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Looking for cold weather comfort food without the faff? This Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole recipe is so quick to prepare.

The stew is packed with vegetables and in a delicious creamy sauce with crispy bacon bits. Cosiness in a bowl!

Crock pot chicken casserole with carrots and chicken and crispy bacon sprinkled with herbs.

Who doesn’t need a good old Chicken Casserole recipe as their go-to for when the week calls for it? As slow cooker chicken recipes go, this one just might become your new favourite winter warmer for when those nights draw in (although, let’s face it, slow cookers are perfect for any time of year). 

This version is traditional and simple, albeit with a few tweaks to make it that bit EXTRA. The bacon bits give off a delicious salty flavour to offset the light, creaminess of the sauce. 

We don’t even have to brown the chicken with this one, which means throw-it-all-in perfection on those busy days.

It’s full of goodness and freezes really well too, making it great as a make-ahead batch cook dinner.


Why you’ll love this Chicken Casserole recipe

⭐️ It’s packed with vegetables and a light but creamy sauce

⭐️ Hardly any preparation, no need to brown the chicken

⭐️ Freezes brilliantly, cook once, eat twice!


Easy slow cooker chicken casserole with bacon and carrots sprinkled with parsley

About This recipe

What we’ve come to know as traditional chicken casseroles are recipes that date back centuries and were designed to make ingredients such as meat and vegetables go further. 

Countries all over the world have their own versions of stews and casseroles, from Coq au Vin to Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Tagine to Hungarian Chicken Paprikash.

This recipe lends itself perfectly to our collection of slow cooker favourites as it has a distinct British style to it – and we love our home classics when it’s cold outside! 

Serve it up with Colcannon mashed potato or some simple roast potatoes.


The ingredients for a slow cooker chicken casserole laid out on a counter top.

Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole Ingredients Notes

  • Chicken thighs – These should be boneless and skinless. You could use chicken breast in this recipe, but it won’t be as tender or shred when cooked in the same way
  • Bacon lardons – These are optional (as you need to fry them before adding, so it is another step in your prep) BUT using smoked bacon pieces adds SO much flavour and a little extra texture too
  • Onions – Fresh or pre-prepared from the freezer is fine. (I’m always after a shortcut!)
  • Carrots – I used mini Chantenay carrots, because – no peeling, they look super cute and I like saying the word CHANTENAY! You can use regular peeled carrots if you prefer. Just cut them into big chunks
  • Celery – Even if you hate celery raw, it’s a really good idea to use it here as it adds lots of depth of flavour to the sauce. Chop quite small
  • Stock – I like Marigold vegetable stock powder
  • Mustard – Wholegrain works well as it adds an extra texture and makes the sauce look pretty. A little Dijon/French mustard is fine if you don’t have wholegrain. Please do add this as it really enhances the flavour
  • Dried thyme – Make sure this isn’t from a pack that’s been open at the back of the cupboard for years as it really loses its flavour!

How to make Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole

  1. Fry the bacon lardons until crispy in a small frying pan or in your slow cooker if it’s suitable for the hob. 
  2. Put the bacon, onions, celery and carrots into the slow cooker, then sit the flour-coated chicken on top. 
  3. Mix together the stock, mustard, thyme and salt and pepper and pour into the slow cooker around the sides.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for at least 6. Stir through creme fraiche and parsley before serving.

Substitutions

  • Carrots – I used baby carrots whole, but you can just use regular carrots peeled and chopped into large chunks if you prefer. You can add other suitable vegetables of your choice, but be careful not to overcook anything that’s not a root veg

Leftovers

In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully by before serving.

In the freezer This easy Chicken Casserole is perfect for batch cooking or freezing leftovers. When completely cooled, pop what’s left into freezer-safe containers (like these containers on Amazon which I LOVE for this purpose).

Top tips

How to thicken Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole

This should be the right consistency if you’ve followed the recipe, however it is too runny, make up a simple ‘slurry’. This is a trick to thicken the sauce without ending up with floury lumps.

First you add cornflour to a small bowl, mug or jug, then use a little liquid from a dish (a spoonful or two) to mix the cornflour into a paste consistency. Add that back into the dish’s sauce.

If you just sprinkle cornflour straight into the dish, it will form lumps that are almost impossible to get rid of. I promise this step is worth the extra dirty bowl!

