A slow cooker chicken casserole is total comfort food, and perfect for a cold night. This is a great batch cooking meal, as it freezes well and the whole family loves it. Chunky vegetables and shredded chicken, all in a deliciously creamy mustard sauce. This slow cooker dish is SO easy to prepare, by just dumping everything in with no pre-cooking needed.
The beauty of slow cookers is you can just dump everything in and leave it to cook away. That makes this slow cooker chicken casserole perfect for autumn when the new back to school routine has you running around with no time to think about elaborate dinners. Filling, packed full of vegetables and easy to adapt.
Why you will love it
- Total comfort food
- Easy creamy sauce
- No prep needed
- Freezes well
- Easy to adapt
- Kids love it
- Chicken thighs - We used boneless and skinless chicken thighs, as we find that they have the most flavour. They are moist and juicy, and perfect for slow cooking. You could use chunks of chicken breast, however this doesn't have the same flavour.
- Shallots - We added these whole (or halved if they were large) and they add a lovely sweet flavour to the dish. You could fresh a chopped brown onion instead.
- Carrots - An easy way to give this dish a vitamin boost and a little colour (slow cooker dishes can look a little beige and boring). We used baby carrots and kept the skin on to save some time, however you could slice up larger carrots.
- Celery - This adds lots of flavour to the dish, and if it is chopped up really small then you don't even know it is there. We like it nice and chunky though.
- Potatoes - This is an easy way to make the dish really filling, and that way you don't need to serve it with everything as it's a whole meal in one. We used baby potatoes and cut them in half - you could keep them whole if they are smaller ones.
- Mushrooms - A nice way to bulk out this slow cooker chicken casserole, and chicken and mushroom is such a delicious combination. We used whole button mushrooms, however you could just slice up some regular white or brown mushrooms.
- Stock - Homemade chicken stock is the best option here, however if you don't have any already made, then a good quality stock cube and water will do. Remember to use a reduced salt stock cube if making this for younger kids.
- Herbs - A mixture of dried oregano and thyme is nice to mix into the stock, then some fresh parsley to finish.
- Mustard - This adds such a lovely flavour to the dish, and a creamy mustard sauce goes perfectly with chicken. We used wholegrain mustard, however you could use Dijon instead. Use a good quality mustard, as you will really taste the difference.
- Creme Fraiche - This is where all the creaminess comes from and it is a must in our opinion. You could leave it out, but you would have a fairly watery chicken casserole. You can use reduced fat creme fraiche, or even swap it for extra thick double cream.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Put the shallots, leek, mushrooms, carrots, celery and potatoes into the slow cooker.
Two: Add the chicken thighs on top.
Three: Make the stock, and then add the garlic, mustard, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well and pour over the chicken and vegetables.
Four: Cook on high for 4 hours.
Five: Shred the chicken (but keep it chunky) and add the creme fraiche and chopped parsley.
Six: Mix well.
How to adapt it
This is a really forgiving and easy to adapt with other ingredients you have that need using up. You really can't ruin this dish if you use a little less of something or a little extra of something else (apart from the stock as you don't want it to be too watery) and you can cook it for a little longer if you aren't ready to eat it after the 4 hours cooking time.
You can follow the recipe exactly, or add in different vegetables to suit your own tastes. Other veggies that work well are sweet potatoes, leek, parsnips, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, swede, butternut squash and aubergine. You could even add some spinach towards the end for a bit of a green veggie boost. This is a great recipe to reduce food waste, as you can pretty much add anything.
An easy way to add some extra flavour is by adding some cooked chopped ham or bacon before serving. It adds a nice saltiness, that compliments the creaminess well.
Creamy vs tomato based sauce
Slow cooker dishes either have a creamy based sauce (like this one) or a tomato based one. We love a creamy sauce when we want something comforting. However, you a rich and flavour packed sauce, you could swap the stock for a can of chopped tomatoes. Use a really good quality tinned tomatoes though, as you will really be able to taste the difference.
What to serve it with?
We haven't served ours with anything expect some crusty bread (which is perfect for dipping in the creamy sauce), as this dish has everything in it already. We added chunks of potato, to make it a filling and whole dish.
