The grill—which I use nearly the whole year ‘round as it is—will be sharing my affection this spring and summer. Because my slow cooker isn’t going anywhere
Not when it makes meals like this one.
All saucy and comforting.
I have to say—I don’t usually like slow cooker recipes that require pre-cooking. It just seems to negate at least a bit of the ease of using the good ol’ “toss together, set it, and forget it” machine, don’t you think? This time, though, I find the prep to be worth it. A homemade marinara always is. The good news is that the sauce takes no more than 15 minutes to come together and once it’s fragrant and bubbling, you simply combine it with chicken breasts and cook on low for 8 hours. The result is tender chicken in a sweet and garlicky tomato sauce that’s been cooking away all day. Fresh basil and a few shavings of Parmesan cheese add even more flavor and dimension.
If you’re in the mood for chicken Parmesan but you’d prefer to skip the hassle and the calories that come along with the traditional version, you’ll love this. Feel free to melt mozzarella on top for added cheesiness.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce can crushed or ground, peeled tomatoes
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 (5- to 6-ounce) chicken breasts (2 pounds total)
- ½ cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to turn a golden, about 7 minutes. Lower the heat if they begin to burn at any point. Add the crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste and stir until the mixture is smooth and well-combined. Add the oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper; stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Pour 2 cups of the sauce in the base of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the chicken breasts and pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top. Cook on low for 8 hours.
- To serve, divide the chicken breasts among 6 serving plates, spoon 2 tablespoons of the marinara sauce over the top, and sprinkle each evenly with the basil and Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/6th of Entire Recipe): Calories 370, Total Fat 12.5 g, Total Carbohydrate 23.8 g, Dietary Fiber 4.7 g, Sugars 17.2 g, Protein 44.0 g