shallot.
- If you like a lot of sauce, increase the chicken broth to 1 1/2 cups and the heavy cream to 1/2 cup. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3 cloves garlic.
- You can substitute half and half or coconut milk for the heavy cream.
I have oil packed sun-dried tomatoes. Why do you use the dry sun dried tomatoes in this recipe? Can I substitute the oil-packed ones?
Yes, you can sub them, just drain off the oil. Using the dry ones is just my personal preference. 🙂
Delicious! Even my 11-month-old granddaughter loves it!
This looks delicious! Pinning!
I have been making this weekly for the last 6 weeks- delicious!
Yay! I’m so glad you are enjoying this recipe! 🙂
I’m interested in making this tonight as I have most the ingredients on hand. I’ve seen a number of comments mention adding mushrooms and I have some that I need to use before they go bad. I was curious if you’ve done this, and if so, at what point do you add the mushrooms? Thanks in advance!
I would add sliced mushrooms to the skillet along with the shallots and saute them for a few minutes before adding the garlic. I hope you enjoy the meal!
loved it! I added mushrooms and 2 big handfulls of fresh basil – mine needed 3 cups of spinach – also more like 2 tsp of dried Italian herbs – used yellow onions and that was great – delish and super easy – thanks! I am a single person so will use the leftovers in a bowl tomorrow and if there’s still some left add more of the chix broth to make a hearty soup to go with a big salad on the 3rd night 🙂
That sounds perfect! Adding mushrooms is a great idea.
This looks great – Can I freeze it ??
Hi Kath, I don’t think this one would freeze well because of the creamy sauce. Instead I would try to repurpose the leftovers into other meals. 🙂
It was delicious! Very flavorful & easy. Even my teens liked it 🙂 I also added mushrooms and topped with feta instead of parm, as that’s what was in the fridge.
That’s wonderful! I’m thinking I definitely need to add mushrooms the next time I make this!
Was so good! I cooked some baby bellas and added them in when adding the heavy cream. Very tasty!
I’ve added mushrooms to this recipe, too and they go perfectly! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this. 🙂
This was absolutely delicious!!!! I cook a lot and this is one of my favorite dishes so thank you very much for sharing!! I do have a question, this is my second slow cooker recipe so I am not too familiar with the slow cooker “rules”. I definitely want to double this recipe so I was wondering if the same exact cooking times would apply for 3 lbs of thighs? Thank you in advance!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. When doubling this recipe the cook time should be about the same. I would check the chicken after the recipe cook time to see if it is cooked through. Sometimes you have to add a little extra time when doubling slow cooker recipes because it can take the slow cooker longer to heat up, but with this recipe my guess is that you wouldn’t have to add more than 30 minutes.
Have made this once and it was delicious. Could I prep it a day ahead, refrigerate and start it the next day? Busy weekend planned with little time on day of serving. Thanks for this great recipe.
I wouldn’t brown the chicken if you plan to prep this ahead, because I’d be worried about food safety with only partially cooking the chicken and then refrigerating to cook later. If you skip the skillet step, I think it would be fine.
Made this tonight. It was delicious!!! I think it would taste great with mushrooms. This will be on my make again list.
I’m so happy to hear that! You might also like my newest recipe, crockpot chicken and mushrooms. 🙂
I’m based in UK & about to try this recipe can I just clarify a couple of things. I tend to work on measurements/weights with most recipes. So when you say half a cup is this a “tea cup” or “mug” size. Chicken broth: I think this means stock?. Heavy cream: we have single and double cream am I right to assume double?
Sorry, I’m not criticising you/recipe I just want to get it right as I’m not a very accomplished cook……………..yet!!
Those are good questions! In the U.S. we use cup measurements, and one cup equals 8 fluid ounces (so it’s actual standard sized measuring cups that we use, not a tea cup or mug). To convert cup measurements to weight measurements is trickier, as it depends on the particular ingredient. The cup measurements of the non-liquid ingredients in this recipe are forgiving, so use however much you want. 🙂 Chicken broth and stock are slightly different but can be used interchangeably in recipes. Your double cream is similar to our heavy cream, but double cream is a little thicker and higher in fat. I would use double in this recipe. I hope you enjoy the recipe! Cooking is pretty forgiving, so I don’t think you’ll go wrong. 🙂
When should you add the mushrooms? Did they water down the cream sauce?