However, if you want to leave the potatoes out of the casserole, then we have a few suggestions of what to serve it with:
No, there is no need to brown the chicken first in this recipe, which is one of the many reasons why we love it. Frying it a little first does lock in the flavours and give it a crispy outside, and although that does give the dish a little more flavour, we don't find that the meal is missing anything without it. It's more important to seal the meat in something like our Slow Cooker Beef Curry.
We have cooked ours on high for 4 hours, however you can cook it on low for 8 hours. As mentioned before, this is a pretty forgiving recipe though. So if you are cooking it on high, then 6 hours will be fine too and if cooking it on low then it will still be delicious after 10 hours.
The thing with slow cooking, is that the liquid doesn't evaporate the same way it would if you are cooking it on the hob. So, you want to make sure that you don't add too much liquid in the first place as the ingredients release lots of liquid too. But, if you find that it is still too watery once it has finished cooking, then there are a couple of things you can do to help thicken it up.
You could cook it for about 30-40 minutes longer, on high, with the lid off and then add a tablespoon of chicken gravy granules. You could add a cornflour slurry to thicken it, however this will change the flavour and make it taste floury.
Coating the chicken in flour before adding it to the slow cooker will help to thicken the sauce whilst cooking.
To make sure that this slow cooker chicken casserole is totally gluten free, then make sure that you use a gluten stock and mustard.
Once the casserole has completely cooled, you can put it in an air tight container and it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. It's a great meal to batch cook and keep in the freezer for those busy weeknight evenings. The potatoes can change texture a little after freezing, but that doesn't really bother us.
To reheat it, defrost thoroughly and then put it in the microwave for 2 minutes, or heat through on the hob (stovetop).
• You can swap the creme fraiche for extra thick double cream.
• Add extra flavour to this slow cooker chicken casserole with some leftover chopped up ham added at the end, or even come cooked chopped bacon.
• This might not look like a lot of stock to add, but everything releases a lot of liquid when cooking, so you don't want it to be too watery.
More slow cooker recipes
If you’ve tried this chicken casserole recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole
- 600 g (1.33 lb) Chicken thighs - skinless and boneless
- 5 Shallots - halved
- 1 Leek - sliced
- 100 g (1 cups) Button mushrooms - halved
- 2 rib Celery - sliced
- 2 Carrot - peeled and chopped
- 270 g (9.5 oz) New potatoes - halved
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 200 ml (0.75 cups) Chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon Thyme
- 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 2 tablespoon Wholegrain mustard
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 100 ml (0.5 cups) Creme fraiche
- 10 g (2.5 tablespoon) Fresh parsley - finely chopped
- Put 5 Shallots, 1 Leek, 100 g Button mushrooms, 2 Carrot, 2 rib Celery and 270 g New potatoes into the slow cooker.
- Add 600 g Chicken thighs on top.
- Mix together 200 ml Chicken stock, 2 Garlic clove, 2 tablespoon Wholegrain mustard, 1 teaspoon Thyme, 1 teaspoon Dried oregano and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper. Mix well and pour over the chicken and vegetables.
- Cook on high for 4 hours.
- Shred the chicken (but keep it chunky) and add 100 ml Creme fraiche and 10 g Fresh parsley. Mix well.
- You can swap the creme fraiche for extra thick double cream.
- Add extra flavour to this slow cooker chicken casserole with some leftover chopped up ham added at the end, or even come cooked chopped bacon.
- This might not look like a lot of stock to add, but everything releases a lot of liquid when cooking, so you don't want it to be too watery.
Would you freeze it without the creme fraiche or with it mixed in?
I have freezed it with the creme fraiche in.
Carrots are in the method but not the ingredients, how many do you recommend?
Sorry about that. We use 2.
Had a bowl of this slow cooker chicken last night, it was so good! Another meal I can add to our monthly menu. Great for midweek meals.
This is such a great comfort food dinner for fall! All the flavors I'm craving right now!
Perfect autumn comfort food, and anything you can leave to do its thing in the slow cooker is a massive bonus!
Omg this is comfort food at its best, and I love how easy it is to make with the slow cooker!
A casserole in the crockpot is pretty much the best idea ever. Love the fresh veggies in it
I am always happy to let my slow cooker do all of the work. This is a great chicken casserole.