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.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage on www.PopularPaleo.comIngredients:
4 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.

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!

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. Spoon Balsamic Chicken & Sausage over the spaghetti squash and top with a little fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage on

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Want to make this? *nod yes*
Then you’ll need a slow cooker:


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  1. Belinda says

    Looking forward to making this this morning for tonight. I only have Costco precooked turkey sausage. Do you think that’d work? Please LMK ASAP if you happen to get this. Thanks!

    • says

      Is it like a kielbasa? Honestly the recipe doesn’t even need sausage! Just the chicken with the tomatoes, onion and seasonings are great on their own. So if the sausage situation isn’t looking right, pass on it :-)

  2. Lisa says

    Has anyone tried to put all of this in the crock pot the night before, take the pot itself out of the fridge and then put it into the crock pot and turn it on first thing in the morning? I have to leave early in the morning and I’d love to do this for dinner, but I don’t want to put it together in the morning. Thanks!

    • says

      I’ve made this several times (before and after I was Paleo) and I’m pretty sure the ingredients could be assembled and held overnight. I may actually try that tonight now that you mention it. It’s a great idea! Be sure to keep a lid on it (not that you wouldn’t). Be sure to let us know how it turns out for you!

    • Lynn says

      I put it together the night before and turned it on the next day. Actually, I almost always do this when using my crockpot. I loved this recipe but next time I will brown the sausage first and slice it prior to placing in crockpot. Also, mine had too much liquid so I will reduce that next time as well.

    • says

      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.

  3. Kelly says

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

  4. elizabeth says

    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!

  5. Darcey says

    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….

    • popularpaleo says

      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!

    • says

      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.

  6. Lorie says

    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.

  7. char says

    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. […] 7. Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken & Sausage It’s always nice to see a Paleo meal that actually looks like a meal when you’re finished. Here they’ve paired chicken and sausage together, and served it alongside a pile of spaghetti squash, so it is going to look great on your plate. Some Paleo sticklers think that it’s not a good idea to combine different meats in one recipe, because early man likely ate just one animal at a time, the catch of the day. But there had to be times when they caught more than one thing at a time, such as a fortuitous hunt where more than one type of animal crossed their path. […]

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