Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed any day of the week. This classic Italian-American recipe is a crowd-pleaser that combines tender chicken breasts, crispy breadcrumbs, tangy marinara sauce, and melted mozzarella cheese. Slow cooking the chicken allows it to absorb all the flavors of the sauce and spices, resulting in a succulent and flavorful meal.
One of the benefits of making Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is that it requires minimal effort and preparation. Simply season the chicken, coat it with breadcrumbs, and place it in the slow cooker with the marinara sauce and cheese. Then let the slow cooker do its magic for a few hours while you go about your day. The end result is a hearty and satisfying meal that can be served with pasta, bread, or a salad.
There are many variations of Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan, and each recipe has its unique twist on the classic dish. Some recipes use different types of cheese, such as Parmesan or Romano, while others add herbs and spices like basil, oregano, or red pepper flakes. Regardless of the recipe, Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is a delicious and comforting meal that is sure to please everyone at the table.
Overview of Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is a classic Italian-American dish that is easy to make and delicious to eat. It is a slow-cooked version of the traditional Chicken Parmesan, where the chicken is coated with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and herbs, and then fried until crispy. In this dish, the chicken is cooked in a slow cooker, which allows it to become tender and juicy, while also infusing the chicken with the flavors of the sauce and seasonings.
To make Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan, the chicken is first coated in a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning, and then placed in a slow cooker with a tomato-based sauce. The chicken is then cooked on low heat for 4-6 hours, or until it is cooked through and tender. Just before serving, the chicken is topped with mozzarella cheese and broiled until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
One of the benefits of making Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is that it is an easy and convenient dish to prepare. The slow cooker does most of the work, allowing you to prepare the dish in advance and then let it cook while you attend to other tasks. Additionally, the slow cooking process allows the chicken to become incredibly tender and flavorful, making it a great option for busy weeknights or when you want to impress guests with a delicious and easy-to-make meal.
Overall, Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is a classic Italian-American dish that is easy to make, delicious to eat, and perfect for any occasion. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection.
To make Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan, one needs a few basic ingredients that are easily available in most grocery stores. The following list includes the ingredients required to make this delicious and hearty dish:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and black pepper to taste
The chicken breasts are coated in a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and flour before being dipped in beaten eggs. This coating gives the chicken a crispy and flavorful exterior. The chicken is then placed in a slow cooker and covered with marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese before being cooked on low heat for 4-6 hours. The dish is finished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley leaves for added flavor and color.
This recipe can be adjusted to suit individual preferences. For example, one can use homemade marinara sauce instead of store-bought, or substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts. However, the basic ingredients listed above are essential for making Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan.
Required Kitchen Tools
Making Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan requires a few essential kitchen tools. Here are the tools that will make the cooking process easier:
1. Slow Cooker
The most important tool for making Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is a slow cooker. A slow cooker is a countertop appliance that cooks food at a low temperature for a long time. It is perfect for making this dish because it allows the chicken to cook slowly and absorb all the flavors of the sauce and seasoning.
2. Meat Tenderizer
To ensure that the chicken is cooked evenly and tender, a meat tenderizer is needed. A meat tenderizer is a tool used to flatten chicken breasts to an even thickness. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and is not overcooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside.
3. Shallow Bowls
Shallow bowls are needed for the breading process. The chicken breasts are coated in seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese before being cooked. Shallow bowls make it easier to coat the chicken breasts evenly in the breadcrumb mixture.
Tongs are useful for handling the chicken breasts during the cooking process. They allow you to turn the chicken over without piercing the meat, which can cause the juices to escape and make the chicken dry.
5. Serving Dish
Once the Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is cooked, it needs to be served in a dish. A shallow dish is ideal for this dish as it allows the chicken to be served with the sauce and cheese on top.
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be prepared in a few simple steps. Here are the preparation steps:
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.
- Beat two eggs in a separate bowl.
- In a third bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, basil, and parmesan cheese.
- Coat the chicken breasts in the flour mixture, then dip them in the beaten eggs, and finally coat them in the breadcrumb mixture until they are completely coated.
- Lightly grease the slow cooker with oil.
- Place the coated chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken breasts.