Saute the mushrooms along with the shallots in the skillet. They will release some of their liquid then, and shouldn’t water down the sauce.
This was one of the best recipes I’ve tried in quite a while! My husband and I loved it! Also loved the tips shared at the end, very helpful! I made extra sauce and served it over lightly buttered egg noodles and fresh grated Parmesan. Company recipe for sure. Thanks so much for sharing this.
Hello! I make this all the time, definitely a family favorite! I was wondering if you’ve made this on the stove or in the oven? Thank you!
I have not tried this on the stove or oven. I’m glad you enjoy it!
Made this for hubby and our friends. Everyone loved it! Not a drop left. Perfect for watching Sunday night football. Will definitely make again! Thank you!
We loved this recipe! Thank you for the great instructions. I browned the tights in a saucepan first. I could taste the difference; the tights were much tastier browned. I timed my crock pot for 2 hours and temped the tights at 208F, so my crock pot cooks high and fast. Next time, I will time it for 90 minutes. The tights were not ruined; in fact, my husband ate 3 of them and we only had 1 as a left over. We will definitely have this again!
And thank you for having a recipe that wasn’t sticky bbq or teriyaki or a honey glaze sauce. This was refreshingly good!
Got this in the slow cooker for supper tonight and I can not wait!! Have some mushrooms I need to get used up so I might even throw those in later. Already smells awesome!
Great colours in the Tuscan chicken, looks delicious
We are currently under self quarantine. I have all ingredients except heavy cream. Can I use milk? All I have is 2%.
Looks great!!! Can’ wait to try it!!
Milk will work in a pinch. The sauce may be a little thinner and less rich, but it should still be good! (If you happen to have half and half, that will work great.)
Very very good recipe. I get frustrated by some of the results I get with online recipes, but this one is fantastic. Thanks for sharing!!
as a follow up…since I didn’t have heavy cream or half and half, I had to improvise. I took the juices from the crock after cooking, poured it into a small sauce pan, made a roux, whisked that into the juices, (I did splash a little milk into it, just because…) then stirred in the spinach (1 c.), let it wilt and simmer. I put the chicken in a serving dish and poured the (gravy) over it. It was great! My husband and granddaughter both liked it!
I will definitely make it again, next time I will try heavy cream, but this way was great too!!
Thanks for sharing how you adapted the recipe. I’m glad it turned out so well!
Added mushrooms. Went for your suggestion for more sauce. Unless you like a VERY thin sauce ; I’d suggest you double the corn starch to make this sauce thicker and creamier. I also will add more salt and garlic as well as chicken breast instead of thighs when I make this again. I used penne’ pasta. Thanks loved this!
Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! Mushrooms release quite a bit of liquid when cooking, so that could be why your sauce turned out on the thin side.
This was fantastic! A big hit with my picky family. I added mushrooms as well; did not saute first, just put directly into crock pot, and they were wonderful. Definitely agree with the commenter who suggested adding a bit more cornstarch if you like a thicker sauce. Will be adding this into our recipe rotation!
We make this quite a bit and eat it with pasta. It’s delicious! I use sun dried tomatoes in oil (since that’s what we keep on hand and I leave out the spinach and make a side of another veggie (sauteed mushrooms or green beans). Today I browned a bit of Italian sausage and threw it in with the chicken so I’m hoping that turns out!
This chicken is AMAZING! There is so much flavor going on in my mouth that I am overwhelmed! This will definitely become a regular at our dinner table and during get togethers! Thank you so much for sharing and saving those of us who are not so creative in the kitchen! ?
I loved this easy, tasty, and amazing dish. I used Greek yogurt instead of the heavy cream (didn’t have any available) and it was scrumptious. I also added some sliced zucchini during the last 25 minutes to the mix. Great and easy dinner. This will be a repeat meal added to my menu. Thank you for sharing!!
Thank you for this recipe. It is delicious!! I modified slightly by also adding some ranch dressing seasoning. Also, I prefer to serve the spinach or another veggie on the side.
When you say shallot, do you mean french shallot, or spring onion shallot?
I used French shallots in this recipe.
