Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage


Who doesn’t love a good Crock Pot recipe?  I admit that I was totally apart of that Crockin’ Craze that spread through Facebook like wildfire a year or so ago (pre-Paleo, of course).  I was all over those cans of Cream of Mushroom soup like white on rice… I’m a little embarrassed about it now.  Anyways, I still love my Crock Pot, I’m just a bit more selective about what I toss in it.

One of my favorite pre-Paleo recipes is still a go-to slow cooker pick these days.  It’s based on this great recipe from Dishing With Leslie called Balsamic Chicken. It’s very popular on the internet and many people have tried to take credit for it… which sucks. I made it according to her directions and honestly found it a touch bland.  So here’s my version, full of flavor and 100% Paleo friendly.  If you need to feed a crowd or are looking for great leftovers, look no further.  Prepare for Paleo Crock Pot deliciousness at its best… and its slowest.

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (don’t hate me for that)
6 fresh Italian sausage links (sweet or spicy or a combo is fine)
1 white onion, thinly sliced (not diced!)
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 – 14.5 oz cans organic diced tomatoes
1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water or chicken stock
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
+ 1 tsp Italian seasoning
+ 1/2 tsp kosher salt
+ 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add the first round of seasonings directly onto the chicken (Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt).  Don’t mix, just leave it on top.  During the slow cooking process, it seasons the chicken directly for perfect flavor. Lay the fresh sausage over the seasoned chicken.

Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next.  Then pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot.  Top with the second round of seasonings.  Again, don’t mix this up. I like the way the flavors develop with this style.

Layering Onions | Final Layer |

Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours.  Not all slow cookers are created equal, so it’s important you have a personal relationship with yours…  Mine tends to be really hot and cooks faster than most recipes call for.  With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that you could make this recipe on low for 7 hours. Worst case is that the chicken will dry out, so if that happens I’m super sorry!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage |

Of course this recipe was destined to partner with spaghetti squash, so don’t fight fate.  Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the guts and roast for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees cut-side down.  When the timer dings, remove from oven and flip them over to cool slightly cut side up.  Use a fork to harvest the strands.  That’s it!

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34 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage

    1. popularpaleo Post author

      Hey Holly ~ We don’t track macros in Paleo so I can’t help you there. I believe there are some online tools out there that can break down the info you’re after fairly easy. I’m sure Google can help you find a good one.

  1. Kelly

    This was great! Making it again today, switched out for some chicken parmesan sausage and have added zucchini and mushrooms.

  2. elizabeth

    wow! i made this today since it’s a cold -10 in cleveland, ohio and it is warming me right up! it’s kinda like a balsamic chicken and sausage soup because of all the broth but i like that about this recipe! i’m currently eating it over some spaghetti squash and i’m in heaven. i did add a little extra balsamic at the last hour for more of a zing and my dish was done in about 4 hours. i also used chicken thighs and kielbasa instead of breasts and italian sausage. thanks for the recipe! keep ‘em coming!

  3. Darcey

    Thanks for the great recipe! Followed these instructions to the “t” (including the spaghetti squash), cooked on “8 hour” setting for about 7 hours, served with fresh strips of basil on top. Was a hit with the BF, who is not officially paleo but is humoring me….

    1. popularpaleo Post author

      This was actually inspired by a very popular non-paleo recipe! One trick that I do when feeding non-Paleo people is serve a side dish alongside my Paleo main dish. This way I get to eat the way I want and they feel accommodated. Hopefully as time goes by they see how awesome you feel and look and get curious about how they would feel if they followed the perimeters you do :-) Keep at it, Darcey!

    1. PopularPaleo

      You should probably use thawed chicken. However, if you had to use frozen, then I’d use frozen sausages as well. You don’t want the cook times to be too varied between those two items.

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  7. Lorie

    Love the recipes. I so hate to use canned soup for recipes. I do not like all the salts, chemicals and fat they contain! I try to improvise.

  8. Pingback: Roasted Balsamic Chicken | Popular Paleo

  9. char

    What happened to the sausage? I’m sure you must put them in with the chicken to cook over the hours getting yummy and spreading flavor!

    1. PopularPaleo

      This is what I get for writing with a grumpy toddler yelling at me! Yes, the sausage goes into the pot over the seasoned chicken. I updated the recipe — thank you for catching that! Too bad I uploaded it to already :-( Whoops!

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