- Cook the chicken breasts in the slow cooker on low heat for 4-6 hours or until a thermometer inserted in the chicken reads 165°F.
- Top the chicken breasts with mozzarella cheese, recover, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
By following these simple steps, anyone can make a delicious Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan dish that is sure to impress.
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Cooking Instructions
Layering the Ingredients
To make Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan, start by layering the ingredients in the slow cooker. First, spread a layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Then, dip chicken pieces in a mixture of bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken pieces on top of the sauce in the slow cooker. Repeat the process until all chicken pieces are layered in the slow cooker.
Setting the Slow Cooker
Once the chicken pieces are layered in the slow cooker, set the slow cooker to cook on low heat for 5-6 hours. If you want to cook it on high heat, cook it for 2-3 hours. Cover the slow cooker with a lid to keep the moisture inside.
Cooking Time and Temperatures
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is cooked at a low temperature for a long time to ensure that the chicken is tender and juicy. The chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure that it is safe to eat. Once the chicken is cooked, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top and let it melt for 10-15 minutes before serving.
It is important to note that cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces. It is always recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked.
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of sides and garnishes. Here are a few ideas to help you create a delicious meal that your family and friends will love.
To balance the richness of the chicken and cheese, consider serving a light and refreshing side dish. A simple green salad dressed with a vinaigrette or a side of steamed vegetables, such as broccoli or green beans, can be a great choice. You can also serve roasted or mashed potatoes, garlic bread, or rice pilaf to soak up the delicious sauce.
A sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley, can add a pop of color and flavor to the dish. You can also top the chicken with a dollop of pesto or a few slices of fresh tomato. For a bit of crunch, try adding some toasted breadcrumbs or chopped nuts, such as almonds or pine nuts.
The rich flavors of Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan pair well with a variety of wines. A medium-bodied red wine, such as Chianti or Pinot Noir, can complement the tomato sauce and cheese. For a white wine option, try a crisp and acidic Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. If you prefer a sweeter wine, a light and fruity Rosé can be a great choice.
Overall, Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is a crowd-pleasing dish that can be customized to your taste. With these serving suggestions, you can create a delicious and memorable meal that everyone will enjoy.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you plan to store it for longer, it is recommended to freeze it.
To freeze Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan, let it cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or a Ziploc bag. Label the container with the date and contents and store it in the freezer for up to three months.
When reheating Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan, it is important to ensure that it is heated thoroughly to avoid any risk of foodborne illness. The easiest way to reheat it is in the microwave. Place the chicken in a microwave-safe dish and heat it on high for 1-2 minutes or until it is heated through.
If you prefer to reheat it in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Bake it for 20-25 minutes or until it is heated through. You can also sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top and broil it for a few minutes to make it crispy.
It is important to note that reheated Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan may not be as crispy as it was when it was freshly made. However, it will still be delicious and satisfying.
Nutritional Information for Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
Slow cooker chicken parmesan is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed by all. It is a great source of protein and can be a healthy addition to any meal plan. Here is some information about the nutritional value of slow cooker chicken parmesan:
One serving of slow cooker chicken parmesan contains approximately 350-400 calories. This can vary depending on the recipe and serving size. It is important to keep portion sizes in mind when consuming this dish.
Slow cooker chicken parmesan is a great source of protein. One serving typically contains around 30-40 grams of protein. This can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods of time.
Slow cooker chicken parmesan can be high in fat, depending on the recipe. It is important to choose a recipe that uses lean chicken breast and low-fat cheese to keep the fat content down. One serving typically contains around 10-15 grams of fat.
Slow cooker chicken parmesan is not typically a low-carbohydrate dish. One serving can contain around 30-40 grams of carbohydrates. However, this can be reduced by using a low-carbohydrate marinara sauce and serving the dish with a side of vegetables instead of pasta.
Overall, chicken parmesan can be a healthy and delicious addition to any meal plan. By choosing the right recipe and keeping portion sizes in mind, it can be a great source of protein and other essential nutrients.
Variations and Substitutions
This is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit individual tastes and dietary needs. Here are some variations and substitutions to try:
For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, there are several cheese alternatives that can be used in place of Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Some options include:
- Nutritional yeast: a popular vegan cheese substitute that has a nutty, cheesy flavor.
