Now it’s autumn it’s time to get back to basics with slow cooking, so I’m sharing my favourite recipe for slow cooker chicken casserole.
I use chicken thighs in my chicken casserole, as they have so much flavour and also stand up really well to slow cooking all day.
It’s easy to switch to chicken breast if you prefer though and they do also work well in this recipe!
Just make sure you don’t cook for more than 6 hours on low or chicken breast can go dry and a bit stringy.
Casserole tips for the slow cooker
As I slow cook so many meals, I’ve got loads of tips on slow cooking to share with you.
This chicken casserole recipe is the result of a lot of tweaks as I’ve made it over and over again over the years, and improved it a bit almost every time.
- Use sweet potatoes instead of normal potatoes
- Chicken thighs on the bone add loads of flavour
- Red lentils create a naturally thick sauce
- Place the vegetables at the bottom of the pot
- Brown the chicken thighs
- Thicken naturally by adding a couple of tablespoons of plain flour
As potatoes often stay hard when you slow cook, I’ve replaced them with sweet potato.
Better for you, they also help to thicken the sauce as they cook and disintegrate, and don’t take so long to soften.
You still need to make sure you put the sweet potato in the bottom of the slow cooker, this is a good way to make sure potatoes cook through and soften.
Step by step instructions
Layer the sweet potato chunks and onion in the slow cooker pot.
Next I brown off the chicken thighs in a pan, so the skin is golden. This makes them look much tastier I find!
Add herbs and seasoning too, so you have layers of flavour building up.
Next I add red lentils and stock. Red lentils are great as they help to bulk out the sauce, thickening it so you don’t need to use anything like cornflour or gravy granules but you have the basis of a thick sauce to start with.
Later once the chicken casserole has cooked down a bit and there is more liquid, I add a couple of tablespoons of plain flour which helps the sauce to thicken further.
Now just leave it to slow cook and do its thing! It will bubble away while you are at work/running errands/ferrying kids around, and creating a warming comforting dish you can eat straight from the pot!
Slow cooker chicken casserole is one of my autumn and winter go-to recipes.
What to serve on the side
Since it already contains sweet potatoes, vegetables (carrot and onion) and red lentils alongside the chicken thighs, this casserole is a filling dish on its own.
A bowlful served alone makes a filling meal already!
To make a family meal which will serve more people, I also like to serve with mashed potato, crusty bread to dip into the sauce, and steamed broccoli and peas.
If you want to make this but don’t have a slow cooker, follow these steps:
Step 1. Brown the chicken thighs in a casserole dish/Dutch oven with 1 tsp olive oil, then set aside.
Step 2. Fry the onions in the remaining oil.
Step 2. Place the vegetables, red lentils, stock, tomato puree in the casserole dish.
Step 3. Place the chicken thighs on top, add herbs and seasoning.
Step 4. Heat on a high heat until at the boil, then turn down to a medium heat and simmer. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
More slow cooker casseroles
- lamb casserole with savoy cabbage
- beef stew with chorizo
- pork, leek and apple casserole
- sausage casserole
- beef and butternut squash
- Italian sausage casserole
More slow cooker recipes
Check out all my family slow cooker recipes that kids love as well as my slow cooker archives.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole
- 1 brown onion approx 175 g
- 4 carrots approx 300 g
- 1 sweet potato approx 225 g
- 1 kg chicken thighs with skin, bone in
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 chicken stock melt or stock cube
- 500 ml boiling water
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 60 g red lentils
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and brown the chicken thighs on all sides.
- Prepare the vegetables and layer in the base of the slow cooker pot: onion, then carrots and sweet potato chunks.
- Add the red lentils in with the vegetables.
- Place the browned chicken thighs on top of the vegetables.
- Boil the kettle, make up the stock in a jug with the chicken stock melt/stock pot or stock cube.
- Pour in the stock and sprinkle the herbs and seasoning over the chicken.
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
- After around 2-3 hours, when the food has cooked down a bit and there is more liquid in the base of the pot, add 2 tablespoons of plain flour into the liquid. Mix in well with a spoon. This will help the sauce to thicken even more as it cooks.