FAQ

Do I need to brown the chicken before it goes in the slow cooker?

No! Browning meat causes a Maillard reaction. The process of frying and heating it very hot until it browns changes the flavour compounds in the meat, basically adding a depth of flavour.

Does it add something to most slow cooked dishes? Yes. Is it vital in this dish, which is packed with other flavour? No. My opinion is that it’s much more important in red meat dishes and even then, sometimes speed and ease are more important.

I’ve added a couple of other steps (browning some bacon lardons and adding creme fraiche at the end) because after testing this approximately 100 times(!) I really think they make a difference and are worth the added tiny bit of effort for this bit.

You’re welcome to leave those steps out, but.. Hello CRISPY BACON BITS!

More slow cooker casseroles…

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

4.95 from 383 votes

Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole {with Crispy Bacon}

This Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole recipe is so quick to prepare. The stew is packed with vegetables and in a delicious creamy sauce with crispy bacon bits. Cosiness in a bowl!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 People

Ingredients 

  • 1 kg Chicken thighs, Boneless and skinless
  • 50 g Plain flour
  • 2 Onions, Large, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Sticks Celery, Trimmed and chopped into small pieces
  • 500 g Carrots, See notes
  • 200 g Smoked bacon lardons, See notes
  • 300 ml Chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp Wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tsp Dried thyme, See notes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • 4 tbsp Creme fraiche
  • 3 tbsp Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Fry your bacon lardons either in a small frying pan, or in the bottom of your slow cooker pan if it can be used on the hob. Let them go crispy and golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, put your chicken thighs in a large bowl and coat thoroughly in the flour.
  • When the bacon has finished cooking, put the onions, celery, carrots and bacon pieces into your slow cooker (or leave the bacon pieces in that pan if they've been cooking in there).
  • Sit the flour rolled chicken pieces on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
  • Mix the stock, mustard, thyme and salt and pepper and pour into the slow cooker, around the side of the chicken.
  • Put the lid on and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for at least 6 hours.
  • When you're ready to serve, add the creme fraiche and the chopped parsley. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Notes

Carrots: I used baby carrots whole, but you can just use regular carrots peeled and chopped into large chunks if you prefer
Bacon lardons: You don’t NEED to add these if you don’t want to add the step of pre-frying them, HOWEVER, I think they really add a lot of flavour. They do need to be fried before adding to make them crispy
Lardons are basically fat chunks of bacon, you can buy them in packs cut to that size, which adds lovely textured chunks. Or you can just use smoked bacon cut into chunks
When you fry these, they won’t need any oil as the fat will render out. I like to add the fat juices from the pan along with the bacon pieces as they add more flavour
Thyme: I actually use 2 TABLESPOONS of dried thyme as I find slow cooker casseroles can sometimes be a little bland as they don’t reduce while cooking so you need to make adjustments to use more flavourings than you normally would. I’ve reduced the amount in the recipe as I know that might not be to everyone’s taste. Use more if like me your tastebuds need a lot for them to pack a punch!
How to thicken: If it’s a little runny, add cornflour to a small bowl, then use a little liquid from a dish (a spoonful or two) to mix the cornflour into a paste consistency. Add that back into the dish’s sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 854kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 47gFat: 59gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gMonounsaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 244mgSodium: 814mgPotassium: 1202mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 21229IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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85 Comments

  1. The chicken casserole receipe is absolutely delicious! I added some parsnips and swede I had left over and added an oxo stock pot as well. Otherwise did exactly what the receipe says and it’s my all time favourite recipe! Thank you!

  2. I’m generally not a slow cooker fan as it’s always too watery. I’m converted. This was insanely good. Ageee with others about using it as a pie filling! Our plan for tomorrow

  3. 5 stars
    This was so delicious, I added in some button mushrooms too. Will definitely be making this again and I think it would make a great pie filling 😋

  4. 5 stars
    I am so glad I found you ! This recipe got a 9.9/10 from my kids who had thirds and I served with creamy mash and brocolli . I def think more herbs work well and I added a bit of white wine and Worcestershire sauce . Thank you !!

  5. 5 stars
    I think I’ve found the best! And my family’s favourite chicken casserole recipe. Thankyou for sharing this! It’s absolutely delish!

  6. 5 stars
    Great recipe, easy to make. Going to do it again but a larger batch and want to freeze half for another day.
    Any advice on freezing