- Dairy-free cheese: there are several brands of dairy-free cheese that melt and taste similar to regular cheese.
- Cashew cheese: a homemade cheese made from soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, and seasonings.
While marinara sauce is the traditional sauce used in Chicken Parmesan, there are many variations to try. Here are a few ideas:
- Alfredo sauce: a creamy white sauce made from butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese.
- Pesto sauce: a green sauce made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese.
- Vodka sauce: a creamy tomato sauce made with vodka, cream, and Parmesan cheese.
Vegetarian Adaptations for Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
For those who don’t eat meat, there are several adaptations that can be made to the recipe. Here are some ideas:
- Eggplant Parmesan: substitute breaded and fried eggplant slices for the chicken.
- Portobello mushroom Parmesan: substitute grilled portobello mushroom caps for the chicken.
- Tofu Parmesan: substitute breaded and fried tofu for the chicken.
Remember to adjust cooking times and temperatures accordingly when making substitutions or adaptations.
Tips for Perfect Chicken Parmesan
Chicken Parmesan is a classic Italian-American dish that is loved by many. It is a delicious and satisfying meal that can be made in a slow cooker. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan:
1. Use High-Quality Ingredients
The quality of your ingredients can make a big difference in the taste of your Chicken Parmesan. When shopping for ingredients, look for high-quality chicken, fresh herbs, and good quality cheese. Using fresh ingredients will give your dish a better flavor and texture.
2. Brown the Chicken First
Browning the chicken before adding it to the slow cooker will give it a nice crispy texture. This step is important as it adds flavor to the chicken and also helps to seal in the juices. To brown the chicken, heat some oil in a skillet and cook the chicken until it is browned on both sides.
3. Use the Right Amount of Sauce
Using too much sauce can make your dish watery and mushy. On the other hand, using too little sauce can make the dish dry and unappetizing. A good rule of thumb is to use about 1 cup of sauce per pound of chicken.
4. Add Cheese at the End To Your Slow Cooker Parmesan
Adding cheese at the end of the cooking process will prevent it from becoming rubbery and overcooked. Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking and let it melt.
5. Serve with the Right Accompaniments
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan is usually served with pasta, but it can also be served with rice or vegetables. Choose the accompaniments that you like best and that will complement the flavors of the dish.
By following these tips, you can make a delicious dish that will impress your family and friends.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make a healthier version of slow cooker chicken parmesan?
To make a healthier version of slow cooker chicken parmesan, consider using whole wheat breadcrumbs instead of white breadcrumbs. You can also use low-fat cheese and a homemade tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes and herbs. Another option is to substitute chicken with turkey or a plant-based protein like tofu or seitan.
What are some easy steps to prepare slow cooker chicken parmesan?
To prepare slow cooker chicken parmesan, start by seasoning the chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Then dip the chicken in egg and coat it with breadcrumbs. Brown the chicken in a skillet and transfer it to the slow cooker. Pour tomato sauce over the chicken and top it with shredded mozzarella cheese. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Can I add garlic to my slow cooker chicken parmesan for extra flavor?
Yes, garlic is a great addition to slow cooker chicken parmesan. You can add minced garlic to the tomato sauce or sauté garlic in olive oil and coat the chicken with it before browning.
What are some variations of slow cooker chicken parmesan, like with potatoes or pasta?
One variation is to add potatoes to the slow cooker with the chicken and tomato sauce. You can also serve the chicken parmesan over pasta or with a side of roasted vegetables.
How can I prevent my chicken from becoming rubbery when cooked in a slow cooker?
To prevent chicken from becoming rubbery when cooked in a slow cooker, make sure to not overcook it. Cook the chicken on low for 4-6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. You can also add a bit of liquid like chicken broth or tomato sauce to the slow cooker to keep the chicken moist.
Is it safe to cook raw chicken in a slow cooker, and how does it affect the cooking time?
Yes, it is safe to cook raw chicken in a slow cooker as long as the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Cooking time can vary depending on the recipe and the size of the chicken pieces. Generally, chicken should be cooked on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.