I was looking for a crock pot recipe for chicken thighs, and this one happened to have ingredients that I had on hand. Very good – the family enjoyed it! I served it with vegetables and noodles, and will definitely put this in the dinner rotation.
Sooo good I’m licking my plate!! Surprisingly quick and easy, threw it all in the crocK pot and forgot about it until it was time to eat. We will be adding this recipe to recipe box!
Thank you so much for posting this recipe!! I made it tonight and my family enjoyed it sooooo much!! I didn’t have sun dried tomatoes so I didn’t use them. But I followed the rest of the recipe using boneless, skinless chicken thighs (which is what my family prefers). I actually used my own home made veggie stock (also made in a crock pot!) and it was delicious!! We served it over a medley of quinoa and rice!! Definitely a keeper and I will make it again! Thanks again! I look forward to trying other recipes that you post!
I’d love to make this for dinner tonight but I only have bone-in chicken thighs. Can I trim the skin off and use these as a substitute? Would the cooking time change? Thanks!
Yes, you can use bone-in thighs. You can trim the skin off before using or wait and remove the skin after cooking (as I do in my Crockpot Chicken and Potatoes). I recommend cooking bone-in thighs for 5 to 6 hours on low or 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Enjoy!
I made this with fresh tomatoes instead of sun-dried (don’t like the taste) and it was such a hit with the whole family… Thanks for a great recipe!!
Hello Kristine, I’m prepping my meal for tomorrow and realize I don’t have anymore fresh spinach, will I go wrong if I use frozen spinach instead?
Frozen should work fine as long as you thaw it and squeeze out any excess moisture before adding it to the dish. Enjoy!
Recipe sounds delicious, I have a dinner party guest who is Celiac. Is this recipe gluten free?
This recipe should be gluten-free, but please check all packages of ingredients (chicken broth, etc.) to make sure that they are gluten-free.
We love this recipe! It’s a definite winner. The only adjustment I made is to really season the meat before browning with my go to combo of garlic salt, season salt, pepper & paprika. Plus, I generously sprinkled dry basil, too.
But, I’m a big fan of seasoning meat, just my preference.
I usually serve this over either brown basmati rice or brown short grain. But, this would work great over polenta (either fried or just boiled. Great recipe, thx for sharing!
Oh boy. My first try was a disaster! I just bought a new 6 quart slow cooker and this was my first recipe. Looking at the photos showing this recipe in the slow cooker it looks like a large one since it was oval shaped and by how many thighs were in there. Every thing went fine and I put it on low for 4 hours. After 2 1/2 hrs. I had a thought after rereading the manual for my new slow cooker. It said that to be sure that the liquid was at least half full or that the recipe would be overcooked. I realized that when I added the chicken broth it did not cover the chicken and definitely didn’t fill the pot half full. Sure enough, I opened the lid, the sun dried tomatoes were dry and the chick was at 210 degrees! It take out tonight 🙁
The recipe looked so very good. How can I cook this recipe in a 6 quart slow cooker?
My slow cooker is a 5 quart. I’ve never worried about filling it at least half full with liquid, but the less full it is the faster your food will cook. Slow cookers can also vary in how they cook so yours may cook faster than mine. I would recommend making a double recipe or at least 1 1/2 times the recipe, so that you have more of your slow cooker filled. You could also reduce the cook time.
What about using an instant pot? I know I can brown the chicken an sauté everything in the instant pot and then just use the slow cooker portion to cook but just wondered if you tried it in an instant pot?
I haven’t tested this recipe in the Instant Pot. It could probably be adapted to cook using the pressure cooking function, but you might need to add a little extra broth. I find that the slow cook function of the Instant Pot doesn’t work well, so I don’t recommend using that function for this recipe.
Absolutely Delicious! Question – Can I make this in the oven instead and how long should I cook it?
I haven’t tried making this in the oven so I’m not sure how it would turn out.
I was very excited to try this recipe. Since the first 4-steps are stove top, I decided it would be easier to just use my dutch oven rather than transferring to a slow cooker.
First sautéed the shallots and garlic, then browned the chicken. I added 1 1/2 cup of chicken stock (instead of 1 cup) the spices and sun dried tomatoes and simmered for 30 minutes.
Followed the recipe from that point. Turned out great!
This meal is constantly in our rotation! I follow it pretty much exactly (although I took your suggestion of adding more salt if wanted – personal preference!) and it’s delicious every time. Thanks for the great recipe!
Could I cook this to just before adding cream and spinach, save till next day and reheat and then add final ingredients?
I think that will work fine. Enjoy. 🙂
I have a super picky family (with two kids ages 8 and 2 with me being American and my husband Indian) I have a really hard time finding recipes my whole family will eat. Usually at least one person hates whatever recipe I try. Not this one!! Our family LOVED it!! We were all fighting for the leftovers the next day ? Definitely will be making this again and again!! Thank you!
I’m going to use frozen spinach because thats what I have. Will that be ok and when would i put it in slow cooker?
I haven’t tried using frozen spinach, but I think it will work ok. I would squeeze out any excess moisture and add it at the same point as you would add fresh spinach.
I knew I would enjoy this as I like all the ingredients !!! Its such an easy meal to make and really tasty , even i can make this in the slow cooker and im a guy !! Thanks for this .
hi I was making these for dinner and I realized I boiled the sauce over high heat instead of medium. Is that going to cause a problem?
It will be just fine. I hope you enjoy this meal! 🙂
I don’t have sundried tomatoes. Do you think this would work with fresh tomato?
Fresh tomatoes won’t add as much flavor as sun dried tomatoes, but you might try adding chopped fresh tomatoes near the end of the cook time.
Can I use vegetable broth???? I’m out of chicken broth!
Yes, that will work fine. Enjoy!
Outstanding, “Five Star” recipe! Have now made this three times in past two months (has become one of my wife’s favorites). We love that your recipes are laid-out & organized extremely well while still managing to be fairly concise & to the point … you really outline the order of things and oh yeah, the recipes here are terrific!
With that, regarding all the substitution questions others have posted. I say stop worrying, follow the recipe instructions as best you can, substitute things if you want to or have to, and trust your cooking instincts because this is a solid recipe to work with.
Variation: Started the recipe in the skillet as noted. Then for the crock pot cooking, used my multi-cooker on slow cooker setting, high for 1.5 hours then low for 2 hours. Layered chunks of organic red potatoes (scrubbed but NOT peeled, about 2.5+ lbs) over the chicken in those last two hours while adding 4 cups (not just one cup) of warmed chicken broth knowing that the potatoes would absorb about half of it. Also nearly tripled the cream (with 3x corn starch) plus added 4 Tbs butter when adding the broth. Lastly, added a whole bin of “super greens” (org. spinach, baby kale, chard, & arugula greens) in the last 15 minutes, covered, to steam down the greens. To serve, I poured the whole cooker pot into a big pasta bowl and gently tossed it all together, topped with Romano & Parmesan cheese & generous grinds of pepper. Served up right away. Turned out super delicious each time.
Such an incredible meal! I served alongside Mediterranean vegetables and homemade garlic bread.
This recipe will be going to the top of my favorite slow cooker meals. So easy and delicious.
Delicious and easy! I am having it right now served over gluten free fettuccine! Thank you!
Made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic. I left out the sundried tomatoes because neither me or my husband like them and I used onions as I had no shallots.
I had to use bone in thighs because thats what the supermarket gave me instead of boneless but it was just a few minutes at the end picking out the bones and cartilage.
I found a jar of Tuscan seasoning in the back of my spice cupboard that I also used so that probably changed the flavour slightly but even without that it would be incredible.
I took the chicken out at the end and added the spinach and cream/cornstarch and while it was thickening and the spinach was wilting I shredded up the chicken. Then put it back in and mixed everything together and served over white rice.
Even my husband, who complains that *everything* is bland, ate it without salt and pepper and loved it, and even requested that I make again in the near future so that’s a definite win lol.
UK family absolutely loved this. Converted cup measurements via Google and used cornflour and double cream. Delicious. Thank you for such a great recipe.
This one is a winner. I should have pushed the sun dried tomatoes under the liquid but otherwise turned out yummy!!!
Hello, can I add orzo and mushrooms to this as used in the chicken and mushrooms recipe.
I haven’t tried it, but I think that will probably work well. You might want to add a little extra broth since it will be soaked up by the orzo as it cooks.